MY MONEY

The easy way to access your share of $10 billion in free money

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More than a third of Australians (35%) struggle with money management and 41% of us are not prepared to handle a large, unexpected expense, says the Commonwealth Bank.

But there's at least $10 billion in free money that we're not accessing, and it could go a long way to help solve our financial worries.

CBA estimates Aussies are missing out on more than $10 billion in unclaimed benefits, rebates and concessions every year. It might include any one of 250 potential benefits, including green slip refunds, energy rebates, toll relief, carer allowances and help with children's activities.

To help people claim this money, CBA has launched Benefits finder, a new feature in the CommBank app.

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"Whether it's claiming a car registration rebate or money off a utility bill, Benefits finder uses data capability and machine learning to put potential entitlements in front of customers at the right time, and then nudges them to start a claim," says Pete Steel, CBA's chief digital officer.

A 2019 KPMG report looking at the future of digital banking says 90% of Australians want their bank to provide information about spending and saving.

CBA has been working with Harvard University's Sustainability, Transparency, Accountability Research (STAR) Lab to better understand how to help customers manage their money.

Professor Michael Hiscox and his team at STAR Lab have been assessing the impact of CBA's Benefits finder for customers, examining
how it can provide better results.

"Past research has shown that individuals who qualify for benefits often do not receive them because they are unaware they are eligible or because the processes for accessing benefits are complicated and time-consuming," he says.

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Darren Snyder is the managing editor of Money magazine. He is a former editor of Financial Standard, where he had worked as a journalist, predominantly covering superannuation. Previously a mining and wine industry reporter at the Mudgee Guardian, Darren was awarded the Sir Harry Budd Memorial Award for Australian Country Journalism in 2012.
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