COVID-19 Update

Over the past several weeks we have seen dramatic changes to the way our Members are fulfilling their day to day banking needs. As the community continues to socially distance and stay home to save lives, we are further adjusting our hours of in-branch service to accommodate the shift in our Member needs to phone and video conference services. Please note that our branches are temporarily closed for counter services on Wednesdays. You will still be able to reach branch staff Monday-Friday by telephone, and as always our mobile app, online banking, and DingFree ATM network are available for your banking needs 7 days a week.

PenFinancial’s current hours remain 10am-4pm (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Friday). Branches remain closed Wednesdays and Saturdays.

As of Monday, June 29, 2020 our hours of operation are as follows:

  • Main St, Welland  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Fourth Ave, St. Catharines
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Dorchester Rd, Niagara Falls  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Huggins St, Niagara Falls    
    Temporarily Closed
  • Bunting Rd, St. Catharines
    Temporarily Closed
  • Broad St, Dunnville     
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Garrison Rd, Fort Erie  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Highway 20, Fonthill  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday

Thank you for your continued understanding as we navigate these ever-changing times.

As the needs of out membership change in the wake of COVID-19, so does out respose. We will continue to keep you updated on new measures we’re implementing and ways that we are adapting to best help serve our personal and business members, our employees and our communities.

Please find more information about the following PenFinancial programs and resources:

PenFinancial is proud to present Showcase Niagara – a team of entertainment professionals and musicians providing live stream performances by local musical talent in support of our community during the COVID-19 Outbreak.

The idea is to entertain people during this time of isolation—for those missing the interaction between friends, family and social gatherings. The primary objective is to provide food for people in need during this COVID-19 crisis. Community donations will directly help the charity of choice, United Way Niagara- to continue to provide programs and services to families living below the poverty line and to help keep them fed, housed and healthy.

With the idea of showcasing Niagara talent via live stream (via Facebook Live) , we are working with a team of specialists, all with connections to and deep experience with the Niagara entertainment scene. The goal is simple; to bring the music to the people of Niagara, as well as awareness of our collective goal to help provide for those in need in our community during this pandemic.

All donations are welcomed —and any donation will help make an impact! The Brown Homestead in association with the Humeniuk Foundation has made a $100,000 matching gift to United Way’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. That means when you make a donation of any amount, it will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling the impact in our community.

Our goal is to raise $50,000 from the community during the campaign, which features three concerts May 6, 13 and 20th at 7pm, with the first concert featuring Canadian country music singer, and Niagara Falls native, Tim Hicks.

Join our Showcase Niagara Facebook page and let’s enjoy the entertainment, all for a great cause!

https://www.facebook.com/showcaseniagara

https://www.wellandtribune.ca/whatson-story/9965014-niagara-musicians-gather-for-online-showcase-series/

Today, I am pleased to announce that PenFinancial will be donating $20,000 in emergency funds, which will be distributed to local organizations to support critical food shortages across Niagara and Dunnville in the wake of COVID-19.

As businesses temporarily shutter due to COVID-19, and more still lay off staff both temporarily and permanently, many families are facing unexpected financial insecurity.  While government subsidies have been promised, the sudden loss of income, illness and childcare disruptions has resulted in the uncertainty of where tomorrow’s meals will come from and how next month’s rent will be paid.

Providing food to those in need can be difficult at the best of times. With COVID-19, that work is even more difficult. We are witnessing local organizations quickly pivoting their models to accommodate the thousands of families who are reaching out for support, and we need to help them.

In addition to the assistance provided in times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud that as a Certified B Corporation, we prioritize our communities in our everyday operations.  As a values-based financial co-operative, we are balancing purpose and profit and we are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our employees, members and our community. This decision was an easy one. We have re-allocated funds held within our Truly Local Commitment Community Investment budget, originally earmarked for community events that will no longer taking place due to the pandemic.

We are doing our best to use our business as a force for good, and I hope that this inspires other companies, our members and all of our employees to consider supporting the marginalized during these difficult times.

Ken Janzen
CEO, PenFinancial Credit Union

From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario, PenFinancial Credit Union has been clearly focused on taking pro-active and efficient measures to protect the health and well-being of our employees and our members.

We continue to appeal to Members to refrain from visiting our branches for non-essential transactions. Our goal is to redirect as many people as possible to return home and reach us by phone or use online banking, our mobile app, or an ATM to complete your everyday banking.

As our response continues to evolve, I want to update you on the additional health and safety measures we will be deploying today, Tuesday, March 24th:

  • As financial services are deemed an essential service, we are doing our best to ensure as many of our branch locations remain open as possible. However, our Bunting Branch in St. Catharines and Huggins Branch in Niagara Falls are temporarily closed out of concern for social distancing recommendations and the limited teller/front line lobby space in these locations. Our remaining six branches will continue to be operational from 10am to 4pm Monday through Friday and closed Saturdays. Our staff from our Bunting and Huggins branches will be deployed to support our Fourth and Dorchester teams, respectively.
  • If you absolutely must visit a branch in-person, you will be subject to screening about travel, potential illness or exposure to COVID-19 before you are to be permitted to enter.
  • We will be allowing only two Members to enter branches at one time. Should you need to wait for service, it is required you observe a social distancing space of 2 meters as recommended by Public Health Ontario.
  • We have installed protective plexiglass barriers around operational teller wickets to protect further our employees and the Members they serve.

My request for all members is that you help us protect our employees and your fellow Members too, by avoiding in-person visits to your branch. Please follow the recommendations of health authorities and avoid contact with others especially if you are having any symptoms of illness, if you or anyone in your household has travelled internationally in the past 14 days, or if you’ve had any contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with or is presumed to have contracted COVID-19.

Let’s all look after each other!

Ken Janzen

CEO, PenFinancial Credit Union

What are PenFinancial’s current branch hours?

PenFinancial’s current hours remain 10am-4pm (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Friday). Branches remain closed Wednesdays and Saturdays.

As of Monday, June 29, 2020 our hours of operation are as follows:

  • Main St, Welland  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Fourth Ave, St. Catharines
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Dorchester Rd, Niagara Falls  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Huggins St, Niagara Falls    
    Temporarily Closed
  • Bunting Rd, St. Catharines
    Temporarily Closed
  • Broad St, Dunnville     
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Garrison Rd, Fort Erie  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Highway 20, Fonthill  
    9am-5pm: Monday-Tuesday & Thursday-Friday, Closed: Wednesday and Saturday

I don’t want to come in to a branch, what other ways can I bank?

We recommend, where possible, for Members to utilize the services available through PenFinancial online banking and our mobile app, including:

  • Check account balances, make transfers and review transaction history
  • Send money with Interac e-Transfer
  • Make bill payments and deposit cheques

Additionally, the Ding Free ATM network is available 24/7 to complete your everyday banking.

What added precautions is PenFinancial taking to stop the spread of COVID-19?

Our goal is for our branches to remain open to service Members. To facilitate that safely, we have added extra precautions inside our operations, including:

  • Branch hours have been adjusted to allow our team time for additional cleaning duties and appropriate rest
  • Huggins and Bunting branches have been temporarily closed out of concern for the ability to socially distance as recommended in their limited working space
  • Branch visitors are subject to screening about travel, potential illness and exposure prior to entering the branch, and will be permitted to enter two at a time for service
  • Plexiglass screens have been installed at operational teller wickets to further protect our staff
  • Additional measures have been added in daily cleaning and sanitizing, with increased frequency and extra attention to high touch areas such as teller stations, telephones, door handles and ATMs
  • All employees are required to stay home should they feel sick, and to self-isolate for the recommended 14 days if they return from travel outside of Canada
  • All in-person Member events have been postponed until Publuic Health deems it appropriate to gather again
  • We have suspended all in-person training, community room programming, and have adjusted plans for all unnecessary group meetings or corporate travel

Can I come in to a branch to do banking?

The majority of our branches remain open to Members for essential banking services. We ask Members to refrain from visiting our branches for counter service unless absolutely necessary. If you are feeling unwell, have had contact with a confirmed or presumed case of COVID-19, or have travelled in the last 14 days, we respectfully ask that you DO NOT visit our branches.

Anyone who absolutely must attend a branch to conduct business, we ask to kindly follow guidelines outlined on the Niagara Region Public Health website, including hand-washing and social distancing while waiting or being served.

I’m in self-isolation but need to do banking, what should I do?

We’re happy to serve you over the phone or by video conference. Appointments can be made online at penfinancial.com or by calling your branch. Almost all essential transactions during this pandemic are able to be facilitated remotely with e-signature endorsement. We will do our best to serve you remotely and will handle unique needs on a case by case basis to ensure your banking requirements are met.

What if I need to see an advisor?

Advisors will be available by appointment only and will be facilitated by phone or video conference. Appointments can be made online at penfinancial.com or by calling your branch.

I am facing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, can PenFi help me?

With closures and cancellations, COVID-19 is likely to have a financial impact on many in our community. We want to remind you that as always, PenFinancial Credit Union is dedicated to working with members to provide flexible solutions on a case-by-case basis for managing through hardships caused by these circumstances. Please reach out to your advisor or your local branch as soon as possible so we can discuss your situation and how we can support you through these uncertain times. You can additionally find some advice for weathering the storm, and a budgeting tool we have created, on the Truly Local Advice Blog.

I’m a PenFi MasterCard holder, what programs and relief are available?

To support cardholders impacted by the current pandemic, PenFinancial’s MasterCard provider has launched supports to minimize burdens. Possible support includes minimum payment deferral, interest rate reductions to 10.9%, emergency credit limit increases, and an increase in contactless payment limits to $250. More details can be found at https://www.collabriafinancial.ca/about-us/

Collabria’s Travel Insurance provider, Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company (DFS), is advising PenFinancial Mastercard holders to take note of the recent Government of Canada Travel Global Travel Advisory with regards to travel until further notice. Cardholders are advised to refer to the DFS website where Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the evolving situation and card insurance coverage are continuously updated

How can I set up my Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) payments?

The most convenient way to receive payments and benefits from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is through Direct Deposit.  Now, you can set up your deposits right through your PenFinancial online banking.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Available For Our Business Members

Update: July 3rd, 2020

Our CEBA 3.0 service provider, Central1 Credit Union, has advised that we can expect to launch CEBA 3.0 on July 16th or 17th.  Additional delays may be possible.  CEBA 3.0 is more complex than past versions of the program, necessitating additional IT work and other preparations.

PenFinancial is committed to offering this program and we will ensure that it is made available to our membership as quickly as possible

Update: June 22nd, 2020

Finance Canada and Export Development Canada (EDC) continue to work very hard to operationalize the latest version of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program.  Unfortunately implementation has been delayed across all financial institutions.  While the dates are not firm, PenFinancial Credit Union is now expecting to launch CEBA 3.0 during the week of June 29th – July 3rd.

We encourage members to stay informed by periodically checking our website for the most recent updates.

Update: June 16th, 2020

Finance Canada and Export Development Canada (EDC) have now released the formal requirements for CEBA 3.0.  In addition to the original program terms and conditions, applicants with annual payroll lower than $20,000 may now apply, subject to the following:

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number;
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.

Full details can be found on the program’s website.

PenFinancial is now targeting a launch date during the week of June 22 – June 26th.  Stay tuned to our website for additional updates when they become available.

UPDATE: June 3, 2020

Finance Canada has committed to releasing the formal expanded CEBA eligibility during the week of June 8th – 12th.  The expanded eligibility will include the following:

-Sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses

-Businesses that rely on contractors

-Family owned corporations that pay employees by dividends instead of payroll

-New businesses that have not yet filed a tax return

-Businesses operated out of personal bank accounts

PenFinancial will do everything possible to ensure this expanded program is available to our membership as quickly as possible.  Our initial target release date is June 19th, however delays may be possible.  We will keep our website up to date as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: May 25, 2020

In light of the Government of Canada’s announcement that it has expanded the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses, we would like to reassure you that we are aware of the change and will keep you informed of further details regarding the expansion and its implementation timing once we receive them from the EDC and the Department of Finance.

​Once the Government of Canada finalizes its requirements, we will incorporate those changes as quickly as possible to our existing CEBA application form. We will then update our website to advise the steps to apply for the program under the expanded criteria.

The Government’s decision means that this $40,000 interest-free loan program is now open to more businesses, particularly some of the smallest businesses which had previously been excluded because they cannot demonstrate a 2019 $20,000 payroll.

The program will be made available to sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

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Businesses play a massive role in our local economy and PenFinancial is doing everything we can to facilitate and ensure that our business members can continue to operate during these difficult times.

The Canada Emergency Business Account will provide a $40,000 loan:

  • at 0% interest until December 31, 2022
  • requires no minimum monthly principal payments until December 31, 2022
  • principal repayments can be made at any time
  • $10,000 loan forgiveness is available provided outstanding balance is fully paid on or before December 31, 2022.

Please refer to https://ceba-cuec.ca/ for more information about the program including eligibility requirements.

If you maintain your primary business bank account at PenFinancial, and the account was opened prior to March 1, 2020 and your business is eligible for the program (per the criteria listed on https://ceba-cuec.ca/), please follow these steps:

STEP 1 >  Log in to Online Banking (either Member Direct or Member Direst Small Business)

STEP 2 >  Click on Account Services

STEP 3 >  Click on Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

STEP 4 > Follow prompts to complete and submit your CEBA application

Once you have completed your application, you will receive a credit agreement by email through our e-sign platform in 24 to 48 hours.  The email will be from “OneSpan Sign”.  The email will guide you through the process of reviewing, executing, and submitting the electronic credit agreement.

We anticipate funding to occur 4 – 6 business days following your completion of the Credit Agreement.  Timelines may be delayed depending on the volume of applications received.

Please know that PenFinancial is committed to ensuring that all businesses that qualify for the CEBA program receive an opportunity to participate.  We are anticipating a high volume of applications in a short period of time.  Our response times may be delayed during this period.  In order to expedite the process for all parties, please refer to our website and links to Government websites prior to calling or emailing our office with any questions.  We thank you in advance for your patience.

Is my money safe with PenFinancial?

Your money is safe at PenFinancial. Canada’s credit unions are widely recognized for our stability, safety and soundness. You can learn more about how your deposits are protected on the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario’s (DICO) website.

Where is the best place to get updates about PenFI’s response to COVID-19?

We’re doing our best to keep information on all channels as up to dates as possible, including updating our hours of service. However, in this unprecedented time where things are changing rapidly your best source for information is this page penfi.ca/COVID-19 and our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Additional Resources

https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/default.aspx

https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

OUR TRULY LOCAL PLEDGE

We TRY HARDER. We have heart. We know you do too. We choose CHANGE. It takes COURAGE to be different. Driven by PURPOSE. Having fun and feeling good about our choices. We believe the prosperity of our members and our community goes hand in hand. Together we get what we give. We are TRULY LOCAL. Remaining inclusive and accountable, with integrity and respect. Improving lives. Strengthening communities.

This is our commitment to each other.