Frequently asked questions

Bank Account

What is an A4L Account?

It’s an independent BSB and account number that's yours for life. It's a legitimate bank account address but isn't an actual bank account which holds funds. It's a virtual entity that allows you to point direct debit (and credit) transactions to it.

Why is it “virtual”?

The account is virtual because it never stores any funds, as opposed to a normal bank account. All transactions to the account are routed/pointed/mapped/forwarded to a real bank account to complete the payment.

How does an A4L Account work?

Your A4L Account is a hub where you collect and forward transactions. You have control over where you send your transactions without having to update your billers.

After signing up for a free account, customers can use their unique BSB and account number on any direct debit forms (eg. gas, electricity, insurance, phone etc.) Then, on our secure website, customers determine where the bill should be pointed. When the bill is due, the gas company (for example) is paid from your nominated, real bank account, via your A4L Account.

Can the A4L Account hold customers’ funds?

No. Funds are instantly passed through to the chosen destination bank or biller.

Why do I need an A4L Account?

An A4L Account allows you to simplify and control your regular billers. More importantly, it makes you immune to the administrative nightmare of changing banks. Currently, if you change banks, you get a new BSB and account number. YOU then have to contact all your direct debit billers, fill out all the forms again and wait for the new arrangements to come into effect. Not only is this painful, it can mean you suffer late payment penalty fees or, worse still, risk losing your cover in the case of insurance payments.

What sort of companies or transactions would this be useful for?

Any company that regularly bills you and offers a direct debit facility. Eg. Gas, Electricity, Insurance (car, home, life, health, income protection etc.), phone, Internet, rent, memberships, subscriptions.

You can also collect direct credits like your salary and control the way you split the funds. Instead of filling out forms for your employer every time your situation changes, you can alter how you split the funds across the mortgage, credit card, savings account, cheque account etc.

Are there any other benefits?

YES. By collecting all of your regular billers and pointing them to a unique account number that is ALWAYS yours, you can more easily change your real bank. Instead of sticking with your current bank because it’s “just too painful to switch”, you can easily take up better offers in the market and cancel your old account: All without the pain of moving all your billers.

We're making switching easier so you have the power to choose.

So I could easily move my business to a bank that offers a better deal?

YES. If someone is offering a better interest rate, fewer fees or better service, you can easily take up the offer.

Do I have to cancel the old account?

NO. You can have multiple real bank accounts and just point your bills (and day-to-day transactions) to whichever one you choose. In effect, you’re free to force the banks to compete. This is probably the main benefit for anyone who likes to know they’re getting the best deal. YOU get to control which bank is worthy of your business.

How do I make a transaction happen?

Our secure website is used to point (or “map”) the transaction through to the real bank account. Users enter details of their real bank account(s) when setting up their A4L Account. As each new bill is added, it must be routed/pointed to a real account. (While you do tell us the details of the real bank account, we DON'T request, or want, your password or login details.)

What if account credits (e.g. Salary) are paid into the A4L Account but there’s no forwarding (real) bank account?

This can't happen. Your A4L Account is only activated once it is linked to one (or more) real bank accounts. We require you to nominate a default bank account and all transactions are pointed to it, in the absence of alternate instructions.

What if account debits (e.g. Monthly phone bill) are charged to the A4L Account but there’s no linked (destination) bank account to draw from?

This can't happen. Your A4L Account is only activated once it is linked to one (or more) real bank accounts. We require you to nominate a default bank account and all transactions are pointed to it, in the absence of alternate instructions.

What happens if someone tries to bill the customer without their consent?

Any attempted fraud cannot succeed as customers must add approved billers to a “white” list. The white list nominates the acceptable organizations and these are added one-by-one by the user. All other potential billers are “black-listed” and will receive a “rejected” transaction in the clearing process.

What if someone knows my account number and tries to use it for online or POS transactions?

Other than manually entering the code into an EFTPOS machine, there's no way to make a POS transaction. As for online, it's possible to enter any BSB and account number if the website requests it. We can't control that so we give you the control ... with the A4L white-list. You nominate approved billers and we block anyone trying to bill you that isn't on the list.

What if someone tries to pay their own gas or electricity bill with my A4L Account number?

If they happened to have the same gas or electricity company as yours (and it was on your white list), there would still be a mismatch on the transaction due to name or address details. Eg. When the gas company bills you, they know your name and address. At Accounts4Life, WE know your name and address. As part of the mapping process, we check for matching name and/or address details on bills and reject any mismatches.

What’s it cost?

NOTHING. A basic A4L Account is free! You can get an A4L account, link your bank account and start adding billers and payers at no cost. We do offer a premium service for a small annual fee which includes more features and functionality like: multiple A4L Accounts, reporting, SMS confirmations, salary split capability, and much more.

Can I select my own account number?

YES. We offer a randomly generated number in the free service as well as the option to use your mobile phone number. If you’d like to select a number that means something to you and/or is easy to remember then you can purchase one for a small, once-off fee. The BSB is predetermined but we let you choose the account number (within some limitations). We also offer the ability to buy a block of consecutive numbers for family members or businesses. The fee is a once-off cost and you own the number for life.

What’s the sign-up process?

Just provide your name and email address and you can begin. You first select your A4L Account number. Then you add at least 1 real bank account (by providing the BSB and account number which we verify.) Now, you can add billers and payers. Finally, you link the billers and payers to your chosen bank accounts. It's that easy!

Get started with your free account