How we get paid
Version: 1 August 2016
Canstar is committed to offering comprehensive information to consumers for free.
To generate this quality information our group employs more than 80 staff, most with extensive experience in financial services, and we run large computer systems. This costs millions of dollars every year, and we need to generate revenue in a range of ways to pay for it.
There are four major ways we get paid.
(For a more formal description, you can read our Financial Services and Credit Guide).
Subscriptions to our database
Banks subscribe to Canstar’s databases so that they can keep an eye on their competitors without having to spend hundreds of hours on competitor websites. Interestingly, when Canstar first started in 1992 the internet didn’t exist and staff had to walk the streets to do this! As part of the subscription, an institution’s product data is automatically included (along with other data) in Canstar’s product research and ratings, and displayed in Canstar’s website comparison tables according to our strict ratings methodology.
Almost every Australian financial institution is a subscriber, and our fees are low by corporate research standards.
From a consumer’s point of view, the fact that banks are prepared to subscribe to our databases says a lot about the quality of our data.
Ratings and Award licenses
Once five star rating or award winners have been determined, financial institutions have the opportunity to use the Canstar rating or award in their marketing.
A fee is negotiated for allowing the winner to use the Canstar name and award individually or for all ratings and awards they might win in a year. We don’t disclose these fees as we negotiate individually in every case, just as newspapers don’t disclose the exact amount that an ad has been sold for.
Canstar’s research team determines five star ratings and awards without fear or favour. For more information on how we avoid conflicts of interest.
Advertising and Sponsored Content
Canstar allows limited advertising on its site. Our goal is to present quality advertising that is highly relevant to consumers. We may display sponsored (paid) articles that we think are useful and relevant to consumers who visit our website. We always include an ‘advertising’ or ‘sponsored link’ sign above the ad or article so people know what it is.
Where product providers pay us to feature their product in an advertisement or as sponsored content, Canstar may receive a commission or other fee for referrals to the product provider from the ad or sponsored content if a consumer acquires a product after following the link.
Payment for an advertisement or sponsored content does not influence the prominence of a product in our comparison tables, or its performance in any research comparison or ratings process.
On our comparison tables, on some product listings on the Wealthbricks pages of our website, and on some advertising and articles we provide links to third party sites. The primary purpose of these links is to help consumers get more information to enable them to make informed decisions. Secondly, we may receive payment of a commission or other fee for these referrals.
Again, we do not arrange our data tables and product listings, or base our ratings information depending on how much a third party may pay us. CANSTAR takes its research very seriously and goes to great pains to ensure that our results and display of product information are not influenced by commercial arrangements.
We provide customers with access to lots of different products in our comparison tables. In some product categories, we include filters that make it easier for customers to narrow down their search to view initially only the products where they are able to connect directly with the providers. This does not affect the sort order of our table display. Products are still sorted by the highest Star Rating and then alphabetically by company name.