A new report about the nation’s welfare published by the Australian government has recognised the bank’s innovative use of data to help retail and business customers during COVID.

Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Dr Andrew McMullan said the government report – known as Australia’s Welfare 2021 – highlighted the bank’s focus on showing care for customers, while reimaging products and services to build the bank of the future.

“Another example of the innovative use of data is the CommBank Benefits finder, which uses customer banking data to help the bank’s clients identify and access government support that is appropriate to them,” the report read.

Speaking about the acknowledgement, Dr McMullan said: “We’ve a clear strategy of being a leader in terms of the support we provide to customers and communities, and Benefits finder is a fantastic example of how we’re differentiating ourselves. It’s something that customers may not expect from a bank.”     

Benefits finder helps Australians – both individuals and businesses – access government rebates and grants. In the past, understanding what grants and rebates are available has been a complex process. And as a result, Australians have left millions of dollars in unclaimed benefits on the table each year.

According to Australia’s Welfare 2021 report, there is huge potential of sharing analytics and insights from data with service providers and decision makers to help improve operational effectiveness in delivering better public services. The report also highlighted how the use of this kind of innovative data can directly lead to benefits at the customer/person level by reducing uncertainty and improving outcomes.

“I always enjoy hearing from customers and others outside the bank about the genuine and positive impact we’re making to people’s financial outcomes. Being referenced by the government as a good example is testament to the passion and creativity of our amazing people,” Dr McMullan said.

The Benefits finder feature in the CommBank app and NetBank makes it easier for customers to identify and access the hundreds of government benefits they may be eligible for, with 1.5 million claims started to date and close to half a billion dollars saved.

“Digital experiences like these help us stand out. It’s a great standard of how we want to show up to customers and communities when they need us the most,” Dr McMullan said.


About the government report

Australia’s Welfare 2021 report is the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's 15th biennial welfare report. It is a mix of short statistical snapshots and long-form articles exploring topical welfare issues. Australia’s welfare 2021 brings together multiple sources and includes comprehensive data and analysis on the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities across topics such as housing, income and employment, education and social support.


About Benefits finder

The Benefits finder feature can be accessed via the CommBank app and NetBank. Customers are asked to answer five simple questions, with answers determining what benefits or rebates they may be eligible to claim. Customers are provided with details on each benefit or rebate, including how much they may be able to claim and instructions on how to claim, and are then directed to the relevant website to start the claim. The Benefits finder feature was developed as part of the ongoing collaboration between CBA and Harvard University’s STAR (Sustainability, Transparency and Accountability Research) Lab. Find out more at www.commbank.com.au/digital-banking/benefits-finder.