Canstar recognises finance disruptors with its 2021 Innovation Excellence Awards

TAMIKA SEETO
Canstar reveals the winners of its Innovation Excellence Awards, which celebrate the products that are disrupting the finance industry and helping everyday customers.

Each year, Canstar invites financial institutions across Australia to submit their most innovative products for consideration. The judges then look at each submission based on how unique and disruptive it is within its field. They also consider the impact the innovation will have, including how many people will benefit from the innovation, its affordability, how easy it is to use and how much it could improve a consumer’s daily life.

Canstar has recognised four innovations with an Innovation Excellence Award for 2021. In alphabetical order the winners are:

Innovation Excellence Awards 2021

CommBank – Bill Sense

Canstar has awarded CommBank an Innovation Excellence Award for Bill Sense, a feature of the CommBank banking app. Bill Sense predicts customers’ upcoming bills by looking at their past transactions. This can include bills for subscription services like Netflix and Spotify and scheduled direct debits such as your regular internet bill or gym membership.

Bill Sense allows customers to see all their expected upcoming bills in one place and receive reminders when they are due. Customers can also see how much money they will need each month to cover bills, up to 12 months in advance. The judges noted this could help customers manage their money and make budgeting easier.

Bill Sense is automatically available to CommBank customers through the CommBank app. Since launching in July 2020, CommBank reports that over 1.6 million customers have used the Bill Sense feature.

QBE – Simplified Home Insurance Experience

Canstar has recognised QBE with an Innovation Excellence Award for its Simplified Home Insurance Experience. QBE’s innovation is designed to give customers guidance on the amount of coverage they may require to adequately insure their home and contents.

When applying for home insurance, QBE customers can enter their address and be provided with information on their property and an estimation of how much to insure their building and contents for, based on external data. The customer can then confirm or change the information.

The judges were impressed by the potential for the innovation to simplify the home insurance quote process, and to help tackle underinsurance. They also noted that the feature was unique, as QBE is currently the only insurer to automatically integrate both building and contents data and the sum insured amounts. This has led to a reduction in effort, with consumers now asked eight questions, instead of 60.

Slyp & NAB – Slyp Smart Receipts

In a joint submission, fintech company Slyp and major bank NAB have been awarded an Innovation Excellence Award for the Slyp Smart Receipts technology which NAB offers its customers. Through Slyp’s technology, NAB customers can automatically receive a digital receipt inside their banking app when they shop with participating retailers, such as Chemist Warehouse and Barbeques Galore. This can help customers reduce paper receipts and make it easier to file tax returns.

To take advantage of the technology, customers need to opt-in to use the receipts feature within their banking app. Customers then pay with their bank card and will instantly receive a tax compliant ‘smart receipt’ in their banking app for free. Customers can also scan and save paper receipts from non-participating retailers and save them within the bank’s app.

NAB is the first bank to roll out the technology but the judges anticipate that its early adoption will pave the way for other providers to offer similar innovative solutions in future, including the other three major banks, all of which have agreements in place with Slyp.

Tic:Toc – Enterprise

Canstar has awarded online home lender Tic:Toc an Innovation Excellence Award for its Enterprise technology. Tic:Toc’s technology aims to improve and speed up the loan application process and lender decision-making using artificial intelligence.

Tic:Toc has made its technology available to the rest of the home loan industry, including banks, lenders, brokers and fintech businesses. This allows any company the ability to deliver an end-to-end digital home loan experience, including better validating a potential borrower’s finances and creating their contract.

The judging panel recognised that this will have a significant impact on home loan borrowers, as it will help create faster digital home loan experiences. According to Tic:Toc, the technology can deliver same-day approval. In contrast, the decision-making process for a traditional home loan  could historically take weeks or months to be finalised.

For more information about how Canstar’s Innovation Excellence Awards are determined, read our methodology.

If you are interested in reading more about other innovations, check out the Canstar Blue Innovation Excellence Awards. This year Canstar Blue has given two Awards for electric vehicle subscriptions and broadband innovations.

Cover image source: HAKINMHAN/Shutterstock.com


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This article was reviewed by our Sub Editor Jacqueline Belesky and Finance and Lifestyle Editor Shay Waraker before it was updated, as part of our fact-checking process.


Tamika joined the team after completing a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at QUT, and has past experience writing for a variety of publications across news, music and the arts.

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