How to open a British pound account

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 10 Aug 2023

How to open british pound account

If you frequently make or receive payments in British pounds, you could save money when you open a British pound account. A British pound account is also very useful if you want to hold British pounds for a while.

A British pound account could save you a fair amount of money when converting British pounds to Australian dollars. It also protects against volatility.

The introduction of online borderless accounts makes opening a GBP account quick and easy.

Read on to discover how and where to open a British pound account in Australia.

Fast and easy setup

Where to open a British pound account

Wise Money Transfer

On website


  • Wise Borderless multi-currency receiving accounts. This gives you access to a digital currency wallet that you can hold and transact in over 50 currencies.
  • Borderless Debit Card. The FX optimised debit card is attached to your Wise Borderless account that can be used to withdraw or pay for purchases in foreign currency within or outside Australia.
  • Android and Apple Apps. Indulge convenience by transacting thru the Wise App anytime and anywhere!
  • Fund options. Loads of options to fund your Wise account including transfer from Debit and credit cards, or thru a local bank transfer. Quick and easy!


  • Low and competitive fees.
  • Easy to understand fee structure.
  • Easy to use website and mobile apps.
  • High transfer limit.


  • Limited currencies and destination countries compared with some competitors.
  • Can only send funds to the recipient's bank account.
Airwallex Money Transfer

On website

Airwallex Money Transfer


  • $0 fees and 0% margin on your first $20,000 AUD transfer.
  • Spend less on FX fees and more on growth.
  • Make payments in 31 currencies, into over 130 countries, and counting.
  • You always get access to Airwallex's best rates, regardless of transaction volume.


  • Create an account in just a few minutes.
  • No international transfer transaction fee.
  • Favourable currency exchange rates.
  • Quick transfers.


  • Limited transfer methods.
  • Fewer transfer currencies are available than some competing services.
OFX Money Transfer

On website

OFX Money Transfer


  • Enjoy better rates and fees.
  • Transfers to most countries take 1-2 business days. Track your transfer online or with the OFX mobile app.
  • With support staff that are located in Australia, USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.


  • Easy and quick account opening.
  • Wide range of supported currencies and countries.
  • No fees if transferring more than $10,000.
  • Enjoy additional features for business transfers.


  • Limited payment options.
  • $15 fee if transferring less than $10,000.

First time?

How to open a British pound account

Opening a British pound account in Australia isn’t difficult. Here’s how it works.

  • Choose a provider. Select from one of the online services above, all of which have been tried and tested. Alternatively, you could opt for one of the traditional banks.
  • Open an account. You will need to provide personal or business details, including contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, and proof of identity. You may need to provide proof of address with a recent bill.
  • Fund the account. With your account open, you can hold GBP, take payments, and set up money transfers.

Help choosing

What to look for

There are several factors to consider when evaluating which provider to use for your British pound account.

  • What other currencies are supported? In the future, you may deal in more than one currency. It might be more efficient to use a single provider when transacting in various currencies.
  • Linked card. Does the account come with a debit card? Does it support Apple Pay and Google Pay?
  • Funding methods. Can funds be loaded with anything other than a bank transfer?
  • Account fees. Does the provider charge a monthly maintenance fee? If so, how much?
  • Foreign currency transaction fees. What are the fees to convert a different currency into GBP?
  • Minimum balance. Some accounts insist on a minimum balance and charge a fee if it falls below the threshold.
  • Maximum balance. Is there an upper limit to the amount of money you can hold in the account?
  • Overdraft facility. Can you access an overdraft in British pounds?
  • Supported transfer types. What are the options and fees?
  • Settlement time. How long does it take for inbound and outbound transfers take to clear?
  • Withdrawals and payments. Are there any limits on payment and withdrawal amounts?
  • The interest rate. What interest rates apply to British pound balances?
  • Cashback and other perks. Can you get cashback or rewards with the account?
  • Flexibility and tools. What marketplaces does it integrate with? Can it connect with your accounting software?

Still not sure?

Pros and cons


  • Invoice your UK clients in British pounds.
  • Receive British pound payments without having to convert currencies.
  • Save on online purchase costs and import payments when making British pound payments.
  • Use your British pound account for international travel and online shopping with UK stores or wholesale suppliers.
  • Eliminate currency conversion costs when paying in British pounds.
  • Hedge against exchange rate fluctuations by exchanging your currency when the rates are at their best.


  • Traditional banks may require a substantial minimum balance for GBP accounts.
  • You may need to open a local currency account before you’re able to open a British pound account.
  • Higher fees compared to regular transaction accounts in the local currency.
  • A variety of fees are applicable on foreign currency accounts.

Want more help?


Can I open a British pound account in Australia?

Anyone can open a British pound account in Australia with one of the providers listed above.

What types of British pound accounts are there?

You can open a British pound account for personal or business use. The documentation required to open an account will vary depending on the type of account you wish to open.

What can a British pound account be used for?

You can use your British pound account to collect payments from marketplaces such as Amazon, payment processors such as PayPal, buy now pay later platforms such as Klarna, send payments to companies and suppliers, pay overseas mortgages, and more.

Do British pound accounts in Australia pay interest?

Some British pound savings accounts in Australia pay interest, but this is typically low, as is the case for most savings accounts.

What fees are applicable on a British pound account?

Depending on who you open an account with, fees that may be charged include the following:

  • Account opening fees
  • Monthly maintenance or ongoing fees
  • Telegraphic transfer fees on receipts and payments
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Cardholder fees for any linked debit cards
  • Cash withdrawal fees and ATM fees
  • Interest in overdraft facilities

How long does it take to open a British pound account?

The time it takes to open a British pound account depends on who you are opening the account with.

The fastest way to get a British pound is with an online provider such as Wise or Airwallex. Expect it to take longer for a traditional bank to make a GBP account available.

It is best to begin the process at least a few business days before you use your British pound account.