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.