Having a current account with a bank is one of those activities a lot of people don’t give a second thought to once they’re signed up. Sure they’re all the same anyway. Aren’t they?
Well, even if they are, who says that your current account has to be with a bank? The world has moved on and there are other options out there right now that the banks would rather you didn’t know about.
One such option is MYCU, the new current account being offered by local credit unions. With MYCU, you’ll get your debit card, a dedicated app and all the trimmings that comes with having a current account - but you also get so much more.
Gerry Reynolds, CEO of Castlecomer Credit Union (above), answers some of our questions about MYCU below. Have a read. It might be the best decision you’ll make for a while!
Q. Hi Gerry, could you just tell us a little bit about MYCU, the new current account option available here and being rolled out to credit unions across the country?
The MYCU Current Account is a full service account, bringing you all the features you have come to expect from a current account delivered with the same local, trustworthy service of your credit union.
The MYCU debit card can be used in shops, pubs, ATMs, you can get cashback, use it internationally, it can be used virtually for everything that can be used on the day ordinary debit card. The card will also be fully compatible with Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Q. It’s a challenging time in the banking sector at the moment. Big players such as Ulster Bank and KBC have left the market so how can the credit union fill this gap? Will they be able to?
I think the credit union movement is in a perfect position to fill that gap.
Looking beyond the banks that are leaving the market, and at the ones remaining in it, it’s clear that the customer facing side is dying off. If you go into your local bank, say you want to get a bank statement, it’s at least five, six working days.
If there’s nobody available, you’re trying to do it on a machine and not everyone is able to work those machines because we’re not all tech savvy. So that’s the first thing.
The second thing is the personal touch which has been lost in the bank. We will centralise our customer service. We are aiming for a four minute turnaround to customer calls.
With a bank, you could be waiting four hours. It has become a real pet peeve for banking customers as of late. I used to work for people who were in mortgage trouble. One day I spent three and a half hours on hold. There’s no reason for that. No excuse for that.
Q. So let’s say I decide to switch over my current account from my current bank to my local credit union. What other perks come with being an active credit union member that I won’t get with a bank?
Firstly, if you take one of the simplest benefits, your loans are insured. So anybody who gets a loan from a credit union under the age of 80, their loan is fully insured. There are savings protection as well.
We’ve now reached an agreement which we hope to put in place in June where life cover, house cover, travel cover, investment cover, and hopefully motor cover will also be available to our members.
We will be able to provide these services for our members whilst providing proper one-to-one professional advice.
Castlecomer currently has no insurance broker. Why should local people have to go to Kilkenny or Carlow for house insurance? Why can’t we provide it? We soon will.
Q. Purely from a practical perspective, is it difficult to switch current account provider? Do you help people make the transition?
People are nervous about switching bank accounts. I know that because I’m actually in the process myself.
There’s a few ways of doing it. You can do it yourself or allow us to do it manually or we can use what’s called a switcher process. We will talk you through every step of the way if that’s what puts you at ease.
We’re here to make this transition as easy and seamless as possible. We will leave you in no doubt as to whether you’re making the right choice.
Listen, we’re not a bank but we will do the same things that banks will do for the purpose of filling the gap in the market. We won’t be standing around here at the end of the year saying ‘oh, we didn’t make enough money’. None of that enters into it.
That’s not the ethos of any credit union.
Q. So if I switch my current account over to the credit union, I’m in safe hands? How does the future look for you?
The future is very simple. We’ll have our current account firmly in place. We’ll have insurance products in place. We’ll have a situation where a member can come in here and do everything they need to do whether they’re 18 years of age, or 95 years of age.
By having a current account with your local credit union you will also be actively supporting and futureproofing your own community.
We here in Castlecomer give thousands back to the local community every year. Last year, we did Tidy Towns here. We have three or four community projects lined up now that’ll see significant investment in charitable and good causes.
When the current account product starts to progress, and more and more people start to deal with us, that will generate even more profit but that profit is not for us. We will look at that and see how much more we can put back into the community.
We invest in people. We support communities. We’ll support you every step of the way. We’d be honoured if you gave us the chance! Switch to us today. We’re only a phone call away.
Interested? Call into Castlecomer Credit Union, phone 056-4441368, or visit castlecomercu.ie to find out more!
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