A VyStar’s Member’s Voice: Loyalty or Naïve?

A reader found my post on VyStar while searching the Internet for information.  Greg gave me permission to publish his experience.

Mr. Filson,

I just thought I’s share a few things with you concerning VyStar Credit Union (VSCU). As you are aware, they have been having trouble getting their “new improved” online banking system and mobile app back up and running. There are four things in this process that are very frustrating:

1. The CEO stated that this system was two years in the making and when they brought it up, the system was overwhelmed. What!? Two years of work have brought VSCU to it knees in a weekend. Didn’t they learn anything from the “new system” they employed in 2016? Did they not think that people would ‘Log On’ in the new system, even if they had no immediate banking need just to ‘see’ what the new features would be?

2. The mobile app (prior to the current debacle) was actually two apps. You had your normal banking app and a card control app. The card control app was a great feature. You could limit the amount to be charged or withdrawn but the greatest feature was you could turn your card on and off. With the card off, no transaction could occur at all. Well, my debit card is turned off. I can’t get cash withdrawals.

3. Transfers and linked accounts. For a while, after the new system was running, I thought it quite strange that you transfer funds to financial institutions outside of VSCU. Internal transfers were not possible (such as from savings to checking). They have since got that restored but there are still no linked accounts. In other words, I can no longer transfer funds to my wife’s checking account, and she can no longer transfer funds to our money market account.

4. Bill pay. I have had two utility bills scheduled to be paid this week. Neither have been paid when I check their websites. When I got a hold of VSCU via chat, I was told that yes, they went out and to not worry about it. Since it is recorded and I have a confirmation number, all is okay. Well, tell that to the utility companies who have not been paid. I paid both with a credit card to avoid late fees and disconnects.

Thank you.

In response to my question of how long he had been a member and when he found the post, he replied:

I have been a member for 35 years.  I joined when I was stationed in Florida.  VSCU has been vitally important in my family’s lives.  We have lived in several states and kept them as our financial institution. From, checking, savings, money market accounts, loans, and credit cards, they have been “ours”.  We now live in Alabama and are retired.  I have now seriously considered leaving VSCU but have been hesitant.  Call it loyalty or naive!

IRT some members have voiced concerns about the BOD in Facebook and voiced opinions about cleaning house.

I have posted on FB about one of the utility bills I mentioned.

As for where I heard about your blog, I stumbled across it.  I did a search on my browser “VyStar Credit Union in the news”.  In the browser search results was “When the music stopped for VyStar…”.  I’m glad I saw it and read it.  That is why I subscribed.

An update on the utility bill:

I have an update on one of my bills.  It was finally paid on the 17th, albeit four days late.  

For credit unions, trust is re-earned every day, even for a member of 40 years.  This goodwill is the foundation of every cooperative’s sustainability.

One Reply to “A VyStar’s Member’s Voice: Loyalty or Naïve?”

  1. What should we expect of a cooperative, unless we’re willing to step behind the counter and engage?

    When we witness a disruptive event at a credit union, the members are caught unaware… and I would argue that this should NEVER happen in a cooperative.

    We take such pride in our coop branding… and then we set up retail boundaries that act like curtains to shield our members from How The Sausage Is Made. Who’s to blame when the sausage comes out wrong, and hurts our members?

    I’m consulting with a credit union on their upcoming core conversion, and I’m following this topic closely. In contrast with NYMBUS, our new core has a long and successful track record, and will easily scale at volume… that was part of the due diligence.

    But inviting members to have a seat at the table is an important element in designing a successful core+online+card conversion.

    A key leadership lesson as an organization scales up is to increase the frequency and depth of communication. In non-coops, this applies to employees and governance groups. In coops, this extends to members.

    Even the most fundamental message… “you’re the owner!”… is rarely communicated effectively. Sure, it’s in our branding. But how often is it in our actual deeds?

    Chip, your blog is called, “Just a Member”. I appreciate the irony.

    “I’m a Member, Dammit!”
    (Vickie Schmitzer, I owe you $5).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *