I ain’t no criminal!

The circumstances of my life are in flux at the moment, so this seemed just as good a time as any to try my luck with another credit union. I tried moving from Giganto Bank to one of the big, local CUs in 2016 and it was a cluster. I came crawling back to Giganto in just a few months.

How did I choose my new credit union this time? They can thank Dick’s Last Resort for my business. Several years ago, Dick’s gave me a carved-out coconut head coin bank and ever since, I toss all my spare change in the coconut head. When it gets full, I cash in what usually amounts to about $130 in various coins. The only thing is, I’ve grown weary of giving Coinstar an 11% cut just to do the counting. So of course, I went to the local CU that has coin counters in its lobbies.

Kudos to this CU for streamlining the onboarding process. In my life, opening a checking account has been akin to buying a car – lots of paperwork and lots of misery and lots of time. However, I was in and out of my new CU in about 20 minutes. I found that amazing.

During my enrollment, I mentioned to the gentleman who was helping me that one of my issues with my former CU was their archaic policies around mobile deposit. He never indicated to me that mobile deposit might be an issue at my new CU, too. Yet, the next day when I attempted to make an actual mobile deposit, the mobile app told me that it needed to verify my eligibility for mobile deposit. Then it told me that, nope, I’m not eligible.

Not eligible? Moi? WTF?

I immediately called the toll-free number and was informed that one is only granted the privilege of mobile deposit after 90 days. That may have been an appropriate policy in 2004, but today that’s just ridiculous. I suspect that the amount of check fraud prevented by this policy is pretty close to zero.

This CU did earn back a little respect, though, albeit temporarily. The gentleman on the phone called the manager at my new branch and she agreed to waive this requirement as soon as she got done helping another member. That was pretty awesome – except that five days later, I seriously doubt that she’s still helping that other member.

Separately, someone recently gave me a $10,000 handwritten check to repay some money I had loaned them. Even I’m smart enough to know my new credit union is gonna put some sort of hold on that one. So I went to the other person’s bank to cash the check. Although they were very accommodating, it was a small branch and they didn’t really want to part with that much cash. I said, no problem, a cashier’s check will work just fine. Or so I thought.

When I got to my credit union branch, I was told that because I was a new member, there would be a two-day hold on my cashier’s check. I objected and the branch manager (who may have been the one who was supposed to release my mobile deposit hold) agreed to release half if the teller could call the other bank and make sure my cashier’s check was legit.

Think about that for a minute. Certified funds, verified with the issuing bank, and I get access to half? What kind of BS is that?

My advice to all credit unions: If you really want new members, STOP TREATING THEM LIKE CRIMINALS!

John San Filippo

John San Filippo

John is the co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, Inc., a company that specializes in B2B marketing to community financial institutions. He started out in the savings and loan industry, but wisely ... Web: www.omnichannelcommunications.com Details

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