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    Give your dog a treat

    Jan 22, 2014

    As we transition into another new year, I like to reflect on our accomplishments during the past year, and think about everything we want to accomplish in the coming year. It’s the same approach I take with training my Golden Retrievers—I acknowledge and reward their accomplishments, and take steps to bring them to the next level.

    2013 was a busy year for your credit union. Our priority, as always, is to provide you with excellent products and services to improve your financial well-being. Here is a short list of the major enhancements:

    - We eliminated 26 fees to help save you money
    - Our service level improved, as based on surveys from the membership
    - We launched a new free checking product, Organic Checking
    - We introduced mobile apps, and the ability for you to deposit checks on smart phones and tablets
    - We launched a new website with easier navigation and enhanced content
    - We expanded our mortgage product line to include more products to meet your needs

    Although KeyPoint turns 35 this year, you actually can teach an old dog new tricks. Here is a sneak peek at the enhancements we have planned for this year:

    - Instant-issue debit cards available at all KeyPoint branches (no more waiting 7-10 business days to receive your card by mail!)
    - Popmoney so you can send money to friends and family through Online and Mobile Banking
    - Funds Transfer so you can transfer money between your KeyPoint accounts and your accounts at other financial institutions
    - A new locator tool on our website and mobile site so you can quickly and easily find one of the 30,000 fee-free ATMs or 5,000 shared branch locations
    - New credit cards with your choice of rewards or a low rate
    - A simple online mortgage application process
    - A new Wealth Management partner with a broad line of financial planning and investment products and services

    These projects are a lot of work, but you’re worth it! So as I tell my Retrievers, “good job, good dog, and here comes the treat!”

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    Not every oyster has a pearl

    Jan 02, 2014

    One of my hobbies is raising oysters. Contrary to popular belief, not every oyster is capable of producing the beautiful pearls that become jewelry. Kumamoto Oysters provide me with a different pleasure—delicious eating, sharing my bounty with friends and family, and learning about these fascinating creatures that were first introduced to the United States from Japan in 1902.

    But even when you have the right oyster, you can’t always find a pearl. Much of the same can be said about financial institutions. We all have checking accounts, loans, online banking, ATMs, and low interest rates (good if you’re a borrower, bad if you’re a saver). The big banks have reputations for treating customers poorly, and the smaller ones typically provide a better customer experience.

    So where are the pearls? I suggest that you don’t look for a rare pearl, but instead find a financial institution that will feed you for life. Kids Savings Accounts should be free, and encourage children to start saving young. Teenagers need special accounts and online education to set the stage for future financial success. Young adults should have special consideration for that first car loan and credit card. First-time homebuyers deserve a home loan that doesn’t use up all their income. And those of us in our comfortable middle years should have investment and retirement planning advice from someone who isn’t just trying to make a profit.

    My New Year’s Resolution is to help KeyPoint become like my oysters—feeding our members through the good and bad times, always making sure to provide you with sustenance. We have good products and services, but we want to make them even better. We have lots of ways for you to access your accounts, but we want to make it even easier. And someday, I hope that some of our members will feel that KeyPoint is like a rare pearl.

    Happy New Year!

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