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.