WAW Banking as it should be January 2022 Welcome to SmartLINK Hello and Happy New Year! It is nice to be enjoying the warmer weather across our region and the optimism that the festive season often brings with it. 2021 represented 65 years of operation for the Credit Union, and perhaps also one of its most testing. I am proud to confirm that your Credit Union stood up to the various challenges that came our way, and that the organisation remains strong because of the dedication and hard work of our staff and suppliers – as well as the incredible resilience of our customers. From a financial perspective, record-low interest rates have stimulated significant demand from many new and existing customers during the year. Results for the 2021 financial year reflected a second consecutive year of record growth in lending and deposits, with WAW’s total assets surpassing $620m. Lending grew by just over 10% or approximately $44m, while deposits increased by approximately $62m or 12% for the year. The high-degree of operational resilience throughout the Bushfire and COVID period over the last 18 months or so has been underpinned by the dedication and perseverance of our staff, and we are extremely proud and thankful for their efforts. We are also proud of the fact that our core banking systems remained 100% operational throughout the onset of COVID and the seamless transition to remote working for many of our people. We remain committed to moving the organisation forward and are delighted to confirm that a number of important new investments have been made into our technology platforms and services during the year as part of our Strategic Plan. Among the largest is our financial commitment to enhancing our cyber security systems and associated customer support programs, which aim to exceed the expectations set out by Federal regulators under the Information Security Prudential Standard (CPS 234). WAW continues to be an important partner to many community organisations, fundraisers, and charities. I am pleased to confirm that WAW will remain as the major sponsor of the Hume Football and Netball League, and the Ovens and King Football and Netball League in 2022 which extends these partnerships to well over a decade. At the time of writing, we are also partnering with Uniting to collect important donations for their Food for Families Appeal, an initiative which seeks to support vulnerable people in our communities each Christmas. As environmental and sustainability issues remain front-ofmind following COP26 in Scotland, we are also delighted to see our long-term partners at Totally Renewable Yackandandah and Indigo Power celebrate the launch of Australia’s first community-owned battery and solar installation last year. We are proud to support these organisations and welcome the opportunity to connect with our customers and wider community through these various initiatives. Michael Mack CEO January 2022 Michael Mack - WAW Chief Executive Officer CEO Welcome WAW CHEQUE FEE CHANGES HOW WE’VE BEEN HELPING OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES WAW BOARD OF DIRECTORS PARTNERSHIP WITH ATMX OPEN BANKING OUR 10 TOP TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE FROM SCAMMERS THE HISTORY OF WAW IN OUR REGION YOUTH BANKING PRODUCTS
WAW Banking as it should be SmartLINK January 2022 WAW Cheque Fee Changes In October 2021, WAW introduced updated fees for cheque usage. The Personal Cheque Withdrawal fee increased from $1.00 to $1.50 and a cheque deposit fee of $0.50 was introduced for each cheque deposited to business accounts. There was also an increase in the Corporate Cheque fee from $2.00 to $5.00. Why were these changes made? WAW commenced engagement with customers on this issue in 2019, noting that the use of cheques as a non-cash payment method has changed dramatically over the past decade. Cheques now account for less than 1% of non-cash payments in Australia, down from a high of 85% in 1980. Consumer banking preferences have shifted towards digital payment options including debit and credit cards, BPAY, direct deposits and online banking. As a result of declining cheque usage, the cost of processing each cheque has sharply increased over recent years, with further significant increases passed on to WAW on 1 August 2021. How to minimise the impact moving forward We recognise that the impact of fee changes and the continual decline of cheques presents challenges to some customers, and therefore we will seek to do all we can to assist you to explore other payment options. WAW provides many other non-cash payment options for customers. These include Electronic Funds Transfer using your internet, phone banking or over-the-counter transfers, and direct credit and BPAY for making payments. Our Customer Service team members are on hand to help explore alternative payment options if you would like to avoid cheque processing fees. What is the future for cheques in Australia? The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) predicts that cheques will be phased out as consumers continue their uptake of digital transactions. The RBA has not mandated a cut-off date, and at this stage WAW will continue to offer cheque services for as long as we are able. However, we have also recently been informed by our cheque processing partner that our current contract, expiring in 2023, is likely to be the last provided. For more information on this impending change or to talk to one of our team, please call us on 1300 368 555 or visit one of our Service Centres where you can talk to a Customer Service Officer in person. GO GREEN, with eStatements. Log into your WAW Internet banking and make the switch. Simply log into your Internet banking, go to statements > eStatement Options and elect to receive eStatements. It’s that easy. * If you do not have internet banking, visit your nearest branch and we can set you up! Better for you, better for the environment! How we’ve been helping our local communities WAW’s commitment to the community is founded upon supporting local initiatives and local people. A significant component of this is our sponsorships and donations, and despite the continuing impacts of COVID-19 on local events, there has still been much to celebrate over the past six months. Here are a few things we have been doing to help create a positive social impact in our regional communities: • We’ve continued supporting regional sport as major sponsors of the Ovens and King Football and Netball Leagues and the Hume Football and Netball League. • We are building local partnerships. In November and December, we partnered with Uniting to collect nonperishable food donations and monetary donations for those in need. • We partnered with Victoria Police to deliver CARS (Caring about Regional Safety Program) to schools in Southern NSW and North Eastern Victoria. Table Top Public School were awarded $2000 for the winning entry. Walla Walla Public School and Bethanga Primary School were awarded second and third prizes respectively.
WAW Banking as it should be SmartLINK January 2022 Open Banking Our team has been working behind the scenes to ensure that WAW could participate in the new Consumer Data Rights (CDR) regime called ‘Open Banking’ for the finance sector. WAW is now one of a number of financial institutions in Australia participating in Open Banking as a ‘Data Holder’. What is Open Banking? Open Banking was created in 2019 when the Australian Government passed the CDR legislation and appointed the Australian Consumer & Competition Commission as the regulator. The aim of the legislation is to give consumers fast and easy access to their data which, it is believed, will increase competition between major banks, other financial institutions and accredited third parties. This is an opt-in service for consumers that gives you the ability to share your banking data with accredited third parties, making it easier for you to manage, compare and switch banking products and services. Is my data safe? Data security is a primary focus for WAW and of Open Banking more generally. It will be your decision whether to share your Consumer Reference Data, which means you will have control over how your data is used, and to whom it is given. All participants who send or receive data under Open Banking must meet strict accreditation criteria, privacy and security standards. The accreditation process is regulated by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and they must also comply with privacy requirements set by the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Types of information you can share Once you have opted-in to open banking, you can securely share your account summary, balances and transaction history for accounts such as: • Debit cards • Term deposits • Transaction and savings accounts • Home loans • Personal loans WAW Board of Directors We would like to congratulate Matthew Grogan on his successful appointment to the WAW Board of Directors. Matthew is a Solicitor at Halliday Solicitors in Beechworth and lives locally in the Yackandandah area. He has deep connections in our community, particularly to innovative organisations that are driving sustainable initiatives across our region. We’re happy to welcome Matt into this important position in our organisation. We bid farewell to Victoria Schmidt in November 2021. We sincerely appreciate the contribution she made to the organisation during her time with us as a Director, and wish her all the best for her future. Partnership with atmx WAW Credit Union recently formed a new partnership with atmx by Armaguard to keep connecting our customers and regional communities to cash. Why did we make this change? The rediATM scheme was purchased by Armaguard, who rebranded the network to atmx by Armaguard. With over 2,100 machines Australia-wide, WAW’s transition to atmx by Armaguard provides our customers with continued flexibility to access cash free of Direct Charges at even more ATMs across the country than was available under rediATM. Removal of ATM transaction fees on all WAW accounts As part of the transition, WAW has removed and/or relocated some machines. The rationalisation of some ATM locations allowed WAW to remove ATM transaction fees from all accounts for all customers. This came into effect on 1 December 2021. Where is my closest ATM? You can locate your closest ATM on the atmx website at atmx.com.au/locate-us/ WAW has joined atmx Ask us what this means for you! A2 POS (Print) C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Visit the WAW website for more information on Open Banking, including how to opt-in and share your data. wawcu.com.au
SmartLINK January 2022 Youth Banking Products Our Youth Transact and Saver accounts are fee-free accounts for young people aged 13-25. Link up your digital wallet for banking on the go. Or link your accounts together for easy spending, and easy saving. $0 account keeping fees Unlimited transactions 24-hour phone banking access 24-hour internet banking access The history of WAW in our region Our story begins with the coming together of three locally established Credit Unions across the region - St Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Society in Wangaratta, Our Lady’s Wangaratta Co-operative Credit Society and the Wodonga Credit Cooperative Society. Having commenced operations in 1964, the Wangaratta Societies decided on a merger in November 1970 to form the Wangaratta Credit Co-operative. The Wodonga Credit Co-operative then commenced in 1961 to help people in the community manage their money, and amalgamated with the Wangaratta Co-operative in 1976. New premises were established in Stanley Street Wodonga in 1978 at the site of the current WAW Credit Union Head Office, and in 1979 a Service Centre was opened in Albury. Marking 1980 as a year of dynamic changes in the industry, the Wangaratta Credit Union was incorporated on 30 April 1980 under the name WAW Credit Union Co-operative Limited, the name representing the three cities of Wangaratta, Albury, and Wodonga. More mergers followed with the Beechworth and Ovens Credit Union (1989), Bandiana Credit Union (1998), B-W Albury Credit Union (2002) and Albury Murray Credit Union (2002). In all cases, we continued to combat the very high level of competition which had developed in financial services and sought to provide our customers with a wide range of services across our local region. Today servicing more than 25,000 customers across the region, WAW is a modern financial institution with a full Banking Licence under the Banking Act and recognised as an Authorised Deposittaking Institution (ADI) under Federal Regulation. We have invested in the development of digital banking services and continued to support our Service Centre network with branches in Albury, Wodonga, Lavington, Beechworth, Yackandandah, Chiltern, Wangaratta, Myrtleford, Tallangatta, Corryong, Walla Walla, Walwa and Moulamein. With more than 80 local employees across our network, we are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers and to supporting our local communities. We’re proud to be local and we’re proud to be customer-owned. 1300 368 555 | wawcu.com.au | firstname.lastname@example.org Our 10 top tips for staying safe from scammers Staying safe from scams sounds simple enough, but it can be easy to forget just how important it is to pay attention to every detail of your finances – and who has access to them! To help keep our customers safe, we have collated our top 10 tips for recognising and staying away from scams: 1. If you are unsure about making a payment, either over the phone or online, you should stop and give us as call. We love to help and can review the information and situation to make sure it’s not a scam before you transfer any funds. 2. T he last thing you might think about when we talk about financial scams is puppies. But some scammers like to take advantage of our love for these adorable animals. Always visit the seller and meet the puppy before you hand over any money! 3. If your phone has stopped working, consider whether your phone number may have been ported (stolen). This is a key indicator of identity theft, and it is important that you seek assistance from an expert if this happens. 4. I f you are paying a large invoice, or if there has been a change (no matter how small) to a regular invoice, always verify the information by calling the business directly before transferring the funds. 5. I f you are purchasing an item or product through Facebook Marketplace, make sure you only do so after meeting the seller and seeing what you are purchasing. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. 6. A common scam is when the scammer impersonates a Government agency and insists that you need to make an urgent payment. If you receive a call of this nature, remember that a legitimate Government organisation will not threaten to arrest you or charge a fine without providing written documentation. 7. Pay attention to where you are transferring your money! Certain types of scams, particularly investment scams, will result in funds being transferred overseas. Check out the BSB information and give the holder a call, or Google the BPAY biller. 8. Speaking of investment scams, companies offering financial services within Australia must have an umbrella Australian Financial Services License, or AFSL. You should always check the ASIC website to search current licensees if you are thinking of investing. 9. If you are buying something over the phone or online, and the seller asks for proof of identity in the form of a license or passport, stop for a moment and consider why they are asking for this. Scammers often ask for this to obtain personal information and it is important to err on the side of caution when providing these details. 10. W hen you’re falling in love, the last thing you want to think about is whether they’re in it for the right reasons. However, sometimes your online matches are scammers who are looking to take advantage of you. Beware of the information you provide online or over the phone.