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CommuterClub Reinvents How Commuters Purchase Season Tickets Through Peer-to-Peer Financing

LONDON, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Low cost financial plan for public transport season ticket, transforming them into cheaper, more convenient subscription service funded via peer-to-peer credit
  • Successful angel fund raise of close to $1mn, initially targeting London transport with plans to expand across the UK and in international market

CommuterClub reinvents how commuters access public transport; transforming the traditional season ticket into a subscription plan. Enabled by peer-to-peer lending, CommuterClub allows commuters to spread the large upfront cost of season tickets into monthly instalments, making them affordable and convenient for busy commuters. CommuterClub is available today to all Londoners after a successful beta.

The London start-up aims to tackle the growing burden of commuting for urban dwellers, through disruptive financial engineering. In London, commuters spend well over £1,500[1] on average on travel; yet of the capital's 2.5 million commuters who could save with a season ticket, less than 10% actually bought one[2]. This is despite annual savings of £200 versus the next cheapest ticket the Monthly[3].

Petko Plachkov, Founder and MD of CommuterClub: "Commuting costs are a big burden on urban workers, taking as much as 20%[4] of income. We want to help by delivering a cheaper, easier and more convenient version of the season ticket that all commuters can afford.

The season ticket market in the UK is worth almost £2bn[5] and has hardly changed in decades despite innovations such as smartcards. We use the digital ticket as a platform to transform the way consumer access public transport. Our inspiration was to make it as easy and convenient as Netflix."

CommuterClub designed a product to meet the needs of commuters

  • Big savings: 10% cheaper compared to next cheapest ticket, the Monthly. Further savings from partner offers such as Uber and Time Out
  • Convenient: Pay for public transport via safe and hassle-free Direct Debits
  • Low cost: All in interest of just 5.6% with no hidden fees
  • Flexible: Easy cancellation with no lock-up or penalties

CommuterClub works with smartcard tickets to reduce risk and lower interest cost, meaning commuters keep more of the savings of season tickets. This innovative approach has enabled CommuterClub to process close to $1mn in loans with acceptance rates of 90% and no credit losses. For financing, CommuterClub decided to bypass the traditional banking system and work with RateSetter, the UK's largest peer-to-peer lending platform by monthly volume, to fund all customers. CommuterClub works with one of the UK's biggest transport operators, Abellio, who issue all tickets. 

The company has raised close to $1mn in angel funding and is backed by leaders in the financial space including Kevin Reynolds, (BridgePoint, Pret-a-Manger, Tilney, 1st Credit) and Will Becker, founder of the UK's leading credit card comparison website Totally Money.

Notes to editors 

  1. Based on Freedom of Information requests submitted to TfL
  2. Based on TGI Survey 2014 Q2
  3. Season tickets are priced across the UK to a formula of 1 Annual = 10.4 Monthly = 40 Weekly
  4. Based on analysis of HMRC Income Statistics compared against cost of year's commuting
  5. Based on Office of Rail Regulator analysis

About CommuterClub 

CommuterClub wants to transform how commuters access public transport tickets, offering a low cost financial plan for the season ticket to make it more affordable, convenient and suited to modern consumers.

CommuterClub allows commuters to spread the large upfront price into affordable monthly payments, transforming access to public transport into a subscription model, 'a Netflix for commuters'. CommuterClub is enabled by the growth of smartcard tickets and peer-to-peer funding to offer the lowest possible cost directly to consumers.

CommuterClub was founded by two frustrated Londoners, Petko Plachkov and Imran Gulamhuseinwala looking for ways to lower their commuting costs. Since Jan 2014, CommuterClub has processed close to one million dollars in loans helping hundreds of Londoners save on their commute. 

CommuterClub is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is based in London. CommuterClub works in partnership with Abellio Corporate Travel to source season tickets and RateSetter to fund loans.

For more information, please contact: Petko Plachkov, Founder and MD - CommuterClub, L: +44(0)203-735-5602, [email protected]

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