The Commonwealth Bank’s digital ‘benefits finder’ has now helped customers access in excess of $480 million in government rebates and benefits, as the number of claims started through the feature surpassed 1 million.
The country’s largest retail bank today released the latest breakdown of claims initiated through the app and NetBank feature that was developed in partnership with Harvard University’s STAR (Sustainability, Transparency and Accountability) Lab.
The benefits finder, which has been available since September 2019, automatically assesses a customer’s eligibility for more than 270 benefits and rebates and then automatically guides them through the application process.
Benefits available include pandemic-related assistance in the form of the pandemic leave disaster payment, Dine & Discover NSW, small and medium enterprise (SME) government guaranteed loans and the disaster recovery payment.
CBA said customers had benefited by “more than $481 million” since the automated benefits finder was launched, up from the $153 million saved as at July 2020.
The majority of the recurring savings are considered “additional income”, which accounts for $354 million, or almost 74 percent, with the remaining $127 million the result of utility bill savings, the bank said.
CBA said more than 1 million claims had been started by customers between September 2019 and February 2021, almost 700,000 of which have occurred since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
Of these, there were 506,972 claims for “unclaimed money” across the federal and state levels between September 2019 and February 2021, making it the top claim type recorded for the future, followed by 67,228 claims for unclaimed superannuation.
There were also 54,124 claims for the “power saver bonus” – a one-off $250 payment available to Victorian householders experiencing energy bill stress; 31,256 claims for JobSeeker related payments; and 29,863 claims for rent assistance.
Most of the claims have been started by NSW customers, who were responsible for almost 397,290 claims, followed by Victorian customers with 291,121 claims and Queensland customers with 206,301 claims.
CBA customers in the remaining states and territories, namely Western Australia, South Australia, the ACT, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, together accounted for 229,915 benefit finder claims.
Chief digital officer Fredrik Lindström said the benefits finder was an example of the highly personalised digital experience that the bank’s 7.5 million digitally active customers were looking for.
“Connecting digital services is a key focus for us and it is not surprising to see so many customers taking-up benefits finder as a free, easy-to-use feature – especially at a time when many are doing it tough,” he said.
After extending the benefits finder to business customers in May 2020, the bank is now preparing to add “additional business benefits to help time-poor business owners access the support they could be eligible for”.
“We are focused on re-imagining the digital experiences we offer customers to help them better understand and manage their finances,” Lindström added.
“This includes tapping into our customer engagement engine and using artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive highly relevant and personalised content straight into the palms of our customers’ hands.”