All members will be receiving a letter to the statement address we have on file in the next few weeks. The letter includes this message from NWCU's President/CEO, John D. Iglesias:
You may have recently experienced a service interruption with Northwest Community Credit Union during an outage which included disruption of online and ATM account displays, along with some other impacts.
I wanted to reach out to you personally to extend my deepest apology for the unavailability of your account data. We’ve addressed the cause of the issue; further, we’ve enhanced our backup system availability to prevent disruption in the future.
I also want to provide an acknowledgement of the credit union’s impact on your ability to work with your accounts in a customary fashion. For some members, the impacts included uncertainty over account balances or delays in payment processing.
We have already removed any NWCU fees associated with the outage. For charges you may incur from other merchants, this letter, and the outage summary (enclosed) should be provided to any creditor charging you a late fee for payments delayed during the outage window.
If a third-party creditor does not waive a late fee that occurred as a result of our outage, Northwest Community Credit Union will refund the third-party fee upon receipt of a statement (or other proof of the amount of the late fee) and contact information for the creditor.
We also want to hear from you if you feel your month-end statement is incorrect.
In summary, if you experienced impacts, we want to continue to provide help, support, and adjustments as needed. Let us know how we may help.
Again, we deeply regret the inconvenience to our members. From all of us at Northwest Community Credit Union, thank you for your loyal support and continued business.
John D. Iglesias
If you need a PDF letter briefly describing the outage for a third party, please send us a secure message in eBanking or give us a call at (800) 452-9515.
NWCU Outage Information
Northwest Community Credit Union member account information was unavailable to members from Wednesday, February 23rd through Saturday, February 26th.
A failure in our data system cut connection to account displays in online banking, in the mobile app, and for internal staff views. The outage began at approximately 7:30 PM Wednesday, February 23rd. Online banking displays were restored as of 1:30 AM Saturday, February 26th. Additional impacts: As processing of the backlogged transactions occurred late Saturday and Sunday, misalignment in recorded transaction dates was detected and addressed. Interrupted services included: Views of transaction history in online banking; availability of pending direct deposits; and ACH or wire transfers.*
What We Did to Address the Issue
- Support & Communication: We directly alerted members in the mobile app, online banking, ATM, and NWCU.com displays as soon as we detected irregularities; we continued to provide real time updates, and public and social media advisories as the outage and solutions progressed. We provided extended branch hours; 24/7 phone support, including support services on Sunday; and responded individually to requests in social media. We provided workaround account data. We contacted individuals where it appeared an incoming deposit or an outgoing mortgage or other large monthly payment was still in pending status.
- Forgiving Fees: We have removed NSF or other NWCU fees associated with the outage timeframe. We ask that creditors and third-party payees consider forgiving any fees or late reporting due to the credit union’s error. If a third party does not waive a late fee, NWCU will reimburse you for that charge, as follows:
How to Let Us Know About a Third-Party Fee or Other Item Requiring Adjustment**
Please provide proof of the fee charged by the third party due to a late or returned payment during the outage. This may be a statement; or it may be a charge as registered in your account or in an account with another institution. We will need: Your name and account number; the dollar amount of the fee; the name and contact information of the merchant, utility, or creditor charging you for late payment.
If you believe your month-end statement for February is incorrect, call, write, or visit us with the following information: Your name and account number; the dollar amount of the error. Tell us why you believe there is an error or describe the item you are unsure about.
Please Note: We must hear from you within 60 days after we sent your statement covering the outage period: on or before May 6th, 2022.
The Cause of Outage
- Connection to the display of member data was interrupted by a hardware malfunction.
- Offsite backup data systems contain secure and live record of transactions. No information was lost; however, some time stamps were initially misaligned as historical data imported.
- Bringing the backup system online through a secure means represented 36 hours of transmission time, because of the method we chose to do this. We opted for the highest security, which was also the slowest.
- This method preserved account holders’ ability to do ATM, point of purchase, debit/credit transactions, and scheduled payment. We deemed it the least disruptive path to resolution.
- Some members were concerned that the outage was due to hacking or other malicious attack. This outage was specifically confined to an internal hardware failure. There is no sign of malicious activity in NWCU infrastructure.
What you May Expect in the Future
- Monthly statements will contain complete, up-to-date account balance and transaction data.
- We continue with best practices in digital financial services. This includes periodic scheduled maintenance outage for timely updates in the systems we use to provide online banking.
- We have enhanced our practices to help provide more swift recovery from backup systems.
- We’ll provide ongoing response to any account question, related to the outage, or otherwise.
*Online and ATM banking service interruption included balance inquiry; bill pay; account to account transfer, plus some additional specific spending (checking/debit) account features were affected. Not all members experienced every interrupted function, based on account settings; and unique timeframes for individual pending deposits and withdrawals. Most banking services remained available through the outage, and scheduled automated bill pays continued. Transactions at the point of purchase, debit and credit card use, ATM withdrawals and NWCU scheduled mortgage payment wires were continuously available.
**Your NWCU Membership & Account Agreement notes this provision: "The Federal Truth in Lending Act requires prompt correction of statement mistakes. If you think your statement is wrong, or if you need more information about a transaction on your statement, write us (on a separate sheet) at the address shown on your statement as soon as possible. We must hear from you no later than 60 days after we sent you the first statement on which the error or problem appeared.”