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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Credit Union Week Celebrates How Credit Unions Are Helping Mainers Thrive From October 15-21, 2017, nearly 695,000 Maine residents who belong to a credit union will join in the annual worldwide celebration of International Credit Union Week. Across the globe, there are more than 231 million credit union members belonging to over 68,000 credit unions in 109 countries. For over six decades, credit unions have set aside the third Thursday in October to celebrate International Credit Union Day. This year’s theme, “Dreams Thrive Here,” is meant to serve as a reminder of how effective credit unions are at helping all people pursue and achieve their biggest dreams in life. Looking at all of the choices available in the financial services industry, the credit union difference is clear: no matter where you are, credit unions are 100% focused on meeting and exceeding members’ financial services needs. With credit unions, every member is an owner with an equal vote in the election of the credit union’s volunteer board of directors. There are no stockholders at credit unions, and earnings are returned to members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher rates on savings, or are invested back into the credit union to provide more of the services that members need and want. Whether a Maine credit union is providing a loan to help a member make their home more energy efficient, giving financial counseling to a member whose company closed its doors, or simply offering a better deal on a used car loan, credit unions are supporting and serving their © XTRAVAGANT / ADOBE STOCK

members and the community as a whole. Locally or internationally, during International Credit Union Week or at any time of the year – a Maine credit union is where you know your money will stay local, be safe, and great service is guaranteed. Becoming a credit union member couldn’t be easier! There is a credit union for everyone. Use these tips to find the Maine credit union that’s right for you: •

Visit www.mainecreditunions.org, or call the Maine Credit Union League’s Member Services division toll-free at 800-442-6715.

Talk to your neighbors. Some credit unions have a “community” field of membership, serving a region defined by geography rather than by employment or some other association. Ask friends in your community if they know of a credit union you may join.

Ask family members. See if anyone in your family is a member of a credit union, in your community or out-of-state. Ask them about their experiences.

Ask your boss. Your company may sponsor a credit union or may be part of a sponsored group that has access to a credit union. Many employers will directly deposit your paycheck to the credit union.

Become a member today and discover the value of becoming an owner of your financial institution!


Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

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Your Credit Union is With You Wherever You Go With Shared Branching! You’ve just arrived at your vacation destination with your family and realize you forgot to make a loan payment before you left. No worries – because as a credit union member, you belong to a Shared Branch network of 175 locations statewide – nearly three times as many branches as any bank in Maine! Because credit unions are uniquely cooperative, they are able to band together to provide the second largest branch network of any financial institution in the nation after Wells Fargo. Whether you are just across town or on vacation far away, as a credit union member, you will have access to nearly 2,000 credit unions, or over 5,600 locations, thanks to the CO-OP’s Shared Branching network. With Shared Branching, members are able to make deposits, withdrawals, transfers, or loan payments at any participating credit union like it is their own. Even in today’s digital age, 44% still prefer to use a traditional branch. If you’re still wondering why you should use Shared Branching, here are five reasons to start. 1.

It’s convenient.

Whether you’re traveling out of town or moving away, you can keep your money right where it is – in your home branch – and still conduct transactions.

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2.

3.

4.

It’s accommodating. When you visit a Shared Branching location, you can access your accounts, deposit checks, and make loan payments just like you can at your home credit union. It’s supportive. Credit unions work together to provide members with the best services. When you use these services, you are supporting your credit union so it can continue to serve you. It’s easy. Download the CO-OP Shared Branching app for iPhone or Android

or go to co-opsharedbranching.org for a full list of Shared Branch locations nationwide and across the globe.

5.

It’s free.

That’s right – Shared Branching is all about giving you the best service at no cost to you.

To locate a branch near you, visit www.mainecreditunions.org/find-a-shared-branch/.


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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

The SURF ATM Network is One More Reason Credit Unions Are the Smart Choice for Your Money! How would you like to save an average of $300 a year on surcharge fees? You can with the SURF Surcharge-Free ATM Network! No matter where you are in the state – from Portland to Presque Isle, or Brunswick to Bethel, when you see the SURF Dude logo, you know that your ATM experience will be fee-free! With the SURF network, “no fees” means just that. Not only will you see no fees at your ATM, there are no hidden fees anywhere else! As a member of a Maine credit union, you have access to the largest surcharge-free ATM network in Maine. With over 250 locations, members have surcharge-free access covering the entire state! Don’t forget, in addition to accessing cash, you can also make deposits at some ATMs with no extra fees – so you can take your credit union with you, wherever you go. Formed in 1999, most of Maine's credit unions participate in the SURF ATM Network through the Maine Credit Union League, the trade association for Maine’s 58 credit unions. The SURF ATM Network is a prime example of how Maine credit unions cooperate with each other to benefit consumers throughout the state. Finding a SURF ATM is easy. Look for the SURF Dude logo or visit www.mainecreditunions.org/surf-atm-locator/ for a complete listing of the SURF ATM locations in Maine.


Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

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The ‘People Helping People’ Philosophy is at the Heart of Maine’s Credit Unions In 2016, Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger raised a record-breaking $675,000, a new fundraising milestone, all thanks to the hard work and generosity of Maine’s credit unions and their nearly 695,000 credit union members. Through buying power, the funds are enabling food pantries and hunger organizations across the state to purchase over $2.7 million meals for Mainers this year. Since the initiative began in 1990, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised and distributed over $7.2 million to help feed Mainers in need.

Maine’s Credit Unions Have Money to Lend

“Hunger affects communities in many ways, however, credit unions use this as a chance to change lives and put forth the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people.’ We are humbled by the remarkable efforts Maine credit unions and their members have made to make their communities a better place,” stated Todd Mason, President of the Maine Credit Union League. “We’re proud to give 100% of every dollar raised back to state initiatives, and support programs such as Meals on Wheels and the school PackBack Program. With Maine ranking first in New England and ninth in the nation for food insecurity, it’s an issue that the Campaign is invested in all year round.”

In today’s economy, lending at Maine’s credit unions remains accessible and strong. Each year, Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger partners with local notOur credit unions continue to provide loans for members’ needs ranging from car loans to for-profit organizations, including the Good Shepherd Food Bank and the Maine home improvements, with loans totaling over $5.4 billion (as of June 30, 2017). Association of Area Agencies on Aging on causes aimed at addressing hunger felt by the Maine’s credit unions go beyond lending basics to provide members with a range of loan state’s most vulnerable populations, including children and seniors. solutions. Flex loans, auto loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, mortgages, fall and This past year, Maine’s credit unions doubled down on their commitment to fight winter recreational vehicle loans, and secured loans are just a few ways Maine credit unions provide members with solutions that fit their lives. And obtaining a loan has never childhood hunger by pledging a three-year, $100,000 contribution to expand the BackPack been more accessible – did you know that many credit unions offer the option of applying and School Pantry Programs in Maine. During the announcement, Kristen Miale, President of the Good Shepherd Food Bank, shared that “the commitment of Maine’s for a loan online or on a mobile phone? credit unions to both childhood hunger in Maine and hunger, as a whole, in our state is More than the ability to get a loan at a trusted financial institution, choosing a Maine credit incredible. Maine’s credit unions are a great partner and champion in ending hunger in union for your loan is a decision that will usually save you money. "Maine credit unions Maine. We are so grateful for the generosity of Maine’s credit unions in announcing this continue to experience consistent growth, which has a positive economic impact on the lives new commitment and are excited at what it will mean to our efforts to expand the of members and communities,” stated Maine Credit Union League President Todd Mason. Backpack and Pantry Programs in Maine.” “We are also extremely pleased to see that more consumers continue to turn to credit unions For more information on how you can help Maine’s Credit Unions end hunger, visit for financial services through new relationships or by expanding existing relationships." www.mainecul.org and click on the Ending Hunger link under “Community Involvement.” All contributions are tax-deductible and 100% of all contributions go directly to the cause No matter what you need, Maine credit unions are here to help. Visit www.mainecreditunions.org to find a credit union and begin the lending process today! and stay in Maine.

Maine’s Credit Unions partner with local non-profit organizations, like Good Shepherd Food Bank to give back to the communities they serve.


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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Maine’s Credit Unions’ Are Teaching Lifelong Lessons Through Financial Education Maine credit unions are top scholars when it comes to financial literacy in our state. Credit union staff and volunteers ensure this by teaching financial literacy in local schools and manning in-school branches. Additionally, many Maine credit unions participate in one of the Financial Fitness Fairs and Maine Credit Union Youth Week for high school students and young adults, coordinated by Maine's Credit Unions. Maine credit unions are also a valuable resource for helping adults with money management and financial planning. Credit unions want their members to be well informed so they can make the best financial decisions. From providing tools to help members better manage their money, to hosting seminars on subjects such as buying your first home or preparing for retirement, Maine credit unions help members of all ages achieve a secure financial future. For these leadership efforts, the Maine Credit Union League and Maine's Credit Unions were recently presented with their 15th national Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award from the Credit Union National Association. The prestigious award recognized the League and Maine's credit unions for its continued leadership in developing initiatives and programs for expanding participation and awareness in youth financial education for Maine students.

Financial Fitness Fairs

During the 2016/17 school year, nearly 8,000 students participated in one of the nearly 50 “Financial Fitness: A Money Management Experience” fairs. For participants, the fair simulates a person at the age of 22 and takes them through the experience of budgeting and making financial decisions. "The fairs bring concepts that I teach in the

classroom to life, and I see the value that students gain from doing it themselves," shared a teacher from Thornton Academy in Saco, which had more than 400 students participate in the fair held at the school. A student from Messalonskee High School in Oakland, which was the largest fair held in 2016/17 with more than 700 students participating, called the experience "eye-opening. Managing money is a lot harder than it looks, and this fair helped me to understand that life is about sacrifices and choices." To date, more than 45,000 students from across the state of Maine have participated in a Financial Fitness Fair. “The commitment of Maine's credit unions to holding these fairs is a testament to the importance of helping youth prepare for the real world,” stated Todd Mason, President of the Maine Credit Union League. “The more kids are exposed to money management, the better. The benefits of having a clear understanding of what things cost and how to navigate those costs are that you increase the likelihood kids will make smart financial decisions as adults." In addition to the in-person fairs, usage of a new online version of Maine CU’s Financial Fitness Fair that went live last fall has significantly grown. A number of credit unions are utilizing this customized resource with Girl and Boy Scout troops, home-schooled children and others. For more information about the financial literacy efforts of Maine’s credit unions, or to host a Financial Fitness Fair at your school, visit www.mainecul.org and click on the Financial Education and Resources link in the “Community Involvement” section.

Maine Credit Unions: Great for Members (and Employees) You know that credit unions are great places to conduct your financial transactions, but have you ever considered becoming part of the team? Credit unions are memberowned financial cooperatives. This means that when you’re part of the team, your goal is to build long-lasting relationships with members - that’s the credit union difference. This summer, one-fifth of the 80 companies who were announced as the 2017 Best Places to Work in Maine recipients are credit unions or related organizations. "While the popularity of credit unions for financial services is higher than ever in Maine, it is great to see credit unions honored for being outstanding employers, too. Having nearly 20% of the companies on this year's list be credit unions and related organizations highlights credit unions for being good to their employees, as well as their communities, members and many others," stated Todd Mason, President of the Maine Credit Union League, who, along with its subsidiary Synergent, were among the organizations designated as 2017 Best Places to Work in Maine. When credit union employees get to know their members, the result is trust. Credit unions live by the motto, “People Helping People.” And, as a credit union employee, you will have the opportunity to help members every single day. Whether it is as simple as helping a member replace a lost debit card or assisting someone with a mortgage to buy their first home, credit unions are there for their members every step of the way.

With most credit unions in the state participating in the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, employees also have the chance to make a difference in their communities and across the state. In Maine, we know that food insecurity affects 15.8% of households and 21%, or one in every five, of the state’s children. Thanks in part to the hard work and dedication of our employees, Maine’s Credit Unions have raised over $7.2 million and counting to help end hunger in Maine. If you want to make a difference in your community, working for a credit union might be a great fit. To view opportunities in the industry, go to www.mainecul.org and find the “Job Opportunities” quick link.


Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

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Young & Free Maine Spokester Offers Tips on How to Road Trip on a Budget For residents and tourists alike, Maine is items at home already, so avoid paying a screenshots of your maps and download the place to be in the summer - this is pretty penny and bring them with you! music to your phone ahead of time. Pack a vacationland after all. But just because the These items can cost more when purchased physical copy of an atlas if you can to avoid days are getting shorter and the nights onsite at your final destination. Paying for any potential problems. Unfortunately, colder, doesn’t mean Mainers aren’t on the something you already own stings, so avoid phones do spontaneously stop working. move. For many of us the fall means college the unnecessary purchase and put a little And while you’re at it, bring along some old CDs as a backup. visits, leaf peeping and county fairs galore. To help us Plan Ahead with plan the perfect fall Food and Lodging road trip, we’ve Create a budget sought the advice of when it comes to your Maine’s Credit food and lodging, and Unions’ Young and stick to it. Pack filling, Free Maine Spokester, healthy snacks like Jake Holmes. “As the granola bars and nuts Young & Free Maine with you. Avoid any Spokester, I’m the perishables, or snacks voice of Maine’s 18- to that melt or are 25- year-old crowd. I messy. Packing your travel the state, own snacks can writing blogs and reduce the number of creating videos on the Young & Free Maine, powered by Maine’s Credit Unions, provides a financial resource stops you make, financial issues customized for the state’s 18-to-25 year old crowd – an initiative only credit unions have! where you can end up facing Maine’s young adults, from understanding credit to applying for a mortgage to saving for retirement – and ways to explore our great state on a budget.” Here are Jake’s top, budget friendly tips for taking a road trip this fall!

Schedule a Tune Up

Make a visit to a familiar mechanic for a general check-up before you begin a road trip. Check your tires, battery, wiper blades, lights and fluid levels. This can help you avoid any breakdowns that have the potential for costly repairs with unfamiliar mechanics. Not only could a breakdown cut your road trip short, but it could put quite a dent in your savings. If possible, put aside some money for when those unexpected expenses pop up.

Pack Wisely

Make a list of essential items ahead of your trip and be sure to check it twice before departing. A toothbrush, phone charger and a razor are all things you’ll more than likely use along your journey. You probably already have these essential

extra effort into preparation. It will certainly pay off!

Be Cautious of Gas Prices

Gas has dropped in price compared to a few years ago, but the cost of driving around adds up quickly. Instead of stressfully searching around for the cheapest gas, use apps such as CheapGas or GasBuddy to locate the station with the best prices. According to fueleconomy.gov, fuel efficiency decreases as your speed increases, making road trips more expensive for those with heavy feet. Slow down and enjoy the scenery! And when it is time to fill up, look for gas stations away from the highway. Gas stations adjacent to the highway are typically a bit more expensive than others, as they are the most convenient options.

Save Your Data

Unless you have an unlimited data plan, which seem to be few and far between these days, you’re probably draining gigabytes and risking overage fees with your use of GPS and music streaming. Instead, take

paying the premium. And if you do stop, use apps like LivingSocial or Groupon to find deals on restaurants. Book your hotels far in advance for a lower cost or consider digging the old sleeping bag out of the closet and going camping. You can use freecampsites.net to find a free place to camp out for the night.

Split Costs with Others

A road trip by yourself can be both lonely and expensive. Plan a trip with friends or family and plan to split the costs among everyone. With current technology like mobile banking, Venmo, and PayPal, splitting costs has never been so easy. And if you’re road tripping through Maine, take advantage of the surcharge-free SURF ATM network for free withdrawals and easy access to your money. For more money saving financial tips and tricks visit YoungFreeMaine.com and follow along as Young & Free Maine Spokester, Jake Holmes, chronicles his financial journey through interactive videos and blog posts.


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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Your Credit Union is Where You Are

You don’t need to contact your financial institution to get started. After you activate the right app for your phone, scan the debit or credit card linked to the account you want to pay with. After that one-time setup, payments will show up on your account statement. As long as you keep your phone charged, your mobile payments will always be right on the money.

Keys, wallet, smartphone. For many of us, our smartphone has become one of the staple items that we never leave home without. The versatile convenience that it provides has turned it into an essential item in our daily lives. Among the myriad of functions it Maine’s credit unions continue to introduce new products to enhance the lives of their supplies, mobile banking is one service that continues to grow in use. Maine is one of the leading states for credit unions that provide mobile banking to members, with over 90% of members, without compromising the most important connection of all: the relationship between the credit union and each individual member. A link to all Maine credit unions Maine credit unions offer mobile banking. and their services can be found at www.mainecreditunions.org. “I’m in my car more than anywhere else – I’m on the go. My phone is my credit union. If I need to transfer money or transfer a check, it’s easy,” said a college student recently. This quote resonates with so many members who use mobile as one of the top ways to check in on their finances. They can view their balance, transfer funds, review their payment history, or pay a bill – all from their mobile devices! One of the latest mobile banking features generating buzz is Mobile Deposit Capture, which enables members to deposit checks by taking a picture of the check with their smartphone, then uploading it via their mobile banking app.

The Mobile Wallet Experience

Mobile wallets also continue to grow in popularity. “The Pays” – Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay – all are mobile apps that allow users to pay for purchases without their physical card present using their smartphones! Members upload their debit or credit card to the app they have selected, then can make purchases in the store simply by holding the linked device near the contactless reader! This method of payment is very secure, using a process called tokenization that replaces the physical card account number with a randomized number, reducing the risk of digital fraud. Mobile payment is one of those chicken-and-egg things. Some people who haven’t tried it feel they should wait for more stores to accept it. Meanwhile, stores feel they should wait for more customers to ask for it. But most people who use it like the speed and convenience of waving their smartphone over a terminal to check out. In fact, mobile payments are predicted to more than double in value to $62.5 billion this year. If you haven’t tried Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay to make payments from your checking, savings, or credit card account, consider these four reasons to give it a whirl this fall: •

It’s faster than a chip card. It takes as long as 15 seconds for a terminal

to read a chip card, a small eternity when you’re rarin’ to move on. Smartphone payments take only a second or so. Just hold your phone over the terminal and confirm your identity with a PIN or a fingerprint.

It’s safer than swiping. Cards that use magnetic strips can be stolen, cloned,

and used to loot your account. But each mobile payment is based on a random onetime code called a token that’s useless if copied. And a lost or stolen phone can’t be used for fraud, since only you have the right PIN or fingerprint to confirm the transaction. (This also keeps you from accidentally triggering a payment.)

It’s available at most major retailers. Samsung Pay works nearly everywhere that accepts credit cards. Apple Pay and Android Pay use a less broadbased technology that’s available at 35% of U.S. retailers including Macy’s, Target, McDonald’s, and Walgreens. It can save you money.

New customers may qualify for rewards and deals from their “mobile wallet” provider—Apple, Samsung, or Google.


Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Maine’s Credit Unions Support Communities Near and Far

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Credit Unions Save Maine Consumers Nearly $57 Million Annually! The 694,286 Maine consumers who utilize Maine credit unions each year receive significant financial benefits by being a member – owner of a credit union. A recent study concluded that the economic benefit of using a Maine credit union collectively totaled nearly $57 million in direct financial benefits. The study further stated that the permember and per-household benefits delivered by Maine credit unions are substantial as a result of the cooperative, not-for-profit structure of credit unions.

Young & Free Maine, powered by Maine’s Credit Unions, provides a financial resource customized for the state’s 18-to-25 year old crowd – an initiative only credit unions have!

In a study completed in December 2016, Informa Research Services found that credit unions have significantly and consistently lower, fewer, or no fees compared to for-profit financial institutions. Credit unions also pay, on average, higher dividend and interest rates on savings, and charge lower interest rates on loans.

Maine Credit Union Membership Pays: One financial benefit of belonging to a credit union is receiving a higher rate of return on deposits. According to the 2016 study, Maine credit union members received a net benefit of approximately $13.04 million The credit union commitment to ‘People Helping People’ affects not only members, but the as a result of higher interest rates paid on savings products. communities in which credit union employees work and live. The way Maine credit unions care for their communities keeps members returning to their local branches and it’s also what Interest Charged on Credit Union Loans: Another benefit of belonging drives these dedicated members and staff to continue reaching out to people in need. to a credit union is paying lower rates of interest on loans. Maine credit union members received a collective net benefit of $36.3 million as a result of lower fees on loans. Credit unions provide support and assistance to their members, staff and community through a variety of initiatives such as school activities, serving on boards, donating Lower and Fewer Fees: From December 2015 to December 2016, credit union blood, volunteering at soup kitchens, and participating in a variety of other events and members saved $7.7 million by paying lower and fewer fees by using a credit union instead activities throughout the year. of another financial institution. For instance, on average, credit union members paid $210 less on commonly charged fees such as non-sufficient funds, late fees for credit cards and This summer, 30 of Maine’s young credit union professionals (ages 21-to-40) teamed up closing costs on mortgages. In addition, a survey conducted by the Maine Credit Union with the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine for a day of teambuilding and giving back. League found that 100% of all credit unions surveyed offered free checking accounts with Together, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) assembled and donated 11 bicycles for no minimum balance required. Finally, with the largest surcharge-free ATM network in 5-to-7-year old campers at the Boys and Girls Club’s Riverton Park Club House in Portland. Maine and a shared branch network of 175 locations statewide – nearly three times as Melissa King of the Boys and Girls Club thanked the YPN stating, “We really appreciate many branches as the largest single bank in Maine – the ability for credit union members all of the young professionals and your generosity to the Boys and Girls Club of Southern to access and conduct financial transactions fee-free are plentiful. Maine. Thanks to you, each family enrolled in our summer program will receive a bicycle – many of whom have never owned one.” In addition to giving back to the communities that they serve directly, Maine’s credit unions are also committed to helping the credit union community nationally and internationally. Most recently, Maine’s credit unions joined the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) to launch CUAid, a safe and secure fundraising platform to assist with the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. At the time, Maine Credit Union League President Todd Mason noted, “As cooperatives, helping others is part of who credit unions are and the fabric of our mission and philosophy. Maine credit unions are committed to the philosophy of ‘People Helping People,’ whether those people live across the street, across the country, or even the world.” Visit www.mainecul.org to see what Maine’s credit unions are doing in your town, county, across the state, and around the globe. Visit your local credit union to find out more on how you can help your credit union help others in your community!

Summary of Financial Benefits of Credit Union Membership as of December 31, 2016 Savings from Higher Rates on Deposits $13 million Savings from Lower Rates on Loans $36.6 million Savings from Lower and Fewer Fees $7.7 million ________________________________________________ Total Savings $57 million


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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Maine’s Credit Unions Are Helping Their Members Avoid These Top Three Card Scams It seems there is always another scam in the news involving fraud and credit or debit cards, and it can be hard to stay on top of the latest precautions. What are the latest scams? What can I do to protect myself and my accounts? Maine credit unions have rounded up three, current scams to watch for, with tips on what you can do to secure your financial well-being:

Skimming – The practice of skimming— when a fraudster places a virtually undetectable, false card reader over a legitimate terminal— has been in the news and continues to be a

challenge. At this point, skimmers are mostly associated with gas pumps, as many ATM terminal owners have implemented “chip card” readers or anti-skimming software that makes it more difficult to capture usable data.

Account Takeover Scams – This

term often is paired with “identity theft,” which is one form of account takeover. Other types of account takeover include hacking, telephone scams, and check and credit card fraud. Credit card fraud can be committed by a perpetrator either taking possession of your physical card, or recording your card number, expiration date, or CVV code. This information is then reused through impersonation, whether online or in person. A new development in account takeover scams actually feeds on the newest security measures. “Tokenization,” or the issuing of a randomized number in place of your card number as a security measure, often requires personal or card data to be confirmed prior to completing a transaction. Many perpetrators have learned what information is used for this process and

How to Protect Yourself as a Consumer Be Aware of Your Surroundings – When using ATMs or automated fuel pumps, look for any signs that devices have been tampered with. This can range from the card reader looking slightly different from normal to noticing suspicious people in the area. Monitor Your Accounts – Be diligent and watch for any suspicious activity on your statements. If you see something, say something to your financial institution as soon as possible. Watch for Suspicious Online Offers and Features – First, emails with links may have features identifying them as unsafe. While the email might look legitimate, the link may not be. Without clicking on the link, hover over the link to see the address. If it doesn’t match the website, DO NOT click on it. Next, be wary of text or telephone requests that ask you for personal or proprietary information. If something looks questionable, conduct additional research. Requests for confirmation of card data or other sensitive information can be an indicator of fraud. Normally, legitimate requests would ask the cardholder to confirm information only about transactions performed or the card information itself.

attempt to contact cardholders to gather the data. Once they have the information, they set up a tokenized service on a device to process the fraudulent transactions.

Merchant Data Breaches

When an unauthorized user hacks into a merchant network and steals valuable data, like your card information, that’s a merchant data breach. While this isn’t a new story—this has received press coverage for years as more and more of these happen—data breaches remain a challenge for consumers. There is a steady uptick in the number of card-notpresent merchants being impacted by merchant data breaches.

Lean on Maine’s Credit Unions

We are here to help. From ensuring that all fraud monitoring tools available are in use, to answering your questions about fraud prevention and website security, to helping you take the proper steps in the event you are the victim of a scam, our representatives have tips and are ready to assist you. Not a credit union member? Visit www. mainecreditunions.org to find a credit union near you!

© 279PHOTO / ADOBE STOCK


Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Credit Unions: Your Financial Co-Op

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Going Green with Maine’s Credit Unions Credit unions by their nature are community based. Protecting our beautiful state’s natural resources has long been a priority initiative of Maine’s credit unions. Members are encouraged to “go green” through incentives, such as special rates on loans for fuel efficient cars, appliances, alternative heating sources and energy efficient home improvements. A recent survey of Maine's credit unions found that 80% offer some type of a loan designed to address weatherization and energy efficiency projects!

With technology capabilities, most credit unions across the state are offering services that allow employees and members to reduce paper consumption. Online statements are available, eliminating the paper copies that fill your mailbox and your file drawer. Debit cards, mobile wallets, and direct deposit are all ways to save paper that would have been Cooperatives are not limited to farm-shares, utilities, or housing – credit unions are also used for checks. With Remote Deposit Capture on your smartphone, you save time and a co-op! The first credit union in the U.S. was founded in neighboring Manchester, NH in paper by depositing checks through your credit union’s mobile app, and utilizing online 1908, to serve the parishioners of Ste. Marie’s Church, most of who worked in the nearby bill pay saves both paper and the cost of a stamp. mills. This built the framework for America’s cooperative credit union movement, which Staying on top of your account information can be green too. Sent directly to your email, continues to gain momentum today. eAlerts keep you posted on the important information you need to know about your Credit union members LOVE their credit unions! They know firsthand that at a credit accounts. eAlerts can notify you of deposits, withdrawals, when your account balance union you are not a “customer” or “client,” but a “member” and “owner!” As a member- drops below a preselected amount, or when loan payments are due. owner, what you say matters. Each member has an equal vote in electing a volunteer Want to learn more? Visit your local credit union to learn about what initiatives they board of directors. are taking to reduce waste and improve our environment. To find a credit union near you, Because there are no stockholders at credit unions—unlike banks—members receive visit www.mainecreditunions.org. benefits such as higher rates on their savings accounts, lower rates on loans, and fewer and lower service fees. As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, the focus has always been on members. This is reflected in exceptional service, from refinancing a new member’s car at a lower rate, or a special loan to help keep a member warm during a difficult winter. From refinancing a mortgage to consolidating debt, your credit union will be with you every step of the way to help you achieve your financial goals! This International Credit Union Day, October 19, 2017, we celebrate the impact credit unions have on members’ lives and their communities every day. We also celebrate you, our nearly 695,000 members, because serving and helping you with your financial needs are what Maine’s credit unions are all about!

© GUI YONG NIAN / ADOBE STOCK

2017 Maine Credit Union Week Special Section Publisher: Richard J. Warren Editor: Matthew Chabe Print Sales Manager: Todd McLeod Layout: Carolina Rave Creative Manager: Michele Dwyer Creative Services: Marcie Coombs, Coralie Cross, Ben Cyr, Callie Picard.

All content courtesy Maine Credit Union League


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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Cooperative…and Principled. If you belong to a credit union, you’re not only a member, you’re an owner!

3. Members’ Economic Participation

Credit unions are different. Helping members make good financial decisions, returning profits back to members through lower loan rates and higher rates of return, and being part of a cooperative with a community presence are just a handful of the benefits of credit union membership.

At a credit union, you’ll never be referred to as a customer – always as a member. The members are the owners, contributing to and literally controlling the capital of the credit union.

Credit unions are owned and controlled by the very people who save and borrow there—the members! There are so many reasons why you should find a credit union where you work, live, worship or go to school – the most common fields of membership. As the fifth-strongest credit union state in the nation, it also is important to remember that our state’s credit unions are part of an international movement – another part of the credit union difference.

All cooperatives are autonomous organizations controlled by their members. If a credit union opts to partner with any other organization for any product or service, it is done so by democratic vote.

Did you know that all credit unions, no matter where they are, follow the same principles? The Seven Cooperative Principles for Credit Unions are well-known to credit union staff around the globe. Unique institutions collaborate, agree to network, and follow the same philosophy in order to best serve the members and the communities that make this cooperative financial model possible.

The Seven Cooperative Principles For Credit Unions 1. Voluntary Membership

Credit unions are voluntary, cooperative organizations. Because they are not-for-profit institutions that are operated by a volunteer board of directors, their top priority is the financial well-being of each member – not making a profit.

2. Democratic Member Control

Each member gets one vote. Credit unions are truly owned and controlled by their members – each has a say in the decisions that are made.

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4. Autonomy and Independence

5. Education, Training and Information

Credit unions are literally a wealth of knowledge. They provide financial education and training for members and to their communities.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Shared Branching and the SURF ATM Networks are just a couple benefits of credit unions being cooperatives! No single, private financial institution has as large a network as credit unions do – and that network is international! This is possible because of the collaboration that happens between credit unions.

7. Concern for Community

Being active participants in their community is one of the guiding philosophies of all credit unions. Whether it is volunteering for local organizations, hosting fundraisers, or supporting local causes, chances are, you’ve seen your local credit union giving back. Want to learn more about becoming a member of a Maine credit union? Visit www.mainecreditunions.org.


Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

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10 Ways to Stay Safe Using Online Banking When using your credit union’s online or mobile banking services, your main goal is most likely to balance your account or ensure that a check has been deposited. While these essential tasks are made easy with online banking, Maine’s credit unions want members to be aware it’s important to take precautions online. These services are safe and secure, but there are steps you can take on your devices to ensure that your personal or account information is not in anyone else’s hands but your own. Here are the top ten tips that credit unions offer their members about securing their online banking accounts:

1. Update your web browsers and computer software, such as your Windows or Mac operating systems. Threats from viruses and attackers often take advantage of vulnerabilities in outdated software packages. Contact the software vendor directly to access any available updates. 2. Install antivirus/anti-spyware software to protect your computer, and to detect and remove viruses. Make sure your software is up-to-date; new viruses appear daily. 3. Install software for spam filtering and spam blocking. Don't respond

to "spammed" emails.

4. Do not open email offers from a source you don’t recognize. If you believe an email is fraudulent, don't reply to the email, click any links within the email, or open any attachments.

5. Beware of any email or pop-up messages declaring your account is in jeopardy or asking for personal information. Your credit union will

never ask for personal information via email. When in doubt, call or visit your local branch with any questions.

6. Do not click the links in suspicious emails. If an email seems suspicious, don't click the link asking to be taken off the sender's list. A response only confirms the accuracy of your email address and may result in even more messages filling up your inbox. 7. Never submit your credit card details or other personal information on non-secure websites. Before submitting your user name and password to log on,

make sure your browser window displays the closed padlock symbol and that the URL begins with "https://". Secure web pages show a locked padlock icon that appears in yellow, or in a yellow box, at the bottom of the web browser screen.

8. Never share your user names and passwords or store them on your computer. 9. Be cautious when using public computers or shared computers.

Public computers, including those at libraries, internet cafés, and schools are traditionally on open networks and can be susceptible to monitoring without your knowledge.

10. Always log out when you are finished. After you've accessed sensitive account information online, log off the website and close your web browser.

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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017


Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

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Fee-Free Checking – Financial Institutions: Another Member Benefit Are They All The Same? at Maine’s Credit Unions!

No. While there are some services that are the same across financial institutions, credit unions stand out in so many ways! Credit unions are not-for-profit financial Whether you are a devoted paper check-writer, love to swipe your debit card at a cooperatives that focus on the financial wellbeing of their members – not profits. In terminal, or have adopted a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, most Maine fact, credit unions, unlike most other financial institutions, do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. This translates to: credit unions offer checking account options that are truly fee-free! You really can stop worrying about monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, and minimum balances. Over 95% of Maine’s credit unions offer free checking accounts, and over 90% offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance! Every bit adds up– this one feature can make a big difference to help Maine consumers save money.

• • • •

Earnings that are returned to members; Higher interest rates on deposits; Lower loan rates; and Lower fees.

Knowing your money is safe, and that every cent you put in your account will stay Credit Unions Cater to Your Needs! where it should be, is part of the Maine credit union difference. Combine fee-free Credit unions offer all the classic financial services you expect, such as deposit and checking with better loan rates and lower or no fees on additional services, and the checking accounts and various loan options, but they also offer the latest, on-the-go difference is even clearer in how credit unions contribute to their members’ financial services. With mobile banking, mobile check deposit, bill pay, and online loan and credit well-being. card applications, credit unions are keeping up in our data-driven world. This means members can conduct their banking conveniently, both in and out of the branch! Visit www.mainecreditunions.org to find a credit union near you today and ask about their checking account savings! How Do I Join a Credit Union? The term “union” in “credit union” refers to a group of people collectively belonging to something bigger. When you join a credit union, you aren’t a customer – you are a member, and you actually own a part of your credit union! Membership sometimes is connected to select employers or group affiliations, but most are community based – if you live within the field of membership, you can become a member of your local credit union!

Maine Credit Unions– By the Numbers

Mainers love their credit unions! Maine credit unions are convenient, promote the financial well-being of their members, and they are community based – watch for credit union events and involvement in your area! Here are a handful of Maine credit union stats as of June 30, 2017: 260 Surcharge-free ATMS 694,286 members 57 credit unions Over $7.5 Billion in Assets 175 Shared Branch Locations in Maine 5,600+ Shared Branching Locations nationwide


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Maine Credit Union Week • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • October 19, 2017

Maine Credit Union 2017  

Celebrate International Credit Union Day with Maine’s Credit Unions! Did you know: Maine is the fifth strongest credit union state (in term...