CBA pilots a new app feature to help customers find cheaper fuel

  • By Zilla Efrat

CBA says the pilot of a new feature in the CommBank app – called Fuel finder – which reminds customers before they are due to fill up is an Australian first.

The feature aims to help customers manage the rising cost of fuel and is now available to 250,000 New South Wales residents. It 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 so they can browse various fuel prices in the surrounding area.

“The current rising cost of living is putting pressure on many households, with many people looking for ways to save,” says CBA general manager shopping, Rochelle Eldridge.

“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.

“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,” says CommSec’s chief economist, Craig Jame.

“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.”

Eldridge adds: “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.”