So about six months ago I wrote a blog on this very site about my feelings on Facebook and I committed to never be a user. My reasoning was clear and well thought out. After I wrote it, some events happened that needed my participation and I allowed myself to be open to feedback. In particular, I thought about the feedback of my member, Zoraya.
Here is what happened. Shortly after my post, Great Basin Federal Credit Union created a Facebook page. I am and always have been supportive of my credit union and the credit union movement in general. I wanted to “like” Great Basin Federal Credit Union’s page so that I could engage in what this Facebook thing was about. Secondly, a few months ago Reno Toyota was having a contest for teachers where they were giving money away to the teacher who got the most votes on Facebook. My daughter’s teacher happens to be one of the entries up for consideration. To clarify, you could only vote if you “liked” Reno Toyota and then you had to vote on their Facebook page. Now I had two reasons to participate. So I created a pseudo name so that I could not be found, Rose Cunningham. Only those who really knew me would know why I chose that name. I quickly had about 10 friends, mostly coworkers and family. And now for the crow: I like Facebook.
I learned a few things through this. I learned that Zoraya was right; I should not have been so judgmental if I did not even know how Facebook worked. I learned I can limit friends and who sees my information. I found I can even limit friends of friends from seeing what I am “tagged” in. I learned that my brother got a puppy and that my old co-worker has the most adorable 11 month old son. I learned that most of my family members have Facebook pages and I hope to connect with some of my husband’s relatives that live in another state who he has not seen in almost 20 years.
We’ve had a number of members contact us asking us why we changed our online banking system. “It wasn’t broken”;” the new one is so different”;” I liked the old one better”; “I lost this or that function” and yup, all of these statements are understandable and accurate. The credit union was faced with an expiring contract with our online banking provider and so we looked at the alternatives available to us. Compared to our existing provider, quite candidly with a history of limitations and excessive pricing, the decision was a relatively easy one. The current capabilities available in online and mobile banking required us to critically evaluate where we were and where we needed to be in a highly competitive and quickly changing banking world. For the past two years we’ve been evaluating and testing systems and we chose a partner that will allow us to move forward and deliver to our members the services and connectivity they expect…today.
I believe most of the correctable issues that some of our members have reported have been sorted out including security certificate errors and trouble connecting to popular financial management tools like Quicken and Mint.com. Some members are not pleased because we are no longer supporting Microsoft Money. The truth is that there has not been a new version of MS Money since 2008 and even Microsoft stopped supporting the product suite nearly a year ago. The Bill Payment system has changed as well. There are some features that no longer exist such as the ability to forecast when a check will pay; not that the old system could accurately calculate the movements or inner workings of the United States Postal Service as it claimed. Probably the largest complaint has to do with the requirement of higher security including changing from an account number login to a username login and challenging the user with a security question. This new level of security has nothing to do with wanting to make things harder for the member but rather it has everything to do with making things harder for the bad guys. You see, this new system is much more than just a static list of balances. Come early next year members will have the ability to transfer funds to and from other financial institutions from within online banking. In the wrong hands this could be costly, so security is of vital importance.
More than anything else, this change was about progress. This new platform is much more flexible and forward thinking. In the near future, we will have the opportunity to provide built-in account aggregation software to show you how your money is being spent, mobile apps to manage your account on your smart phone, online card activation, wire forms, and much more.
Some of us may remember a time when someone flipped the switch and the defacto word processing and spreadsheet programs, WordPerfect and Lotus 123, went away. They were good programs, but they failed to address the functionality and compatibility demands that the competitive environment required. The future doesn’t stand still, and we will do everything to ensure our members have the tools they need and want. Thank you for your continued support and understanding, and if you have any questions, please contact your branch or call our Member Services Representative at (775) 333-4228.