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SECU gives members Another Chance on NSF fees returned checks
RALEIGH, N.C. (9/8/10)--State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is offering its members “Another Chance” against non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees and returned check charges. The new program provides members another opportunity to better control their own financial well-being, with SECU serving as an ally, the credit union said. For more than 20 years, SECU has offered a “true overdraft protection” program which is used by over 85% of the credit union’s traditional checking accountholders. True overdraft allows members to designate two SECU accounts as protecting accounts for checking. If a need arises, funds are transferred from the protecting accounts to the member’s checking. As technology has advanced, SECU expanded the true overdraft program to minimize traditional returned check charges and to serve members with alternative checking needs. SECU has completed a series of updates to its overdraft program with an “all members are good folks attitude”--with the belief that SECU members are responsible consumers and are trying to “do the right thing,” SECU said. An extension in the business day cutoff and the addition of a mobile text alert system set the stage for Another Chance. Another Chance notifies checking account-holders via text or secure message when there are insufficient funds in their checking account to cover an item. An alert provides the members with an early “wake-up-call” reminder to make a deposit by the end of the business day to avoid an NSF fee. An additional way to help traditional accountholders avoid fees is SECU’s new NSF Fee Free Days, which saved credit union members more than $3.5 million in 2010, SECU said. NSF Fee Free Days were designed for members who may make an occasional mistake with their traditional checking account. By waiving any $12 NSF fees the member may incur on two days each year, SECU said it is giving members the “break” and support that they deserve. SECU also offers the new SECU Cash Points Global (CPG) account as an alternative checking service. Already being used by nearly 7,000 SECU members, CPG was put in place as a controlled spending account/card. Since all transactions are limited to the available funds in the account, the member avoids any potential for overdraft or NSF fees. The Cash Points Global account also includes availability of direct deposit, ATM access, Visa-branded worldwide convenience, and no-cost bill pay service. Enrollment for Another Chance is online. There is no charge for the service. Members provide mobile service contact information to SECU. “It has never been the focus of SECU to benefit from members’ errors, and we feel confident that our efforts over the past two years have resulted in an overall plan that will minimize returned items and any potential fees for members,” said Sue Douglas, SECU senior vice president of operations. “Another Chance is a terrific addition to SECU’s ongoing efforts to put financial literacy into practice and keep money where it belongs-- in the pockets of our members.” Based in Raleigh, N.C., SECU has $19 billion in assets. New Federal Reserve rules give debit and ATM card users additional options regarding overdrafts. Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions must offer consumers the ability to make decisions about overdrafts for transactions made with debit or ATM cards.


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