FAQs

More about our new name…

You’ve got questions, we have answers! Please take a moment to look over the frequently asked questions below.

 

Can you tell me about the Widget name?

Our Board of Directors decided to change the Credit Union’s name in order to better reflect our entire membership. The Board had many criteria for selecting a new name including:

  • Finding a name with regional ties and mass appeal
  • Paying tribute to our past and to General Electric Transportation (GET)
  • Having a name that is trendy, fresh and fun – zany, but still serious

After evaluating hundreds of potential names, Widget Financial was selected as our new banner! Widget Financial is an ideal name because it:

  • Pays tribute to GE Transportation (widGET)
  • Is a familiar term across many industries, including manufacturing, technology and education
  • Stands out and challenges perceptions
  • Is youthful, future-forward and fun
  • Can be pronounced and spelled easily

Why are you changing your name?

We have merged with 14 other credit unions throughout the years so our name no longer represents who we are or that membership is open to the entire community. In fact, this is not our first name change. Many of our members have experienced their credit union changing names more than once!

We’re still the same place members have come to know and trust for more than 77 years. We have undergone many cultural changes, such as opening our doors to the entire community, and we want to serve the needs of every member and make the Credit Union a household name.

Unfortunately, people still think they have to work for GE in order to open an account. We want to break through this stigma and a new name will help us do this!

We are frequently confused with other financial institutions in the Erie region and we can no longer afford to have our growth hindered in any way during these tough economic times.

Were you bought out or merged into another institution?

We are not changing our name due to a merger or being bought out, nor due to any financial instability. It is because of our financial stability that we can make this change now!

Our financials will be distributed through our Annual Report which will be available at our Annual Meeting on April 20 at 3 p.m. at the Ambassador Conference Center in the Hemingway Ballroom, and afterward in our branches.Section 3

I heard that you might not be a credit union anymore?

We are still a credit union and will remain a credit union after the name change. Our new formal name is Widget Federal Credit Union.

With that said, consumers do not readily understand the words ‘credit union’ in our name. This can lead to a stumbling block keeping people from joining our financial cooperative. Expect to see us advertise the financial services that we offer very heavily along with advertisements conveying our strengths as a cooperative and credit union.

Widget Federal Credit Union does business as (DBA) Widget Financial.

Can I keep using my checks?

You betcha! Our routing number isn’t changing so your checks will work indefinitely. There is no need to reorder your checks. The next time you order, they will have the Widget Financial logo

Will my debit card still work?

Yes it will! There is no need to reorder your debit card. So, you can still shop ‘til you drop with no interruption in service. The next time you order a new card, it will have the Widget Financial logo. Pro tip: you may want to order a new debit card anyway in the near future when Widget launches “DesignIT” the program that lets you place a custom image on our debit card!

How will this affect my credit card?

Credit cards will not be affected by this change. In fact, they will keep right on working through the expiration date on the card, provided that there isn’t a need for the credit union to issue a new card before then. We anticipate generating your new Widget Financial branded credit card upon your next scheduled re-issue.

A name change sounds expensive. What are you doing to keep costs down?

It’s not as bad as you think! We have a really talented team working hard to keep costs down. For example: we are changing signs and other materials throughout the next year.

Is now a good time to change the name when rates are so low?

By changing our name, we are gaining better awareness throughout the community as we differentiate our brand from the many other financial institutions in Erie. Because of this, we anticipate greater member growth in the future. As more members utilize our cooperative, our already stellar rates and services will become even better.

We are just as concerned as you are about the costs of a name change. However, we are also worried about the cost of doing nothing! It’s vital that we stand out in a crowded marketplace and with our current name we have been unable to do that. We are however, doing many things to keep costs down significantly. We have done most of the creative work in-house and will not be changing everything overnight. Any changes that will be made to our signage and facilities will be spaced out over this year and into the next several years as needed.

Our savings and loan rates are among the most competitive in the region and even nationwide! While deposit accounts are not paying dividends that many of us remember seeing in better economic times, rest assured that we are doing everything we can to give our members the best possible rates. Our HD Checking is proof of this fact.

Now is a great time to borrow with the credit union! Despite a tough economic outlook in 2012, we went on to lend over $63 million to our members and we expect that amount to jump to more than $77 million in 2013 in part as we celebrate our 77th year of conducting business in Erie County.

Were you bought out or merged into another institution?

We are not changing our name due to a merger or being bought out, nor due to any financial instability. It is because of our financial stability that we can make this change now!

Our financials will be distributed through our Annual Report which will be available at our Annual Meeting on April 20 at 3 p.m. at the Ambassador Conference Center in the Hemingway Ballroom, and afterward in our branches.

How will this change the credit union?

Our new name works on many levels, across many service industries and is attractive to a wide demographic, including young adults. It emphasizes us as a family-focused financial institution and will be easy for people to understand.

You will still see us serving, volunteering and supporting important causes throughout our region.

What does GE Transportation think about this?

In early 2013, General Electric Corporation sent a letter to Erie General Electric FCU. This letter included cease-and-desist language demanding that the credit union remove ‘General Electric’ from its name. The credit union was not surprised by this letter and we had been privately and proactively working on a name change for over two years. While General Electric has no oversight or governance over the credit union, we are proud to maintain a very positive working relationship with them and we were happy to further differentiate our business from theirs.

Will Widgey or Sprock marry me?

Sprock is in a committed relationship and if Widgey could speak, he would probably say: “Let’s be friends and see how things progress!”