Dear Valued Member:
From all of us at Firstmark Credit Union, we would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2018! As we wrap up another year and reflect back on 2017, we are certainly grateful for our loyal members. After all, we exist because of you!
Looking back at 2017
In 2017, the credit union began taking steps to improve the member experience. Simply put, banking should not be complicated; it should be simple, easy, and even fun. Whether you choose to visit one of our financial centers, call our member care center, or use our mobile app, doing business with us should require minimal effort. At Firstmark Credit Union, we refer to this concept as the “low-effort member experience.” In 2017, the credit union converted to a new overdraft protection program; our goal with this conversion was to provide members with a program that was both consumer-friendly and helped people to avoid unnecessary fees and frustration. Thus far, the new overdraft protection program has proven to be very successful. This year, the credit union also took steps in our Member Care Center to minimize call waiting times and to ensure our employees had the right tools and information to assist members. During this past summer, our average wait time reached 9 minutes and 12 seconds. Today, the average wait time is 1 minute and 40 seconds. With a renewed focus on keeping things simple, our average wait times have significantly improved. However, we are not nearly finished, and our team continues to work diligently to decrease wait times even further.
The credit union implemented a key improvement to the debit card program in 2017. To ensure our members were not inconvenienced when making larger purchases, debit spending limits on signature-based transactions were increased to $2,000 per day. These purchases require a signature at your local retailer and include online purchases. Debit spending limits on PIN transactions were also increased to $1,000 per day. We know you have a busy life, and we hope to continue making enhancements that will make your life better.
Several months ago, a storm damaged our Huebner Financial Center and resulted in an unexpected five-month closure. However, this unfortunate situation had a silver lining; it provided the credit union with an opportunity to provide our members with a full remodel of this location. While the grand re-opening of the Huebner Financial Center is scheduled for early 2018 due to the construction of a new teller line, we were able to re-open the financial center with limited services in December 2017. More information on the re-grand opening will be shared in the coming weeks.
Last but not least, the credit union is continually striving to safeguard your personal information. To enhance the security of your information, the credit union has implemented security alerts for online banking members. Members can now receive alerts when changes have been made to a member’s account. For example, a change in phone number or email address would prompt an alert. The messages ensure the account settings were changed by the member and not an unauthorized user.
Looking forward to 2018
The old adage, “New Year, New You,” spurs many different feelings. For some, “new” means fresh or different. For others, it can mean unfamiliar, which can be unsettling. For us, a new year presents us with a renewed opportunity to serve our members even better. The credit union continues to perform in-depth reviews of all member processes. Firstmark Credit Union operates in a very competitive market with limited resources; as a result, the credit union must continually take steps to ensure members are receiving the highest value for their membership. Having a prudent cost structure is critical to providing you with competitive rates and low fees. In 2018, we are taking more steps to prudently manage resources while enhancing the member experience. On March 1, 2018, the Southwest Military Financial Center will be consolidating with the Zarzamora Financial Center. This consolidation allows us to redeploy limited resources to better serve our members in the long run. The friendly employees from the Southwest Military Financial Center will be moving about a mile down the street to the Zarzamora Financial Center and to other surrounding financial centers. At the same time, the credit union will also be streamlining hours of operations across all financial centers to ensure more consistency of service and to reduce wait times during peak hours. On March 1, 2018, all San Antonio financial centers will operate under the same hours of operation. By utilizing limited resources efficiently, the credit union can carefully manage expenses while offering competitive prices and high-value products in a very competitive market. Our new San Antonio hours are provided below.
Weekday Hours (Monday – Friday)
Lobby (9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.)
Drive-thru (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
Lobby (9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
Drive-thru (9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
As a reminder, there are many avenues for our members to interact with us. Our financial centers are equipped with ATMs that accept deposits and cash withdrawals. Our mobile app allows members to make deposits using a mobile device. The credit union offers a night deposit drop service. Without exiting the vehicle, a member simply drives up, completes the deposit slip, and drops the payment in a secure box within the financial center for next business-day processing. Our Member Care Center is also open Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In 2018 and beyond, you can expect your credit union to keep working diligently to improve your banking experience. For example, we are in the process of evaluating and making improvements to our online and mobile banking experience. We know you have a busy life, and we are fully committed to simplifying banking for you.
In closing, I want to thank you once again for choosing to be a member of Firstmark Credit Union. We know you have many choices in the market, and we are glad you chose to be a member of this credit union. I want to thank our employees for working tirelessly to improve the lives of our members and small businesses. Lastly, I want to thank the Board of Directors for their leadership and tireless commitment to representing the best interests of our members. On behalf of Firstmark Credit Union, I wish you and your family the best!
President / CEO