New figures from Commonwealth Bank show Benefits finder – a digital feature available through NetBank and the CommBank app – has helped customers save in excess of $481 million[i] in the last year alone.  

Further, the figures show more than one million claims have been started by CommBank customers[ii] since the digital feature was first launched.

Released nationally in September 2019, Benefits finder uses machine learning technology to connect customers with their share in billions of dollars' worth of unclaimed government rebates and benefits.

Today, the feature boasts more than 270 benefits and rebates that eligible customers can claim, stretching from utility bills through to additional government payments. 

Many of the more recently introduced benefits and rebates relate to those introduced by the government during the current Coronavirus health pandemic, including the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, Dine & Discover NSW, COVID Land Tax Relief and SME government guaranteed loans.

Speaking to CBA Newsroom in a new podcast, Commonwealth Bank’s Financial Wellbeing General Manager, Mohamed Khalil, said unclaimed benefits was a global phenomenon.

“Across the globe, in almost every developed economy, 10 per cent to 30 per cent of government benefits go unclaimed each year,” he said.

In Australia specifically, hundreds of benefits are provided by the state and federal governments. However, Mr Khalil said many Australians aren’t aware the benefits exist or if they’re eligible.

“Australia has something in the order of $10 billion that goes unclaimed each year. The fact that Benefits finder has driven an incremental one million plus claims and almost $500 million in savings to CommBank customers is just a drop in the bucket,” Mr Khalil said.

When building the Benefits finder feature, CommBank’s Financial Wellbeing team worked with Harvard University’s STAR (Sustainability, Transparency, Accountability and Research) Lab to identify and overcome the behavioural barriers preventing customers from obtaining their share of the billions of dollars in unclaimed benefits and rebates.

Mr Khalil said Benefits finder provides customers with information about the top 10 benefits they are likely to be eligible for and then helps them navigate the claims process as quickly and efficiently as possible – providing a seamless customer experience.

“When we first launched the Benefits finder feature, we had anticipated it would drive approximately $150 million in claims for our customers each year. Pleasingly, the engagement and usage to date has far exceeded our expectations,” Mr Khalil said.

But while Benefits finder has outperformed initial expectations, Mr Khalil said constant improvements are being made to the digital feature to help provide customers with an even better experience.

“Where we see Benefits finder going next, is an experience that allows us to further streamline the process and expedite the payment of the benefits back to our customers,” he said.


About CommBank’s collaboration with Harvard’s STAR Lab

Benefits finder was developed in partnership with Harvard’s STAR Lab and CommBank as part of the bank’s ongoing collaboration to better understand how to help customers manage their money and improve financial wellbeing.

Notes for editors

  • [i] More than $481 million was saved by CBA customers in utility bills and additional government payments between July 2019 and August 2020. Customers saved more than $127 million in utility bills and generated $354 million in additional income on a recurring annual basis. CBA designed the evaluation in partnership with Harvard University’s STAR Lab.
  • [ii] Between launch in September 2019 and February 2021, more than 1 million claims have been started, with 695,000 claims started since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.