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Veridian Credit Union's Easy Membership Status

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UPDATE 7/24/07: We have received clarification from Veridian Credit Union informing us that Veridian remains an easy membership credit union. Please refer to this new blog post for details.

In a May 2015 blog post, I reported that Veridian Credit Union (Veridian CU) had added an easy membership requirement (EMR), giving all U.S. residents the opportunity to join.

Easy Membership - Veridian CU now offers membership to registered users of Dwolla, a digital payment network that connects with U.S. banks and credit unions to enable account-to-account transfers.

According to Dwolla’s website, "setting up an account is free, and there are no per transaction fees." Veridian CU’s Looking for Answers? page provides details about Dwolla, which is an agent of Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank.

In the 14 months following the EMR addendum, Veridian CU became one of the credit unions that consistently offered nationally available, competitive CDs. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

Yesterday, DA reader, RickZ, posted the bad news in the Forum.

As Ken mentioned in his earlier blog post, Veridian allows registered users of Dwolla, a digital payment network, to be eligible for membership in the CU. However, a Veridian CSR just told me that Dwolla has very recently changed its policy and no longer allows individuals to become registered users, only businesses. (I have not tried to go through the Dwolla registration process so I cannot confirm this). The CSR said that if you have a business you can sign-up for Dwolla and then you can join Veridian individually. Otherwise, it appears that individuals not meeting the residency requirements will be out of luck.

Dwolla’s website is not very user friendly. There is no contact phone number listed and the only “Live” Chat option is with a bot, which was not helpful at all. The bot couldn’t answer my question of “Can individuals open a Dwolla account?” and suggested I submit an email to Dwolla’s support team to get an answer. (Is it just me, or is a Live Chat with a bot an oxymoron?)

While I was waiting on Dwolla’s response, I found this limitation in the Dwolla Transfer Terms of Service, dated March 1, 2017.

1.8 Business purpose. You agree that you are not using the Transfer Services Primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

If you have previously had an individual Dwolla account, the Transfer Terms of Service voids that agreement.

If you previously accepted the Dwolla Terms of Service when you opened a Dwolla account, you and Dwolla agree that those terms are terminated for that Dwolla account and replaced in their entirety by these Terms, when you accept and agree to be bound by these Terms for that Dwolla account.

According to the Dwolla email I received in response to my inquiry,

The capability for Personal accounts to send, receive, or request funds with other Personal accounts (i.e. P2P) is no longer available in Dwolla’s web or mobile applications. The ability to add funds to your Dwolla balance has also been removed.

While researching this issue, I came across this article in The Des Moines Register that provides some insight into Dwolla’s decision to change their business model.

Bad news bottom line – Veridian CU’s EMR through Dwolla is gone.

Thanks to DA reader, RickZ, for his Forum post about this development.

The Good News – Once a Member, Always a Member

If you joined Veridian CU through the now defunct Dwolla EMR option, your membership is still in effect and will remain in effect, unless you decide to close your account. Veridian CU’s Become a Member page states,

Our membership policy states "Once a member, always a member." This means you may maintain the full privileges of membership should you move (or relocate if you prefer) or retire from the company or association that offers you membership - even if you move to another area or state.

The qualification requirement to join doesn’t have to be maintained to continue to be a member of the Credit Union. Your membership will remain active as long as you maintain the required minimum balance in the share savings account. The Federal Credit Union Act states,

1759 e (2) Retention of membership.—Except as provided in section 1764 of this title, once a person becomes a member of a credit union in accordance with this subchapter, that person or organization may remain a member of that credit union until the person or organization chooses to withdraw from the membership of the credit union

Credit Unions Anyone Can Join

Due to this change, we will be removing Veridian Credit Union from the "big list" of credit unions anyone can join. You can use this "big list" to find other credit unions that have easy membership requirements.

Comments
Uoxx
Uoxx   |     |   Comment #1
Interesting, I signed up with Dwolla yesterday and there was an option to register as an individual. My application with Veridian says that it is currently being processed. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens now.
DwollaSmoooth
DwollaSmoooth   |     |   Comment #2
Dwolla is the most exciting company in Iowa, but nobody knows what it does.
Kaight
Kaight   |     |   Comment #3
Joined Veridian a while back (last year I think) through Dwolla. Glad I did. Iowa in general IMO is second only to the DC region in terms of offering high CD interest rates. But the problem in Iowa is gaining admission to their credit unions. Veridian was a very welcome exception.
dmprisk
dmprisk   |     |   Comment #4
Well, when their deposits drop, they'll have to come up with an easy membership requirement without Dwolla. Otherwise Oh well.
me1004
me1004   |     |   Comment #5
Not sure why you are listing Veridian as limited membership rather than easy for anyone to join -- Dwolla is still taking signups by individuals, and just tested and it works. Yes, I see you saying the field of membership has changed, but not on their Website it hasn't, and Dwolla takes the signup, which is all that is needed for membership in Veridian. The Website still lists that anyone who joins/registers with Dwolla (for free) can join the credit union -- and that's how I joined over a year ago.

The membership requirements:

https://www.veridiancu.org/belong/membership/membership-requirements.aspx

And it also says that if you don't qualify to join under any of those methods, contact them -- meaning they have quiet ways you can join anyway, as I have found at a few CUs. This method alone will make it easy membership. Veridian wasn't looking to lose easy membership because Dwolla changed some rule; this approach retians that easy memberbship.
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #6
Dwolla's Terms of Service now state it's not to be used for "personal or household" uses. One of my team members tested out the Dwolla application process, and it only gave account options for businesses (including sole proprietors), non-profit organizations and government. When the business account option was selected, the application required both an EIN and DBA name. Individuals could form a sole proprietorship for this purpose, but we didn’t feel this would be an “easy membership requirement”. In the overview section of our credit union page for Veridian, we still say that “membership is also open to registered users of Dwolla (only businesses can be registered users of Dwolla).”

It never hurts to contact a credit union to see if they can offer a way to join. If there’s another organization that’s easy for everyone to join that can be used to qualify for Veridian membership, please let us know. As we learned from Navy Fed, backdoors that credit unions don’t publicize don’t always last long.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I registered at Dwolla a couple years ago but I never used its services. So I entered my email address & password to see if I was still in their system. I am, so I went ahead & filled out Veridian CU application. Everything looks as though the opening is progressing, including $1005 which should come out of a personal checking acct. Of course I wish to open the 15 Month Jumbo Special CD. Guess I will just wait & see if I really get a membership.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Yes, my membership is opened!! Took only an hour to complete the process. After verification & authorization of check account for $5. savings & $1000 15 Mo CD, all complete. My Acct # was e-mailed to me & I am able to log into acct now!!

Fastest opening of an account in a long time. Online shows Savings $5.00 & 15Mo CD $1000. +My money hasn't been taken from my checking account yet. All this on a Saturday!!
me1004
me1004   |     |   Comment #13
Ken, your last paragraph is the key, and as I also pointed out in my post. Veridian specifically lists at the membership page that if you don't qualify under any other means, call them. That means, like with some other CUs such as at Financial Partners FCU and earlier this year with Navy Fed CU, they have a quiet way in which anyone can join.
FrankSavage
FrankSavage   |     |   Comment #10
Because of conflicting recent comments about changes in Veridian/Dwolla membership, I sent an email to Veridian CU customer service asking for clarification and received the following response:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact Veridian Credit Union. To become a member with us, we have a link on our site that will take you to Dwolla to register as a new user. https://www.veridiancu.org/contact-us/?kbid=10740 If you click on this link and then select the Dwolla that is in green, you will be taken to that site to enroll in there. Once you do that, then you can apply for membership on our website."

The link in green takes you here: https://www.dwolla.com/register/customers . After you provide your email address and a password you are given four choices of Dwolla account types, PERSONAL, BUSINESS, NON PROFIT, or GOVERNMENT. After selecting PERSONAL you provide identifying information and create your Dwolla account. Once your Dwolla account is approved you are eligible to become a Veridian CU member.

Hope this may help to clear up any confusion others may have about Veridian CU membership.
Ann
Ann   |     |   Comment #11
Yes, the Dwolla change just removed the ability for personal accounts to send money to someone else's personal account, they didn't stop accepting new personal accounts - and probably still want those personal members to be able to send money to their business members (to buy stuff).
rhutnik
rhutnik   |     |   Comment #12
This totally works! I figured why not at least get a Dwolla membership before this door truly closes, took 5 minutes. I wanna get a membership with Veridan but it seems like you have to open an account to become a member. I don't intend to open any CDs or keep any money with them right now, so is the free checking account the best option? Do they do a hard credit pull upon the application?