A greener way to pay with The Mutual Bank’s new eco-friendly Visa Card

A greener way to pay with The Mutual Bank’s new eco-friendly Visa Card

The Mutual Bank has taken a step towards reducing its carbon footprint with the launch of its new Mutual Visa Debit Card, which is made of 90 per cent plant material.

While you can’t quite eat it (due to required features such as the magnetic strip and microchip) the card body is made from plant-based material, features an original artwork from a local artist, and has special accessibility features.

The bank’s switch away from PVC vinyl to use the environmentally friendly Polylactic Acid (PLA) material will start this month with the new Mutual Visa Debit Card being issued to members when their current card expires, and the new Mutual Visa Credit Card to follow in the new year.

The Hunter-based bank’s CEO, Geoff Seccombe said environmental risk and community concern is increasing.

“We live and work in a community that experiences the impacts of climate change so doing what we can to minimise our impact is important to us,” Geoff said.

“Our values are Integrity, Respect and Care and we feel this new card demonstrates all three.

“We are accountable for our actions and we both respect and care about our environment and our connection to our community. Our switch away from PVC vinyl is a deliberate business decision to help reduce our carbon footprint.”

Not only is the card non-toxic and industrially compostable, but the packaging supporting the delivery of the card to members is all made of 100 per cent recycled paper with a soy-based ink and a glassine paper window on the envelope.

Geoff said the new card production also meant the bank could commission a local artist to create the card’s front image.

“The new card has the cardholder’s name and card number on the reverse which meant we had a blank canvas on the front.  Our team recognised that this was a great opportunity to feature a local artist,” Geoff said.

Award-winning Aboriginal artist of the Wonnarua Nation, Saretta Fielding created the unique and vibrant artwork for the Mutual Visa Debit Card. The artwork acknowledges the Wonnarua people, sharing the story of gathering and The Mutual Bank’s connection to the community for more than 130 years.

The card’s manufacturer Giesecke + Devrient (G+D) Australia Managing Director, Carlo Lacota said it was only a few years ago that sustainability was something of a fringe issue in the banking industry.

“The Mutual Bank is one of the first organisations in Australia making the change from PVC to bioplastic cards and we are proud to be their partner in this journey, and especially delighted to see how the bank has created not only an environmentally conscious payment product, but one that considers physical, cultural and societal inclusion in such a meaningful and artistic way,” Carlo said.

Craig Layer created artwork for the Mutual Visa Credit Card (to be made available to the bank’s members in 2023) featuring a striking image of the Hunter River, which runs through the Maitland area where the bank is headquartered, and a wedgetail eagle, depicting The Mutual Bank’s connection to community.

The new cards were officially launched at the bank’s Green Hills Head Office on Thursday 24 November 2022 ahead of the Wupa indigenous art initiative. Wupa is a project of the Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation, which The Mutual Bank sponsors.

Mutual Visa Debit Card holders began receiving the new cards upon expiry of their current cards from mid-November.

IMAGE | CEO, Geoff Seccombe, and artists, Saretta Fielding and Craig Layer.

The Mutual Bank

Your partner in business, The Mutual Bank specialises in supporting local business owners to achieve their goals with effective banking solutions. Member-owned and local to the Hunter Region, The Mutual Bank has been #heretohelp local people since 1888.

The Mutual Bank’s branches are open six days a week offering a full range of banking services in Dungog, East Maitland, Edgeworth, Maitland, Mayfield, Raymond Terrace, and Rutherford. Talk to us… themutual.com.au or 1300 688 825.

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