Commonwealth Bank has today unveiled Fuel finder – a new feature being piloted in the CommBank app in NSW – to help Australians manage the rising cost of fuel, a key living expense for many Australians.

Now available to 250,000 New South Wales residents, Fuel finder learns from a customer’s fuel spending patterns to predict when they may next need to refuel, and then remind them ahead of time about the cheapest option nearby. The new in-app experience also allows customers to access a fuel price map, to browse various fuel prices in the surrounding area.

CBA General Manager Shopping, Rochelle Eldridge, said: “The current rising cost of living is putting pressure on many households, with many people looking for ways to save. Australians are increasingly turning to fuel price apps to locate the cheapest petrol and these apps often require consumers to take the initiative to search for cheap fuel when they are looking to fill up.

“Fuel finder is different because it’s personalised to each customer and does all the work for them. The CommBank app is able to let them know where they can buy the cheapest fuel nearby, at a time when they may next be due to fill up. We saw a great response from customers who tested fuel alerts in an initial pilot, confirming the demand for this type of solution.”

Fuel finder leverages the bank’s Customer Engagement Engine – a sophisticated tool powered by Artificial Intelligence that enables the bank to better understand its customers and, in turn, deliver more personalised experiences that add value for customers.

The launch of Fuel finder comes as fuel prices across the country continue to rise. On average, two car households in Australian capital cities are currently spending around $5,115 annually on fuel, with the average for residents in regional Australia slightly higher.

A recent study from CBA found over half of respondents (56 per cent) said they would like their bank to offer them more ways to save.

CommSec’s Chief Economist, Craig James, said: “Despite recent falls in pump prices, petrol remains the single biggest weekly purchase for many families, with the national average unleaded petrol price up by almost 7 per cent over the year. And given OPEC’s strategy of constraining production to support oil prices, the risk is that petrol prices will stay higher for longer. Any tool that can assist in minimising the cost of filling up the car will be helpful in reducing the cost of living.

“The new feature in the CommBank app will be especially helpful for those Sydney customers in the NSW pilot, where petrol prices can be volatile due to capital city price discounting cycles.”

Ms Eldridge added: “On any given day, prices can fluctuate by up to 40 cents a litre – or $20 a tank – at stations within two kilometres of each other. That’s a potential saving of $1000 a year for customers who are filling up weekly. CBA has leveraged its AI capability and integrated with the New South Wales Government Fuel API to enable another way for customers to save money.”

Notes for editors

About Fuel finder: Fuel finder, in the CommBank app, harnesses CommBank’s AI-powered Customer Engagement Engine – which learns from customer interactions to drive personalised banking services – to check customers’ transaction history and predict when they will next refuel their vehicle. It locates nearby petrol stations offering the best fuel prices, and alerts them to the cheapest option in their area via the CommBank app, while also offering a map with additional options nearby. As part of the pilot, CommBank will be trialling and releasing new fuel features and rewards to participating customers.

About the study: The survey was conducted by the House of Brand Group, with fieldwork conducted between 16/04/2022-21/04/2022, amongst a sample of n=1,072 nationally representative respondents with quotas set on age, gender and location.

Fuel prices: References to estimated current fuel prices are courtesy of information available via the NSW Government Fuel API and Australian Automobile Association (AAA) Transport Affordability Index Q2 2022. The AAA’s average annual household spend on fuel is calculated using an average weekly spend of $98.37 per two car household in Australian capital cities. A household is defined as a couple with two children, which is the most common type of household in Australia, according to the 2016 Australian census. In addition, one member of the household is assumed to travel by public transport into the CBD and home again, five days per week.

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