Australia’s Largest Bank Leaves Fintech Startups For Dead With Benefits Finder App


Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia

In the second quarter of this year, the UN estimates the COVID-19 pandemic will wipe out 6.7% of all working hours, globally. That’s the equivalent of 195 million jobs.

We’re already seeing surges in unemployment rates in many countries – the US unemployment rate rose to 14.7% in April, just shy of predictions of 16%. No matter where we live, images of individuals queuing up outside welfare offices (if they exist) has become a common sight on our evening news bulletins.

Even if you’re still working now, chances are you’re worried you might not be soon. Everything has become very unpredictable, so tracking every dollar that you spend is even more important than it was yesterday, or the day before.

Which means there is a significant opportunity for startups that hone in on solving that exact problem – helping people track what they spend, reduce what they spend, find out what they are owed and save for the unknown. Right now, we all have a heightened awareness that saving money and reducing our outgoings is more important than ever.

For me, this is the moment fintech companies can really prove their mettle. Show me how I can make more money or save more money, compared to what I am doing right now. It’s that simple. If a business can execute on that, then they have my dollar – because they are promising they can deliver more of them. That is a service I’m willing to sign up for.

Ironically in Australia, a service like that isn’t being delivered by a fintech, it’s been delivered by a bank – CommBank, the biggest bank in Australia.

It’s Benefits Finder service, which was released in late 2019, helps its customers find their share of the $10 billion in unclaimed government rebates and benefits owed to them. During April, the number of claims started by customers doubled.

The app was built in conjunction with the Harvard Sustainability Transparency Accountability and Research (STAR) Lab, and aims to return $150 million to customers’ over the year.

Of course, like any great service, you have to sign up to CommBank to access it. Something tells me they are going to see a significant spike in applications this year…

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