From Kilkenny? Change current account? Your credit union has you covered!

Having a checking account with a bank is one of those things that many people don’t think about once they sign up. Of course, they’re all the same anyway. Is not it?

Well, even if they are, who says your checking account has to be with a bank? The world has moved on and there are currently other options that banks would prefer you didn’t know about.

One such option is MYCU, the new checking account offered by local credit unions. With MYCU you’ll get your debit card, a dedicated app and all the benefits of having a current account – but you’ll also get so much more.

Castlecomer Credit Union CEO Gerry Reynolds (above) answers some of our questions about MYCU below. Good reading. This may be the best decision you will make for a while!

Q. Hi Gerry, could you tell us a bit about MYCU, the new checking account option available here and rolling out to credit unions across the country?

MYCU Current Account is a full-service account, bringing you all the features you expect from a current account that comes with the same local, trusted service of your credit union.

MYCU debit card can be used in shops, pubs, ATMs, you can get cash back, use it internationally, it can be used for virtually anything that can be used on the ordinary debit card day. The card will also be fully compatible with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Q. It’s a tough time in banking right now. Big players such as Ulster Bank and KBC have left the market, so how can the credit union fill this gap? Will they be able to?

I think the credit union movement is perfectly positioned to fill that gap.

Beyond the banks that leave the market and those that remain, it is clear that the customer side is disappearing. If you go to your local bank, say you want to get a bank statement, it’s at least five, six working days.
If there’s nobody available, you try to do it on a machine and not everyone is able to run those machines because we’re not all tech-savvy. So that’s the first thing.

The second thing is the personal touch that has been lost in the bank. We will centralize our customer service. We are aiming for a four-minute turnaround time for customer calls.

With a bank, you could wait four hours. It has become a real pet peeve for bank customers lately. I used to work for people who had mortgage issues. One day I spent three and a half hours on hold. There is no reason for that. No excuses for that.

Q. So suppose I decide to transfer my checking account from my current bank to my local credit union. What other benefits come with being an active member of a credit union that I won’t get with a bank?

First, if you take one of the simplest benefits, your loans are insured. So anyone who gets a loan from a credit union under the age of 80, their loan is fully insured. There is also savings protection.

We have now reached an agreement which we hope to put in place in June where life cover, home cover, travel cover, investment cover and hopefully auto cover will also be available to our members.

We will be able to provide these services to our members while providing appropriate professional advice.

Castlecomer currently has no insurance brokers. Why should locals go to Kilkenny or Carlow for home insurance? Why can’t we provide it? We will soon.

Q. From a purely practical point of view, is it difficult to change current account provider? Are you helping people make the transition?

People are nervous about switching bank accounts. I know this because I myself am in the process.
There are several ways to do this. You can do it yourself or allow us to do it manually or we can use what is called a switching process. We’ll walk you through every step of the process if that’s what makes you comfortable.

We’re here to make this transition as easy and seamless as possible. We will leave you in no doubt as to whether you are making the right choice.

Look, we’re not a bank, but we’ll do the same things banks do to fill the void in the market. We won’t be sitting here at the end of the year saying “oh, we haven’t made enough money“. None of that goes into it.

That’s not the philosophy of a credit union.

Q. So if I transfer my checking account to the credit union, I am in safe hands? How does the future look for you?

The future is very simple. We will have our current account in place. We will have insurance products in place. We will have a situation where a member can come here and do whatever they need to do, whether they are 18 or 95 years old.

By having a checking account with your local credit union, you will also actively support and sustain your own community.

We here at Castlecomer donate thousands of dollars to the local community every year. Last year we did Tidy Towns here. We currently have three or four community projects that will see significant investment in charitable and good causes.

When the current account product starts to progress and more people start to do business with us, it will generate even more profit, but this profit is not for us. We’ll look into that and see how much we can put back into the community.

We invest in people. We support communities. We will support you every step of the way. We would be honored if you give us the chance! Switch to us today. We are just a phone call away.

Interested? Call Castlecomer Credit Union, phone 056-4441368 or visit castlecomercu.ie to find out more!

About Joan Ferguson

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