Savings Finder – giving $1.5 billion back to the community.
Edward Stephens, Liam Fiddler,
Stephen Chiu, Marcel Jacobs
and Emilie Browne
Christopher Tandy - Service NSW
Kristin Bamford - Service NSW
Paul Ng - Service NSW
Eliska Davis - Service NSW
Michael Lisser - Service NSW
Service NSW’s Cost of Living initiative exists to ease the increasing financial burden faced by NSW families & citizens. Collaborating with front-line teams, policy makers, and a diverse range of citizens, we launched a service which makes it easy to access support – giving $1.5 billion back to NSW residents.
The challenge Service NSW faced was to combat the overwhelming financial stress faced by NSW households. With 1/3 households unable to access $500 in an emergency, it’s clear they need support.
While the government provides over 70+ benefits and rebates, people aren’t claiming them.
Disparate, hard-to-find services, existing social stigma, and high-effort processes prevent people from accessing the help they need – leading to hardship, scarcity, and reduced quality of life.
The brief was to launch a cross-channel service which helps people find and access benefits – as well as discover others they may not have been aware of.
Over 12 weeks we worked with Government leaders, managers, policymakers, and a diverse group of citizens to design, build and launch Savings Finder – a platform which makes it easy to find and access government benefits.
It’s not enough to build a new digital product. We set up a Pilot team to trial the service in a real-world environment - building service capability & capturing evidence to improve the experience.
To ensure lasting change, we defined a future vision and a 3 year roadmap of improvements – which is still under active development today.
For citizens, our project changed lives. Over $1.5 billion back in the pockets of 1.5 million citizens who need it most. For their families, children, and themselves.
Of this $297m went to low income households. Time poor, in a scarcity mindset, social stigma holding them back – for them, simple access to support made all the difference.
Since launch, citizens saved an average $550/year, with up to $2,000 for some households.
For Service NSW, this project demonstrated how design can result in a smarter, more empathetic, more responsive government, while generating evidence for real policy change.
Cost of Living provides;
Access to 70+ programs
Utilities. Helping keep the lights on, freeing up money for other essentials.
Transport. Ensuring people can move between work, school, or home.
Health. Reducing the cost of medicine, vital life-support equipment, and ensuring everyone has equal access to healthcare.
Education. Ensuring kids have essential supplies and equal opportunities at school.
Housing. Making it easier to keep a roof over your head.
Recreation. Enjoyment shouldn’t only be available to those who can afford it.
A simple online experience. The primary point of contact. By completing a short questionnaire, citizens discover benefits they’re eligible for, and are guided through applying.
Human help for the hard stuff. For people with limited access to technology, or who’d rather talk to a person. Specially trained Cost of Living experts will understand their situation, and help them access support.
“Provide families with access to an individually tailored one-stop shop service to help them claim NSW Government rebates and refunds.”
Minister for Finance, Services and Property
“Provide one point of contact for customers wanting to find out what savings they are eligible for and to also apply for those savings.”
Premier of New South Wales