CorePlus Federal Credit Union is a federally chartered, member owned, not for profit cooperative. We are a not for profit, not for charity, but for service Credit Union. Founded in 1936.
Below are highlights from our years past beginning with the most recent events.
Technology innovation and collaboration set the stage for 2017. Advancements in technology continue to change the world we live in at a faster pace than ever. We can all list one or more businesses that were once household names that have or are in the process of closing their doors. The commonality for these businesses is that technology displaced them because they didn’t adapt or change! In the financial services industry, we often find that our most challenging competition is not the financial institution down the road. Instead it is a “Fintech” company that provides consumers with innovative ways to engage in financial transactions through advanced technology and alternative delivery channels. Instead of watching the Fintech companies shifting business away from the credit union, we followed the old adage of “If you can’t beat them join them.” And that is what we did in 2017.
We converted our decades old core-processing system and moved to a service provider that offered a relational database core system which operates in an online real-time processing environment. The conversion has allowed us to offer many of the electronic services that were in demand by our Members. Under this new platform, we now offer iMobile app, iMobile check deposit, bank to bank transfers, person to person transfers (Popmoney), online loan applications and much more. We are extremely pleased with the adoption rate of our Members and look forward to continuously adding tech products and services that allow Members to do business with CorePlus from anywhere.
Security has always been a major focus of the CorePlus Team. One of the reasons we selected our new core processing provider was because of their detection technology and risk management capabilities. Behind the scenes, there are a number of internal operating security features that have been improved upon, although are not apparent to the membership. The iMobile application which allows Members to access their accounts online through fingerprint authentication is a clear example of the security features offered under the new system.
We also made major security enhancements to our debit and credit card programs. Our VISA cardholders now have 24/7 access to call center support every day of the year. With the SecurLOCKTM mobile application, Members can reduce the chance of credit card fraud by instantly turning off/on their VISA card. Members also have the capability to customize security controls to block certain types of transactions. The CardNav mobile application allows debit cardholders similar controls to reduce debit card fraud. Our commitment to security is ongoing. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, we will adapt and increase our tools to protect Member information and accounts.
Member services still remains a primary focus of the Board of Directors and staff. Despite major system changes in 2017, we made 2,290 loans to our Members, totaling over $68.9 million. Loan volume was exceptionally good for auto loans. With new systems in place, during the last quarter of the year we were able to set records for auto lending. On the deposit side, we continued to offer very competitive rates without promotional strings attached. During the year we sponsored a number of educational seminars for the membership and general public. Our fraud seminars were particularly popular. Additionally, our new online banking platform with tools to help Members budget and set up savings goals has been extremely popular.
Image, technology and member service are important building blocks in our success. This past year we worked hard to develop all three. We fully implemented our rebranding initiative. We are proud of our updated CPCU logo and color format, as well as the “Smart Banking. Community Trusted.” tag line. This clearly defines who we are and what we work to improve on each and every day.
The branch redesign at our Salem Turnpike, Norwich location was the most visible change made during 2016. The look of the branch is certainly more appealing and the redesign was made to satisfy the changing needs of the Membership.
Important technology changes were put into place to specifically improve security for Members and the Credit Union’s operating environment. After many months of planning, working with vendors, and testing, CorePlus began the process of issuing credit and debit cards with the EMV chip. The EMV chip provides robust security features and other application capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. Also a number of our ATMs where upgraded to accept the EMV chip card. These changes protect our card holders from many types of fraud. Recognizing that security is very important to the Membership, CorePlus is continuously engaged with our vendor partners to ensure that our cardholders are provided with the latest security features.
Our focus continues on improving the Member experience. We opened a Member Communication Call Center that combines both product and operational knowledge. The benefits of this department were quickly realized as Member issues became opportunities, and inquires turned into new loans and deposits.
CPCU enhanced our electronic funds transfer services and home banking experience for our Members. A lot of effort during the year was directed toward making credit readily available to our Members at places where they shop. Marketplace development and growing our network of local retail partners and preferred auto dealers offering CorePlus on-site financing.
Our social media campaigns encouraged Members to shop at locations where CPCU financing is available. Our Buy Local, Borrow Local campaign is truly a program designed to improve the overall health of the local economy. We are extremely proud that our Members can walk in to over 50 local retail outlets and auto dealerships, and quickly and conveniently get competitively priced financing.
Throughout the year, we concentrated on improving the branding of the Credit Union. A team was put together to develop a new logo and brand image for CorePlus Credit Union. The new logo is a dramatic change from our past. It takes on a more modern flavor and provides the Credit Union with a consistent brand message and instant recognition, as well as a look and feel that is attractive to up and coming Members. Credit unions are all about “People Helping People” and our rebranding effort fits very well within that philosophy.
January – Installed a full service, deposit taking ATM at Backus Hospital’s main campus in Norwich.
The Board of Directors accepts the retirement notice of long time President and CEO Warren P. Scholl. At the May Annual Meeting, it is announced that 5 year CFO Nicholas K. Fortson is appointed to the role of President & Chief Executive Officer. Raymond Currier is named as Executive VP & Chief Operations Officer. The Credit Union is at over 22,000 members, 9 locations, all along the important Route 395 corridor.
September – a fully redesigned www.coreplus.org is launched. In partnership with local web designers, the new site is clean, fresh, bright, and informative. The technology is ‘responsive’, meaning, the site will flex and resize to the device you are using; whether it be mobile phone, tablet, laptop, desktop computers.
Launched relationship with over a dozen local, small businesses to offer CorePlus financing on site, with instant approvals, through the CU Direct Lending platform. These “Preferred Retail Partners” typically offer discounts to CorePlus members, as well as local service and sales. This program grew in 2014 to include over 35 partners!
Entered the Age of Social Media with our Facebook page. This presence is an outlet for us to share our community activities, fun pictures, branch and team information, and interact with members in a more informal space.
September – opened a full service mini-branch located within the remodeled Putnam Walmart Supercenter, with a 24/7 ATM on site.
November – opened a full service mini-branch located within the new Brooklyn Walmart Supercenter, with a 24/7 ATM on site. As a result of having two local full service branches, we dissolved the Putnam Loan Zone office.
CorePlus enters relationship with Credit Union Student Choice – a continuing education loan program that fills the gap after scholarships, grants and subsidized loans are applied to the cost of attendance. Families can learn about Student Choice through local high schools, information on our website, or Member Education Workshops, held every 6 months.
Opened the Putnam and Norwich Loan Zone offices; consumer lending centers specializing in personal, auto and real estate loans.
We participated in the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce’s Auto Show as Presenting Sponsors.
CorePlus kicks off its 75th Anniversary celebration on March 30th with proclamations from local and state officials recognizing the Credit Union’s service to its members and its communities.
Our membership was over 21,000 and our assets had grown to over 200 million dollars.
In July Fedcon Employee’s Federal Credit Union chose to merge with CorePlus Federal Credit Union
October 9, 2007, moved our New London Branch to 40 Boston Post Road, Waterford. November marked the installation of an ATM at the Backus Hospital Outpatient Care Center on Salem Turnpike.
July 26, 2006, opened an office in Plainfield at 67 Lathrop Road and in August installed an ATM at Norwich City Hall.
August 2005, saw the downtown branch in Norwich, relocated to a full service branch with ATM and drive-thru at 30 Norwich Avenue.
We were granted a Community Charter by NCUA to serve New London County, Windham County, the residents of Hebron and the employees of the town of Bolton.
In February another merger occurred and we acquired New London Telephone Employees Federal Credit Union.
In April Norwich Pequot Teachers Federal Credit Union changed its name to CorePlus Federal Credit Union. Months later in July we merged with Norwich Connecticut Federal Credit Union. Then we completely renovated the 1850’s building into our fifth branch.
On June 1st Norwich Pequot Teachers Federal Credit Union merged with the Backus Employees Federal Credit Union.
By merger, American Standard Federal Credit Union and Hayward Federal Credit Union were acquired. The Norwich Pequot Teachers Federal Credit Union was then serving over 10,000 members and had more than 25 million in assets.
The Credit Union merged with The Pequot Teachers Federal Credit Union, and became known as the Norwich Pequot Teachers Federal Credit Union.
By 1974 the Credit Union had reached over one million dollars in assets.
Eastern Connecticut Teachers Credit Union released the towns in Windham County, Connecticut to Norwich Teachers Federal Credit Union for “Better Service…”
At this time the assets had reached $100,000.00.
Monday March 30. An organizational meeting took place at the Wauregan Hotel by the Norwich Teachers League to form a Credit Union.
The Norwich Connecticut Teachers Federal Credit Union began with 27 members and $15.00.