Aussies face $360 million burden to replace lost travel documents

Media release

CommBank can

Media release

Aussies face $360 million burden to replace lost travel documents

10 September 2012: According to a Commonwealth Bank study, more than 2.6 million Australians have had travel documents, including receipts for gifts and souvenirs (33 per cent), passports (26 per cent) and traveller’s cheques (14 per cent), lost or stolen while overseas. On average this has resulted in a direct cost of $137 per person, equating to a total of over $360 million nationwide.

It’s not just the impact on our wallets, misplaced travel documentation causes disruption to our holidays. A fifth of Aussies with lost or stolen documentation (20 per cent) have been forced to contact friends and family for emergency cash transfers, while others have:

  • wasted up to four days of their holiday (20 per cent);
  • missed out on events/things they wanted to see (14 per cent);
  • missed a flight home (13 per cent); and
  • been unable to make a claim on their travel insurance (13 per cent).

While many Aussie travellers wish they had digital copies of travel documents in hindsight, the vast majority of travellers fail to make back up copies before going overseas. Only 7 per cent of Australians make digital copies of travel documents such as traveller’s cheques or passports, despite the fact copies can be used to obtain emergency cash and fly home.

To help the majority of Australians who want to make digital copies of their travel documents in the future, Commonwealth Bank has developed a revolutionary new online virtual safety deposit box – NetBank Vault. In an Australian banking first, customers will be able to save important travel documents in their online bank account, backed with the greatest online security.

According to Drew Unsworth, General Manager of Online Banking, Commonwealth Bank, NetBank Vault offers Australians a secure place online to store important travel documentation, which could potentially save them time and money when overseas.

“We all know that losing important documents while overseas can turn our dream holiday into a nightmare. But many Aussies aren’t taking the simple steps of making digital copies, which could mean the difference between getting home on time or being left cashless overseas.”

Banks most trusted

Interestingly, banks (78 per cent) top the list of organisations Aussies trust the most to look after copies of travel documentation, ranking higher than government departments (68 per cent), digital storage companies (40 per cent), telcos (36 per cent) and email providers (29 per cent).

Commonwealth Bank customers wishing to take advantage of NetBank Vault can sign-up via NetBank Labs.

For more information on other NetBank product innovations please visit NetBank.




For more information please contact:

Kate Dudman
Commonwealth Bank
(02) 9118 7370

For further media information, please visit the latest NetBank interactive media release.


Notes to editors about the research

  • The study was conducted amongst 1,055 Australians aged 18 years and over.
  • Surveys were distributed throughout Australia including both capital and non-capital city areas
  • Fieldwork commenced on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 and was completed on Friday, 13 July 2012
  • After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


Media contact:

Kate Dudman
Commonwealth Bank
(02) 9118 7370