Platybank – The Default Option

Pictured: The eyes of a cold motherfucking gangster

In the 1960s the Flintstones was a popular cartoon. It was also used to advertise cigarettes to its audience (including children who watched the show). Today, as we now know the effects of smoking, the idea that cigarette advertising could even be associated with targeting children would be considered reprehensible. However, in Australia, many children’s first interaction with money and financial literacy is mediated by the Commonwealth Bank.

CommBank was able to combine aspects of both in the most ingenious (and scary) Dollarmite savings account.

Kids get Dollarmite savings accounts as young children, often in primary school.

They get automatically transitioned into fee-free student accounts when they turn 18. And credit card offers begin shortly afterwards. I remember setting up my bank account during O-Week and being offered the opportunity of signing up for a credit card. I politely declined but 10 years later and I indeed have a credit card with Commonwealth bank.

CommBank cannot go around and say hey we are paying kickbacks to schools in order to actively market to primary school kids. Instead they say “hey we’re offering a free program for your kids to help teach them financial literacy or whatever.” 

Might I add that this is highly unethical and super creepy.

Commbank is a master of the default option. They installed themselves as the default option for whole generations of Australian children growing up.