What is a PayID and how do I get one?

If you’re uncomfortable handing out details of your everyday bank account, or have trouble remembering your account particulars, having a PayID may be something to consider. We take a look at what it is and how to get one.

What is a PayID?

When someone wants to deposit money into your online bank account, you typically need to give them your BSB and account number. If you have a PayID set up for your bank account, you can give this to the payee instead. A PayID is a piece of information chosen by you which is linked to your bank account and acts as an identifier. Banks and other financial institutions allow their customers different choices around what can be used as a PayID – options typically include your landline number, email address, phone number or ABN if you’re a business owner.

PayID states that the idea is that the system allows for instant and secure payments between bank accounts without anyone having to provide, or recall, their BSB and account number. And your PayID identifier is usually easier to remember than your BSB and account number.

How do I get a PayID?

  1. Get in touch with your financial institution to confirm whether PayID is available with your account. Most Australian banks, building societies and credit unions now offer PayID.
  2. Where it’s offered, you may be able to set up a PayID for yourself through either your bank’s mobile banking app or internet banking. You may have to complete some security steps, like confirming your identity, as part of the process.
  3. Once you set up your PayID, it will be linked to your bank account, and other people should be able to use it to transfer money to you.
  4. You can have more than one PayID for a single bank account – your mobile number as well as your email address, for example, but a single PayID can only be linked to one bank account at a time. Your PayID can be moved between different accounts and banks, making it easier to change banks.

If you’re looking to switch banks, you can compare transaction accounts with Canstar.

Compare transaction accounts on Canstar’s database

The table below displays a snapshot of 5-Star Rated transaction accounts on Canstar’s database for high transactors (individuals averaging 35 transactions a month) in NSW, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) and then by provider name (a-z). Check upfront with the provider and read the PDS to confirm whether the provider offers PayID as a service to customers, and whether the product meets your needs, before opening an account.

How do I use PayID?

  • Payments to your account: Once you have set up your PayID, you can start giving it to friends and family instead of your BSB and account number if they need to send you money.
  • Payments to other people’s accounts: The process of making a payment using someone’s PayID may vary depending on the bank you’re with. It can involve adding the person you want to pay to your ‘address book’ of payment contacts using their PayID, provided the other person’s financial institution also offers PayID as a service. You can then select the new contact and send them money as usual.

Is PayID secure?

Payments using a PayID can only be made from mobile or online banking of participating banks, credit unions and building societies – and only your bank can access information about payments or personal information associated with your PayID. PayID’s website says this means the same high level of security that protects your existing bank account payments will also protect any payments made using a PayID.

When you make payments using PayID, you’ll be shown the name of the person you’re paying so you can double check the money is going to the right person or business before making the payment. It’s a step that NPP Australia Limited, the company running the service, claims may mean “fewer mistakes” when people are making payments. That said, it’s always a good idea to regularly check your account statements to be sure there are no unfamiliar transactions.

Main image source: Rido/Shutterstock.com

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This content was reviewed by Digital Editor Amanda Horswill as part of our fact-checking process.

Nicola is a personal finance writer with nearly two decades of industry experience. A former chartered accountant, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Education degree, Nicola has contributed to several popular magazines including the Australian Women’s Weekly, Money and Real Living.

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