Three years into our ambitious 10-year goal to close the racial homeownership gap, we have officially surpassed the halfway mark. Dubbed the H.O.M.E. Program (Helping Originate Minority Equity), our team has assisted more than 3,190 families in securing mortgage loans, amounting to over $532 million in mortgages for Iowans of color, as of December 2023. In addition to modifying the loan approval process to make these loans more accessible, our charitable partner, the GreenState Foundation, has generously provided over $980,000 in down payment assistance grants to those who qualify.
GreenState Credit Union's Member Assistance Center (MAC) phone line uses a menu of options to route calls to the appropriate department and reduce overall wait times. However, the menu itself has become too long and adds unnecessary time to calls that need to reach a MAC specialist.
Resolution (Summer 2023): Based on member feedback, we have streamlined the menu options and used clear, concise language to make it easier for you to find the help you need. As a result, you can now reach a MAC specialist in half the time, on average (from 90 seconds down to about 40).
GreenState launched a new Online Banking tool called Card Controls! With Card Controls, GreenState cardholders can easily:
Card Controls gives cardholder's more control over their finances and makes it easier to manage their accounts.
GreenState developed a Rainy-Day Saving Account to assist members to get into a habit of saving. Members have a small percentage of each checking deposit automatically transferred into savings where it earns several times the normal savings rate. In time, the account grows and can be used to make purchases or pay surprise bills instead of going into debt. In just 5 months we have opened over 3,000 accounts and members have set aside over $3 million dollars.
Due to high demand and a national shortage of microchips, GreenState ran out credit card stock inventory late December. New cardholders and those with reissued cards had to wait a few extra weeks to have their physical cards replaced. Inventories are now built back up.
Resolution (January 2023): While we cannot control a national shortage, GreenState will build up a larger inventory of cardstock moving forward so that members will not feel the impact of supply chain issues.
In January of 2023 GreenState launched a partnership with Zelle. This partnership allows members to easily and securely move money into and out of their accounts at GreenState. The service is free for members, and the link can be found within Online Banking.
GreenState’s Online Banking / Mobile App system could not process principal only loan payments for GreenState loans and was not able to display a loan payoff amount for GreenState loans.
Resolution (Winter 2022): GreenState’s Online Banking / Mobile App system has been updated with a new "Transfers/Deposits - To a Loan / Credit Card" section. The new "To a Loan / Credit Card" funds transfer page includes an option to designate a Payment Type as a Regular Payment or a Principal Only Payment for many categories of loans including most types of Auto Loans, Personal Loans, Home Equity Loans, and Commercial Loans. The new funds transfer to loans page also includes detailed loan information including Last & Next Payment Date, Loan Payoff Amount, and Last Statement Date & Statement Balance (for Credit Cards).
On May 2, 2022, we officially went live with GreenState’s ITIN lending program. GreenState Credit Union is proud to provide financial services to members with an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). We approach every member the same: Creating lasting value with the right mix of products and services to assist in securing the financial future of all our members. All credit union members, whether they open their accounts with a social security number or an ITIN have access to the same low rates.
Select notifications to mortgage and IRA account holders contained incorrect information that made it confusing to the members.
Resolution: While the error was quickly corrected and members notified, it provided an opportunity to review the process of releasing information to members to ensure that proper steps are taken to double-check automated e-mail notifications.
GreenState instituted an automatic upgrade for Access Checking members that have demonstrated responsible use of the account. Access Checking is an account designed for members who have trouble opening checking accounts due to poor credit history and who are trying to repair and/or build up a low credit score. In January, nearly 500 members automatically graduated out of Access Checking into Free Checking. The monthly account fee was removed and additional account privileges have been added as these members build back their credit rating. This upgrade will now occur each month for Access Checking members who meet the criteria.
We built our North Liberty headquarters in 2013 using conventional methods to power it.
Resolution (Fall 2021): GreenState is installing solar panels on the roof of the building to help reduce its carbon footprint and align more with our community investment statement.
Beginning this fall, members building their credit with our Starter Platinum Rewards Mastercard will automatically be granted an increased credit limit and a reduced interest rate (by as much as 3%) after one year of responsible use. This anniversary upgrade will save members money and improve their credit score.
The Mortgage Department recently rolled out phase 1 of their eClosing process; electronic signatures on closing documents. eClosing greatly reduces the number of wet signatures needed at closing, speeding up the process. Future phases will allow all closing documents e-signature capability, reducing the closing process time even more.
GreenState stopped offering an automated telephone banking service on the assumption that widespread adoption of online and mobile banking made the service unnecessary.
Resolution (Spring 2021): Based on feedback from members we have brought back a 24/7 telephone banking service. You can check your balance, receive other account info and even transfer funds between your GreenState products, all by calling (844) 300-3681.
GreenState produced its first ever Annual Giving Report. The report shows the highlights of the previous year’s community involvement efforts. Moving forward we will produce this publication each year and share it with the membership so that they have more information as to how their cooperative is giving back to the community.
If the Member Assistance Center was not able to verify a member over the phone, we needed to send them to a branch. For out of state members, this meant not being able to access services.
Resolution (Spring 2021): The Member Assistance Center set up a process to verify a member’s identity through a Zoom call, comparing the person on the call to an ID on file.
GreenState implemented a new process for renewing CDs that reduced call times for CD renewals significantly.
GreenState’s Online Bill Pay was difficult to use on smartphones because the layout was not designed with smaller screens in mind.
Resolution (Spring 2021): GreenState launched a new Bill Pay system on 2/11/21 with many new enhancements. Most important is a new design that makes Bill Pay easy to use across all device sizes.
Other enhancements include:
Last year GreenState introduced a new free service that allows members to see their credit scores online. It also provides tips and suggestions on how to improve their score. In the first six months, we have seen improvement in 4,788 members’ scores. While this can’t be entirely attributed to the free service, giving members access to their score and advice certainly helps.
The Member Assistance Center added an option to speak with a Spanish-speaking representative, preventing the need for translators and working with Spanish-speaking members in their preferred language.
GreenState is announced as the corridor’s #1 credit union in 2020 by the Corridor Business Journal.
Recently issued credit and debit cards are hard to read due to the color used for the account number not contrasting enough with the card background image.
Resolution: Cards have been updated to make them easier to read and reissued cards from this point will have the new coloring. If you have a GreenState card that is difficult to read, please call us at (800) 397-3790, chat with us online, or vist any branch location, and we will replace it for free (your card number will not change).
GreenState was able to provide over $1.2 Million in assistance to members and our communities affected by COVID-19 and the derecho storm. GreenState Giveback Details.
The call wait time average in our Call Center climbed to nearly 4 minutes.
Resolution: We have added staff to our call center, extended our hours, and educated more members on the use of the online chat feature. As a result, call wait times now average only 48 seconds.
Across Iowa communities, outdated ATM machines were becoming more frequent targets for fraudsters using card skimmers across our communities.
Resolution: GreenState moved quickly and invested over $650,000 to upgrade our older model ATM machines and to dedicate resources to ensure we're implementing regular updates to keep our member's accounts as safe as possible. We're happy to report that our ATM machines have not had a skimming occurrence since the upgrades were completed.