Commonwealth Bank unveils new youth strategy aimed at nurturing a new ‘financially savvy’ generation

31 March 2003

The Commonwealth Bank launched its new Youth strategy revitalising its core youth offering.   The new product and communication package is the first of a series of initiatives that will arm young Australians with the tools and knowledge they will need to get financially equipped for a better future.

The Commonwealth Bank’s Group Executive Retail Banking Services, Hugh Harley, said: “The Commonwealth Bank has always had a strong relationship with younger people through the provision of banking services and as their needs have changed, we’ve had to evolve and develop our services.  Young people are getting increasingly worldly about financial matters – partly because parents today are more willing to include them in these discussions.  We will continue to play a significant role in helping nurture that growth trend for kids, parents and schools and to teach young Australians to learn good budget skills and disciplines that can set them up for life.”

New research findings by Heartbeat Research played a significant role in the Bank’s new direction.  Heartbeat Research’s director and leading trend expert, Neer Korn revealed that from a young age youth are confronted with real life issues where words like ‘shares’ and ‘investment’ are entering everyday vocabulary.  Hence, there is a greater role for financial institutions to play in their lives.

The Commonwealth Bank has introduced a new simplified way of banking that offers kids greater access to products and services at a time when they need them.  Targeting three youth stages – kids, tweens and teens - the new changes include giving young people more flexible access to phone and Internet Banking (with parental permission), access to streamlined accounts, and more youth-friendly statements. 

In addition, each age group has a separate identity, Dollarmites for kids, Rule for Tweens and pi for Teens, with its own separate membership and benefits, website and key focus areas, designed to appeal to the differing needs of each group.  The three identities will be launched as part of a national marketing campaign from mid-April.

This comes at a time when the Commonwealth Bank wants to build on the success of its existing initiatives.  Last year 3,100 schools participated in the Commonwealth Banking student banking program whereby schools benefited from payments of commission for new accounts opened and deposits processed.  The Bank continues to provide fee free banking (other bank ATM fees excluded) for customers under the age of 18 and for full time tertiary students.   Currently, the Commonwealth Bank has 2.5 million youth customers.