Each year CANSTAR highlights financial innovations within Australia that we believe represent excellence in their field. An innovative product should be a first in the market – even perhaps open up a new market. The degree of innovation should also be sufficient to have a real impact for both consumers and competition. And, of course, something that?s truly innovative can?t help but have that “wow” factor and the overall impact the product could have.
In 2015, CANSTAR is please to congratulate Transport Mutual Credit Union for winning an Innovation Excellence award; helping customers get back on their bikes with a FreeWheel bicycle loan.
What is Transport Mutual Credit Union?s FreeWheel Bicycle Loan?
The growing attraction of riding bikes to work, as well as involving the whole family in two-wheel fun at the weekend, is behind the push to get more people into the saddle for less. Sydney-based Transport Mutual Credit Union has launched a truly unique scheme to encourage a healthy active lifestyle. It?s a FreeWheel Bicycle Loan where you pay no interest and no fees. No joke, it really is completely free, apart from paying back the principle borrowed.
Transport Mutual has financed thousands of cars with their low-rate loans over the years and now they acknowledge there is an environmental cost attached to motoring. Financing bike purchase for no extra cost to the customer is a perfect fit for Transport Mutual?s values and social responsibility.
With the purchase prices of bikes ranging from $100 to $1,000 – more, if you want to hit the velodrome – Transport Mutual offers you the chance to spread your repayments out over two years and not pay one extra cent in fees or interest. You can?t get a much better deal than that.
Think about reducing your commuting expense, as you zip into the workplace on the ever-expanding network of bicycle lanes. Then there is the weekend recreational fun to be had by the weekend warrior. This loan opens up a whole new world of two-wheeled possibilities.
Standout features of FreeWheel Bicycle Loan
Some standout features of the FreeWheel Bicycle Loan include:
First for Australia. There is other bicycle finance in Australia but with a catch – a short period of interest-free, after which interest kicks in, a requirement to take out a credit card and ongoing monthly fees.
Cost-effective. Transport Mutual?s FreeWheel Bicycle Loan is completely free of interest and charges.
Quick approval. Because there are no catches, the loan application is a very quick process and customers receive conditional approval within a day.
Upscale to a better bike. Because you can pay the loan off over two years, if you wish you can take the opportunity to buy a better quality bike that enhances your enjoyment of riding.
Bike shops on board. The FreeWheel product has been eagerly embraced by Bicycle NSW, bicycle retailer and bicycle user groups.
CANSTAR?s verdict …
While it?s a reasonably niche product and offer, the Transport Mutual Credit Union FreeWheel Bicycle Loan has a definite wow factor. While some retail outlets across various product categories offer their own interest free consumer credit packages when goods are bought, the FreeWheel Bicycle Loan does not tie customers into purchasing a particular product from a particular retailer.
With the majority of Australians needing a little more exercise, we also felt that it was a terrific example of community engagement.