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Having access to everyday financial products and services, such a day-to-day transaction account, is an essential part of being independent and being able to participate fully in the community. Preliminary research indicates that autistic adults associate independent living with being able to manager their own money. However, rates of banking services usage amongst autistic youth is low, and for many people on the autism spectrum, navigating the world of banking can be overwhelming and intimidating.

Understanding what banks and financial institutions can do to help make their products and services more accessible is an important step towards further inclusivity and financial independence for people on the autism spectrum. To date, there is a paucity of research on the financial experiences of people on the autism spectrum and no research either in Australia or internationally has examined the banking experiences of autistic individuals. This study aims to address this knowledge gap, to provide information to banks and other financial institutions about what they can do to make the customer experience more accessible for people on the autism spectrum.

What are the barriers to and enablers of financial services usage for adults on the spectrum? What can banks and financial institutions do to ensure their products and services are autism-friendly?

The research

The aim of this research is gain a better understanding of the financial and banking experiences of autistic adults. Topics that this study will examine include:

  • What is the reported financial wellbeing of a sample of autistic adults living in Australia?
  • What types of financial services are used by autistic adults living in Australia?
  • What makes it easier and what makes it more difficult for autistic adults living in Australia to access financial services?
  • How satisfied are autistic adults living in Australia with the services provided by financial and banking institutions?
  • What constitutes an autism-friendly banking experience?

Making a difference

The findings of this research will help banks and other financial institutions to create a more inclusive customer experience for autistic people.

Aspect research team

Vicki Gibbs, Manager Research & Assessments, ARCAP (Lead researcher)

Kaaren Haas, Senior Research Officer, ARCAP

Ru Ying Cai, Postdoctoral researcher, ARCAP (Project leader)

Emma Gallagher, Research Assistant, ARCAP (Co-production advisor)


July 2019




Beyond Bank Australia