As we head into the summer of 2014, your Credit Union continues to work towards making your “Banking” experience better than a “Bank” experience.
Getting directly to a specific Greater Metro representative is something you won’t get when dialing 1-800-Citi. However, we also understand that getting through on the first (or second) try may not always occur, but ALL messages are usually returned the same day. Emailing MemberServices@www.greatermetrofcu.org is an option that could get a quicker response. We’ve recently upgraded our phone system to allow for more call volume and thereby reducing the frequency of that quick busy beep.
Our members with MasterCards and online banking have enjoyed a recent upgrade where a summary of their credit card account automatically appears on “It’s Me 247.” They also now have an option to receive their Master Card statements electronically.
The next page summarizes the financial results of 2013 as reported at the Annual Meeting held in May and our annual regulatory exam conducted by the NCUA resulted with a very favorable rating. Maintaining a financially sound operating position allows us to offer higher savings and lower loan rates and provide peace of mind to our members.
Although this may be a slower action period due to vacations, we’ll be setting the table for the next wave of service and product rollouts.
On The Horizon!
Remote Deposit Capture – It’s all the rage (as some of the BofA and Chase commercials would have you believe) even as the use of checks is declining. However, we still receive a large number of checks by mail and having these members take advantage of the RDC could justify the cost and the product.
Mobile App – Truly the Rage! It’s cool but an expensive feature. With 30% of our membership taking advantage of Online Banking, how many wouldadd the app to their phone? We’ll find out!
Technology – We have started a redesign project of our Website. Our current one still operates on an older platform, but we are beginning to see problems when members access it with updated browsers.
Plastic Redesigns – ATM, Debit and Credit cards in this order. We will be purging inactive cards, updating valid dates and distributing new cards. New credit cards with the EMV chip are planned for 2015.
The 2013 Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at the main office in Long Island City. The Chairman, Robert Morrison, called the meeting to order, confirmed that a quorum was present to conduct the meeting and then proceeded with the agenda. The minutes of the prior year’s annual meeting were approved. Those present were directed to the meeting package which included reports of the officers and a summarized report from the accounting firm that audited the financial results of 2013 (further summarized to the right).
The following employees were recognized for reaching employment milestones this year:
Thera Henry Sylvester … 25 years
Kisha Kirkland………… 10 years
The election results for this year’s Board of Director positions were announced. Mr. Anthony Sofo was elected to serve a three-year term and Ms. Rosemarie Stoffo was elected to serve a twoyear term.
With no new business to be discussed, the meeting was adjourned.
Over the years members have commented on the cost of checks (certainly not that they wanted to be charged more). There are really two players in the check printing business (Harland Clarke and Deluxe). Even those printers dvertising in newspapers (Artistic, Checks Unlimited, Checks in the Mail) offering deep discounts are owned by the “Big Two.” These discounters hope to wear the consumer down enough to sell a myriad of add-ons and may also distribute/sell consumer information to other vendors.
The bulk of the expense to the member comes from shipping and extras (Monogramming, leather cases, labels). The checks themselves are not the expensive part of the order. With consumers relying less on physical checks to make payments, the printers and financial institutions are finding ways to keep their margins up on this shrinking business.
We’ve renegotiated our prices with Harland Clarke to give our members the best price we can give.
We’ve renegotiated our prices with Harland Clarke to give our members the best price we can give. An order of Safety Blue checks (and some other types) with duplicates and some safety shipping should cost just under $20. As soon as you start picking designs, you’ll find the cost increase primarily due to copyrights (e.g., Disney).
A sampling of charges for an order of 120 checks with duplicates across several institutions ranged from $21 to the Dime Savings Bank coming in at $42. The Dime uses Harland Clarke as we do so where’s the difference going? Sign up for “Bill Pay” on ”It’s Me 247” and reduce your check writing needs.
The Magic Minute – Credit Card Sweepstakes
Win a chance to participate in a One Minute Shopping Spree at the CU Rewards Merchandise Warehouse in Chicago! Six winners and their guests will be flown to Chicago in December, stay at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, and participate in a Shopping Spree!
Beginning in August, Platinum Credit Card holders will be eligible to participate in a Promotion sponsored by our Card Processor, PSCU (go to www.cumagicminute.com for more about the Sweepstakes). Cardholders would enroll in CU Rewards (www.curewards.com) and would earn chances, based on card usage (at least 3 swipes per week), beginning the week of August 4, to be entered in a bi-weekly drawing. Every two weeks from August to October a participant will be selected (6 in total) as a winner.
There’s also an alternate way of earning your way into the drawings without making the purchases. You’ll still have to register but instead of the purchases, you’ll have to log in each week to answer the weekly Credit Union question.
The sweepstakes is open to all eligible CU Cardholders registered in the CU Rewards Program who are legal residents of the 50 United States, D.C. or Puerto Rico and are 21 years of age or older at time of entry. Greater Metro employees and their immediate families are ineligible.
VA Branch – Returning To Old Schedule!
On Tuesday, September 2, the VA Branch will return to a five day schedule. The abbreviated hours were only intended for a short period of time as the facility returned to pre-hurricane Sandy operations. Staffing issues at the Credit Union in the Fall further delayed the return to the five day schedule. To accommodate training and summer vacations (both at the Credit Union and the VA), the Branch will continue with the M-W-F hours until Labor Day.
We are also reviewing ways to enhance the services at the VA as well as working with Administration and Canteen Services to incorporate financial education sessions and promotions.
Have You Seen Them
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 220:
Han Sik Kim | Brandon Bonge
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.
Labor Day – Monday, September 1
Columbus Day – Monday, October 13
Veterans’ Day – Tuesday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 27
Christmas Day – Thursday, December 25