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    Card breaches and you

    Oct 10, 2014

    I am sure that you share my frustration and concern about the card breaches at major retailers like Home Depot and Target. There are lots of bad guys out there, and our favorite stores need to do more to protect their customers’ account information.

    KeyPoint is certainly doing our part. Credit unions and other financial institutions are subject to high data protection standards under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. But merchants do not have data protection standards. Under today’s law, there is no merchant accountability. The law needs to change!

    Protecting your personal and account information is always a top priority at KeyPoint. We use automated services to monitor all member card activity for suspicious behavior. We subscribe to proactive alerts that inform us as soon as a suspected breach has occurred. When we receive these notifications, we immediately take steps such as notifying those members who were affected, monitoring unusual account behavior, and reissuing cards. 

    If your card is compromised and fraudulent transactions occur, your credit union will stand behind you and protect you from any risk of loss. This is why the big banks immediately block their compromised cards, to try to reduce their losses. Because KeyPoint is a member-owned financial institution, we take a kinder, gentler approach and allow you 10 days before we block your card (unless you are able to come into a branch to get a new card reissued immediately).

    You can also take steps to help protect your accounts and avoid losses. Be sure to regularly monitor your checking and credit card accounts for suspicious activity, and report it immediately. Register your Visa® card(s) at Verified by Visa to help reduce online fraud.  You can find more great tips at the Federal Trade Commission’s website. 

    Although Home Depot and Target made headlines for their major breaches, merchant breaches occur regularly. Financial institutions are not usually informed where the breach occurred—just advised which accounts were compromised. Consumers have a right to know where your information was breached.

    As long as merchants are not held accountable to the same data protection standards as financial institutions, and as long as they are not held accountable for the damages caused by their breaches, then consumers will suffer. You can count on KeyPoint to take any and all possible actions to protect you!

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    Guest Blogger Sam Tuohey

    Sep 04, 2014

    Note: President/CEO Brad Canfield has asked members of his executive staff to guest author some of his upcoming Blogs, so you can get to know the key decision makers at KeyPoint. This month, Chief Operating Officer Sam Tuohey is the guest blogger.  

    It’s been almost exactly a year since I came aboard KeyPoint Credit Union as Chief Operating Officer, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had a bad day yet. I’ve worked for Bay Area credit unions for 30 years, mostly in the areas of marketing, operations, and technology. I don’t think I’ve seen as much industriousness as I’ve seen here at KeyPoint.

    There is a lot going on.

    The staff has been working very hard on our year-long computer system project, which will help us improve our direct service to you, as well as enhance KeyPoint’s self-service channels.

    Although this is a long and big project, it hasn’t kept us from making other important improvements along the way. Just this year, we’ve equipped our branches to issue debit cards to members on the spot; created a secure online wire system for members; built an online mortgage application; introduced many new digital and mobile features (e.g., Popmoney and Funds Transfer); and even launched a few new products (e.g., free Organic Checking and High Yield Savings Account). In mid-September, KeyPoint will introduce two new credit card products to members: A Visa Platinum card with a low rate, and a Platinum card with a rich rewards program.

    Each of these projects requires a lot of planning, execution and testing, most of which is done by the same people who are responsible for serving you, our member, in your regular day-to-day business. The “routine” business for KeyPoint was anything but routine this year. Membership growth at KeyPoint is triple that of other credit unions in Silicon Valley. Our loan growth, too, is substantially outpacing our peers. The same people in our loan department who installed and tested the mortgage loan system this past spring, are also generating record loan production for borrowing members.  

    Brad Canfield has mentioned in previous Blogs the excitement at KeyPoint, and the remarkable results related to members embracing our loans, checking accounts, digital delivery and other services. I’m adding my two cents to give you my perspective on this story. My observation is that the excitement from staff and from members is real, and will continue for a very long time. Everyone on staff understands that we’ll never be done making changes and improvements to our services.

    We know that many of the programs that fit our members’ needs ten years ago don’t fit well today, and need to be replaced or upgraded. That will likely be true for systems that we’re putting in place today, except they’ll probably be obsolete in less than ten years. We want to become and remain very relevant to you and our other members.

    We know what we know because you tell us. We ask and we listen. We participate in the Net Promoter Score program, receiving hundreds of comments quarterly from members. Each executive here reads each and every comment. We also send several hundred questionnaires each month to members based on specific KeyPoint transactions. These responses are also reviewed by me and my colleagues.  

    Please let us know how we’re doing. Tell us what you need, like, or dislike. We want to know.

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    Family reunion time

    Jul 01, 2014

    I have a very large family, with tons of cousins and relatives. Every July we have an enormous family reunion, hopefully in a central location since we’re scattered across the nation. But this year, the cousin-in-charge picked Maine. That’s quite a distance from California’s Bay Area. Nonetheless, it will be a fun 3-day event that always includes a historical excursion.

    Credit union members are a lot like families—we’re united by a common bond. Whether your credit union serves your co-workers, family members or neighbors in your community, you’re part of something special.

    Unlike banks, credit unions are owned by our members. When financial cooperatives were first formed, it was as simple as people coming together to help each other. And that philosophy still exists today. As a CEO, I am continually grateful that I don’t have to choose between the needs of my company’s stockholders and the needs of my customers—because you’re one and the same!

    While banks may be pressured to increase fees in order to pay higher stockholder dividends, KeyPoint continually looks for ways to lower costs for members. Although we do need to cover our expenses, our ultimate goal is to have happy members.

    June 26th was the 80th anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act, and President Obama noted that “credit unions are vital financial institutions that play an important role in our economy”.  Credit unions have nearly 100 million members nationwide, and over $1 trillion in assets.

    Credit union members have never lost a penny of insured savings at a federally insured credit union like KeyPoint. I am proud to be part of KeyPoint and the credit union industry.

    Many KeyPoint members recognize and appreciate the difference between banks and credit unions, including Ali from San Jose who said, “Friendly staff. Very unlike the BIG banks.”

    What do KeyPoint and credit unions mean to you?


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    6 fun things to do in the Bay Area

    Jun 19, 2014

    One of the highlights for me since I moved to the Bay Area two years ago has been visiting the local sites and attractions. There is so much to do here, and it’s all within driving distance. Many of our local sites are popular destinations for tourists from all over the world!

    As you gear up (or rather wind down) for the summer, below is a list of 6 fun things to do in the Bay Area. Take your KeyPoint debit card with you, and remember to check the Passport Rewards site for any applicable discounts!

    1. Beaches. I recently attended KeyPoint’s Strategic Planning Retreat with our Board of Directors at Half Moon Bay. It was my first visit to Half Moon Bay, and it’s a beautiful location! We also have Carmel, Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, and the tidepools at Moss Beach. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

    2. Napa Valley. Even if you’re not a wine connoisseur, Napa is a beautiful place to visit. Great shopping, great food, and even fun little things for the kids, like a small Old Faithful Geyser and petrified forest.

    3. San Francisco. Although it’s probably less fun during the summer when it’s packed with tourists, there’s still a lot to do in The City: Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square and the crookedest street in the world.

    4. Lake Tahoe. Fodor’s Travel says “Stunning Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, famous for its clarity, cobalt-blue water, and surrounding snowcapped peaks.” Plus casinos. What more could you want?

    5. Yosemite. El Capitán, several beautiful waterfalls, Glacier Point, Half Dome, rafting, hiking, camping. Yosemite is a great place to refresh your soul.

    6. Amusement parks. Definitely high on the “fun” scale, amusement parks like California’s Great America (don’t forget your KeyPoint discount!) and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom bring out the kid in all of us.

    I would love to hear how KeyPoint’s free Passport Rewards saved you money or helped provide a great experience—let me know! 

    Go comment!

    Family is love

    May 19, 2014

    Here in the midst of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, many of us are thinking about our parents, and maybe even assessing our own parenting skills. One consistent trait among humans is our love for our families. As children, we rely on our parents for everything. When we become parents ourselves, our children rely on us.

    There is so much to learn from each generation! Because I’m in the financial services industry, I like to observe and learn about the banking habits of different generations and different cultures.

    My mother, like many of today’s seniors, grew up in the shadow of the Great Depression. During that time, banks failed and thousands of depositors lost their life savings. As a result of that experience, my mother likes to be able to walk into a branch and “visit” her money. She would absolutely never use an online bank, or any digital services. And that’s okay!

    My teenagers, on the other hand, have no desire to visit a branch—they have way more important things to do (even if it’s only checking out the latest Instagram posts from their friends). They can’t imagine life before mobile apps, and they’re quick to embrace new technologies like mobile check deposits and Popmoney®.

    I also have 100 cousins—each with his or her own personal banking habit. And yes, I’ve surveyed many of them about their financial preferences!

    But most important, KeyPoint has over 45,000 members, so we want to accommodate the banking preferences of all generations and all cultures! That’s why we have thousands of partner branch locations, convenient mobile and online services, and a wide variety of products and services (not to mention low fees) to meet everyone’s needs.

    Enjoy your families, and let us know how we can help improve your financial life!

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    Buzzing with excitement

    Apr 21, 2014

    KeyPoint’s Board of Directors meeting was recently buzzing with excitement. Literally. It started with one buzzing bee in the room, and soon there were more. We discovered an active hive right outside our second-floor boardroom, and the bees had found a way inside.

    As you may have heard, the global honeybee population has been rapidly declining, which is having a major impact on our world’s fruit and vegetable production. As an avid environmentalist, I knew those honeybees should be safely relocated, and not exterminated. We hired a professional to relocate the queen to a more suitable environment, and we placed a bee box at the site of the old hive, so it would be easy to relocate the bees if they decided to make KeyPoint their home again.

    That same consideration for the well-being of others is what drives us at KeyPoint. KeyPoint exists to serve our members; to make your lives better; to enhance our community. Unlike banks, which have a Federal mandate to invest in their communities, not-for-profit credit unions have always instinctively contributed to our communities with generous donations of our time and money.

    Last December, KeyPoint employees and members donated to local food banks and toy drives. Every year KeyPoint organizes and presents the 5K Mission City Run at Great America, which helps fund programs benefiting education and seniors throughout Santa Clara County through the Mission City Community Fund. KeyPoint also donates time and significant funds to support the Santa Clara City Library Summer Reading Program.

    This year, KeyPoint is very excited to join our partner company Cisco in its annual March of Dimes fundraising campaign. The March of Dimes works tirelessly to help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies, and the employees at Cisco contribute generously to this important cause. Be sure to visit KeyPoint and Cisco’s booths at the San Jose March for Babies on Saturday, April 26th (8:00 – 11:30 am, Plaza de Cesar Chavez, S. Market Street and W. San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113).

    All of us at KeyPoint look forward to finding more ways to contribute to your well-being, and the well-being of our communities—even the honeybees! 

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