How we get paid
To generate this quality information our group employs around 100 staff, most with extensive experience in financial or digital 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 articles or content that we think are useful and relevant to consumers who visit our website. Canstar may earn a fee from sponsorship of certain products on its website. Fees payable by product providers for sponsorship may vary between providers, website position, and revenue model. Sponsorship fees may be higher than referral fees (which are described below).
Sponsored products are clearly disclosed as such on website pages. They may appear in a number of areas of the website such as in comparison tables, on hub pages and in articles. Where products are displayed in a table, the display order is not influenced by commercial arrangements and the display sort order is disclosed at the top of the table. Sponsored products may be displayed in a fixed position in a table, regardless of the product’s rating, price or other attributes. The table position of the Sponsored product does not indicate any ranking or rating by Canstar. 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 our website, and on some advertising and articles, we may provide links to third party sites. The primary purpose of these links is to help consumers continue their shopping journey from the ‘research’ phase to the ‘purchasing’ phase by helping consumers get more information to enable them to make informed decisions. Canstar may earn a fee for these referrals. Fees payable by product providers for referrals may vary between providers, website position, and revenue model.
Where products are displayed in a table, the display order is not influenced by commercial arrangements and the display sort order is disclosed at the top of the table. Consumers can change the sort order to suit their preferences.
Again, we do not arrange our comparison tables and product listings, or base our ratings information based 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.
Information updated as at 22nd May 2019