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Answers to Common Questions About Our Upgrades

It’s a change for the GREATER.
Answers to common questions about our upgrades.

  1. Why are you changing systems?
    Since we upgraded our website and online services back in 2015, we’ve seen new technology advancements that could add to the Greater Alliance member experience. So we began planning our next upgrade to provide members with more convenience, value and flexibility than ever before.

This upgrade gives our members access to leading edge products and services. We will be able to deliver greater speed and convenience at our branch locations, while offering more mobile and remote banking options across a variety of devices – all combined seamlessly for the kind of personalized experience you expect as a Greater Alliance member.

  1. When will the technology change take place?
    Our upgrade process will begin at 4:00 pm on Friday, March 31, 2017, continuing until noon on Monday, April 3, 2017.
  1. Which products and services are being upgraded?
    In addition to “behind the scenes” processing improvements that will allow us to serve you more efficiently, we are upgrading Greater Alliance products and services such as:
  • Online Banking and Bill Pay
  • Mobile Banking App
  • Online Loan and Account Opening Application
  • Visa® Debit Card
  • Telephone Banking
  • E-statements and Print Statements
  1. How will these upgrades benefit me?
    Many of our members told us that they wanted “anytime, anywhere” access to services – plus innovative new products. Yet they still valued the personalized service available at our branch locations.  Our upgrade is helping to bring all these pieces together:
  • Online Banking will be upgraded with an all-in-one homepage that lets you view your varied accounts and services at a glance. Using a single convenient sign-in, you can review balances, apply for a loan, pay bills, reorder checks, schedule alerts, open new accounts and much more – all as a seamless extension of the exceptional service available at any of our branch locations.
  • Similarly, our Mobile Banking App will be upgraded so that you can access all the features of Online Banking from your smartphone or tablet.
  • New products will be available for your convenience, including the innovative Popmoney® personal payments service that lets you send, request and receive money with just about anyone online or through your mobile device. You will also have access to free online money management tools such as FinanceWorks™.
  • In addition, enhanced security features will help protect your information and privacy – not only with advanced online authentication and network technology, but with our new Visa® debit card featuring an EMV computer chip to prevent counterfeiting and fraud.
  1. Will my accounts remain the same?
    While you will notice many improved features, your basic account details remain the same. For example, you will still have the same member number. Your direct deposit or automatic payment arrangements will continue to post after the upgrade, just as they did before, and your Greater Alliance dividend payments will also be unaffected.

The only changes will be simple ones. Online Banking and our Mobile Banking App will require a quick setup process to establish a new username, password and preferences for specific services after the upgrade is completed. This should only take a few moments.

  1. Will these upgrades cost me anything?
    No. This is part of our ongoing commitment to do our very best for you. As with some of our current products and services, next-day or expedited options for some new enhancements will be offered for an additional charge.
  1. Is my account and personal information going to be safe?
    Yes. To safeguard your finances and personal information, our new system will feature the very latest in multi-factor authentication and multiple layers of network protection. In addition, Mobile Banking will feature biometric authentication so that you can log in with a simple touch while still enjoying end-to-end security through 256-bit encrypted communication. An added plus for mobile users is that our cloud-based infrastructure will make it unnecessary for personal or confidential information to be stored on your device.
  1. Will I need new checks or debit cards?
    Members can still use their current Greater Alliance checks, and current cards can be used until the upgrade. For enhanced convenience and security against fraud, EMV “chip” Visa® cards will be issued to members on April 3, 2017 or as their current cards expire. New permanent cards will be issued in June to all our members who haven’t yet received EMV cards.
  1. What are “instant issue” debit cards?
    Traditionally, requesting a new or replacement card meant wait times of a week or more before delivery. Now Greater Alliance members will be able to request new cards at our branch location in Paramus and receive them during the very same visit.
  1. How can I avoid problems during the upgrade?
    We will be sharing news regularly as the upgrade approaches, so staying informed is the best way to enjoy a smooth process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Regularly visit us online at greateralliance.org/upgrade for details, and remember to verify your contact information so we can continue to get you the latest news
  • Look for helpful updates in our newsletters, social media and statement inserts
  • Be sure to schedule any new Bill Pay requests at least two weeks before March 31, 2017 to make certain that they are paid on schedule
  • Please call our Member Service Team at 1-888-554-2328 x280 if you have questions, or talk to our trained staff at any of our branches
  1. Will my local branch close during the upgrade?
    All Greater Alliance branch locations will close early at 4:00 pm on Friday, March 31, 2017. They will remain closed until noon on Monday, April 3, 2017.

During this time, our Call Centers will also be unavailable. However, members will be able to reach us via email at gro.ecnaillaretaergnull@ofni, or through social media channels such as Facebook –  facebook.com/gafcu and Twitter twitter.com/greaterway2bank.

  1. Can I use my usual credit union services that weekend?
    Limited debit and ATM transactions will be available, as well as dividend payments. But a variety of services will not be available between 4:00 pm on Friday, March 31, 2017 and noon on Monday, April 3, 2017, including:
  • Online Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • Telephone Banking
  • New Bill Pay requests
  • Online Loan application unavailable (March 30th) and new account applications unavailable (March 27th)
  • Shared branching and surcharge-free ATM use through the CO-OP Network
  • Remote Deposit Capture

We suggest that you plan ahead to keep sufficient cash on hand for the weekend, while making any new Bill Pay requests at least two weeks in advance of March 31, 2017. Online loan applications should be submitted no later than March 30, 2017.

Our goal is to help you be prepared so that this transition proceeds smoothly. For suggestions and advice, please talk with our Member Service Team at any branch location or by phoning 1-888-554-2328 x280.

  1. What happens after the credit union reopens on April 3, 2017?
    Branch and ATM services will operate as usual, but you will need to login with a new username and password for your first Online Banking or Telephone Banking session. This will only take a few moments, and we appreciate your patience during this brief transitional period. You will then be able to make full use of our upgraded products and services.
  1. Will I need to re-register for Online Banking?
    If you previously used Online Banking, you will not have to re-register after the upgrade. However, you will need to create a new login and password the first time you go online.
  2. Will my nicknames for different Online Banking accounts remain after the upgrade?
    No, you will need to assign your choice of nicknames to different accounts when you first login after the upgrade.
  3. Will my loan payments be made on time over the upgrade weekend?
    Yes.
    If you currently make scheduled loan payments using automatic deductions from your Greater Alliance accounts or those at another institution, your payment will be processed in time for the upgrade weekend.
  4. Will authorized payments or transfers work over the upgrade weekend?
    All payments scheduled through Bill Pay by March 29, 2017 will be processed. Please note, however, that new merchants and new enrollments must be added no later than March 17, 2017 in order to ensure that payees will receive their payments and be transferred to our new system.

Similarly, we recommend scheduling any transfers between your Greater Alliance accounts by March 17, 2017. Please note that any recurring transfers within Online Banking will need to be set up again after the upgrade.

  1. Can I use my current debit card for signature purchases or at the ATM?Members can make limited signature/point-of-sale debit purchases or ATM withdrawals from March 31, 2017 through April 2, 2017.

You may wish to withdraw sufficient cash before March 31, 2017 to cover any anticipated purchases, or make use of credit cards and/or conventional checks.

  1. Can I still use the same shared branches?
    During our upgrade weekend you will not be able to access your Greater Alliance accounts at CO-OP network ATMs.  After our reopening, however, you will once again be able to enjoy surcharge-free access to participating CO-OP network ATMs nationwide. To find the nearest network ATM, simply access our ATM Locator from your computer or mobile device. You can then use them for transactions such as:
  • Deposits, withdrawals and transfers
  • Account histories
  • Loan payments
  • Surcharge free cash withdrawals
  1. What happens if my tax refund tries to post during the upgrade?
    All deposits will be posted over the weekend for availability on Monday, April 3, 2017.
  1. Will early payroll be affected?
    Payroll funds will be posted late on Sunday, April 2, 2017 and will be available to you on Monday, April 3, 2017. Please make plans to have enough money available for all your needs over the weekend.
  1. Will deposit holds change?
    No.
    Deposit holds will remain the same at Greater Alliance after our upgrade.
  1. Will my Social Security check on the first of the month be affected?
    No
    . Deposits to your designated Greater Alliance accounts will not be affected, but if you typically withdraw cash on the first of the month you may wish to make other arrangements while our branch locations are closed for the upgrade weekend.