Australia’s banking sector is on the cusp of a major change.
The Federal Government is poised to introduce a new bank account promotion scheme, which could see consumers receiving an annual bonus or a cash back when they open a new account.
The announcement comes on the heels of the launch of a series of bank account offers for Australians this month, including the introduction of a new cashback offer for people who have not opened an existing bank account for two years.
The Federal Government has been pushing its new bank accounts promotion scheme to be a way to encourage people to open bank accounts and take advantage of some of the most lucrative incentives in the banking industry.
In a statement on Friday, the Department of Finance said that it would provide a cashback of up to $50 a year on new bank customers, and up to an additional $1,500 a year for people opening new bank cards.
It said this was part of the Government’s “commitment to increasing the bank’s contribution to Australia’s economic recovery and growth” through an extra $10 billion of revenue through the bank levy and the creation of the Australian Deposit Insurance Corporation (ADIC).
The cashback offers are part of a larger bank account incentive package introduced in June by the Government.
The Government’s latest incentive package includes an extra 100,000 deposit receipts, an additional 10 per cent rebate for small and medium-sized businesses, and an extra 2 per cent bonus on deposits to Australians living overseas.
The Department of Financial Services said it was introducing the new bank bonus offer to help more Australians start opening bank accounts.
“As we introduce a more robust bank account program in the coming months, we are working with the industry to support people who are already opening new accounts, and encourage new Australians to consider opening new ones,” the statement said.
“We also are encouraging people to explore other ways to increase their bank account’s exposure to the Australian economy, such as by opening a small business or receiving a cash rebate.”
It said that with the new incentive scheme, people would have to have an annual bank account balance of $25,000 or more to receive the bonus.
The statement said it expected to introduce the new bonus offer as early as the end of March.
The bank account offer, which is available for existing and new customers, is part of an overall $2 billion incentive package to promote the banking sector.
The scheme, introduced in May last year, has seen a series for Australia’s banks, including a cash-back offer and a deposit rebates, as well as the introduction to new types of products.
The BIS has previously released promotional pricing information for bank accounts, with some banks offering up to a $2,000 cash back on a new or existing account.