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CBA Taps into Behavioural Science to Help with Money Habits

Commonwealth Bank has used behavioural insights to launch a new tool in the CommBank app.

With one in four Australians admitting they do not enjoy life because of the way they manage their finances [1], Commonwealth Bank has used behavioural insights to launch a new tool in its CommBank app to help customers save towards a particular goal.

The new tool, Goal Tracker, prompts customers to set a personalised savings goal and breaks the total amount into different stages to create smaller, more achievable milestones.

Commonwealth Bank General Manager Digital Banking, Kate Crous, said the tool was developed based on the insights from the Bank’s behavioural economics team.

“We know the main barriers to saving are related to a lack of self-control, not having a formal plan in place or people simply forgetting to put money in savings,” Ms Crous said.

“We’ve created Goal Tracker to help customers create better financial habits. The tool combines the latest in digital banking innovation as well as behavioural science to help customers improve their financial wellbeing.”

Goal Tracker is part of a suite of “smart” features in the award-winning CommBank app that help customers save money, avoid fees or simply understand their spending habits.

“Our credit card repayment alerts have helped more than two million customers save on late payment fees. We found customers engage much more with an app alert as opposed to a text message, and this has provided opportunities in terms of how we can help them with their finances.”

Since the new tool was launched in the CommBank app in February 2019, more than 250,000 savings goals were created, with 27 per cent being towards a holiday, and 19 per cent towards a property. The third most popular (15 per cent) savings goal was for a significant purchase.

CommBank app offers customers the option to automatically move money into their savings once they get paid, which has already been adopted by 44 per cent of customers using Goal Tracker.

“By moving money to a savings account automatically, CBA customers are more likely to meet their savings goal and less likely to forget to contribute,” Ms Crous said.

About Goal Tracker

The Goal Tracker was released to all customers with a NetBank or GoalSaver account in February 2019. The tool enables personalised specific goals that can be nicknamed and combined with an underlying value important to the customer.

Goal Tracker has the ability to set timeframes for the goal which helps customers break down the goal into weekly targetsExamples of this include:

  • Automatic payments towards the goal. This pre-commitment helps customers stay on track and avoid the barrier of forgetfulness when saving;
  • Proactive messages to customers when they need it most. For example straight after pay day when they have the most funds available to top up their goal or as a reminder when they veer off track; and
  • Off track recovery optionality. If customers do happen to miss a payment we offer them a range of options, including a recalculated weekly repayment amount, the ability to top-up their goal or extend their goal timeframe to try and encourage them to continue saving.

[1] Commonwealth Bank-Melbourne Institute: Financial Wellbeing Scales

Source: Commonwealth Bank

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