We have a member who is on a trip of a lifetime! It is one of those riverboat cruise trips in Europe. Actually, it is a “barge and bike” trip where you go from city to city on the barge and then bicycle around the various towns, historic sites, and wineries! 10 days into his two-week vacation the barge sank.
Auto Rental Collision Damage (if he rented a car and it was damaged)
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation (in case of a medical emergency)
Lost Luggage Reimbursement (if the barge is considered a common carrier and if he charged the barge trip on his SRIFCU Visa)
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption
Trip Delay Reimbursement
Note that all of these extra benefits have various conditions and limitations. You can find all the extra benefit disclosures on our website. One limitation that is common to all these benefits is that you have to have used your SRI Federal Credit Union Visa card (debit or credit) for the initial purchase to qualify for the benefit.
I hope this member charged his trip on his SRIFCU credit card!
P.S. This is also the member that I wrote about in a Hello World story that charged a rental car with his SRIFCU Visa – and then went out and got hit by a deer! He was able to get reimbursement from the auto rental collision damage waiver.
Once upon a time, there was a little chick named Henrietta. Growing up, Henrietta had nothing – no feathers, no car, no house, and no money.
On April 17th our new website goes live! That’s right, this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke. Our staff has worked long and hard to bring you a new and improved website.
In 1957, a group of seven SRI Researchers came together to establish this credit union. They pooled their money ($5.00 each), and the credit union was born. For the first several years, it was run out of a closet. From this first $35, SRI Federal Credit Union (SRIFCU) has grown to more than 3,500 members strong, with ten employees and assets surpassing $83 million.
As we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, we do so knowing that we have made a real difference in the financial lives of our members and in the lives of their families over the decades. Here’s a look back at our last 60 years:
- In the 60’s,ten years after the credit union started, as SRI International was inventing the mouse, Shakey the Robot, and the Internet, SRIFCU had grown to $2.3 million in assets and the members records were on a computer system at a service bureau.
- By 1977, the credit union doubled again to $5.2 million, while SRI International designed and built the first fax machine and established the operational parameters for the international wire system (SWIFT). Interest rates were close to 6% on savings accounts then!
- In the 80’s, the credit union grew to $16 million, saving rates were 9% and used auto loans were at 16%. Member’s records were moved to an in-house computer system.
- The 90’s were a period of declining rates and growth in financial products. ATM and Credit Cards were introduced, an automatic phone teller system, and real estate lending started accelerating.
- In 2000, when the real estate crisis occurred, we worked with our members to help keep their homes and their vehicles and by 2007, the credit union had grown to $47 million in assets.
- In 2017, as we celebrate 60 years in service, the credit union is $83 million in assets, over $7.2 million in capital and 3,600 members! Members enjoy a wide variety of services and products including 307 real estate loans, 407 auto loans, 1,629 Visa accounts, and 17 student loans.
- What will financial services over the next 60 years look like? Will we have credit cards? Or will all transactions be done on your cell phone? Will there be cell phones? Or will you just blink your passcode through your wireless internet glasses? Will we have passcodes anymore or just rely on thumbprints? Find out at the 60th annual meeting, which will be held at noon on Wednesday, March 15th in the International Building. Be sure to come and find out what “banking” will be like in the year 2077.
Our members are our first priority. The Board of Directors, Supervisory committee, and our staff are driven to make this year, our 60th, even better as we gear up for the next sixty years!
As you were promised in the December Hello World, we have decided to move our newsletter to a faster and more convenient delivery method. Our new blog will give us a unique opportunity to share updates, smart financial content, the latest news, tools and tips.
This is the 60th issue of the Hello World newsletter – just in time for the credit union’s 60th anniversary next year. The members of SRI Federal Credit Union have been a delight to interview and get to know! New and unusual things we have explored include space weather, programming mobile satellites, and how researching infectious disease
After 60 of these printed issues, we have been looking at delivering the newsletter in a faster and more convenient fashion. With so many of the members using online banking and receiving eStatements, it is time to convert the Hello World newsletter to a completely online version. Whether this takes the form of a PDF, blog, or some sort of social network, we will continue to look to you for ideas on how to make it interesting and useful! With the flexibility of an electronic format, we can share stories more often than once a month.
Other exciting changes in the coming year will include a new online banking platform, a redesigned website, and improvements to the mobile app. You may have noticed that our loan rates continue to be some of the lowest you can find, and new product offerings are in the works! See you at the annual meeting in March, where we will be celebrating the credit union’s 60th anniversary!
Thanks for your membership and happy holidays!
Steve Bowles CEO/CFO
When I heard a member say “I had an encounter with a hot engine,” a lot of disastrous possibilities crossed my mind. First of all, “Was anyone hurt?” Not exactly, but there was an “injury.” So my next question was, “Was it a serious injury?”
No – the injury was actually to our member’s credit card; its run-in with a hot engine caused the card to melt!
While showing this card to various employees, some of the responses included “I knew he used the card a lot, but I’ve never seen one melt due to overuse,” and “You can charge anything on our cards, but they can’t be used to charge a shotgun shell.” Eager to get a new card, the member asked us to “light a fire under the staff’s feet!” No need – we have an instant-issue card machine in the office, and we can print a new one on the spot.
This card was recently rediscovered in a member’s loan file – yes, we do clean them out from time to time. Notice how the above card features the old “floating heads” logo, while our current cards display the new “connected world” logo. Cards are now being issued with computer chips embedded in them as an added layer of security to combat fraudulent transactions. If you would like one of the new chip cards prior to your current card’s expiration date, please let us know; we will be sure to fire one off to you.
If you don’t have an SRI Federal Credit Union debit or credit card yet, give us a call, and we will load them in the card engine, yell “fire in the hole,” and burn one for you. Feel free to let your family know this Thanksgiving that they are eligible for credit union membership, where they can get the hottest card in town!
Thanks for your membership!
Steve Bowles, CEO
SRI Federal Credit Union
There have been a lot of changes behind the scenes at the credit union recently. We have a new chip card machine that instant-issues cards (debit and credit) in our office. Chip cards are also known as EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) cards. They reduce fraud by creating a one-time passcode for every transaction and will also improve acceptance of cards in the United States and abroad.
Rick Valderrama (project lead) has been working very hard with a group of members to beta-test the new cards. The pilot program has a lot of moving parts, including new card designs, new encryption keys, a new server and crypto box, and changes to the method of reordering existing cards. The new cards have been successfully tested on a number of different transaction types. They work great and we will be rolling them out soon to all members. If you are eager to get one, please let us know! They are available now. If you see Rick around, say “thanks” for a great job on this!
Get extra cash in your pocket when you bring your auto loans to the credit union. In October, November and December, receive 1% cash back (up to $500) when you bring your auto loan home to the credit union. In addition, there are no payments required for the first 90 days!
Home loan rates are at an all-time low! If your home loan is not here at the credit union, this might be the chance to reduce your rate and your payments! Feel free to give our loan expert, Apryll Held, a call at 714.513.7251 or 800.200.4889 x7251.
Not only are 30-year fixed-rate loans very low, but the credit union’s 5/5 program is very attractive! The rate is fixed for five years and then changes only once every five years. Regardless of your needs, give us a chance to see if we can refinance your loan over to the credit union. (We have home equity loans, too!)
Shush – Don’t tell anyone! We have a super-secret project to revamp our home banking into a “mobile first” system next year. If you would like to be in on this early, let us know and we will add you to the pilot program team. Again, thanks to all our beta-testers! YOU make us better!