Commonwealth Bank of Australia is offering cashback for shoppers at Coles, Myer, Caltex, Menulog and JB Hi-Fi.

Dubbed the ‘Commbank Rewards Program‘, the service will allow customers to redeem cash when they purchase from a list of 50 partnered retailers.

Coles, Caltex, Myer, JB Hi-Fi and Menulog are currently the only retailers listed.

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Separate from the CommBank Awards program, which is exclusive to credit card holders, the new program is available for debit or credit Mastercard holders.

One downside of the program is Buy Now Pay Later users will not be able to redeem reward points, with PayPal purchases also excluded, even when connected to a Commbank MasterCard.

In addition, Mastercard holders must be at least 21 years old, not in hardship or default with any Commbank account.

Leveraging their Customer Engagement Engine, the combination of advanced analytics, AI and machine learning means customers receive ‘relevant and personalised offers for what they regularly spend their money on,’ claims Commbank.

According to their website, Commbank customers will receive the cashback within 5-14 days, meaning at most a two-week turnaround to see those rewards.

Users will then receive notifications alerting them when new rewards are available.

Plus additional cardholders of an eligible card can also contribute to rewards received by the primary holder.

According to Commbank research, 17 million Australians already belong to a loyalty program of some kind, with a third of them restricted on where they can earn reward points.

Several Australians have expressed a desire to earn points on everyday purchases, with 65% wanting to earn rewards for buying groceries, 55% for fuel and 29% for takeaway food.

While the rewards program ticks all these retail boxes, the rewards do not apply to every single supermarket, fuel station or takeaway service.

Despite Commonwealth Bank’s best efforts, they’ve fallen into the same trap that every other reward program has fallen into, restrictions on choice.

Loyalty programs have also been of particular interest to the National Watchdog, with the ACCC receiving upwards of 2,000 complaints between Dec 2013 and December 2018 relating to loyalty schemes.

As covered by ChannelNews, the ACCC is wary of the concerns consumers have about data sharing between companies.

‘Many consumers would be shocked to find that some supermarket schemes continue to collect their customers’ data at the checkout even when they do not present their loyalty card,’ said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.

The ACCC believes it is reasonable for consumers to expect that their data would not be collected from debit or credit card transactions.

‘We are therefore calling on the relevant schemes to stop this practice’.

In particular, the ACCC recommends strengthening the Privacy Act 1988 and broader reform of the Australian privacy regime to maintain adequate protection of consumers’ personal information.

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