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From CEO, Brad Canfield
  • We Are Here for You, In Good Times and Bad

    Oct 22, 2013
    The recent Federal government shutdown provided a hardship for thousands of Americans across the country, and for many of KeyPoint Credit Union’s 41,000 members. One of the advantages of being a member-owner of your financial institution is that we are always here for you, in good times and bad.

    Unlike the big for-profit banks, your not-for-profit credit union works one-on-one with each member to assist you during times of need. When the dot-com bubble burst, KeyPoint immediately responded with programs to help our members who were laid off. Those programs are still in place today for any member who experiences a job loss.

    When the real estate market fell apart, many banks and mortgage lenders were reluctant to assist borrowers struggling to make their payments. KeyPoint quickly provided workout plans to help our members keep their homes and their good credit.

    The recent government shutdown offered a new opportunity for KeyPoint to demonstrate that we’re here for our members. We’ve provided fee waivers for many members who experienced delayed income, and we assisted other members with their loan payments.

    One of our newer members was four days away from close of escrow on a new home purchase. This member is self-employed and his tax returns needed to be verified by the shutdown IRS. The member was at risk of losing the house and his deposit if he could not find financing. KeyPoint was able to verify the tax returns another way, to ensure that our member could purchase his home on time.

    We are all relieved that the government shutdown has ended, but I want to remind our members that KeyPoint is here for you. It doesn’t take a national crisis to cause a financial hardship, and I encourage you to reach out to us during your times of need.
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  • I'm A Die-Hard Credit Union Fan

    Oct 11, 2013
    In addition to being a CEO, I’m also a CPA, so I actually enjoy the financial side of managing KeyPoint. Protecting the safety and soundness of our members’ accounts is probably the single most important thing that we do, and it’s essential that we never lose sight of it.

    Right now we’re knee-deep in audits and examinations. This is an annual event that provides objective third-party review of your credit union’s financial health, so it’s always a good thing—even though it keeps us very busy answering questions and providing documentation.

    We’ve had the pleasure of hosting examiners from two different government regulators over the past couple of weeks. The California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) is the agency that regulates KeyPoint and other state-chartered financial institutions. The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) is the federal agency that insures your deposits up to at least $250,000 per member. I can assure you that both agencies are very diligent in their exams!

    We also have an independent CPA audit this time each year, and I’m very proud of KeyPoint’s financial well-being. We publish the results of this audit in the Annual Report that is distributed at our Annual Shareholders’ Meeting and posted on our website. You can also view detailed financial information and learn more about credit unions at the NCUA’s consumer site.

    I must confess that I’m a die-hard credit union fan. I began my career in public accounting, working with financial institutions. I have worked for both banks and credit unions, and the people in credit unions are without a doubt the nicest people in the world. I can honestly use the phrase “the world”, because I volunteered with the World Council of Credit Unions to help start credit unions in other countries. I personally worked in the Ukraine.

    I think one of the reasons that credit unions have a reputation for treating our members better than the banks treat their customers, is because we’re not for profit. We never have to choose between serving the needs of our stockholders and serving the needs of our members, because our members are our shareholders. Banks set aggressive goals for profitability, and credit unions tend to focus more on member service.

    Another reason that credit unions focus on members is our volunteer Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee. These hard-working individuals donate hundreds of hours providing oversight and leadership to ensure that KeyPoint meets the needs of its membership. These are working professionals who are also members, so they set high expectations for products, service, delivery channels and performance. The Directors are democratically-elected by the membership, and they serve your needs just as KeyPoint’s staff serves your needs.

    I hope you appreciate credit unions as much as I do, and I hope you’ll join us in celebrating International Credit Union Day on October 17th. Visit any KeyPoint branch for refreshments and giveaways!

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  • As With All Great Things, Our Computer System Upgrade Will Take Some Time

    Sep 03, 2013
    KeyPoint Credit Union is upgrading our computer systems to improve your service experience online, through mobile, in a branch, and with our 24/7 telephone center. I hope you’ll be able to see the difference after the upgrade, as our systems will be faster and more secure. This upgrade will also expedite our ability to continue expanding our products, services and features.

    As with all system upgrades, our computer systems (including online and mobile banking) will be unavailable during the upgrade. This is an especially large upgrade, so our systems will be unavailable for 16 hours. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience! We tried to choose a time frame when our members use our services the least, so we chose 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 7th, through 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 8th. Hopefully you’re not a night owl and you’ll have more fun things to do on Sunday morning than banking! But everything should be up and running by Sunday afternoon.

    Speaking of fun things, your ATM/VISA® Debit Card will continue to be available for purchases and cash withdrawals throughout the upgrade!


    If you’re looking for fun things to do while our system is down, be sure to take advantage of the Passport Rewards that are FREE with your KeyPoint Debit Card. You can enjoy discounts on restaurants, travel, attractions and entertainment. Click here for more information and to see what’s available. You can also take advantage of the start of the NFL season on September 8th!

    I encourage you to take care of your urgent banking tasks by Saturday evening so you won’t have to wait until Sunday afternoon. We appreciate your patience during the system upgrade, and look forward to providing more and better services in the future!
     
    If you have any questions, please contact us today.
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  • KeyPoint’s Mobile App Deposit Makes Your Smartphone Even Smarter

    Aug 27, 2013
    As much as I try to reduce my financial paperwork, I can’t eliminate it completely. I collect receipts from various purchases, and I still receive some hard copy bills in the mail. The other day when organizing my home office, I found a six-week-old check that I’d forgotten to deposit.

    As individuals, we all get paper checks from time to time from relatives, friends or government agencies. If you own a business in the Bay Area or Silicon Valley, you likely handle even more paper checks. That’s why we’re excited to offer our new mobile app deposit service that allows you to deposit checks using your smartphone!

    Accessing KeyPoint’s Mobile App Deposit


    • If you’re already using KeyPoint’s mobile app, just log in.
    • If you’re not, download our mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play and log in with your Online Banking username and password.  
    • Use your smartphone’s built-in camera to capture an image of the front and back of your check and then send it to us for processing.

    It’s that simple! You can deposit up to $5,000 per day. The deposit will be posted to your account by the next business day, and $200 will be available immediately upon posting. The balance will remain on hold for an additional two business days.

    Mobile deposits are growing in popularity as smartphones become an indispensable part of our lives. Consider this: Back in 2009, Celent Research Services found that 72% of banks they surveyed had no plans to offer mobile deposits; as of 2012, only 18% had no mobile deposit plans in the works. This spring, the Federal Reserve Board released a survey of nearly 2,600 people that indicate almost twice as many used mobile deposit services in 2012 than the previous year.

    Mobile deposit usage is on the rise, and we invite you to join the movement with our mobile app deposit service. Do you have questions? Contact our telephone center 24/7 at (888) 255-3637 and we’ll help!
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  • YOU Can Help Us Provide Better Products and Services

    Aug 20, 2013
    If you’re a baseball fan like me, you’re probably familiar with the Oakland A’s and general manager Billy Beane’s revolutionary use of data analysis to find talented players. He doesn’t rely on surface-level stats to determine a player’s value. In the business world, a lot of companies rely on basic satisfaction surveys to determine whether they’re providing customers with a valuable experience--but they’re not getting the real story.

    In the credit union world, 80% of members who leave say they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied,” according to Bain & Company research. It’s an example of misleading, surface-level data. So KeyPoint Credit Union is following the example set by Billy Beane and digging deeper. Last week we implemented a new data analysis program called Net Promoter Score to show us how we can offer more value to you as our member.

    Here’s Where You Come In


    You and every KeyPoint member will shape the decisions we make today and in the future based on some quick feedback you provide about your interactions with us. If you are dissatisfied with a product or service, please tell us. If you want enhanced offerings within a product line, please tell us. If we are doing something well, please tell us. We want your honest, unfiltered opinion about how we conduct our business and how we can improve.

    While we can’t promise that every suggestion will be implemented, we can assure you that every member’s opinion will be shared at the highest level of KeyPoint’s management. We are committed to providing the products and service you expect, and we will consider and discuss all of our members’ suggestions.

    Just 5 Minutes to Improve Your Member Experience


    To maximize the effectiveness of this program, we’ll need fewer than five minutes of your time to complete these surveys. Select members will receive email invitations to participate, and you won’t be invited to complete another survey for at least 90 days.

    Essentially, a few minutes of sharing your opinion today can define the type of member experience you’ll enjoy in the future. We at KeyPoint want to become your go-to resource for all of your personal and business finance needs, and we are grateful to you for helping us achieve our goals.

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  • Upcoming School Year Offers Perfect Time to Focus on Financial Education

    Aug 13, 2013
    Listen, I know there are some of you who don’t want to read this. So I’ll forewarn anyone not ready to mention the “s” word because you’re on vacation. I respect that. But the school year is approaching, and as much I’m not ready to wipe off the beach sand myself, it’s a good time to discuss how to prepare students financially for the upcoming year.

    I’m a firm believer that financial education should play a much more significant role in the overall education of our students. Learning how to budget, balance a checkbook and create a savings strategy are vital skills and habits that we all should carry through life. It’s fair to say that financial education courses are just as important, if not more so, as many classes students will take this year in high school and college.

    Money Management Advice for All Ages


    You don’t have to be an economics major to get a good handle on your finances. If you’re a student or parent of a student whose course load doesn’t allow room for finance or economic classes, there’s plenty of information available online. In particular, I like Money as You Grow, which is an initiative of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. This site is a great tool for parents and children of all ages because it provides age-specific advice about using money and what types of financial lessons apply to various stages of childhood.

    KeyPoint Credit Union offers another fantastic financial tool with our Student Checking, which is free for those ages 16 to 26. Students, young adults and teens get mobile and online access to their accounts, a VISA® debit card with all the perks, the ability to use shared branches, free ATMs nationwide, and a lot more. It’s the perfect way for students to learn about responsible money management.

    Smart School-Shopping Tips for Parents


    For parents, preparing for the school year can bring a lot of emotions: eagerness, anxiety, excitement, some sadness. It all depends on where you are in life. Especially if you’re a software engineer who’s new to the country or to Silicon Valley, this can be a stressful time for you.

    If you’re sending a child to college this fall, you may purchase more supplies and dorm-related items than your son or daughter will ever use. Popular money blog Fat Wallet offers a good checklist for college students and their parents so you can figure out what you need and what you can avoid purchasing.

    And for parents of any age child, Good Housekeeping offers suggested school supply shopping lists for every grade from kindergarten to college.

    For all students returning to school this year, don’t forget to arrive with some enthusiasm and curiosity. You might be just trying to grind through the year so you can graduate and get on with life, but make a point to explore some other interests. This is the perfect time, and you might be surprised by what happens.

    I know people whose decision to explore a new course in college led them down a different career path or who were inspired for life by art or music that they didn’t know existed. So go out there and embrace your opportunities.
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  • August 5th Upgrade Will Improve Your Online User Experience

    Aug 02, 2013
    Hey, we want the best for you! So we’re undertaking a security upgrade to our Online Banking and Mobile Banking systems on August 5th that will safeguard your account to an even greater extent. Plus, we’re improving the navigation for Online Banking by adding drop-down menus so you can quickly get to the features you use the most. Bill Pay is also being improved to make paying bills quicker and easier for you.
     
    Plan ahead. Our upgrade will take place on August 5th between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. and no downtime is expected. Our security upgrade will strengthen your user ID and password. You can make some changes now to ensure you meet these new security requirements.

     
    • Update your browser to the most recent version. Please note that Internet Explorer 7 will no longer be supported.
    • Access Online Banking and click “User Options.” 
    • Create a new user ID and password that meet these standards

    The first time you log in to Online Banking or Mobile Banking after the upgrade is completed, you will be guided through a few simple steps to strengthen your online security. These steps will guide you to receive a verification code by your choice of text message, voice call or email to the phone or email address we have on file for you. If we do not have a valid phone or email address, you will be prompted to update them.
     
    Find out all the specifics about our security enhancements and user experience upgrades. We believe you’ll enjoy these changes that will better safeguard your personal information.
     
    There are some other steps you can take to protect your information, too.
    • Keep your passwords private. 
    • Make sure your data is encrypted online. 
    • Don’t overshare on social media.

    MarketWatch from The Wall Street Journal recently outlined five ways to be invisible online, including using a virtual privacy network, maximizing your browser’s privacy settings and creating multiple identities when using social networks.
     
    If you have any questions about our August 5 upgrades, please contact us today!
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  • If You Own A Small Business, Check Out These Apps

    Jul 30, 2013
    A couple of weeks ago I was at the farmer’s market buying some summertime bounties and struck up a conversation about Gonzaga basketball (one of my favorite pastimes) with an interesting gentleman. Turns out we had more than college basketball interests in common because he runs a financial consulting business in the Bay Area.  

    I went to trade business cards with him, and he held up his phone and asked, “Do you have Bump?” I found out Bump is an app that lets you trade contact information, files, photos and more simply by bumping two smartphones together. I thought it was cool, and he said it’s one of his favorite apps for small-business owners.

    When I went to research more about Bump, I discovered a slew of apps for small-business owners to help them become more efficient and organized…essential for entrepreneurs.

    The more I read, the more I saw some of the same apps mentioned over and over. Here are three apps that seem to be on most people’s list of best apps for small-business owners:

    • Square: You can turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a cash register that accepts credit card payments using this app. There are no sign-up or monthly fees required, and you’ll pay 2.75% per swipe.
    • Expensify: Track and consolidate your business expenses with your phone by scanning and uploading your receipts. Then Expensify lets you filed your expenses by trip and submit reports from your phone. 
    • TripIt: If you’re a California entrepreneur who travels a lot, TripIt can be valuable. Give it access to your email account and it will compile all of your reservations, itineraries and confirmations and streamline them into a calendar for your iPhone or iPad. You’ll see where you need to go and when, plus you get weather updates, maps and more for your destination.

    If you’re a small-business owner in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley or anywhere in California, you’ll find a tremendous amount of value in a lot of these apps. And a lot of them are free to download and use.

    Kevin Tofel, the mobile editor at GigaOM in San Francisco, highlights several of his favorite small-business apps in this recent interview on Fox Business. Entrepreneur Ilya Pozin, who also writes for Inc., Forbes and others, shares his own list of must-have apps for small-business owners.

    You’re sure to find something you can use. Meanwhile, as you’re looking for a California credit union to support your small business, KeyPoint Credit Union provides various business checking accounts, business savings and certificate accounts, and other products, such as loans, to help your small business grow. Let us know how we can help you!
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  • Secure Your Money When You Travel This Summer

    Jul 23, 2013
    What trips do you have planned for the summer?
     
    If you’re traveling overseas, it’s always a good idea to blend in with the locals and not stand out as a tourist who could be targeted by a pickpocket or thief. This is important even if you’re familiar with your travel destination, such as being a Silicon Valley software engineer who is visiting India.
     
    Safeguarding your money is vital all the time, but we especially want to make sure you enjoy your travels instead of dealing with the hassles of losing your valuables. There are several money-security tips that will apply no matter where you travel in California, the U.S. or the world.

    1. Keep your wallet light by bringing only the cards you absolutely need and removing the others before you depart.
    2. Carry the amount of cash you’ll need for a particular day and leave the rest locked up in a hotel safe or some other secure location. This way, if you lose your wallet, you won’t lose all of your valuables. 
    3. Consider using credit cards for major purchases. 
    4. Always keep an eye on your debit card while using only legitimate ATMs.

    These are just a few of the tips suggested by Lonely Planet and Bankrate. By the way, if Europe is in your current or future plans, I found some good information from travel writer Rick Steves, an expert on Europe, about the pros and cons of traveling in each season of the year.

    KeyPoint Provides Perks

     
    When traveling, it’s a good idea to contact KeyPoint Credit Union and let us know your plans just so we won’t be suspicious of any activity on your account. Also, KeyPoint Credit Union makes it easy for you to access your money overseas through our Unlimited Checking account.
     
    This account includes a KeyPoint VISA® Platinum Debit Card that provides rebates for any ATM fees and charges you incur overseas. Just fill out our rebate form within 60 days of your last statement and we’ll fund your account. Plus, your KeyPoint VISA® Platinum Debit Card enrolls you in our Passport Rewards Program that gives you on-the-spot discounts and freebies at various restaurants, retailers, attractions and entertainment venues.
     
    Start off your next trip and every trip thereafter on the right foot by opening your Unlimited Checking account today and start reaping the benefits.
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  • All Work and No Play Leads to Strained Relationships

    Jul 16, 2013
    The other day I texted a friend of mine who is supposed to be hiking and sightseeing through Montana and Wyoming with his family over a 10-day period. Here’s how the conversation went:
     
    Me: How are the views?

    Him: Not much different from the office. Have to finish some reports before we leave the hotel this morning.
     
    Me: So what was the point of your vacation?
     
    Him: I’ll get to it. 10 days…long time away from work. Some things have to be completed.
     
    My friend works in a stressful occupation that requires a lot of his time and attention. It’s difficult for him to unplug, especially with today’s technology that makes everyone instantly accessible nearly all the time. I’m not grousing about the convenience. After all, we’re living in the cradle of the industry that created it here in Silicon Valley. We all take pride in our careers and how we perform.
     
    I can only imagine what it’s like for a software engineer who’s new to the country brought here specifically for your work skills. The pressure must be significant, even beyond the culture of hard work that exists in America and specifically in Silicon Valley. The U.S. offers less paid vacation than many other wealthy countries and U.S. workers still don’t use all their time, or they feel guilty about doing so.

    But I think you have to turn off the screen and focus on the people and places right in front of you sometimes. I frame this in terms of family vacation because these are often the only times we have the opportunity to dedicate our full attention to each other in our busy lives.
     
    Balancing life and work requires effort during everyday moments, too. Go out to dinner and see how many conversations never start because people bury their noses in their smartphones. Missed opportunity. Distractions and obligations can quickly eat up the time that could be spent with family and friends. Squealing children become head-strong teenagers and soon the house is quiet. Your vibrant puppy running with you on the beach one day becomes sleepier and gray in the muzzle.
     
    Enjoy your loved ones, and make an effort to do so every day. When it’s all said and done, you’re not likely to say you wish you’d spent more time at the office.
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