Youth & students
Got some questions about the School Banking program? Read below. Many frequently asked questions are answered here.
Q. What is the School Banking Program?
A. Since 1931 we have had a proud tradition of helping generations of young Australians learn about the importance of saving and smart money management. Through the School Banking Program primary school kids can bank at school, giving them hands on banking experience in a fun and interactive environment. These skills are crucial for achieving financial independence and improving their opportunities and standard of living for the future.
Q: How do students open accounts?
A. Opening a Youthsaver account to participate in School Banking is easy. To get started the parent/guardian can open an account:
- In person at any Commonwealth Bank branch;
- Online in NetBank (existing Commonwealth Bank customers);
- Through participating schools using a paper application form: Available to download through the Download forms section
Paper application form is only recommended for those parents who have no means to access a branch or NetBank, and completed applications should be returned to the School Banking Co-ordinator at your Child’s school. Applications processed through NetBank or in branch can participate in School Banking sooner as paper-based application completion times and Welcome Pack delivery are dependent on postal delivery times in your local area.
Q. How long does it take for a child’s account to be opened?
A . Youthsaver accounts are opened on the spot in branch. Youthsaver accounts opened online via NetBank will be visible on the parent/guardian’s NetBank within 3 working days. Accounts opened using account application forms will usually take 8 -10 working days. The details will be sent to the parent/guardian not the school. Please note applications may be delayed as a result of incomplete or incorrect information supplied.
Q. Does a child with an existing Youthsaver account need to open a new account to participate in School Banking?
A. No. Those children who already have an existing Youthsaver account can immediately start using their existing Dollarmites deposit book and deposit wallet to participate in the School Banking Program. If the child has misplaced their Dollarmites deposit book or deposit wallet they can either request a new one from their local branch.
Q. When accepting Application for Youthsaver – School Banking forms do both the parent/guardian and the child need to be identified?
A. Yes, both the parent/guardian and the child must have their identification verified. The Bank is required by law to verify identification before a new account can be fully operational. If the parent/guardian are an existing Commonwealth Bank customer they need to provide their existing account number but do not need to complete the additional identification form.
Q. Do all primary school students that participate in School Banking become Dollarmites members?
A. All children aged 12 years and under will automatically join the Dollarmites club. Children older than 12 years will become members of The Hit List and will receive different items. All primary school children can participate in the School Banking Program regardless of their age.
Q. Which schools are eligible to join the School Banking Program?
A. The School Banking Program is offered to all primary schools nationwide; this includes combined schools that have both primary and secondary classes on the same campus.
Q. The school has its banking arrangements with another institution. Will this affect our ability to participate in the School Banking Program?
A. No. The Commonwealth Bank offers the School Banking Program to all schools and does not impact on your school’s current banking arrangements. However you will still be required to make the School Banking deposits at your nearest Commonwealth Bank branch or agency.
Q. Can a Preschool, Child Care Centre or Playgroup join School Banking?
A. No, unfortunately, we are unable to offer this program to these organisations.
Q. How long does it take before we can start School Banking and what do we receive?
A. It takes approximately 2-3 weeks before you’re up and running at your school. The Bank will supply a welcome kit which contains all the necessary materials to run the program.
Q. If a School signs up for the School Banking Program how is commission calculated and how often will it be paid?
A. School Banking commission is paid quarterly into a nominated account usually within ten days from the start of January, April, July & October, and is calculated at the following rates (excluding GST):
- $5 for each account activated via the School Banking Program, i.e. for each student who banks through the school’s program for the very first time;
- 5% commission for each deposit made at school (up to a maximum of $10 in commission per individual deposit) or
- Minimum commission payment of $25 per quarter (provided at least one deposit is received from the school per quarter).
Q. Can the school nominate the Parents and Citizens' Association to receive School Banking commission?
A. Yes. Commission can be paid into either the School’s General account or the Parents and Citizens' Association account.
Q. What is the role of the School Banking Co-ordinator?
A. The School Banking Co-ordinator helps to facilitate the program at the school. Their role includes collecting deposits from students, facilitating the Rewards Program and depositing the money at their nearest Commonwealth Bank branch. The School Banking Co-ordinator is commonly a volunteer parent, grandparent or school administration officer.
Q. My school has already registered for the School Banking program but I’m a new School Banking Co-ordinator what do I need to do?
All School Banking Co-ordinators need to register individually with the Bank. This provides access to the School Banking Web-based System, which is used to enter the students’ deposits and will ensure all relevant communications are sent to you. To register simple complete the School Banking Co-ordinator registration form sent in the School Starter kit or you can download and print a form at commbank.com.au/schoolbanking under “Co-ordinator Materials”.
Q. How does the School Banking Co-ordinator process deposits?
A. School Banking Co-ordinators processes deposits using the School Banking Web-Based System.It’s easy to use and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection using a major operating system and browser. The School Banking Co-ordinator collects the money and enters each deposit into the Web-Based System. This is balanced and transmitted to the Bank electronically. The School Banking Co-ordinator then makes a single deposit at the nearest Commonwealth Branch or Australia Post outlet in remote locations where a branch is not nearby. All deposits accepted via the School Banking program should be processed and deposited within 24 hours of collection.
Q. Can we process School Banking on our home computers?
A. Yes, the Web-Based System can be used on any computer with an internet connection. Please note, transferring the funds online from your personal account is not allowed.
Q. Can we accept cheque or money order deposits for School Banking?
A. Cheques can be accepted through the School Banking program as long as the value of the cheque does not exceed the deposit limit of $999. The cheque should be made payable to the child. Please ensure for tracking purposes that the Youthsaver Account number of the student is written on the back of the cheque.
Q. Can we check the balance of a child’s account so that we can update their deposit book?
A. No. The child’s parent or guardian holds the authority on the child’s account and only they can access the balance of the child’s account. School Banking Co-ordinators do not have the authority to check the balance. It is up to the child or parent/guardian to fill in the balance in the deposit book.
Q. Can siblings not enrolled in the school participate in the School Banking Program?
A. Yes. Siblings of students who do not attend your school are able to apply for a Youthsaver account and participate in School Banking, it is recommended that they apply for a Youthsaver account online or in branch. However if a paper-based form is completed, they will need to provide a certified birth certificate also materials provided for the Rewards Program are only for students enrolled at the school
Q. Can a child deposit funds into any Commonwealth Bank account?
A. No, the School Banking Web-Based System only accepts deposits for Youthsaver accounts.
Q. How does the School Banking Rewards Program work?
A. Click here for details on the School Banking Rewards Program.
Q. How do children earn tokens?
A. Children earn a silver coloured Dollarmites token each time they make a deposit at school on School Banking day.
Q. Can children Pool tokens together with other children?
A. No.This program is about rewarding individual savings behaviour, Students are not to ‘pool’ their tokens together with other students or siblings.
Q. What gifts can children redeem their tokens for?
A. Children can redeem 10 silver coloured Dollarmites tokens for an exclusive Dollarmites reward item released each term. The items will have ‘release dates’ from which time they will be available for redemption.
Once an item has been released, it stays available throughout the school year and the children can choose from any of the items that have already been released.
For schools who participated in the 2011 Rewards Program, the backpack will be available for redemption until the end of Term 2, 2011. Students who would still like to redeem their tokens for a backpack should continue to collect 30 tokens.[LaS1]
Q. How do the certificates work?
A. As each child reaches a certain number of deposits you can present them with a certificate of achievement.
Bronze – 10 deposits
Silver – 20 deposits
Gold – 30 deposits
There are also other certificates available to reward additional School Banking achievements.
Q. What if I experience technical issues with the School Banking Web-Based System?
A. We recommend you try our Optimisation Check link located on the Log on page of the School Banking website. This will check to ensure the correct browsers; operating systems and other key setting are in place for School Banking. If you are still have problems, please contact the School Banking Helpdesk on 1800 674 496 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm, Sydney time)
If you cannot view the website or are receiving a restricted page error we suggest you contact your schools’ technical helpdesks as the issue may be a result of network security permission, website restrictions and resulting issues.
Q. Why does the value of deposits on the commission statement from the Bank not equal the amount banked by the students?
A. The deposit total on the commission statement shows the amount on which commission was calculated. A maximum commission payment of $10 per individual deposit applies (i.e. equal to a $200 deposit). Therefore, for example, a deposit of $300 is recorded as $200 for commission reporting purposes.
Q. What do I need to do to change commission payments account details or other school details?
A. To change school account details please contact the School Banking Helpdesk on 1800 674 496 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm, Sydney time).
Q. Is a police check required for School Banking Co-ordinators who are involved in the day to day tasks of School Banking?
A. No, a police check is not a requirement of the Bank for School Banking Co-ordinators. However Co-ordinators are required to register their details to be established as unique users of the School Banking Web-Based System. The Bank only collects this personal information to assign user identification, manage password changes and to contact users directly from time to time regarding School Banking; it will not be used for any other purpose.
School Banking records should be treated as confidential, any matters pertaining to account holders and their accounts may not be disclosed or discussed with anyone, except for the purposes of processing Youthsaver account deposits
Q. I have accidentally transmitted a deposit to a wrong account, can I stop the transmission? What do I need to do to reverse the funds?
A. No. Once the transmission has been submitted to the Bank the deposits cannot be stopped and the transmission cannot be reversed. It is important that all details are verified before you submit deposits to the Bank. If an error is identified following a transmission please contact the School Banking Helpdesk immediately on 1800 674 496 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm, Sydney time). They will assist in rectifying the error and will instruct you if additional information is required in order to resolve the incorrect deposit/s.
Q. Are the funds that children deposit at school insured in case of loss or theft?
A. The deposit into the children’s accounts is processed upon receipt of details from the school. The supporting cash deposit is covered by the Bank while the money is in transit (from school to the Bank). Loss or theft within school premises should be covered by the school’s insurance arrangements.
Q. We have used the wrong deposit book/deposit card to deposit the money for our School Banking account, what do we need to do to transfer the funds to correct account?
A. If you have deposited School Banking funds into the Schools General account you can either electronically credit the School Banking clearing account or if the School’s General account is with the Commonwealth Bank a fax authorisation can be accepted to transfer the funds. If a deposit relating to the Schools general banking has been deposited incorrectly, the School Banking Helpdesk will assist in transferring the funds to correct account. Please contact the School Banking Helpdesk on 1800 674 496 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm, Sydney time). The Helpdesk will instruct you on what additional information is required in order to resolve this issue.
Q. How long do I have to keep the children’s deposit slips at school?
A. You only need to keep the children’s deposit slips for six months as records.
Q. Why have I received a notification that there is an outstanding credit/debit balance in our school clearing account and what do I need to do to rectify this discrepancy?
A. The school clearing account is designed to accept deposits from students in bulk and then distribute to individual Youthsaver accounts. If there is discrepancy between the amount deposited and the amount transmitted via the School Banking system, the clearing account is not balanced. To rectify this discrepancy, deposit the student deposits within three days of transmission.
Q. What is StartSmart Primary?
A. Introduced in 2010 and offered free to all Australian primary schools, StartSmart Primary is a Commonwealth Bank Foundation program which aims to develop students’ money management skills and links with the Key Learning Areas of the school curriculum.
Q. How does StartSmart Primary work?
A. StartSmart Primary programs are free educational sessions delivered in your classroom by expert facilitators, mapped to the school curriculum and designed to build your student’s money management skills.
Q. How do schools book StartSmart Primary?
A. Schools can express interest in StartSmart Primary at www.startsmart.com.au
A StartSmart facilitator will then confirm booking details with the school within 48 hours.
Schools are required to book at least 3 consecutive workshop sessions per visit.
(Only applicable if you are based in a capital city, rural road shows will have set dates and times)
- Important information
The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide. Full terms and conditions for Youthsaver Account are available here or from any branch of the Commonwealth Bank.We may amend the structure of the School Banking program from time to time. We will notify you of any amendments to the level of service or commission rates. The current program structure can be viewed in this latest version of the School Banking Handbook or at www.commbank.com.au/schoolbanking