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How to NOT let a blizzard cramp your style! by John

February2

You may have noticed that we got a little snow last night. OK, a LOT of snow!

I shouldn’t be surprised. It is, after all, winter in Iowa. My solemn vow to move south has gone by the wayside yet again.

I’m not a big fan of winter. I’m miserable when the first cold snap happens. I eventually get used to it, but I’ll never enjoy it. I tolerate it, at best. If there’s a choice between going outside or staying in, well, it’s not really a choice; I’m happily housebound.

Of course, there are times when I have to leave the house: work, food, beer run, etc.

If I were independently wealthy, I could probably get away with holing up for 4 months and counting on Punxsutawney Phil to let me know when it’s safe to emerge. Everything could be done online or over the phone and delivered. Then again, if I were independently wealthy I would probably have a winter home in Arizona. But, I digress.

Anyone nodding their head in agreement at this point? Anyone still reading?

The good news is that we don’t have to go anywhere to do most of our banking at Linn Area. We have a boat-load of ways to get things done financially without visiting a branch. I’m sure we’ll be missed (especially me since I, you know, work here), but the other CU employee-type folk will understand. They’re cool like that.

So what kind of choices do we have?

  1. e-Branch – It’s our Online Banking product.  Transfer funds, make loan payments, check out your History, etc.  Need it done?  Chances are you can do it online.
  2. Piggy-backed on top of e-Branch is Bill Payer.  It’s pretty self-explanatory – you can pay bills with it.
  3. Use Facebook?  Check out our My Money app.  It’s basically a lite version of e-Branch.
  4. Have a mobile phone?  Mobile Money is where it’s at.  There’s a text version and a web based version so just about everybody can use it.
  5. Then there’s ART or Audio Response Teller.  All you need is a touch tone phone.  (Tin cans and string not supported.)
  6. Want to talk to someone, but really don’t want to talk?  We’ve got a Live Chat feature that’s pretty darned slick.
  7. Old school or need a real voice?  Give us a call and talk to one of our Member Service Reps.

You can also apply for a loan, order checks (they’re these special pieces of paper that people used to use), access calculators for just about any type of financial equation…….. you get the idea.

You can find info about all of these things on our brand spanking new website.  If you’re reading this blog then you’ve already found it, but I’ll repeat it anyway – www.linnareacu.org.

OK, lunchtime.  I’d have something delivered, but I have to let my dogs out – they LOVE it outside for some reason.

So, be good and see you in the Spring!

In the comments below, tell us – what’s your favorite way to stay connected with LACU when you can’t get to a branch?

My Apology to Blackberry Users by John

December3

I think I owe Blackberry users an apology.

I used to see people squinting at their little devices and think, “Get a life, nerd!”

Especially in public places.  What could be so interesting that you would basically be oblivious to most things going on around them in the “real” world?  I mean, it’s a phone, right?  What else does it really need to do?  Crackberry, indeed.

Well, a few months ago I got a Blackberry and all I can say is, “I’m sorry.”

I absolutely cannot see living without a smart phone now.  I’m constantly on it: making changes to my fantasy football lineup, getting GPS directions, updating Facebook, etc. One of the handier things I use it for is Linn Area’s Mobile Banking.  We’ve only had it a few months, but it’s already indispensable.  It’s basically a Lite version of our online banking product, e-Branch.  You can view History, transfer funds, etc. from ANYWHERE.  Well, anywhere you have service. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret about myself – I don’t balance my checkbook.  Heck, I don’t even know where my checkbook is anymore.  I know I should keep all of my receipts and store them someplace that I’ll actually remember then once a week add ‘em all up, subtract them from blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum.  Well, to me, this task is right up there with rearranging the sock drawer on the fun-o-meter. 

With Mobile Banking I can keep track of my spending and still have time for more important stuff….. like Number Cruncher.  (It’s a free game I found on crackberry.com.)

Sadly, I don’t think I’m done apologizing yet. 

You see, this weeked I’m getting an iPhone. I may just start at the top and send Steve Jobs a virtual white rose.

There’s an app for that, right?