As the cost of living soars, every dollar counts

As inflation bites and after interest rates soared in the past year, every transaction can be a whack to the household budget.

In the three months to June, Australian inflation was still at 6 per cent, well above the 2 to 3 per cent target range set by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Over the last year inflation has hovered as high as 7.8 per cent, piling costs on Australian households.

"Our goal is to really get to five million members over the next three years and to continue to win Australia's best leading brands to our platform to give great value to customers.” – Anthony Seymour-Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of Cashrewards.

This turning of the economic cycle underlines why Australian households are looking for savings anywhere they can, according to Anthony Seymour-Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of cash back platform Cashrewards

This turbulent economic climate helps illustrate how the company’s business model is tailored to its 2 million customers looking to make savings whenever they shop.

“Cost of living is front and center, I think for every Australian at the moment. And Cashrewards is a source of great value for customers,” Seymour-Walsh said in an interview with bluenotes recently. “It’s the place to get cash back when you shop.”

In the last year Seymour-Walsh says the average Cashrewards customer received about $270 worth of additional value. The company works with more than 2000 local and global brands across everything from retailers to travel to electronics, fashion and cosmetics. Some of the brands which partner with Cashrewards include Apple, H&M,, Lenovo, Temple & Webster and Myer.

When members shop at those retailers, they pay Cashrewards a commission. Most of that commission is passed on to customers in the form of cash back and Cashrewards retains a small margin as part of the transaction.

“Cashrewards is a two-sided marketplace. So we not only work with 2000 merchants, we also have over two million members on our platform. The way we’ll grow is by having the best experience for them to meet in the middle, for members to get great value and for merchants to be growing their sales and market share,” Seymour-Walsh said.

ANZ took a 19 per cent stake in Cashrewards when it listed in 2020. Since then ANZ’s innovation partner 1835i took a full controlling stake in the company which is now going through a “significant growth phase”. ANZ ownership has given the company certainty for the road ahead, Seymour-Walsh said.

“We're seeing, given the nature of the economy, people are looking for extra value when they shop and we're also seeing merchants using us increasingly to drive outcome with customers,” Seymour-Walsh said. “Our goal is to really get to five million members over the next three years and to continue to win Australia's best leading brands to our platform to give great value to customers.”

Digital focus

A key focus has been integrating the Cashrewards platform into ANZ’s existing banking products and supporting the bank’s focus on financial wellbeing. Last year it was integrated into the ANZ Classic app and the team is now focused on integrating into the new ANZ Plus app.

“That's seen a number of ANZ customers enjoy additional value in the form of cash back at many of our merchants and that's really supporting the ANZ financial wellbeing strategy,” Seymour-Walsh said. “We're aiming to build a seamless onboarding experience to enable ANZ Plus customers to sign up to Cashrewards and receive value and cash back on their shopping.”

Cashrewards is Australian-owned and developing the right technology plays a crucial role in the business with a big focus given to the digital experience, Seymour-Walsh said.

“Everything we do has a digital element to it and the digital experience is first and foremost in everything that we do. Both from a customer perspective and also a merchant,” he said. “We believe that will help us to create a leading position in this market.”

Financial wellbeing is described as how well customers can cover their everyday expenses, with enough left over to save and manage any surprises. It is about checking customers are being more aware of their spending habits and budgeting in a way they can stick to over the long term.

And having cash returned on their purchases is one way to boost the savings of ANZ customers and help put a few more dollars back in their pockets.

Brett Foley is Managing Editor of ANZ bluenotes

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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