Fall 2014

Home Depot, Target, Heartland, BJ’s

The above names used to be found on a list of stores to visit over the weekend. Now we wait for alerts to identify accounts compromised by shopping at these stores.

The frequency of these compromises, the media coverage of breaches and the government’s surveillance of personal information is desensitizing the consumer public to this problem. Does any consumer (or citizen for that matter) truly believe that any of their information is “private”? Every keystroke, every email, every attachment, every swipe could be a hacker’s gateway into the privacy of our world. Scary! But are we scared enough to go back to shopping and paying by cash in person? Never! The conveniences offered by using Plastic and Electronic payment methods and the staggering and increasing number of purchases made without a person leaving their home (or office) will just make financial institutions and merchandisers spend inordinate amounts of funds staying one step ahead of the hackers and providing consumers with some sense of security. Check out our Digital Defense link on our website for tips on safeguarding your information!

breechGreater Metro takes every precaution protecting our member information. Our plastics processor, PSCU, continually upgrades its Fraud Protection software. Many of you have received calls from them confirming recent purchases or have had cards frozen. This isn’t any attempt to inconvenience or anger you but rather to protect you and us. Very few fraud claims are denied, especially when part of a known breach. This becomes a cost of the Credit Union and if not covered by insurance or passed along to our Processor or one of the names in the article heading, will in some way be passed along to our members. Unlike Banks, passing anything but rewards to our members is unacceptable.

We have been fortunate to have a minimal number of member accounts compromised. Those that have been, have been reissued new cards. The industry is in the process of rolling out the EMV chip technology which will enhance security in point of sale transactions. All of our Debit and Credit Cards are scheduled for reissuance with the chip during 2015. We will take this opportunity of rolling out newly redesigned cards and may also issue new card numbers. Issuing new card numbers may inconvenience many of you who have automatic payments set up (EZ-Pass, gym memberships) but it may be time to make a fresh, clean start.

This will also provide us with the opportunity to clean up our plastics program. Cards that haven’t been used for a year or longer will not be reissued. Credit Card limits will be reviewed.


Regulation Dpiggy bank

The Federal Reserve Bank sets reserve requirements for financial institutions. Reg D defines the rules for each account type. Checking accounts are defined as “Transactional Accounts” and require the Credit Union to set aside funds in a reserve account. Savings and Money Market accounts are defined as Savings accounts and do not require a reserve. At the time of an account opening disclosures are provided to members detailing the “do’s” and “don’ts.”

For Savings Accounts You Can Make Unlimited:

Withdrawals and transfers in person, by mail or from an ATM

Withdrawals by phone when the disbursement is in the form of a check

made out to the depositor

Transfers to make loan payments

Transfer requests made in writing and delivered through the mail


You may not make more than six (6) total transactions per month of the following kind:

Audio Response, mobile or internet transfers (It’s Me 247 online banking)

Preauthorized or automatic withdrawals or transfers (overdraft

protection or bill payments)

Employee assisted transfers (i.e., Requests over the phone)

Withdrawals by Credit Union check to a third party

If your activity is such that calls for more than six of the above transactions per month, please look to open a checking account. Checking Accounts have no limits on the number of transactions. Violating the 6 transaction limit may incur a fee or account closure.


Safety Tips For Using Debit And Credit Cardspassword

While there are safety and security precautions in place when you use your debit and credit cards, there are things you can do to stay ahead of fraudsters and thieves.

Watch your statements: Monitor your statements for any unauthorized activity, and keep a very close eye on your account if any breaches happen.

Use more, and more complicated, passwords: If you use the same username and password for everything, thieves could get access to all your online banking accounts. Don’t use consecutive numbers or simple words. Hackers have sophisticated technology that can easily compromise those. Make your passwords a combination of letters, numbers and symbols if possible, and change them often.

Take precautions at checkout, gas pump and ATM: Look out for credit and debit card skimmers attached to legitimate card readers, like a plastic sleeve inside a card slot. Be alert when you hand your card at a restaurant or retail shop to make sure your card doesn’t get swiped twice or photographed, which could be used to make a fraudulent card. Report the situation to a manager and alert your bank.


Greater Metro FCU Now Accepting College Scholarship Applications

gradsGreater Metro FCU is offering college-bound high school seniors the opportunity to compete for statewide college scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded in the amounts of $1,000 and $500 and may be used at a two- or four-year accredited educational institution.

Students can take advantage of this opportunity by completing three simple steps:

  1. Visit www.www.greatermetrofcu.org to download an electronic application. If the student is not a member of Greater Metro FCU, he/she can request a membership packet as well. (All scholarship applicants are required to be members of a participating New York credit union.)
  2. Complete the application form and required essay and obtain the required transcripts, along with the signature of a parent or guardian.
  3. Return the completed application and supportive materials to Greater Metro FCU no later than January 31, 2015.

There is no fee for submitting an application, but applicants MUST be:

Members of Greater Metro FCU;

College-bound high school seniors at the time of application; and

Attending either a two- or four-year accredited educational institution

for the first time in the fall of 2015.

In early spring, applications will be judged against other submissions statewide. Winners will be announced in April.

For more information about this scholarship program, contact Greater Metro FCU by calling 718-361-1002 or emailing MemberServices@www.greatermetrofcu.org.

Last year, the Association awarded twenty $1,000 and nineteen $500 scholarships.


Liberty Mutual

pumpkinIf you’re looking for Insurance (Home, Auto, Life) and even if you’re not, it may be worthwhile contacting our preferred vendor Liberty Mutual for possible savings. Go to our Home Page and click on the Liberty Mutual link in the right column above 2014 Closings. This will take you to a “Leaving Our Site to a Third Party Website” and then to Liberty Mutual.

Our Insurance Sales Representative, Roger Edmond, can be reached toll free at 1-888-821-2205 or 1-212-398-2480, ext. 50498 or by email roger.edmond@libertymutual.com

Let him know that you’re a Greater Metro member and see if he can save you premium dollars. We have a habit of just sending in the renewal each year because it’s easy. A recent call to Liberty Mutual saved a member $2,200 per year on auto insurance that the member had with Kemper for nine years. It was just that easy!


Have You Seen Themseen

There are times when members do not inform the Credit Union of changes to contact information (addresses, home phone, work phone, email). When issues come up that require attention we are left with nowhere to turn to resolve the matter, even after exhausting means to locate our member.

If anyone knows and/or has contact with the following members, please ask them to contact Member Services at 1-800-361-1012 extension 233:

Han Sik Kim | Angela Fogle | Edmundo Rivas Nunez | Sandra Blanton | Felizia Hufnal | James Lamadore

When changing address information we require a signed request to make sure it’s YOU. We may at times use means such as a call back to verify the request. With identity theft and scams on the rise we do everything we can to protect our member information. You can also make change requests through online banking which take effect after the Credit Union approves the change.


Holiday Closings

Veterans’ Day – Tuesday, November 11

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 27

Christmas Day  – Thursday, December 25

New Year’s Day Thursday, January 1


Fall 2014 footer