From carer allowances and concession payments to energy rebates and toll relief, Australians are missing out on government benefits because they either don’t know they’re eligible or claiming them is too hard.
Commonwealth Bank has crunched the numbers and found Aussies are missing out on more than $10 billion in unclaimed benefits, rebates and tax concessions each year.
But if you’re a CommBank customer, the big four bank has launched a new app feature, aptly named ‘Benefits finder’ which aims to connect Australians with up to 250 potential benefits.
Pete Steel, Chief Digital Officer at Commonwealth Bank said unclaimed benefits can add up to a significant amount of money per household, freeing up cash to help pay for everyday expenses and put toward savings goals.
“Whether it’s claiming a car registration rebate or money off a utility bill, Benefits finder uses data capability and machine learning to put potential entitlements in front of customers at the right time and then nudges them to start a claim,” Mr Steel said.
“Our data shows there are some large amounts people are entitled to with many unaware of what they can claim. Making it easier for our customers to see what they may be entitled to is just one way we are working to improve our customer’s financial wellbeing.”
CommBank has partnered up with Harvard Sustainability Transparency Accountability and Research (STAR) Lab to find ways to optimise Benefits finder.
Professor Michael Hiscox from Harvard’s STAR Lab said most people who qualify for benefits often don’t receive them because they don’t know they’re eligible or because the processes for accessing benefits is too complicated and time-consuming.
“In partnership with CBA, we have conducted initial tests indicating that, when CBA reaches out to customers who very likely qualify for benefits and simplifies the initial steps in the application process, customers engage at very high rates and report high levels of satisfaction,” Mr Hiscox said.
The new app feature is part of a bigger push by the bank to maintain its digital lead over its rivals. Earlier this year, the bank announced a revamp of the CommBank app, launching a suite of digital banking services to help customers take control of their finances and make better financial decisions.
CBA Chief Executive Officer Matt Comyn said the bank has around 270 initiatives planned around linking customers to rebates they’re entitled to claim.