Long gone are the days of getting a toaster with a new bank account. Now, in South Korea, one bank will give you control over your interest rate based on your achievement of your weight-loss goals.
Hana Bank has introduced “S-Line” savings product, which translates to “hourglass”. If a customer loses 5% body weight or has a gym membership, interest rates improve. This could be an important incentive to improving overall fitness, and offsetting expensive gym membership and encouraging people to go to the gym.
Woori Bank offers a different incentive, for bicycle commuting. The goal seems to be to improve health and decrease traffic congestion. The bank even offers bicycle insurance for free for members that choose this option.
These developments are interesting reflections of corporate involvement in fighting obesity or capitalizing on public obsession with appearance, depending on your interpretation. Regardless, any incentive that helps motivate people to improve their health status and lose weight is a step in the right direction to me. It will be interesting to see if these programs are successful, and implemented in other countries as well.