Youth Bursary Creates Wave of Excitement

On March 15th OCUF did a soft launch of our new Youth Bursary program. That same day we sent a note to all of our member credit unions advising the online application process was live and that we hoped they would help promote the bursaries to their members.

student2We are delighted to say we have had a tremendous amount of interest from our member credit unions. Many comments were received of how thrilled they are to participate. The concept behind the bursary is member credit unions co-brand the web banners and in-branch posters with their logo in a prominent way. In much smaller font, we include “Powered by OCUF.”

Board Chair Dan Coldwell of PACE Credit Union commented, “New, different, better. That is the way we are helping credit unions in Ontario.” He went on to say “The Youth Bursary is an excellent way to put an exclamation point on how important youth education is to Ontario Credit Unions and our Foundation.”

In the inaugural year OCUF is making available a minimum of 40 awards. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,500. Criteria is detailed on the site, but primarily looks for students who are in financial need and who are good community citizens. We are offering a paper free online application process. Students log into and can return to as needed to complete their submission. Application deadline is June 15th.

Outstanding Corporate Achievement Award

awardNominations are now open for the Outstanding Corporate Achievement Award!

Let’s celebrate excellence.

The Board yesterday approved changes to the award process. The first was to remove the criteria that a credit union was not eligible for nomination if they had a staff person serving as a Director. If that is the case, the Director will now declare a conflict of interest and will excuse them self from discussion of nominees and the selection of a winner. The second change was to move away from a process focused on numbers and ratios to one the focuses on impact in your communities.

The intent has been to use ratios to try and level the playing field between large, medium and smaller sized credit unions. We feel with these changes, nominees have a better opportunity to “tell their story” of the impact their organization and their staff are making.

Nomination deadline for Outstanding Corporate Achievement Award is April 15th. If you have any questions, please call Clayton or Devon.

Changing The Game

Biz_Mag_coverA well written article (accompanied by terrific photography) showcasing four credit unions operating in the Niagara – Hamilton – Halton areas featured in Biz Magazine.

Each CEO discuss a brief history of their credit union and share some thoughts on credit union relevance. There are plenty of examples of community involvement and how credit union engagement is different from other organizations.

Kelly McGiffin highlights FirstOntario’s “smooth and exciting sailing” over the past eight years and explains why someone should consider switching from a bank to a credit union. He references the recent provincial government decision to increase deposit insurance to $250,000.  He states “Good, solid banking products at good solid prices and the rest goes back to our communities.”

Meridian’s Bill Maurin discusses expansion plans and changes in their business model to accommodate product availability online. He says much of their success is because of local branch managers have the authority to decide what their communities need most.

PenFinancial’s ever smiling Bob Watson acknowledges they are not a big as some but have effectively carved out a niche by serving customers “exceptionally well.” He gives some examples that established the credit union as one who really cares about their members.

Doug Mann CEO of HMECU boasts they are the oldest original credit union in Ontario. Again his comments reflect the focus on the financial wellness of their members and their communities. The article highlights numerous causes and events HMECU supports, not just with money but with staff volunteers.

McMaster University business professor Marvin Ryder credits the cooperative banking campaign with raising credit union awareness. When Ryder is asked why do people join a credit union he says “They are not at bank. It’s just that simple.” “They’re a little more of people helping people.”

Site Secured!

HTTPS_iconYou might have noticed the little green “secured” padlock to the left of the URL. Then again maybe you didn’t. Perhaps you should be looking out for it. Here’s why.

If you are uploading financial information or personal contact information it is a good idea to look for the lock and the https:// prefix to the URL. It provide a comfort level that your data is secure. OCUF secured our site as we respect your privacy and want to make your dealing with us are as secure as we  can make them. You would be wise to NEVER provide credit card information to any site that doesn’t have the little green lock showing.

Here is a an explanation from Wikipedia:

HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet. HTTPS consists of communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security or its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer. The main motivation for HTTPS is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.

Historically, HTTPS connections were primarily used for payment transactions on the World Wide Web, e-mail and for sensitive Comodo-Secure-Site-Sealtransactions in corporate information systems. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, HTTPS began to see widespread use for protecting page authenticity on all types of websites, securing accounts and keeping user communications, identity and web browsing private.

OCUF chose to obtain our security certificate from Comodo, a leading Internet Security Provider.