XCEL Federal Credit Union: Innovation & Expansion

XCEL Federal Credit Union is celebrating its 52nd anniversary this year. Over these past five decades, so much has changed. When we first opened up shop, we only offered basic savings accounts and worked out of a desk drawer. Now, we are offering remote mobile check deposit from your smart phone, shared branching (over 6,000) and ATMs (over 40,000), CDs, money markets, first mortgages, home banking, auto loans, and so much more. For the fifth year in a row, we were named ‘One of the Best Places to Work’ in New Jersey.

Four years ago in 2012, we were named the ‘Credit Union of the Year’ for New Jersey. The best of all, we earned our first national award. The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) has named us the 2014 Credit Union of the Year. Additionally, the New Jersey Commerce and Industry Association (CIANJ) just announced that XCEL will be receiving two prestigious awards, ‘Best Practices’ and ‘Companies That Care.’

The leadership of the credit union is aware of our members’ wants and needs and is up on the latest industry trends. This year in Washington D.C., we earned yet another national award. However, this one is different, it makes the listed XCEL as the credit union that offers the most value to our members from all the credit unions in the United States.

Achieving this award affirms what we have always known: XCEL is member-orientated and will do whatever we can to help you.

XCEL’s extensive & reputable history

Our background is similar to every other credit union, yet different. We started off as the credit union for employees of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Everyone knows where they were on September 11th, 2001. We were in our office in the World Trade Center. After living through, and being a part of, the 9/11 tragedy, words like liberty and freedom mean a lot more to us, now more than ever.

We are thankful to this day that all our employees got out of the building unharmed, but we think of those who did not. We sympathize with the victim’s families and everybody else who were affected in some way. We also would like to thank the public servicemen and women that provided help during the nation’s dark time.

Until 9/11, we were headquartered in the World Trade Center (Tower 1 – 17th Floor), but now we call North Jersey our home. From that tragedy came a new innovative way of banking. On September 10th of that year, about four to seven percent of our transactions were done remotely by our member, meaning through home banking, touchtone phone banking or ATMs. Soon after, the tragedy struck.

Our members still needed to access their money even though the building was no longer there. So, they taught themselves how to use their computers to access their accounts. Nearly 93 percent of our current transactions are done through phones, the internet, our smartphone app, our shared branching locations/shared ATMs or through our own advanced ATMs.

It is pretty amazing to witness—to see our members utilizing the perks that come with joining XCEL. It also shows the resilience of our nation and our members.

From misfortune to innovation & expansion

Over 100 million Americans belong to a credit union. Let that sink in for one second: 100,000,000 Americans belong to a credit union. Wow, those people are just looking for a better way of banking and that is exactly what XCEL Federal Credit Union provides. Its banking you can trust and consistently rely on.

Over the years, credit unions have become more and more accepted in not only New Jersey but also around the country. Americans are realizing that credit unions really are a great alternative to those big banks. The average bank is 14 times larger than the average credit union. That allows for credit unions to get to know their members are more personal and intimate level. To put that in to perspective, consider this: credit unions in the United States were established in 1908. It took over 105 years for all the credit unions to grow to over $1 trillion, over a century.

By contrast, U.S. banks grew by $1.4 trillion in just the last three years. Each of the nation’s four largest banks, are larger than the entire credit union industry. That is amazing. Even now, a few years after the big banks needed to be bailed out, three of the four largest are even larger. It is just not right. Credit unions are member-owned, democratically governed, not-for-profit cooperative financial institutions that are managed by a volunteer board of directors.

Can you imagine a bank having any volunteers working for it? The credit union structural difference helped cooperative financial institutions come through the recent recession (2007-2009) nearly unscathed, while the banking industry teetered on near-complete collapse. Bank runs were commonplace. Every company in New Jersey should offer their employees the free benefit of credit union membership: every company, every municipality and every organization.

XCEL’s exceptional service

Members’ accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration Share Insurance Fund (NCUASIF) for up to $250,000. We offer every service a bank does with little or no fees including Kasasa rewards checking. Our Kasasa reward checking offers the members several options to make their checking account work.

And every option includes nationwide ATM fee refunds. One option offers special iTunes or Amazon gift cards while another offers high dividends (currently 2.01 percent) on your savings. Or maybe you would prefer cash back on all your purchase using your XCEL debit card? We can do that. All these plans are different and each has certain qualifiers, but at least you have a choice.

Membership into XCEL Federal Credit Union is absolutely free to the company, municipality or organization. It is truly a free benefit. In this age of cutbacks, wouldn’t it be nice to give your employees a fresh new benefit that they can actually use? We pride ourselves on our financial literacy program.

We will come to your company and explain to your employees how credit scores really work, how to buy a home for the first time, and so much more. We help your coworkers stretch their paychecks and that makes you look good. So as we said earlier, every company in New Jersey should have a credit union.

Formed in 1964, XCEL Federal Credit Union has been serving members with exceptional financial products and services. XCEL Federal Credit Union is federally insured, regulated, and examined annually by both the federal government and an independent CPA firm. Each member’s deposits are insured to the $250,000 maximum allowable limit by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. They can be reached at (973) ASK XCEL (275-9235) or e-mail them at xcel@XCELfcu.org

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Meadowlands USA

Meadowlands USA

Meadowlands USA is a North Jersey regional publication that reaches people who live and work in and around the Meadowlands (including the Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic County corridor), as well as visitors to our region. The blog edition is updated regularly and the print edition is released six times a year.

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