I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we experience extraordinarily high demand for teller and call center services. We are aware wait times are longer than are typical of GSCU and continue to do our best to respond to your needs as quickly as we possibly can. I personally ask for your patience as you interact with our employees who are doing the best they can to meet your needs for information and cash access.
This message is designed to provide you with more detailed information and some tips on accessing your accounts as quickly and conveniently as possible.
First, our branches are operating in drive up only mode with limited pre-scheduled in lobby appointments. The reason for this is that with cases in NH rising, our employees, like other NH residents, have had higher instances of positive exposures to COVID 19 cases necessitating quarantines and in some cases, employees have become ill with the virus. By moving to limited lobby traffic, we are able to divide our branch staff into two teams. When one team experiences a need to quarantine, we then have a second team able to continue to operate the location and serve members. On days when a team is not in branch, they supplement our call center or lending services via phone. By operating this way since prior to Thanksgiving, we have minimized the spread of the virus while also preserving the ability to keep each location open to you for drive up services. Spread of the virus amongst staff has led to other institutions experiencing week long closures at various locations while we have not yet had to make that decision.
As a result of this, wait times are longer. Our staff are doing the best they can to respond to each of you as quickly as possible while adhering to safety protocols we have in place. I ask that you treat our employees with respect and be kind as they continue to serve you. We evaluate the branch operations on a daily basis and will reopen lobbies as soon as cases in NH begin to decrease again. Our primary goals in operating in drive up mode are 1) to continue operations at each location regardless of how many employees are on quarantine and 2) protect the safety of our members and employees from the spread of the virus.
Second, at the same time, transaction volumes are at unprecedented levels due in part to the release of economic stimulus payments. GSCU posts all ACH deposits, such as those for the economic stimulus, up to 2 days prior to the posting date, thus making funds available to you earlier than other financial institutions who wait for the actual posting date before making your deposit.
Members in larger numbers than we have ever experienced are calling and logging in to check on stimulus deposits. This extreme increase in volume has destabilized mobile banking and online banking channels nationally and has impacted GSCU call volumes dramatically. We have reassigned additional staff to answer calls but wait times are still sporadically high. The peak call, drive up and mobile login times seem to be 8 am to 11 am so if you are able to call, log in or visit a drive up location at a later time, the wait times will likely be shorter.
How can you access your funds more quickly?
- We temporarily increased the ATM withdrawal limits on our machines to allow withdrawals up to $1,000 enabling members to withdraw the recent stimulus payments and eliminating the need to go to a drive up teller to obtain this cash. Two transactions may be required to withdraw your full amount depending upon individual machine limits.
- Our technology partner has added capacity so that mobile banking and online banking are smoothly handling more sign on attempts than were previously supported.
- When using your debit card at merchant locations, you can consider requesting cash back from your purchase to obtain cash without adding a trip to our drive up to your “to do” list.
- And if you have not tried out our suite of electronic services including mobile deposit, mobile wallet and online banking and bill pay, now is a good time to take a look and start using these access channels which minimize the need for cash and waiting in line for transactions. More information is available at gscu.org/access.
- Incoming stimulus paper checks may be deposited electronically as well and are generally available for use the same or next day at the latest. We anticipate members who are paper based receiving these soon.
We expect that additional stimulus funds may be authorized later this year so having these automated options set up on your account will speed up your access to your funds now and in the future.
GSCU continues to remain strong and well-capitalized. Our experienced management team and staff strive every day to meet your needs in every way possible. 2020 saw record levels of consumer and mortgage loans originated to our members. Both consumer and mortgage loans can be applied for online at gscu.org. In addition, consumer loans for vehicles, toys, and personal loans can be completed from application to closing completely electronically from the convenience of your home. Mortgage and equity loans can be started and processed electronically with only the closing requiring in person signatures! We stand ready to meet your lending needs at all times.
Lastly, we are replacing our former small Nashua branch location with a new, larger branch at 190 Broad Street in Nashua that is under construction now with a planned opening this summer. This will alleviate drive up pressure from the Amherst branch which has absorbed Nashua traffic. This new branch is being built with multiple drive up lanes to better handle anticipated volume.
As always, you can email myself or our Executive Team directly from our “Talk to the CEO” button on our website. Your business is important to us and we appreciate your patience as we navigate the days ahead. Please remember that our primary goals surrounding all decisions we make are 1) to continue operations at each location regardless of how many employees are on quarantine and 2) protect the safety of our members and employees from the spread of the virus. Thank you for your support and membership!