With our recent advances in technology, community outreach and physical expansion, this past year has been one of Nutmeg’s most successful. It’s time again to reflect back on the year and prepare ourselves for the next.
Looking Back on 2018
Advancements in Technology
Among the most significant events of the year was Nutmeg’s partnership with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, which resulted in shared-space branch locations in Milford and North Haven. These branches feature DMV Express services that have greatly improved the license renewal process. Since the introduction of these services in June, over 18,000 people have been served with an average wait time of less than ten minutes for license renewals. We also implemented a feature that allows renewals to be scheduled online up to two months in advance. This was a huge step for Nutmeg and we’re thrilled to be working with the DMV to provide such a convenient service for CT residents.
We have also made significant improvements to our branch banking technology with efficiency and automation in mind. Kiosks outfitted with self-service technology have been placed at our newest branch locations, with more to come to other branches in 2019. Nutmeg members can use these kiosks to do transactions like account transfers, loan payments, check and cash deposits and withdrawals, get a new or replacement debit or credit card, apply for a loan, open accounts and more. As always, Nutmeg staff will be on site to educate and assist. We are excited about this new approach to banking and are committed to creating an excellent service experience!
In December, we worked hard to introduce several highly requested features to online banking. Members may now opt in or out of Privilege Pay (Overdraft Coverage), request a Skip-a-Payment for loans and even open new Checking, Saving, Money Market Accounts and Certificate Accounts—all in e-Banking or from the Mobile App! Our goal has always been to make your experience faster and easier, so the addition of these features was certainly an exciting step for us.
Much of these technology innovations and enhancements were done by our subsidiary, DaLand LLC. DaLand is a well-established technology consulting firm that services many credit unions across the country. This past summer, we began a partnership with DaLand by creating a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO). CUSOs are common among credit unions and help provide advanced services for members and even to other credit unions. Our CUSO will be dedicated to making all our services even more convenient and easy to use, whether in a branch, online or on your mobile device. You can expect to continue to see your experience improve no matter where or how you do your banking!
Working with the Community
Since our designation as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in 2016, we have dedicated ourselves to aiding low-income areas and underserved families. This past year brought the addition of several new services focused on these demographics. Based on feedback from our Hispanic employees and members, we created the Juntos Ahorramos (Together We Save) account as an additional savings method for those who may need help staying organized. This account allows members to automatically save money each week for education expenses, vacations, holidays or any additional needs. It also has a higher interest rate than our standard savings accounts.
Nutmeg has also taken steps to provide services for undocumented immigrants, whose access to financial institutions is crucial for establishing good credit. This past summer, we began accepting Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) for immigrants who do not have social security numbers. These ITINs allow financial institutions to authenticate new members and provide accounts, loans or other essential banking services. We believe everyone should have access to banking services, and as an organization dedicated to helping underserved communities we have strived to push toward that goal.
As always, our work in the community also extends to charitable organizations. This year Nutmeg worked with several non-profit groups in the Hartford area benefiting those in need. In February, employees helped raise over $80,000 in donations at the annual Channel 3 Kids Camp Telethon. The following April then marked record-high company participation in the March for Babies, a fundraiser dedicated to helping families impacted by premature birth. As a result of our participation at this event, Nutmeg won the CT Credit Union League’s Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility. Most recently we partnered with the Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation, where we conducted on-site visits to educate those in need about smart spending and the importance of saving money. I’m proud of our involvement in the community and look forward to seeing where these partnerships take us in the coming year!
Our Plans for the Year Ahead
This past year has been very successful and I am excited for our plans in 2019. We will continue to push the boundaries of the industry with improvements to our branch technology as well as online through our e-Banking and Mobile App.
We will also be introducing a new Car Ownership Program dedicated to providing low-income, working families with a reliable means of transportation. Having a working car is essential to helping families stay on the right financial track and we know this program will be valuable to many local families.
I am confident that Nutmeg will continue to grow as a leader in the banking industry. Of course, none of this would have been possible without our members! On behalf of the entire team and the Board of Directors, I’d like to thank you for allowing us to serve you and your family with all your financial needs in 2019 and for years to come.
President and CEO