The new feature lets customers know – in real-time – when their tax refund hits their account and provides a targeted message to encourage customers to consider how best to use their tax refund to improve their financial wellbeing
The feature is driven by the bank’s Customer Engagement Engine – using Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and insights from customer activity – to offer targeted notifications to eligible customers as soon as they receive their tax refund.
“Using our data and decision science expertise, and also powerful Customer Engagement Engine which leverages 157 billion data points across customer interactions every day, we’re able to offer personalised suggestions to encourage customers to think of ways to use their tax refund to work towards their financial goals, as soon as the refund hits their account,” Dr McMullan said.
The new feature in the CommBank app was first trialled last year2, with more than one million customers sent digital prompts to encourage them to consider saving some of their tax refund or, where more relevant, make a credit card repayment.
“The trial showed that if the credit card nudge was rolled out to all eligible customers, this would result in more than $4 million in ‘catch-up’ credit card repayments each year. The results highlight that proactively contacting customers in a targeted manner and at the right time can help them to follow through on their intentions and make meaningful progress towards their goals,” Dr McMullan said.
“And when you consider the average tax refund3 is approximately $2,400, it is clear that tax time provides an ideal opportunity for many Australians to accelerate their financial goals – whether that is getting back on track with their debts, saving for a rainy day, or investing. With so many Australians impacted economically by COVID, we are making sure we’re providing timely app features to help customers make informed financial decisions.”
Dr McMullan said the new app feature is another example of how CBA is applying powerful data and digital capabilities to reimagine products and services, with the ultimate goal of offering customers the best digital experience globally.
Notes for editors
- Internal research conducted by CBA’s Financial Wellbeing and Behavioural Economics teams.
- The trial was eligible to customers who consistently incurred interest repayments on their credit card for at least 3 months.
- CBA analysis on retail customers in FY2020 highlighted 3.2 million customers received ATO tax refunds, with an average tax refund of approximately $2,400.