High-Tech ATM Delivered Holiday Cash to Those with Blocked Cards

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OMAHA, Neb. — Family Focus FCU is helping members whose debit cards have been blocked due to the Target breach still receive 24/7 access to their money.

The $29 million CU regretted having to block 150 debit cards late Friday night to protect members' accounts. But FFFCU scrambled, calling all 150 and letting them know they can still use their blocked debit card at the new CO-OP NextGen ATM outside the credit union.

The high-tech ATM offers shared branching functionality and allows members to perform many of the functions they can with a teller. While the blocked debit cards won't work with the machine's ATM functionality, they still serve as identification, giving members access to shared branching transactions. Other forms of ID can be used as well, such as a driver's license with a mag stripe.

"Now members whose cards have been cancelled can take out money just like they would if they walked into the credit union," said CEO Amy Brodersen. "And they can do it 24/7."

Brodersen said the credit union understood  that members getting calls late Friday and Saturday from the CEO and the rest of her team could be devastated, knowing that their debit card would not work during the last four days before Christmas.

"I spoke with a 19-year old member who broke down in tears when she first heard me tell her that her card was canceled and she'd have to wait about a week for a new one," said Brodersen. "She told me that the debit card is all she has."

But Brodersen quickly explained that the young member would simply have to enroll in shared branching, which can be done right at the CO-OP ATM.

"I told her to come down Saturday and I would walk her through the process, it's quick and easy and now she's happy," said Brodersen. "We walked a lot of members through the shared branching enrollment process on the phone and in person."

The cards had to be blocked when news arrived from Visa Friday near 5 p.m. "The staff and I were ready to head home, but we all stayed and hit the phones. By Saturday we had reached just about everyone."

Family Focus is still waiting on the list from Visa with any of the CU's credit cards that may have been compromised.

"This is a tough time not have your debit card," said Brodersen. "The timing of this breach could not have been worse. We wanted to do everything we could to make sure our members had the money they needed before Christmas."

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