Bowater Credit Union’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response

Updated 5/22/2020

As the coronavirus threat continues to evolve, we are taking proactive precautions to maintain service while keeping employees and members safe.

Our Operations

Bowater Credit Union’s top priority is keeping our workplace safe and free from infection, so that we can ensure the health and safety of our employees, members, and their families, and to continue providing service to our members.

The following additional precautions are being taken:

  • As of Tuesday, May 26, 2020 our Drive-Thrus will return to normal hours, and our lobbies will be open with the following procedures and limitations:
    • To allow our staff time for cleaning at the end of each day, the lobbies will be open as follows:
      • Athens & Hardwick Farms Branches: Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 4 pm, Friday 8:30am – 5pm
      • King Street: Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 4 pm, Friday 8:30am – 5pm, Saturday 9am – 12pm
      • Calhoun: Monday – Thursday 7:30am – 3:30pm, Friday 7:30am – 5pm
      • Keith Street is currently closed for an update to the interior.
    • A limited number of members will be allowed in the lobby at one time.
    • No waiting in the lobby to see a Loan Officer, IRA Specialist, or New Accounts Representative. If such an employee is already serving a member in their office, we’ll get your phone number and you’ll be asked to wait in your car until the Loan Officer or Member Service is available and we’ve cleaned and sanitized the office for your protection.
    • If you are wearing a mask, you’ll be asked to lower it briefly before entering for identity verification.  If we don’t have your ID on file, you may be asked to present photo ID as well.
    • For safety and to prevent long waits, we encourage members to continue to use the Drive-Thru, phone, and online channels as much as possible (see a helpful guide here). If you come to the lobby and your transaction can be done through the Drive-Thru, we may ask you to use the Drive-Thru if the amount of members in the lobby has reached capacity.
  • We are still taking appointments for Loans and New Accounts.  Please note that both of those services are also available online. (Loans) (New Members) (Existing members can open new accounts from inside myBRANCH)
  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all frequently touched surfaces like ATMs, counter tops, and electronic signature pens.
  • The world’s greatest pens (our Bowater Credit Union bic clicks) will not be in the lobby but clean ones will be available by request, and will be yours to keep.
  • We have removed the suckers from our lobbies; our tellers will be happy to hand you your favorite flavor upon request.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the door.
  • Coffee service is not currently available in our lobbies.
  • Public restroom are not currently available at any location.
  • We have temporarily removed the children’s play areas from our lobbies.
  • Employees have been provided with gloves and additional cleaning supplies, and have been instructed to maintain social distancing when interacting with others, and to wear a mask when they are unable to maintain six feet of distance.

The March 23 Annual Meeting has been cancelled.  A new meeting time and location will be announced at a future date.

We have a Business Continuity Plan in place, which includes pandemic planning. Our leadership team is staying abreast of news regarding the virus and advice from the CDC.

 

Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus)

It is the IRS that determines when payments are made, and we will not know which round you are in until we receive a payment for you. Some people might be getting payments in future rounds. Many recipients will receive payments via check, and those are expected to be delivered over several weeks beginning the week of April 20th. The IRS will have a tool soon called “Get My Payment” where you can track your Economic Impact Payment. The IRS has stated that this website will be live by mid-April at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.

If you receive a mailed check instead of direct deposit, please note that we are unable to accept government issued checks – that includes the economic impact stimulus checks and tax refund checks – through mobile deposit because of endorsement restrictions. We’ll be very happy to provide service on these funds through our drive thrus, which have extended hours while our lobbies are closed.

Remember: scammers will be looking to take advantage. The IRS will not call you, they will not email you, and they will not text you. If the IRS needs to contact you about your stimulus check, your tax refund, or anything at all, they will use the mail. Don’t follow links in emails, go directly to irs.gov yourself to access information.

Managing Your Accounts

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising the public to stay home when sick, and to practice social distancing. For these reasons, we encourage you to use Drive-Thru, Online, and Phone Service whenever possible. Find a helpful “Where do I go?” guide to services by clicking the blue button.   

  • Use myBRANCH Online Banking. It’s a free and easy way to check your balances, transfer funds, make loan payments, and more, from your desktop or mobile device 24 hours a day. With our mobile app, you can even electronically deposit checks. If you don’t yet have Online Banking, you can enroll online.
  • Use our ATMs. We have an ATM at each branch, where you can withdraw cash, check your balance, and make cash or check deposits in the envelopes provided. Transactions are posted the following business day. We’re also a member of the Allpoint Network, which allows you surcharge-free access to nearly 60,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • Call us at 423-336-7268. Our Contact Center can handle almost any banking need, or transfer you to someone who can.
  • Use our night drops. Each branch contains a night drop where you can make your deposit. It will post the following business day.
  • Use P.A.L. (Personal Account Line) Telephone Banking. If you’d prefer not to use Online Banking, PAL is another 24/7 option to check balances, transfer funds, and make loan payments. The first time you call, your PIN will be the last four digits of your Social Security Number. 423-336-7913.
  • To avoid touching keypads at merchant checkout, use Mobile Wallet, such as Apply Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay.  Register your debit card and credit card, and use it when you check out at a mobile-wallet-friendly checkout. It’s fast, secure, and you only touch your own phone and not the keypad or card reader.

Special Assistance for Members with Financial Hardship

We are here for you, and we are in this together. If you are facing financial hardship, we encourage you to contact us at 423-336-7268 so we can help. As always, if you believe you will be unable to make a loan payment, contact us in advance of your due date.  You can find many more resources on our Resources for Members page.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.   Please follow us on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for updates.

For Members Who Are Small Business Owners: Paycheck Protection Program

We do not provide these loans directly, but are happy to announce we have partnered with another credit union to offer this program to our members.  If you’d like to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, click here.

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