Drive-up lanes out to the street, meeting with loan officers via webcam, opening accounts over the phone, struggling to hear a Teller through a mask, coin shortages, etc. – no doubt that banking with White River Credit Union in 2020 was unlike anything our members or employees have ever experienced.
Despite these challenges, the credit union mantra of “People helping people” is a principle that I saw and continue to see demonstrated every day by White River Credit Union members, employees, and the community. In 1952 White River Credit Union was formed when a small and committed group of Weyerhaeuser White River Mill employees pooled their resources to provide critical help to their coworkers by making loans. WRCU saw first-hand how a financial cooperative can make a difference in people’s lives. Since that time, we have persevered through challenging periods of hardship for our members and community, however, we can all agree that 2020 has been a year like no other.
In response to the crisis, we introduced the Member Assistance Program with financial support options available to help our members in need of assistance. These included emergency loans up to $1,000, loan payment modifications, and waiving fees. White River Credit Union also provided support to local foundations and organizations, including providing virtual financial education programs to Enumclaw and White River Schools.
While we have offered digital options such as mobile check deposit and mobile payments, i.e, Apple Pay or Google Pay, we saw adoption increase in 2020 which accelerated the demand for further innovation, requiring us to respond rapidly. As we encouraged members to make every effort to do banking from the safety of their home, we added more remote options. We know this trend will only grow and we are focused on improving our digital channels, including adding business partners and emerging technology.
I want to express my thanks to our members for their patience as we navigate these times of uncertainty and assure you that WRCU remains in a strong financial position, and fully committed to the health and safety of members, employees, and community. The guiding principle “People helping people” motivates and inspires us to do more.
Brandy Fielding, CEO