Tag Archives: USACU

USACU at the 2017 GAC

At the GAC‘Powerful Cause and Positive Effect’ was the theme for this year’s Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). USAgencies very own Kathy Scholes, Vice President/CFO; Kasey Rockwell, Director of CU Relations; and Jeff Griese, Board of Directors 1st Vice-Chair, all attended the conference late February in our nation’s capital, along with over 5,000 credit union professionals and advocates from around the U.S.

Every year credit union proponents descend upon Washington D.C. to connect with peers, glean best practices, trade stories, and gain insights of the political landscape for credit unions and the financial industry. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from great speakers such as the Honorable Colin L. Powell; Kat Cole, Group President of Focus Brands; CUNA President, Jim Nussle; and a lineup of Congressional lawmakers and regulators from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Scholes, Rockwell and Griese met with Oregon credit union peers to ensure the message was consistent for lawmakers before they climbed the steps of Capitol Hill. They met with Congressman Blumenauer’s (D-OR-3) Deputy Chief of Staff and Counsel, David Skillman. There were about 30 constituents in the meeting, representing nine credit unions from the Portland area. Later in the afternoon Oregon credit unions also met with Senator Ron Wyden and staff from Senator Merkley’s office to share the same message. Some of the information shared with legislators included:

  • Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives and are inherently accountable to their members, not to Wall Street stockholders.
  • Members own their cooperative credit unions. This means financial dividends, lower interest rates on loans and higher interest rates on savings are delivered to member-owners as direct benefits.
  • The Northwest Credit Union Association recently commissioned economists at ECONorthwest to perform their second independent analysis on credit unions’ impact in our Northwest economy. They found that Oregon credit unions delivered $159 million in direct financial benefit to their 2 million member-owners. That’s $81 per credit union member and $156 financial benefit per member household, delivered through lower fees and better rates as a result of that cooperative structure.
  • The importance of Common-Sense Regulatory Reform and how one-size-fits-all regulations don’t work for small credit unions.
  • The costs of merchant data breaches and how costs should ultimately be borne by the entity that occurs the breach.

They ended the day with a reception on the Hill with credit unions from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. It was a long, but productive day!

Rockwell summed up her experience at this year’s GAC, “Sharing our credit union stories with elected officials is a great honor. Being in D.C. allows you to feel like you are a part of something bigger than your credit union. You can feel the energy of all of us working together to make a difference. Twenty years ago, was my first GAC and I still have the same excitement and feeling of honor to be a part of the Credit Union Movement. We are doing great things to help improve our member’s financial lives and are staying true to the foundational credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’.”

Griese left feeling inspired, saying “My testimony of the credit union movement has grown tremendously and seeing so many hard-working folks gathered together in an effort to improve people’s lives was inspiring and something I will not soon forget!”

Scholes shared her thoughts, saying “Attending the 2017 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference was an amazing experience! Being one of 5,000 credit union professionals converging on the Capital to meet with elected officials to tell our story and fight for credit union interests was moving. I returned to Portland with a renewed interest to advocate for the credit union movement. Credit unions are good for consumers, our member-owners. We need to work to protect our unique structure and improve awareness to our members and potential members of who and what we are that makes us different from other financial service providers. ‘People Helping People’ by looking out for the financial well-being of our members and communities – what’s not to love!”

Please Make Note…

In order to better serve you, USAgencies will be performing scheduled maintenance on some of our systems from 6pm, May 12, to 8am, May 15, PST. During this scheduled maintenance period, access will be temporarily unavailable for:

  • Mobile Banking
  • Online Banking
  • Remote Deposit
  • Shared Branch
  • MARS
  • Bill Pay (Please note: previously scheduled Bill Pay payments will process normally)

We will be updating our website throughout that weekend to notify you as services come back online. Should you have any questions, please contact us at 800.452.0915.

We appreciate your patience during this maintenance window.

Join Us: Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 23rd in Portland, Oregon

Calling all members! It’s time to RSVP for our 81st Annual Meeting.

Join Us As We Celebrate Another Year Of Serving You

Join us on Tuesday, May 23rd, at the World Trade Center, Building 2. We’ll talk about what’s going on at the Credit Union, have some lunch, and give away a couple of great prizes!

Learn more and RSVP by May 16th

We’ll see you there.

Spotlight: A Look Inside Enterprise

If you didn’t already know, USAgencies Credit Union has partnered with Enterprise Car Sales for years in order to bring our members great cars with great pricetags and great warranties! Here’s a quick Q & A with Austin Moothart, Enterprise Dealership Manager, on what it’s like to work for Enterprise, and what he likes most about his job…

Enterprise

What do you do at Enterprise?
I am responsible for creating great buying experiences for our customers.

What makes Enterprise different?
Enterprise is different than any other dealership because our program is set up to put the customer first with our no haggle pricing, a transparent buying process and professional sales consultants who focus on helping the customer find the right vehicle for their needs. It’s not about just selling a car to a customer, it’s about the experience. So many people have negative experiences at dealerships which causes them to not look forward to buying their next car. When customers buy from us, our goal is to create customers for life and create relationships where people are excited to send in their friends and family.

What are some of the added benefits of buying a vehicle at Enterprise?
Great people and service, 109-point vehicle inspection, 7-day repurchase program, free roadside assistance for the first year, 12-month/12,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, and a free Carfax. Plus, we offer Kelley Blue Book Trade-in value on all trades!

We partner with thousands of credit unions across the country who trust us to help their members find the right vehicle when it’s time.

Favorite thing about your job?
Enterprise is a company that respects its employees and working in the Car Sales division has allowed me to work with some amazing professionals who share the same values that I have when it comes to taking great care of people. I really enjoy having a sales team that works really hard every day to do the right thing and exceed the expectations of our customers.

Favorite customer story?
I don’t have just one favorite customer story to share. But I will tell you that my best memories are the ones of customers who come in nervous about buying a car and leave telling us how they will never buy a car anywhere else but here. Having customers smile, laugh and hug us afterwards is the best feeling because we know that they are genuinely happy with the vehicle they picked out. Knowing that my team was part of a customer’s positive buying experience is incredibly rewarding!

 


Know what else is great about Enterprise? Now through April 30th, you can get 1% off your qualifying auto loan rate when you purchase with Enterprise and finance with USAgencies! Terms and conditions apply. Learn more.

 

Join Us: Earth Day Fair

Earth Day Fair

The fifth annual event will be held at the World Trade Center Plaza on April 18th, from 11am to 1pm, and will feature almost 50 earth-friendly vendors, including USAgencies Credit Union! Attendees will have opportunities to recycle personal paperwork, batteries and electronic gadgets. This year’s event will also offer bike tune-ups, perennial pass-alongs, and neighborhood restaurant food samples.

The event is free and open to everyone! Join us!

This event features organizations that promote energy efficiency, alternative transportation, natural resource preservation, and ways to volunteer and give back to the community.

2 World Trade Center Plaza is located at 25 SW Salmon St. Portland, OR

Download flyer

Letter from the CEO: It’s Different Here

If you haven’t already noticed, things are a little bit different here at USAgencies Credit Union… in a good way.

What do I mean, exactly? Well, first-off, we’re a credit union, which means we are a financial cooperative, created by, and for, our members. At a credit union, you’re part owner… Can you say that about your bank?

Secondly, we have several things that we just flat-out won’t do because they’re not in our members’ best interests. We won’t offer products and services that don’t uphold our standards, just to make a buck or two. We won’t put you in a product or service that’s not good for you and your financial future. And we won’t charge excessive fees, just to help our bottom line. Our members are our bottom line.

There are so many other ways we’re different – these are just a few examples. We hope that you appreciate this difference. If you do, why not pay it forward and share us with friends and family by telling them about USAgencies Credit Union?

Jim Lumpkin, President/CEO, USACU
Jim Lumpkin
President/CEO
USAgencies Credit Union

FYI: Credit & Debit Card ‘Holds’

Imagine this: You’re on a long road trip, with a tight budget. You’ve carefully calculated out all of your expenses, accounting for gas, hotels, food, plus a few extras. On day two of your trip, after filling up at the pump multiple times throughout the day, you check in to your hotel… or at least, you attempt to. Your card is declined. You know you have enough money to cover everything… so what happened?

Swipe a card at the gas pump, or check into a hotel—or any place where your final total isn’t known—and a merchant might place a pre-authorization ‘hold’ on your account to make sure you have the funds to cover their transaction, or any other costs that might be added to your hotel charge.

Pre-authorization holds are put in place by merchants, and are most commonly seen at gas pumps, hotels, and restaurants. The hold amounts are usually a set standard; be aware that for gas stations this hold amount can vary anywhere between $1-$150. So even if you buy only $20 worth of gas, you could have a hold on your debit or credit card for $150 for up to five days.

When a hold happens, the money is removed from your available balance, but doesn’t actually go anywhere. Although the merchant determines the hold amount, the financial institution determines the length of the hold. Hold times range from 3-5 days (USACU holds for 3). Once the hold time has passed or the charge has cleared, the hold is removed and the remaining funds are made available again in your account.

Here are a couple ways you can typically avoid this type of authorization holds:

Pay inside. When you pay inside at a gas station you are paying for exactly what you got, so there is no need for the merchant to send a temporary authorization hold.

Fill your tank for a preset amount. Instead of filling the tank, just get $30 worth of gas. Since the merchant knows what the final debit will be, they are able to send through that authorization amount.

Ask. Inquire about hotel holds in advance. See if there’s any leeway in the hold amount.

Pay cash. Often gas stations reward you with a discount when you’re paying in cash. Hotels may be a bit more leery, and may require a larger cash deposit, but some are happy if you pre-pay.

 


 

If you find yourself in a sticky situation because of a card hold, contact USAgencies’ card services department (800.452.0915, opt. 4) to discuss your options. We’re here as your advocate, and will always do whatever we can to help.