Member Notices

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Change of Business Day effective 9/28/2016

NACHA, the electronic payment association, has adopted a rule to enable the same-day processing of virtually any electronic (ACH) transaction. This means that beginning 9/28/2016, the business day will switch over after business hours rather than at 3:00PM. Our business day will be the same as the calendar day. All electronic transactions will be posted by 6:00PM. Please disregard the 1/1/17 start date in the 4th quarter newsletter article as it is incorrect.

Currently most ACH payments that come through Amherst FCU are settled on the next business day. For example, if you purchase groceries on Tuesday and you see the transaction appear in your account on Wednesday. The new rule mandates that all financial institutions that receive electronic transactions, including Amherst FCU, must process these transactions by 5:00PM on the same day they are electronically received. Therefore, Amherst FCU must adjust our schedule to comply with this 5:00PM requirement. Please call 634-3881 with questions.

EMV Chip Card Technology

The embedded chip is becoming a standard in the U.S. for card payments and at ATMs. Visa chip cards are not only more secure, they are also simple to use. Chip cards and terminals work together to protect in-store payments. A unique one-time code is generated behind-the-scenes that is needed for the transaction to be approved – a feature that is virtually impossible to replicate in a counterfeit card.

Why does my Amherst FCU Visa® credit card now include a chip?
As chip technology will soon become the security standard in the U.S., many merchants are beginning to accept chip cards and we want you to be ready. You’ll enjoy greater security when making purchases at a chip –enabled terminal since the chip provides better protection against counterfeit fraud. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, so you’ll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally.

When will I receive my Visa® credit card with the chip?
When your current Visa® credit card expires, a duplicate card with the embedded chip will be automatically issued. Until then, use your standard card with the magnetic stripe. All cards are valid through the end of the month listed on the card. For example, if the expiration date reads 10/16 your card is valid through the end of October 2016 and a new card with the embedded chip will be issued mid October. Not all cards will have the same expiration date.

When will Amherst FCU issue chip cards for Visa® check cards and ATM Cards?
Visa® check cards will be issued with the embedded chips towards the end of 2016. Until then, use your standard card with the magnetic stripe. ATM cards require both the card and pin for transactions, therefore ATM card fraud is rare. It is for this reason that ATM cards will not be issued with the chip technology.

What is a chip card?
A chip card is a standard-size plastic debit or credit card that contains an embedded microchip as well as the traditional magnetic stripe. The chip encrypts information to increase data security when making transactions at a chip-enabled terminal.

What is a smart card or an EMV card?
You may hear chip cards referred to as “smart cards” or “EMV cards” – they’re all different ways of referring to the same type of card. Similarly, an EMV terminal is the same as a chip-enabled terminal.

Where can I use my chip card?
Many merchants across the U.S. are beginning to accept chip card transactions and this will continue to grow within the coming years. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, so you’ll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally. Your chip card will still work at terminals where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

Are chip cards secure?
Yes. Chip technology has been around for over two decades and is already the security standard in many countries around the world. When purchases are made using the chip feature, the transaction is more secure because of a unique process that is used to determine if the card is authentic. This makes the card more difficult to counterfeit or copy.
While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to our customers. Whether you use the magnetic stripe or the chip to make your purchase, you can have confidence in the protection and security features we provide for all credit and debit card accounts.
Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.

Will chip cards prevent third-party data breaches?
Chip card technology provides an additional layer of security to help reduce certain types of fraud resulting from data breaches; however, it will not prevent a data breach.

Will chip cards prevent all fraud from happening?
No. As the industry continues to develop new ways to protect consumers, perpetrators continue to look for new ways to commit fraud. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring we currently provide.

Will chip cards allow others to track my location?
No. Chip card technology is not a locater system. The chip on your card is limited to supporting authentication of card data when you make a purchase.
Do the same benefits come with my chip card that I had with my prior card?
Yes. You’ll continue to enjoy the same benefits with your chip card as you do today with your debit or credit card.

How does a chip card work?
It’s easy. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal. The chip card will remain in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, just follow the prompts as you do today.
You’ll be prompted to enter your PIN or to provide a signature as you normally would to verify the transaction. Your card can be removed from the terminal once the transaction is completed.
If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transaction made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

Now that I have a chip card, do I need to notify the credit union before I travel internationally?
We recommend that you contact us to set a travel notice on any card(s) you plan to use while traveling, so your card access isn’t interrupted.

When can I expect to receive a card with chip technology?
If you don’t have a card with chip technology today, you’ll receive one when your old card expires or needs to be reissued.

Will my chip debit card still work at an ATM?
Yes. You can continue to use your card as you do today by following the instructions at an ATM.

Are there any additional fees associated with chip cards?
There are no additional costs to have or to use your new card with smart chip technology. However, there are fees for each requested replacement of a card that still apply. There is no fee when we replace a card at expiration.

Dividend Bonus

You may have noticed an extra deposit labeled as “Bonus Dividend” on your quarterly share statement. As a not-for-profit cooperative, we give our earnings back to members through dividends, better rates on savings, lower rates on loans, lower fees and the most convenient services possible. The bonus dividend is due to the success of the credit union in 2015. So when we do well, everyone benefits!

Many accounts received an extra dividend based off of the account’s average daily balance of $100+. This is the second year we’ve been able to give a bonus dividend at the end of the 4th quarter and this year we’ve given back nearly $20,000 worth of member bonuses! Our aim is to continue this practice for the 2016 year, dependent on the yearly figures. In accordance with Federal laws, any dividend bonus over $10.00 will be reported as interest income on the 2015 1099-INT Form which you’ll receive in the mail.

Academic Planner Notice

Due to the increased costs of the yearly academic planners, Amherst FCU will no longer be producing the planners for the 2016-2017 year. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

We will continue to issue the annual desk calendars that arrive around the end of November/early December. Please note that only one calendar will be issued per member, who must be present to pick up theirs. They will be available while supplies last.