TIPPERARY CREDIT UNION ON LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER COVID 19

As the country begins the phases of reopening, we want to take this opportunity to thank all our members for their continued support. We hope you and your family continue to stay safe and well.

We kindly ask members to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing if it is necessary for you to visit our offices.

As we all know the last few months have been full of uncertainty and some people have had very difficult and sad times. As the country starts to reopen, we are looking at how Covid-19 has impacted Tipperary Credit Union.

Prior to Covid-19, like most other Credit Unions it was business as usual. We had a significant amount of our member transactions carried out by calling to one of our five branches. We had just launched our brand-new Current Account in February and extended our Re-Connect First Time Borrower Rate and Promotional Car Loan Rate. But as lockdown occurred our priorities changed.

Conducting Business During Covid 19     

When lockdown commenced, we had to adapt very quickly like the rest of the country. The staff immediately got on board and we divided ourselves into three teams. It was these three teams that enabled the credit union to continue to operate on a six-day basis for our members.

It was decided that Board, Committee, and Staff meetings would be conducted via conference facilities.

With people only permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons we had to change how we met with our members. Face to face contact was drastically impacted however, we were fortunate enough to already have full free online banking services for our members.

SMS pins were introduced to replace postal pins, and this ensured members who needed access to our online services quickly were able to do so in quick and secure manner.

We also introduced loan payments by debit card via our online banking service.

Our full fee online banking service allowed our members to carry out their normal credit union business from the comfort and safety of their home.

The credit union also introduced a Digital Member Onboarding platform. This allowed individuals to join and upload their documents all online. This again ensured that business was able to continue as normal and people could join safely and securely from home.

Aware that some of our members might not have access to the internet we redirected staff to our phones.  This allowed people who did not have online access to carry out transitions over the phone using their debit card.

Our Current Account and Debit Card facility which we had just launched in February allowed members to have complete access to their funds with our globally accepted MasterCard® debit card. We also took the decision to refund members the Maintenance Fee from January to June 2020. It is also important to note that there are no maintenance fees for students between the age of 16-25 and members over the age of 66 on our Current Account.

With a significant number of our members out of work and on the Covid Pandemic Payment we knew we had to help our members. So, we introduced a Loan Flexibility Request form online designed to help members if they were experiencing financially difficulty. This was crucial in alleviating our members stress about their credit union loan.

Moving Forward

We would like to reassure members who would prefer to call to any of our five branch offices located in Tipperary Town, Bansha, Doon, Dundrum and Plassey (Castletroy), that we have ensured that our members and staff safety is paramount. We have implemented social distancing, ensured that there is hand sanitiser in all offices and that the offices are cleaned on a regular basis.

For those members who would like to continue using our free online banking facilities service, we would also like to announce that we have a new E-Signature Service. This new service allows our members to apply, sign and draw-down loans up to €8,000 from the comfort and safety of their home.

We are aware that some of our members may be in financial difficulty and we would encourage them to contact a member of our credit control team on (062) 80400 who are there to help.

Community

In the interest of community spirit and with the goal of encouraging people to Stay Local, Borrow Local, Shop Local, Tipperary Credit Union teamed up with a local videographer Caleb Barrett to create 30-second video adverts for local businesses in our common bond free of charge. We want to thank all the businesses that participated and wish them all the best for the future.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to Stay Local, Borrow Local, Shop Local.

Again, I would like to sincerely thank all our Members, the Board of Directors, Management, and Staff for their support during Covid-19 and wish everyone the best of health for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Pat Shanahan

CEO – Tipperary Credit Union