Credit Union Update

 

visa cardSPECIAL VISA TRANSFER PROMOTION: 2.90% for exiting or new VISA cards. Transfer high rate cards to your Florist FCU VISA.  $5.00 transfer fee applies.  Promotion from October 01 2014 through December 31, 2014.  Rate on transfer good for 12 months, then reverts to regular rate.  New applications subject to approval.

Featured product:  The Credit Union is offering credit cards as an alternative to high bank VISA© and MASTERCARD© rates. You need to compare not just the rate, but the fees, charges, grace periods, etc.  Most cards raise your interest rate if you are 1 DAY LATE. We don't operate that way.  Come see us.  We want your business. And remember, The Florist FCU has one of the lowest fee ratios in the business.

SPECIAL TRANSFER FORM                                  VISA APPLICATION FORM

 

  


 

Update On Target's Data Breach                        

The Target debit and credit card data breach put a damper on our holidays this year. It may be a benchmark for this type of data theft for the regular shopping public. I am sure that there will be major changes coming, such as new smart cards, which are already the majority of card use in Europe. Smart card technology will certainly make it harder to compromise card data, but it won't be completely fool proof. A lot of card security rests with the user, by properly managing card use. It’s surprising to see that most users of debit and/or credit cards don't track their purchases well. Often, they don't remember if a purchase made last month was one they made, or fraud. So, part of the burden of security will always rest with the card owner.

One thing is certain; the majority of losses will rest with the issuer of the card. You can expect that some issuers will enact some type of change to minimize losses. Any loss to a bank or credit union will end up hurting the entire customer or membership base. Like any business, if losses are incurred, those losses will be passed on to you, in the form of lower rates on deposits or higher rates on loans, or more than likely, in increased fees.

There are a few things we can do together to minimize losses.

  • Definitely track your purchases. I know it's hard, but keep your receipts for all transactions. Transfer them from your pocket or purse, and put them in a box. Balance your account to the receipts. That's why a store will give you one, to confirm the transaction.
  • All debit and credit cards have fraud monitoring systems built in. If they detect potential fraud, the system will close your card until the purchases are confirmed. If they are confirmed, the card is re-opened, but if not, then it remains closed. Contact your provider if your card suddenly stops working. It may mean that there is suspicious activity on the card and it's been closed. Regardless of a fraud monitoring system, it is typically initiated after a suspicious transaction has cleared.
  • Note that due to the excessively large number of cards compromised through Target, the fraud system may become overwhelmed. If that occurs, your tracking of purchases becomes more critical. That's why you should track transactions more closely.
  • If your card number shows up as a compromised card, it doesn't mean that you have been the victim of fraud. It does mean that there is a higher potential for fraud. That's why most, if not all card issuers will close these cards, or at least lower your daily limits. Daily limits for debit cards are typically $200 for cash withdrawals, and $750 for purchases. A reduction in those limits may to $100 for cash and $300 for purchases. So long as the card remains open, there remains a potential for loss to the issuer.

The Credit Union's card program

The Florist Federal Credit Union has received notice that 18 cards have shown up on the list of compromised cards. We are sure that more will come. We have contacted each member to let them know we are re-issuing cards at no cost to them. We are allowing our members, at this time, to keep their cards open. We realize that many, such as me, rely on debit cards daily for gas, groceries, etc. It would be a burden to have to wait to receive a new card if the old card is closed. However, we have initiated a reduction in daily limits for compromised and reissued cards. The daily transaction during this short time frame is $100 for cash withdrawals, and $300 for purchases. The new cards, which take 7 to 10 days to receive, will have come with the normal limits restored.

If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact the Credit Union.


 

2.9%  Looking for that new car smell?  Nothing smells better than the actual thing.  And now, we've made it even better with a super low rate.  We can finance up to 100% of the invoice, for a maximum term of 48 months.  Example: $20,000 financing / 2.9% / 48 months = $442.00. (3.4% - 60 months / 3.9% - 72 months)  Call us today.  This great rate is good through December 2013 only.  So act now.  (On Approved Credit Only. Other great rates available)

   


 NEWSLETTERS: July 2014   April 2014     APRIL 2013 Quarterly    APRIL 2013 E-newsletter  JULY 2013 Quarterly  July 2013 E = Stop CU Taxation   December 2013


 

THE SPROUTS ACCOUNTS ARE READY!


The new sprout accounts are up and running.  The account opening requires a minimum of only $5.00! And throug the end of 2012, the Credit Union contributes the opening minimum deposit. So there's no cost to you to open the account.

We encourage parents to open this special account for their children.  It’s a great way to teach them about saving, and to begin the much needed steps toward learning how to manage their money.  You can access the membership card from our web site at www.thefloristfcu.org  Choose the applications tab.  Choose the membership applications link.  The form is the same for adults as it is for the Sprout account.  The child’s name will be entered first.  The parent will be a joint owner.  Mail, fax, or scan email to info@thefloristfcu.org together with a copy of the joint owner’s driver’s license.

Consider setting up a direct deposit each month, each week, for as little as $5.00 per transfer, fee free to help your son or daughter build their account.  They can access it on-line to see how their savings is growing.  Call is to find out how easy it is. 
 


 

10 SCAMS TARGETING SENIORS

"Criminals who Prey on elderly are taking advantage of trust and naiveté", part of an article on Financial Privacy, Melinda Fulmer, MSN Money.  Click on the link to "self-educate" on the many ways our grandparents, parents, retirees, ex-military, and elderly brothers and sisters are lossing their life's savings to these crooks.  In addition, I encourage you to click on the link in the article entitled "Top 5 scams to avoid in 2012".  It is our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of our families.

10 scams

 


 

Sneaky Bank Fees!!

Bank fees are up. The reason is simple: Yields for bank investments and loans are at the lowest level in years.  In order to compete, some banks and credit unions are offering loans below the normal 3% spread.  The ultimate result is that certain expenses have to be eliminated and / or income has to be found elsewhere.  Usually, a bank will do both.  We’ve seen hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the financial sector.  In addition, banks have put charges where no charges have been before.  So look at your bank statement.  Read it careful.  

10 SNEAKY BANK FEES LINK  (especially #9)

Concerned about fees?  Compare our fees to any other bank or credit unions. I think you will agree that we are the best place to have your accounts.


 WHY A CREDIT UNION?

Credit Unions are owned and operated by their members, not stockholders.  Any residual income, after expenses, is retained in the credit union to 1) make it stronger by setting aside reserves, and 2) to give back to the membership by providing higher deposit rates and lower loan rates.  A Credit Union is where people of commonality have an opportunity to pool their money in such a way that they become the mission of the Credit Union; to improve the financial wellbeing of its members and the community it serves. Any and all credit unions have been formed to serve that way.  The Florist FCU has been formed to serve the florist industry.  Doesn’t it make sense that you should bank with us?