The 1.7 million member State Employees' Credit Union of Raleigh, N.C., has fixed a problem in its overdraft service that the CU says has saved members roughly $24 million in fees.
The program, dubbed “Another Chance,” sends SECU members a text message when an item that would otherwise cause an overdraft posts to their account. If the member can get to the credit union's website or come into a branch and move or deposit money to cover the gap, they will not face an overdraft fee.
The $23 billion credit union said it has sent roughly 2.1 million text messages since the program launched in mid-2010 and, since it charges a fee of $12 for an overdraft, has saved its members millions of dollars.
In order to facilitate members' ability to use the program, SECU also now closes its banking day at 5:30 p.m. instead of 2 p.m., so members would have the most time possible to get any potential overdrafts covered without facing a fee.
“When it comes to managing a checking account, people occasionally make mistakes,” said Jennifer Hamrick, senior vice president of SECU Support Services.
“State Employees’ Credit Union, in an ‘outside the norm’ manner, is trying to keep those mistakes from being costly for its members – mostly because it’s the right thing to do. We’ve taken ‘Bounce Protection’ to a whole new level over the past two years – one that has truly made a positive financial difference for our members,” Hamrick said.