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Horizon offers a full range of accounts and services, including saving accounts, term deposits, personal loans, car loans, home loans and credit cards, backed by internet and mobile phone access, and ATM access. And, while it may not have the size of a big bank, Horizon thinks of this as a positive rather than a negative, as it is its smaller size that allows it to concentrate on its members’ needs, to provide personalised service in what it calls ‘Banking for Human Beings’.
Horizon believes many of its members value dealing with a real person when they bank, and prides itself on providing branch access and staffing to offer that one-on-one contact. With the understanding that most people don’t want to be treated as just another number, Horizon promotes the ideal that customers can still have a good relationship with their financial institution. Which is why when customers call their local branch, they can speak to a real person.
But that’s not all. In its goal to become ‘the best credit union in Australia’, Horizon lives by these values as it works hard to enhance members’ lifestyles:
Horizon Bank looks beyond the financial sphere to the betterment of its members within the environment in which they live, and the future we all march towards. With the introduction of the Green Horizons initiative, Horizon strives to be a responsible and influential environmental citizen.
Some of the ways in which it does this is with the use of green power. It also works to reduce its air conditioning and lighting usage, while introducing plants to its office space, utilising double-sided printing and recycled paper, recycling within the workplace, and using environmentally friendly cleaning products.
While know where Horizon wants to go to in the future, we’ve not talked about where this credit union came from. Horizon Bank was established in 1964 to provide financial products and services to the employees of the Illawarra County Council, in New South Wales. In 1971, membership opened up to family members, but the biggest change occurred when it allowed the transfer of engagements from other credit unions.
In 1980, Bega Valley Credit Union transferred to the Illawarra County Council Staff Credit Union to become ICC Mutual Credit Union. Two years later, Wollongong City Council Employees Credit Union and Candelo Community Credit Union transferred to ICC Mutual Credit Union to become Southern Counties Credit Union, to which Illawarra District Hospitals and Ambulance Employees Credit Union joined in 1983. Then in 1995, Shoalhaven City Employees' Credit Union merged with ICC Mutual Credit Union to become Horizon Credit Union, to which Eurobodalla Credit Union joined 14 years later.
The result? One cohesive credit union that services the New South Wales South Coast and its surrounds, which more than 15,000 members are happy to call their financial institution of choice.
Interested in what Horizon Bank has to offer? If you want to apply for a credit card from Horizon, you will need to become a member first. Happily, membership is free and is open to all Australian citizens. All you need to do is complete an online application for membership, and you will be free to apply for a credit card from there.
So, what does Horizon have to offer in the way of credit cards? As a smaller financial institution, Horizon obviously doesn’t have the range of a big bank. Instead, Horizon keeps it simple with a basic credit card designed to help cardholders save on interest and fees. And it must be doing something right because its credit card has been awarded a Gold award for Best Transactor Credit Card 2018 in Money magazine’s ‘Best of the Best’ Awards, while also being recognised by Canstar, getting a five-star rating as a Low Fee Credit Card in 2018.
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