• How CardControl Keeps Your Business Secure

    Read More
    +Woman shopping online using her debt card.
  • Protect Your Small Business from Scams

    Read More
    +hacker
  • Understanding the Difference Between Debit and Credit Cards

    Read More
    +Couple using credit card for online purchase
  • Transitioning Your Business Relationship to a New Financial Institution

    Read More
    +Businessmen shaking hands
  • How to Open a New Account at ICCU

    Read More
    +Couple talking to credit union teller
Financial Education

How CardControl Keeps Your Business Secure

Jul 01
2021
Woman shopping online using her debt card.

If you are a small business owner with employees, chances are, this is a question you’ve been faced with. Protecting company assets, while maintaining good operating practices, is a huge challenge for almost all business owners.  If managed correctly, this practice can be very helpful.

If you are a small business owner with employees, the question of whether or not you should give your employees a company credit or debit card is most likely one that you’ve been faced with. This question can bring up a lot of concerns. Protecting company assets, while maintaining good operating practices, is a huge challenge for almost all business owners.  If managed correctly, allowing employees to utilize a debit or credit card can be very helpful to your business, and Idaho Central can help you mitigate the risks.

Considerations

When your employees have a card that they can use, there are many benefits. First, this is one of the easiest ways to save your business time. If you are the only one in your business that has a card that can be used, this can create a bottleneck for purchases that need to be made. Each time an employee needs to make a purchase for any project or inventory that they are in charge of, they would be able to make that purchase themselves rather than rely on finding you and getting access to your card first. Allowing them to have their own cards can ease that burden. It also allows for extra layers of tracking, which may not be possible otherwise. When your employees each have their own cards, you are able to clearly track and see who is spending what, and set your future budgets accordingly. With an Idaho Central card, all cards are also protected by Visa’s zero fraud liability. This adds an extra layer of protection for your business that you otherwise wouldn’t have if your employees were instead dealing only in cash or checks.

While there are many clear benefits to allowing your employees to have their own cards, there are many concerns that business owners have when making this decision. The additional risks that come along with employees having their own cards can include opening your business up to risks of fraudulent charges, purchases that haven’t been approved, and can add concerns about the logistics of managing having multiple cards “floating around.” As a business owner, you may also have concerns about your employees misusing their cards, or about what happens when an employee leaves the business. These questions can result in a lot of hesitation, and many business owners may overlook the benefits altogether.

CardControl

At Idaho Central, we have a solution for these common challenges! It’s called CardControl, and is a free feature we offer to our members.

CardControl is a mobile app that allows you to stay in control of the type, amounts, and where your employees can use their company card. Here are some examples of what this can do for your business:

Location Control

Set limits on where the card can be used. Location Control allows you to create a virtual wall around the location you have authorized.

Transaction Control

You can enable your Transaction Control to select the specific types of purchases. For instance, if your employee would not need to make online purchases, you can turn this setting “off” to prevent this particular purchase type.

Merchant Control

Merchant Control is a way to limit even where the card is used. If you would like to block purchases made from a gas station, simply turn this feature to no.

Spending Limits

Spending Limits are a major concern as well. In order to limit exposure, we recommend putting spending limits on each card. This is as easy as setting a dollar amount that you are comfortable with your employee using daily.

Additional Security

In addition to CardControl, we can also provide a Business Card Management tool upon approval. This tool allows you to turn employee cards on and off as needed, set limits on each of your employees’ cards, and have full manageability of how your limit is being spent.

These are just a few examples of how we can help your business run as efficient as possible, while minimizing risk. Contact your local Business Relationship Officer for more details on how Card Control can help you and your business!

Financial Education

Protect Your Small Business from Scams

Jun 11
2021
hacker

As business deals increasingly move into the electronic realm, it becomes critically important to be aware of new threats to your business. People committing fraud are creative, and new scams are introduced daily.

As business deals move into the electronic realm, it has never been more critically important to be aware of new cyber threats to your business.  People committing fraud are creative, and new scams are introduced daily.  The Better Business Bureau published an article about the top ten scams targeting small businesses, which can range from scams that have proved reliable in the past to brand new scams constantly being created by new fraudsters. It may seem impossible to stay on top of your security, but you can protect your business from being scammed by implementing some key practices in your business.

Educate Yourself and Your Employees

Knowledge is your best defense in protecting your business. Anyone can fall for a scam, which means you and your employees are a liability. Because of this, keeping your defenses up is key to keeping your business protected. You can do so by keeping tabs on any new or recurring scams out there, and make sure your employees are on the look-out as well. Keep everyone on the same page by holding trainings, having clear password and internet use policies, and staying in communication about anything that may be suspicious or that they need to be aware of. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission is an excellent resource with information about protecting your business. Carving out time to stay informed can make all the difference in avoiding scams and keeping your business safe.

Slow Down and Ask Questions

Many scams capitalize on simply creating a sense of urgency. Slow down and really evaluate what is being presented to you. The urgency may be alarming, and your instinct may be to immediately take whatever action you are prompted to. When you slow down and take a step back, however, you are able to think clearly about the situation.

Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust. This may look like a service your business uses emailing you to tell you that your payment information is outdated with a link to update it. Or it may look like an email from your bank letting you know that your online account is locked with a link to provide your login credentials, security questions, or other personal information. It is also good practice to be vigilant with any check you may receive. This can be as simple as a check arriving in the mail that you weren’t expecting, or a check that is much larger than you had agreed on and now they’re asking for you to send part of it back.

Get into the habit of slowing down and asking questions. Is your payment information really outdated? Can you go directly to their website or contact them to check on this, rather than clicking on the link in the email? Were you expecting this check? Why is the amount different than expected? Does the story add up? Take your time to verify anything that may seem off, trust your instincts, and don’t commit to or take action on something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Communicate With Your Financial Institution

One of the simplest ways to protect your small business is to watch your accounts and be aware of what deposits and withdrawals are occurring on a regular basis to catch potential fraud as soon as possible. Financial institutions are trying to stay one step ahead of the con-artists and fraudsters and Idaho Central is available to help you safeguard your business accounts with tools such as automatic card fraud monitoring for all ICCU cards, and CardControl. If fraud is found, our cards are also protected by Visa’s zero fraud liability, protecting your accounts from losses. Do not hesitate to contact us if you ever have questions or concerns! Idaho Central can help you identify scams or fraud, and help you with the next steps needed to protect yourself. Learn more about how to protect yourself at our security center.

As always, please remember that Idaho Central would never send you an email or social media message with a link asking you to provide login credentials, security questions, or any other personal information. Always go directly to www.iccu.com or use our app to log in and access your online banking. If you have received what appears to be a phishing email pretending to be from Idaho Central Credit Union, do not respond to the request. Instead, forward the email to abuse@iccu.com.

Contact us today to find out more about our business products and services.

Financial Education

Understanding the Difference Between Debit and Credit Cards

May 24
2021
Couple using credit card for online purchase

If you’re new to credit cards, it may seem confusing at first to determine what the difference is between a credit card and a debit card. They look the same, are accepted at many of the same places, and serve the same function. You need to make a purchase? Take out your card, run it,Read more

If you’re new to credit cards, it may seem confusing at first to determine what the difference is between a credit card and a debit card. They look the same, are accepted at many of the same places, and serve the same function. You need to make a purchase? Take out your card, run it, and your purchase is complete! Though the process of using a debit card and a credit card are very similar, if not identical at times, the back end process is what makes all the difference. Debit cards pull funds directly from your account. This means that in order to use your debit card, you have the money available already. Essentially, it is the same as paying with cash. Credit cards, however, are loans. When you use a credit card, you are taking out a loan for that amount, with the promise to repay it later. If you are at the stage in your life where you are considering getting a credit card, it’s important to know the differences between debit and credit so that you know what benefits you have, what benefits are possible, and what benefits you may be missing out on.

What benefits are offered for both?

There are benefits that all cards from Idaho Central have, offering you peace of mind and helping you to know that you are taken care of. At Idaho Central, we are proud to offer our members automatic card fraud monitoring for all ICCU cards. If fraud is found, our cards are also protected by Visa’s zero fraud liability, protecting your accounts from losses. In addition, we also offer CardControl, a free app that allows you to stay in control of your cards. You turn them off and on as needed, set spending limits, define approved types of transactions, receive real-time alerts, and protect your card from theft.

What’s right for you? 

Once you understand the differences and similarities between a debit card and a credit card, the next step is to decide what is right for you. As exciting as getting a credit card may seem, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for one. If you’ve never had a credit card before, using your debit card responsibly and figuring out your budget is a good first step to take. Once you’re ready to take the next step and open a credit card, you’re faced with even more options in determining which card is right for you. At Idaho Central, we’re ready to help.

You may be new to building credit, or had some credit issues in the past that you’re looking to come back from. If this is you, we offer credit builder and credit rebuilder products to get you started on your journey to great credit. Our Fixed-Rate Platinum Visa offers the security of a fixed rate, and our Variable-Rate Platinum Visa may be best if you need a low rate on your monthly balance. We also offer our Rewards Visa, which is a great option to start earning rewards on all of your purchases with a lower interest rate on your monthly balance. A Premier Rewards Visa, however, is perfect for the borrower that wants to maximize rewards and perks, and doesn’t typically carry a balance each month.

Did you know that credit unions have capped interest rates? Some financial institutions have high interest rates, but the good news is that credit union interest rates can’t go above a certain threshold. That way, you can rest assured that your ICCU credit card will have one of the best rates available on the market! If you are shopping for a credit card with a great rate, you can view all of our card options and their rates at any time on our website here. At Idaho Central, we also offer no fees for balance transfers or cash advances, low interest rates, and great rewards options to choose from. To make your decision even simpler, you can view all of Idaho Central’s credit card options to easily compare here.

What do you need to know about rewards?

If you have a rewards card, it’s important to know how your rewards program is structured. It’s not uncommon to be lured into a seemingly great credit card offer with flashy advertisements telling you about their high cash back percentage. Though that 3% cash back may seem appealing, take a close look at what it really entails. Many cards may offer a large amount cash back for certain purchases, but a small amount cash back for your everyday purchases. For example, you may have a credit card that offers 3% cash back on travel, and 1% on everything else. If you doesn’t spend much on travel, your overall cash back may be much lower than you anticipate from the initial claim of 3%. Depending on how you plan to use your card, it may be best to find a card with a straight-forward point system for a fixed amount of points for each dollar spent.

In addition to knowing how you receive rewards, you will want to know how your rewards are redeemed. Many people love their travel cards, but these are often only redeemable for travel, not cash back. Maybe you saved up all of your points for the year to go on a big family vacation, but then had a family emergency come up and needed to postpone your plans. If your rewards are only redeemable for travel, then you wouldn’t have the option of cash back to use for the emergency or other unexpected expenses. Considering this, it may be best for your card to have flexible redemption options, letting you plan for your fun family trip, while also allowing you to use the rewards like cash. At Idaho Central, our reward points are redeemable for cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more. Choosing the right rewards card for you is the best way to make sure you are making the most of your business credit card. Our Premier Rewards Visa offers 2 points per $1.00 spent on all purchases, offering you great cash back on every purchase you makes, not just a small percentage of them. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for future promotions to get even more rewards out of your card!

What extra benefits are there?

After going through all of the work of picking out the right card, budgeting, making sure your security is in place, and maximizing any rewards, you may feel like you’ve tapped out all of the benefits of your credit card. Luckily, that may not be the case! Idaho Central offers great credit cards with extra benefits that you may not be aware of. This includes auto rental collision damage insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, purchase security and extended protection, and more. Do you have big travel plans in the future? You can even level up your extra benefits with our Premier Rewards Visa card, which comes with Visa’s Concierge service. This concierge service can help you plan your trip, reservations and recommendations included!

Apply for your credit card today and start taking advantage of all of the great benefits that come with an Idaho Central Visa credit card!

Financial Education

Transitioning Your Business Relationship to a New Financial Institution

May 11
2021
Businessmen shaking hands

You know breaking ties with your current financial institution is the best decision, but the choice to move can be daunting. Making the switch is easier than you think. Here are some quick tips to get you started on a fresh start.

Is your financial institution meeting all of your business needs? Maybe the interest rates don’t compete, the customer service has taken a turn for the worse, or your company’s needs have simply changed. If the writing is on the wall, you know it’s time to leave. When you know that breaking ties with your current financial institution is the best decision, the choice to move can still be daunting. When you choose to move your business banking to Idaho Central, however, making the switch is easier than you think! Here are some quick tips to help get you started.

Open New Business Accounts

The first step to making the switch is to open your new accounts. At ICCU, we know that businesses need a flexible checking account, a strong savings account, loan options that will help your business reach the next level, and CD options to make your money work for you. ICCU offers many different types of business accounts . Take some time to research the best account options for you, and then make a decision based off of which accounts will best fit your business needs. Once you have decided on the right accounts for you, head over to our New Business Membership Checklist and make sure you have all the documents needed, and then stop by your local branch or use VideoChat to work with a business specialist. We are proud to also offer a personal touch. Our business specialists can help guide you from start to finish, and are always available to answer any questions you may have. We want your experience to be easy and seamless.

Update Automatic Payments

Once you’ve established your new accounts, the next step is to move over any payments and your payroll. Making these changes at ICCU is simple and you won’t need to take multiple trips to the branch. Instead, you can enjoy fast, convenient, electronic access, and originate ACH entries with Business eBranch and Business Bill Payment. Once you’ve updated any payments, you will just need to update any customers who make automatic payments to your business. Make sure they have your new routing and account numbers, so they are able to switch their payments over to the correct accounts.

Stop Using and Close Your Old Business Accounts

We recommend keeping your old accounts open until all outstanding payments have cleared and you have moved everything over to your new ICCU accounts. Once you verify that all your transactions have cleared, close your old account. If you need assistance, an ICCU business specialist can help you write a Letter of Closure to your previous financial institution.

Enjoy Financial Expertise at Your Fingertips

At ICCU, it’s a whole new experience. We work with you as a team. Our specialists know your business and are available to assist you directly.  Our team is here to answer any questions and help meet the financial needs of your business.

We have an entire team dedicated to the service and support of our business members here at ICCU. Get in touch with one of our business specialists and see how we can serve you!

Financial Education

How to Open a New Account at ICCU

May 03
2021
Couple talking to credit union teller

For some, the thought of opening a new account at a financial institution can seem daunting.  However, knowing what to expect and how to prepare can help put your mind at ease. At Idaho Central Credit Union, we strive to make the process of opening an account fast and easy.  Here is all you need to know.

We are continuously humbled that so many Idahoans trust us with their daily balance and we refuse to let a single member down. If you live or work in Idaho you likely qualify for membership. Becoming a member is simple and takes just minutes. In fact, you can join online right now. Once you’re a member, you will immediately begin enjoying the full benefits of membership with Idaho’s top credit union. It’s a small change now that can make a big difference later.

For some, the thought of opening a new account at a financial institution can seem daunting.  However, knowing what to expect and how to prepare can help put your mind at ease. At Idaho Central Credit Union, we strive to make the process of opening an account fast and easy.

What do I need?

To open an account at Idaho Central, you need only a few things:

  • Photo ID
  • Social Security Number
  • Two years of employment and address history
  • Deposit

How much does it cost?

  • To become a member: $5 (One-time fee, at initiation only)
  • Savings account: $25 (This amount stays in your account to keep it open)
  • Checking account: $100
    • This money can be used immediately, a $100 deposit is necessary to open the account.
    • Starter accounts require only $50 deposit. That means that anyone under 18 years old can open a checking with $50.
    • Checking can be opened as young as 12 years old.
  • Credit card: $0 (No deposit necessary.)
  • Other loans: TBD
    • If you are taking out a personal, auto, RV, home, HELOC, or other type of loan, you can work out how much you pay upfront to determine your monthly payments.

How do I know if I am eligible for membership?

  • You can find more details about eligibility on our website here.

What if I have bad credit or no credit at all?

  • We have products specifically set up for those who may have had credit hiccups in the past or who have never had an account before, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do to get you set up.

Where do I sign up?

At Idaho Central, it has never been easier to open your membership.

  • Click here to submit your application online.
  • Contact us through VideoChat to open your membership with a live agent, from the comfort of your own home.
  • Or come into any branch, and we’ll be happy to help!

Idaho Central Credit Union is proud to have been acknowledged as one of America’s top-performing credit unions eight years running. That’s a streak we look forward to keeping alive.

As the premier credit union in Idaho, our members receive industry-leading products and services while also enjoying true Idahoan customer service. We’re proud to have called Idaho home since 1940.