Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Account access while away at college

One of the better services available to our student-members attending college out of town is our Credit Union Service Centers (CUSC) network. Members of North Alabama Educators Credit Union currently have over 3,300 branch locations available nationwide for free access to perform withdrawals, deposits, loan payments, account transfers, and payroll check cashing.

Popular college towns in the Southeast that have service center locations include Auburn-AL, Tuscaloosa-AL, Birmingham-AL, Florence-AL, Mobile-AL, Nashville-TN, Knoxville-TN, Atlanta-GA, Athens-GA, Oxford-MS, Starkville-MS, Gainsville-FL, Tallahassee-FL, Baton Rouge-LA, and Fayetteville-AR. This is a short list of school locations; other locations are also available throughout the country.

With service centers, parents can deposit money into the student's account, and then the student can access the funds at the closest service center location to their college or university. Who knows, perhaps the student will be making deposits at school for access back home by the parent? Either way, there is no cost for the transaction.

Here is a direct link to the CUSC website:

This link is also listed on the credit union homepage. (Look for the blue swirl logo).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A New Neighbor on Sparkman Drive

We are pleased to announce that Sonic Restaurants Inc. has purchased the excess land owned by the credit union next to our Sparkman Drive branch. Construction of the restaurant should begin to take place soon so please watch for construction vehicle traffic as the building process advances. The sale of the land was financially beneficial to the credit union. Our Facilities Committee plans to use the proceeds of the sale to establish a long overdue branch in the Madison, Alabama area.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tattoo as ID

True story. I once had a non-member wanting to cash a check written to him by one of our members using tattoo's that he had on his arm and knuckles. Picture ID is normally required for these transactions. The tattoo's did have his first name burned into his flesh. Needless to say. a tattoo is not on most financial institution's list of "acceptable form of identification". I called our credit union member and verified that they had written the check to the person in my office, and we were able to cash the check. For future reference though, I encouraged the person to obtain a non-driver ID as a suitable substitute for his "tattoo ID".

Who says that credit unions can't be fun?

Check holds on member deposits

Please do not take it personally when we place a 2 or 5 day hold on your check(s) deposited to your account. Here are the reasons for holds. First, the credit union does not receive full credit for that check item for at least 2 days ourselves. This is an issue of fairness in making funds available when they are available to us. Second, members do receive counterfeit check items from a variety of sources. "Secret shopper" schemes and "work from home" offers are putting these counterfeit checks into the hands of members who think that the checks are real. If members receive a check and are asked to send some of the money elsewhere, that would raise a huge red flag that the check item may be counterfeit.

We did have a long term member with over 15 years of good account history who unfortunately negotiated a large check believing that the item was legitimate. That check turned out to be a counterfeit and the member faced financial hardship as a result of being responsible for the check amount. We just cannot make hold decisions solely on how long members have had accounts with the credit union. Holds protect the member and the assets of the credit union.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The IRS is NOT calling

A member responded to one of those fake emails claiming to be from the IRS. The member was promised faster processing of his stimulus check. What he received instead was counterfeit debit card transactions 2,000 miles away that TOOK money out of his account. Never provide personal information over the internet, telephone, or mail unless you know with 100% certainty who you are dealing with. When in doubt, call a good telephone number that you know is connected to the organization.

These fake emails look real and have real logos attached to them. Don’t believe it!

New Frontier

We live in a new world where information is transmitted through a variety of sources. As the President/CEO of North Alabama Educators Credit Union (NAECU), I have seen this blog format as a method to communicate information from within NAECU and also within the credit union industry. Credit unions have a good story to tell but we don't always do a good job of communicating our difference to our members and potential members in the community. My employees tell me that sometimes I get "long-winded" when it comes to speaking at meetings or communicating messages through my letters and e-mails. I will try to avoid that trait in my writings here. You as a reader don't have the time or interest to review long posts.

This is new for me. Keep that in mind as I move forward. Thanks for listening and hopefully I will not be too boring!