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Keeping you updated on what’s happening at SF Fire Credit Union.

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Exciting Year Ahead

Message from Marla

Having just experienced my first (and what will be my only) holiday season as the interim CEO, I’m pleased to provide an update as we begin the New Year. I continue to be impressed by the employees of SF Fire Credit Union. Their dedication to providing exceptional service is the driving force behind the organization, and why we have a loyal and engaged membership. Our membership has always been, and will always be, key to the success of the Credit Union. Whether it’s giving us the opportunity to meet your financial services needs or helping us raise funds for SF Firefighter’s Toy Program, we’re grateful for your support.

Looking Back at 2016

A year-in-review for any Credit Union should always include a review of its financials. While we’re still in the process of “closing the books” on 2016, it appears to have been another successful year. As of November 30th (and compared to year-end of 2015), the Credit Union’s assets has grown by $70 million. More importantly, our net income for the year has exceeded $7.7 million. Capital Reserves surpassed $97 million, which helps to ensure that we’ll be serving members for many years to come.
We also completed a number of significant projects to improve the level of service we provide, or to prepare us for the key initiatives we’ve got planned for the coming year. We made a significant upgrade to our core operating system to improve the performance of our current Online and Mobile Banking systems, while new replacement systems are developed. We also began production of EMV chip debit cards, which offer a higher level of security and acceptance abroad.

Key Initiatives for 2017

We have a busy year ahead, with many key initiatives planned for 2017. Highlights include several programs which have been highly anticipated by members. The re-issue of all debit cards to include EMV chip technology will begin this February, and be completed within a few months. We’ve been advised by our card processing partners to expect a Samsung and Android (Google) Pay launch this Summer. Having made the decision to work with an established Online and Mobile Banking provider (rather than utilize systems which are developed in-house), we hope to launch entirely new systems by October.

Upcoming Changes to Fees & Contact Center Hours

It’s an ongoing responsibility for us to assess and balance the needs of the membership, our employees, and the Credit Union itself. After reviewing our plans for the coming year, we decided upon several changes which will be implemented in the first quarter of 2017:

New Contact Center Hours: To better align demand (volume of calls) with the work-life balance of employees, we will be reducing our Contact Center hours effective February 1st. The Contact Center will be available Monday – Saturday from 7AM to 8PM, and closed Sundays and major holidays. As with our current ‘After Hours’ phone services, members will continue to have the ability to perform account transactions and inquires with our trusted partner, Shared Branching, when we are closed.

Changes to Fees: We reviewed our fee schedule to ensure that our services are appropriately priced, while at the same time providing enough revenue to cover our operating expenses. Just a handful of fees will be changing on March 1st, with the most notable related to ATM usage. The number of monthly ATM rebates will be reduced from twelve to six. We’ll also be limiting members to six free ‘out-of-network’ transactions per month, with a fee on each transaction performed thereafter. We expect these changes to ATM fees to impact less than five percent of our membership, and with over 30,000 surcharge-free, ‘in-network’ ATMs in the Credit Union CO-OP Network and easy-to-use ATM locator tools available, we’re confident members will continue to have easy access to cash at minimal or no cost (see “Changes to Fees” article).

In closing, I’d like to remind all that the New Year will also bring a new and permanent CEO to the Credit Union. The Board of Directors has had the privilege of reviewing a large and accomplished pool of candidates, and is confident an individual well-suited to SF Fire Credit Union will be selected in the coming months. I look forward to working with that person, and helping them assume their new position.


Marla Shepard
Interim CEO

Balance Transfer Promotion

Save with Our Lowest Promo Rate on Balance Transfers

Do you have credit card balances with other financial institutions which charge you more than 2.99% Annual Percentage Rate? If so, our balance transfer offer could be a smart choice for you. Between January 16, 2017 through February 15, 2017, we are offering a 2.99% Promo APR for 12 statement cycles on balances transferred from other financial institutions.

After February 15, 2018, your standard interest rate will apply. There is NO BALANCE TRANSFER FEE.

Click here to learn more.

Upcoming Changes to Fees and Contact Center Hours

Changes to Fees

We reviewed our fee schedule to ensure that our services are appropriately priced, while at the same time providing enough revenue to cover our operating expenses. Just a handful of fees will be changing on March 1st, with the most notable related to ATM usage. The number of monthly ATM rebates will be reduced from twelve to six. We’ll also be limiting members to six free ‘out-of-network’ transactions per month, with a fee on each transaction performed thereafter. We expect these changes to ATM fees to impact less than five percent of our membership, and with over 30,000 surcharge-free, ‘in-network’ ATMs in the Credit Union CO-OP Network and easy-to-use ATM locator tools available, we’re confident members will continue to have easy access to cash at minimal or no cost.

New Contact Center Hours

To better align demand (volume of calls) with the work-life balance of employees, we will be reducing our Contact Center hours effective February 1st. The Contact Center will be available Monday – Saturday from 7AM to 8PM, and closed Sundays and major holidays. As with our current ‘After Hours’ phone services, members will continue to have the ability to perform account transactions and inquires with our trusted partner, Shared Branching, when we are closed.

66th Annual Meeting of the Members

Join us for the 66th Annual Meeting of the Members.

We invite members to join us on February 20th for our Annual Meeting breakfast where we will present our Annual Report, announce the 2017 Arthur F. McIntyre Scholarship recipients, and get an update on the state of the Credit Union from our Interim CEO Marla Shepard and Chairman of the Board of Directors John Sweeney.

Date: Monday, February 20, 2017 (President’s Day)
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: Spanish Cultural Center (Patio Espanol), 2850 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94112

Parking will be available, and a complimentary breakfast will be served.

This event is for SF Fire Credit Union members only. For event planning purposes, members are asked to RSVP by February 15th.

2016- Another Great Year Working with the SF Firefighters Toy Program

As our long-time members are aware, we work with the SF Firefighters Toy Program each year to raise funds to help purchase toys for the children in need in our community. This year we raised over $17,000 in donations. We are not able to do this without the generosity of our members, and the active and retired members of the San Francisco Fire Department.

Santa Claus and Special Guests

We were lucky to again have Santa (retired SFFD firefighter Bob Cuff) at all four of our branches, ready to greet children (young and old), and take photos. Our friends from Engines 1, 10, 15, and 19 also came out to the branches to join in on the fun, and add some local SF Firefighter flare to our members’ photos, and their own.

Fundraiser and Bake Sale Results

It’s always a joy to have Santa and his firefighter friends at the branch, but our employees also love baking homemade goodies for our Bake Sale each year. This year our sale grossed close to $800! A big thanks to our employees for using their baking skills for a great cause, and to those who purchased items.

New Contact Center Hours as of February 1st, 2017

To better align demand (volume of calls) with the work-life balance of employees, we will be reducing our Contact Center hours effective February 1st.

Contact Center and Web Chat will now be available from
Monday – Saturday, 7:00AM to 8:00PM
Sundays, Closed

2017 Arthur F. McIntyre Scholarship

About the Scholarship

Every year, the scholarship program awards $2,500 each to two high school-level and two college-level students.

The purpose of this scholarship is to educate our members about credit unions. The essay topic explains the credit union philosophy and relating it to the individual, the community, and the country as a whole — now, and in the future.

Eligibility

  1. Student must be a member of SF Fire Credit Union in good standing.
  2. Enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited university, college, community college,
    or high school.
  3. Current grade point average of 2.5 or higher.
  4. Previous scholarship recipients must wait one year after awarding of a scholarship to apply again.

To Apply

Please complete the application packet and prompt found here
The deadline for the 2017 Arthur F. McIntyre Scholarship submissions is February 1st, 2017.

Awarding of Scholarship

Those who have been selected as scholarship recipients will be notified on or by February 17th, 2017. Recipients will be publicly announced at our Annual Meeting on February 20th, 2017, and posted on our website on February 21st, 2017.

About Arthur F. McIntyre

Arthur retired from the San Francisco Fire Department in 1976, after 30 years of service – the majority of which were spent at Engine 17, located behind the Mint at 5th and Jessie.

In addition to his career as a Firefighter, Arthur was also a veteran of WWII, a referee for both High School and College level basketball, a supervisor of the officials for the Pac Ten Conference, and was a key advocate for the improvement of working conditions for Firefighters in San Francisco.

In 1951, at the request of then Fire Chief Edward Walsh, Arthur became the first manager of SF Fire Credit Union. Through his vision and tireless efforts, Arthur served as the spark that made the Credit Union what it is today.

Message from Marla

It’s been a pleasure working with the staff, management, and elected officials at SF Fire Credit Union as interim CEO. After spending the summer familiarizing myself with the organization, I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand how this Credit Union earned its reputation within the industry for delivering exceptional service to create a fiercely loyal membership. I’m pleased to provide that membership with an update on the state of their Credit Union. I’ll offer my insight regarding our financials, significant summer projects, what’s in store for the remainder of the year, and a glimpse of our plans for 2017.

Strong Financial Position
SF Fire Credit Union continues to maintain a strong financial position. Profitability is a key to the success of any credit union, including our own, as Net Income is the only manner by which we can increase our Capital Reserves. 2016 has been a good year thus far, with Capital Reserves increasing by over $5.9 million for a total of $95.5 million.

Significant Summer Projects
It was a busy summer at SF Fire Credit Union, with time and resources spent on infrastructure projects designed to improve upon system performance, or to prepare us for the launch of upcoming endeavors. We performed significant upgrades to our core operating system, to improve the performance of our current Online and Mobile Banking platforms while their replacement systems are developed. We also completed the testing and systems preparation required for the launch of EMV debit cards, which begin production soon.

Remainder of 2016
We’ll be focusing our energy on several large scale projects for the remainder of 2016, both of which we know have been highly anticipated by members. First, is to continue work on the development of new Online and Mobile Banking platforms. We’ve made a strategic decision to move away from utilizing in-house developed systems, and will be partnering with an established Online and Mobile Banking provider for our new platforms. Our objective is to provide class leading features (such as two-factor & biometric authentication, integrated personal finance management tools, account aggregation with other financial institutions, and enhanced card controls) along with a heightened level of technical and maintenance support for the Credit Union. Second, will be the launch of EMV debit card production which begins in early October. The reissue of EMV debit cards will systematically ramp-up over the course of the coming months, as we do not have the capacity to reissue all of our debit cards at one time.

Looking Ahead to 2017
I expect the highlights of next year to include the launch of new Online and Mobile Banking systems, and the introduction of Android Pay. We expect Online and Mobile Banking to launch during the summer months (June, July, or August), and will provide members with an update when the timeline has been finalized by our provider. In regards to Android Pay, we’re optimistic for introduction in early 2017. We’re awaiting confirmation from our card processing partners, and will share that information as soon as it’s available.

The New Year will also bring a new, permanent CEO to SF Fire Credit Union. I have full faith and confidence that the Board of Directors will select an individual well suited for the organization, and look forward to assisting that person assume their new position.


Marla Shepard
Interim CEO

Run Wild San(ta) Francisco

Register now for the Run Wild San(ta) Francisco 5K and Kids Dash – the original SF Santa Hat Run.

Sunday, December 4th at Crissy Field, San Francisco (East Beach)
Register at www.RUNWILDSF.com

Schedule:
6:30AM – Check in Opens
8:00AM – 5K Race Start
8:30AM – Post Race Festival Opens
9:00AM – Kids 100 Yard Dash
9:15AM – Awards Ceremony

This event benefits the San Francisco Firefighter’s Toy Program.
BRING A TOY and/or MAKE A DONATION
The San Francisco Fire Fighter’s Toy Program will be onsite race day accepting donations of new unwrapped toys. Racers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or two on race day to donate and/or to make a donation when you register. Any donation above your entry fee will be given to the San Francisco Fire Fighter’s Toy Program and is 100% tax deductible.

ACH Direct Deposit Changes

As a benefit to our members, we often process direct deposit funds into their accounts one day earlier than the scheduled posting date, prior to us receiving the funds from the sender. However, the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) has changed the rules, as of September 23, 2016, to include additional Same Day Settlement options.

Due to these changes, payrolls, financial institutions, and agencies may elect to send their files within a different time frame than they have done traditionally. This could impact the date SF Fire Credit Union receives direct deposit files, which potentially impacts the ability to post funds early. While we may no longer be able to credit direct deposits early, your funds will still post by the pay date listed on your check.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ACH DIRECT DEPOSIT

Q: What is ACH?
A: ACH (Automated Clearing House) is an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States.
ACH transactions include direct deposit, payroll and merchant payments.

Q: What is NACHA?
A: NACHA (National Automatic Clearing House Association) is a not-for-profit trade association that manages the
development, administration, and governs the operating rules and business practices for the nationwide network
of ACH transactions.

Q: Why has NACHA implemented this new rule?
A: This rule enables ACH originators the ability to move ACH payments faster. This includes same day processing
of ACH transactions in the future.

Q: Why is SF Fire Credit Union making this change?
A: With the adoption of the NACHA Rule, we may not receive direct deposit files early to post them.

Q: Does this apply to all banks or credit unions?
A: Yes. All financial institutions must comply with the new ACH rules.

Q: When will this take effect?
A: This change takes effect September 23, 2016.

Q: Does this change affect deposits and withdrawals?
A: At this time this change only impacts ACH deposits.

Q: How may this impact the posting of my payroll direct deposit?
A. Your payroll direct deposit may not be received to post to your account until your actual pay date.

Q: What will happen if I have automatic withdrawals scheduled around receiving my deposit early?
A: You will need to modify your automatic payments based on your expected direct deposit dates determined by
your employer or depositing agency.

Q. Will this change impact my Social Security deposit?
A. Your Social Security direct deposit may not be received until your actual pay date to post to your account.

Q. Will this change impact my City of San Francisco payroll deposit?
A. Your City of San Francisco payroll direct deposit may not be received until your actual pay date to post to your account.