Backed by payments platform EML Payments, and Ezidebit Australia, Flexibond is a specialist buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform catered towards renters who find paying their bond onerous. 

With the slogan 'Rent now, pay later', customers receive a Flexibond digital Mastercard, and the platform pays the bond via that card, up to a maximum of $10,000.

Flexibond features instant approval and '0%' interest, however there is a 5% activation fee of the total bond amount and the platform is currently only available to NSW residents.

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features introductory and ongoing savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

Provider

4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money

    Saver Account (<$250k)

    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money
    4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
    • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties

    Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
    • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
    05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • Maximum Age - 24

    Goal Saver

    • Maximum Age - 24
    02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    No monthly fees
    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    No monthly fees

    Save Account

    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    0200$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings

    Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings
    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
    For customers aged 14-35 years
    For customers aged 14-35 years

    Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

      Boost Saver

        Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

        All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of April 21, 2024. View disclaimer.

        Flexibond founder and CEO Christopher Bailey said the platform fills a gap in the market.

        "Renting can be expensive and stressful for many Australians, especially when they first secure a property and require funds for a bond," he said.

        "[Flexibond] can empower customers to access funds on a digital prepaid card without any commercial merchant agreements needed."

        According to SQM Research data, in the week leading up to 3 November, the average weekly rental price across all capital cities was $529 for houses, and $409 for units - down 2.9% and 6.0% on the year respectively.

        Assuming bond is the customary four weeks' rent, plus two weeks' rent upfront, a house would require a renter pay $3,174 upfront for a house, and $2,454 for a unit. 

        These figures would see Flexibond charge a $158.70 or $122.70 activation fee respectively.

        Flexibond's launch comes after an August YouGov survey of 1,016 Australian renters found 53% of respondents find it hard to save for a bond.

        Nearly a quarter have also stayed longer than they wanted in a rental because they couldn't afford to lose their bond by breaking the lease early.

        An 'unhealthy addition'

        Tenants Union NSW CEO Leo Patterson Ross called the platform an "unhealthy addition to an already unfair rental system".

        "This is the latest in a line of bond loans that seek to make a buck off the tough spot that tenants can find themselves in," he told Savings.com.au.

        "The people who need this kind of product are people without savings, so forcing them to pay such a high rate of interest shows the dysfunction in our renting sector."

        Mr Patterson Ross instead pointed eligible renters in NSW towards the 'RentStart' bond loan scheme, that is a "genuinely interest-free product". 

        The ACT also has a bond loan scheme, in which a single person can earn up to $98,000 a year and still access the loan. 

        For NSW, Mr Patterson Ross also suggested the government implement a new bond rollover service, where a tenant could provisionally use their existing bond on a new property.

        Flexibond also says the platform can offer no interest and fast approval because "credit checks have been done by the real estate agent during the rental application process".

        However, Mr Patterson Ross said this isn't necessarily true.

        "Real estate agents don't carry out credit checks. Rent and bond is not a credit - it's payment for a service," he said.

        "In this way, a person actually does run the risk of harming their credit score by engaging with this product in a way that their normal rent and bond arrangements wouldn't."

        Julie Barrow, the coordinator of financial counselling development at Financial Counselling Australia, told Savings.com.au to effectively 'watch this space' when it comes to bond payment BNPL platforms.

        "On review of the Flexibond website there is no mention of late payment fees, however they will not offer an extended payment plan if you cannot afford the fortnightly payments," she said.

        "It will be interesting to see what happens to people who default on their repayments. What we have traditionally seen is ongoing fees charged to such accounts and debt collection activity."

        Ms Barrow recommended five ways to tackle bond payments:

        1. If you have a few months to plan, try to save any additional money you have towards the bond.
        2. If you are receiving Centrelink payments you may be eligible for an advance payment which you can pay back in smaller amounts over a longer period of time (if you receive a previous bond back, pay off the Centrelink advance or keep the money as your new emergency fund).
        3. Contact your local State government bond programs and see what is available and whether you are eligible.
        4. Speak to a local housing services to see what options there are locally.
        5. If you have other unmanageable debts that are impacting your ability to pay for basic needs and save for a bond, call the National Debt Helpline Ph: 1800 007 007 for advice from a qualified financial counsellor.