The Movement Today: Celebrating the 75th Annual International Credit Union Day

Embracing a Legacy of Financial Empowerment
The credit union movement evolved from the cooperative activities of early 19th century Europe, and began with a simple idea: that people could pool their money and make loans to each other.

The first of these cooperatives was an 1844 marketing cooperative organized by a group of workers in Rochdale, England. The idea of credit societies was a part of this effort, and in 1846 the first true credit union in the 19th century was founded.

Every year, on the third Thursday of October, credit unions around the world come together to celebrate International Credit Union Day. This year is particularly special as we mark the 75th anniversary. Since our inception, credit unions have been at the forefront of providing financial services that empower individuals and communities, and this milestone is a testament to the enduring impact they’ve had.

Focused on People, Not Profits
Credit unions prioritize members’ well-being over profits. Unlike traditional banks, which are driven by maximizing profits for shareholders, credit unions are member-owned. This means that every member is a part-owner and has a voice in the institution’s decision-making process. The result of this is credit unions usually have lower rates on loans, higher returns on deposits, and more flexibility when working with individuals.

Strengthening Communities, One Member at a Time
For 75 years, credit unions have played a pivotal role in building and strengthening communities. We offer almost all of the same products that the banks do, but tailor those products to meet the diverse needs of the people and businesses in our communities.

Embracing Innovation, Preserving Values
In today’s rapidly changing financial landscape, credit unions continue to adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs of their members. From the best digital banking solutions to personalized financial education programs, credit unions are harnessing the power of technology while staying true to their cooperative values.

Join Us in Celebrating International Credit Union Day
As we mark the 75th International Credit Union Day, we invite you to join us in celebrating this remarkable milestone. We’re proud to be part of a global movement that prioritizes people and communities above all else. Together, we’ll continue to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and build a brighter financial future for all.

Happy 75th International Credit Union Day

September 2023 Statement Insert


Candidate applications are now available for our volunteer Board of Directors. Apply by picking up an application at your local branch, by mail, or by visiting Please submit your completed application by close of business on Monday, November 13th.

You are welcome to deliver applications in person to any branch or by mail: Governance Committee, PO Box 67, Clatskanie, OR 97016. Please contact with any questions.

There will be an option to watch this meeting virtually but members must be present to vote.



Ya están disponibles las solicitudes de candidatos para servir en nuestra Junta Directiva de voluntarios. Presente su candidatura al recoger una solicitud en su sucursal local, por correo postal o visitando

Llene y envíe su solicitud antes de la hora de cierre
del lunes 13 de noviembre. Puede entregar las solicitudes en persona en cualquier sucursal o por correo, enviándola a: Governance Committee, PO Box 67, Clatskanie, OR 97016. Si tiene alguna pregunta, por favor envíe un correo electrónico a

Habrá una opción para asistir a esta reunión virtualmente, pero los miembros deben estar presentes para votar.

Coming Soon


For individuals. For businesses. For free.
It’s that simple.

Plus get free gifts for referring your friends!

Other fees such as non-sufficient funds, overdraft fees, etc. may apply. See fee
schedule for details. Free gift may be reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-MISC. Free gift provided at the time of account opening. We reserve the right to substitute a gift of similar value. Minimum opening deposit is only $50. Ask us for details. Wauna Credit Union rules and regulations apply. WCU Membership is required. Federally Insured by NCUA

Technology With Heart

I may be dating myself with this, but my first professional job was working at a call center recharging prepaid phone cards. The company worked with Walmart, Costco, and Starbucks. It was a great idea. Instead of getting a new Starbucks card, you simply had to call, wait on hold, give us the number on the back of your card, your credit card number, and some personal information.

Man on mobile phone

Flash forward an undefined number of years, and, after placing my order at the Starbucks drive thru, I noticed I didn’t have enough money on my card. Adding money now simply took me clicking on button to bill my linked credit card, and verifying with my face. Advances in technology cut the reload time from five minutes to 30 seconds. More importantly though, I didn’t lose any in-person time with a Starbucks employee. I still received a cheerful hello as I made my order, and a smile as I was handed my drink and breakfast sandwich.

At WCU, we aim to take the same approach with our technology. Yes, using U-banking app and online banking makes things quicker, but the reason we strive to have the best technology, is it gives us more face-to-face time with our members. When you use your app to remotely deposit a check, it gives the Member Consultants in our branches more time to counsel people who want to know more about getting a loan for a new car, or learn about our investment and insurance options.

Our Video Teller Units allowed us to expand our arrows, while still being able to hire local and give people an actual person to talk to. It’s not about the technology, and all about what the technology enables.

One Simple Step to Avoid Credit Card Fraud

Financial institutions in our footprint have been experiencing increased credit card fraud over the last week. Just like most instances of fraud, the scammer isn’t doing anything unique, but they’re using their knowledge of credit cards, to trick members into divulging just enough information to take over their account.

The scam goes like this. A member receives a call purporting to be from WCU Fraud. It looks legitimate. The call is coming from our 800 number, but guess what? Spoofing a number is child’s play for an experienced scammer. The scammer then asks the member to verify three (made up) purchases. Now they have you on the hook, they ask for your full card number (never give this), the three digit number on the back of your card (that’s another one to never give out on a call you didn’t initiate), and the last four of your social security number.

Now comes the pièce de résistance, the scammer says they’ll issue you a new card number, and you get a notification on your phone confirming the exchange. It really looks real. Do you know why? It is. The entire time the scammer has been interacting with the member, they’re also on the phone with the credit card company. You’ve just given them everything they need to get a replacement card, but by the time the new card is in the mail, the scammer has loaded the card into a digital wallet and gone on a spending spree.

It’s clever isn’t it. The entire exchange isn’t much different than a normal call you might get if we want to make sure some purchases just made were legitimate. So what’s the one simple trick? If you get a call, and you aren’t sure about it. All you have to do is say you’re going to hang up and call the number on the back of your card. For a legitimate inquiry, that’s no problem, but for a scammer, it’s the end of their plan, because even though they can spoof our phone number, they can’t answer a direct call to it. That still comes to us, and we can verify whether there are real questions about your card or not.

It can be tricky to stay safe, but know we’re always here to help.

Update: June 9, 2023

Those scammers are still at it. One of our members got the text below. Looks real doesn’t it? That’s why it’s so important to remember, don’t respond, just give us a call.

Scam Text

Our Role in Stopping Human Trafficking

Many people don’t realize the essential role the financial services industry has in the fight against Human Trafficking. Often, the only time a trafficking victim talks to a person who can help is when they interact with frontline representatives at their credit union or bank. In addition, the type and location of financial transactions can indicate abuse, be it trafficking, elder abuse, forced labor, or something else. That is why at WCU one of our ongoing training topics is how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and what to if an interactions raises multiple red flags.

It’s so important to continually stay up-to-date about the signs of trafficking is the ever-changing reality of the forms it takes. COVID-19 has changed many things, and how abusers prey on vulnerable victims is one of them. With more people struggling with job loss and economic insecurity, and spending more times isolated from their support groups.

That’s why we’re staying vigilant, and continuing to educate ourselves, and work with other financial institutions to recognize the signs. We ask that our members learn the indicators that somebody they interact with may be at risk, or under the influence of an abuser or trafficker.

And if you need help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH),1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The NHTH is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTH is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization funded by the Federal government.

June 2023 Statement Insert

This summer tie up your laces — not
your money.

5.00 APY*
On our new short-term 7 month special certificate

3.00% APY*
At the highest tier of an Elite+ Money Market

…and more! Ask your local Wauna Credit Union branch about savings, money market, and certificate account options. They can help craft a solution for your individual needs.
Because you’re our neighbor, not a number

*APY: Annual Percentage Yield. The published APYs are accurate as of July 1, 2023. Members may contact the Credit Union for further information on applicable fees and terms. Federally insured by NCUA

Wauna Credit Union

Goals are individual, just like you. Our mortgage team is here to help.

HELOCs are a great way to give you the flexibility you need. You get to decide how much of your
line you use, and only pay interest on the amount you’re using, while still being able to withdraw up to your approved limit whenever you need it. HELOCs aren’t limited to home improvement. You can use your line to pay for debt consolidation, education, personal, or medical expenses as well.

Worried about the changing rate environment, or know you want to get all of your money at once?

A second mortgage can be the best way to go to get a fixed rate for the life of your loan. No need to worry about the rate going up. And just like a HELOC, you can use it whatever way you want.

Interest paid for a home equity loan and certain home improvement expenses may be tax deductible. Check with your tax advisor. Membership is required. Visit for more details.

NMLS #421867 | 800.773.3236
Federally Insured by NCUA

35 Years Down, 35 To Go

We’ve celebrated two milestone anniversaries in the last 30 days. In April, Hannah, the Member Service Manager in Scappoose celebrated five years at the credit union. That’s definitely a noteworthy feat. If she can do that seven times, then she’ll reach the milestone that Debi Smiley reaches today.

The year 1988 was a great year for movies. Rainman, Coming to America, Die Hard, Beetlejuice, and A Fish Called Wanda were all released. If Clatskanie had an Oscar to give that year though, it would have been Best New Employee, and awarded to Debi.

Even though Debi was a new employee, she was very familiar with the credit union. Debi’s family, who immigrated to Clatskanie from Finland. Debi is a 4th generation Quincy-area resident, and heavily involved in the local community. She’s involved with the local Chamber, Kiwanais, Turning Point and Keep It Local, to name a few.

And today we celebrate 35 years with Debi in our ranks. She’s done it all, from teller to CEO. Notably, she worked for many years for former CEO Eileen Cheuvront. According to Debi, “Under her leadership, I learned to stay focused, work hard, and have fun. That was her motto and she shared it often. Eileen led by example. She was a compassionate leader that believed in the credit union, what we stood for and the high quality of service we were to render. She was a caring and supportive leader and I feel privileged to have worked under her leadership and guidance.”

Debi’s ascension to the highest ranks of the credit union isn’t an anomaly. While it may take 35 years, or more, the goal is for Hannah to still be here. Telling stories to new employees about the lessons she learned from Debi Smiley.

So congratulations, and thank you Debi. Here’s to another 35 years.

Help For You

The Credit Union Difference is people helping people. The Wauna Credit Union difference, is serving our neighbors in Clatsop, Columbia, Western Washington and Pacific Counties. It’s no secret that our area is often impacted more by macroeconomic trends than other areas.

That’s why we’re so happy to announce that we just received a prestigious certification that recognizes the credit union’s efforts to serve the underserved, and allows us increased access to grants.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund recently certified Wauna Credit Union as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). This designation is available only to organizations that have proven they provide financial services and products in communities that historically have lacked lack access to traditional banking services. CDFI Certification is granted with the purpose of generating economic growth and opportunity in some of our nation’s most distressed communities.

The CDFI Fund was established in 1994 to boost lending and community development through certified CDFI lenders, allowing them to expand their reach into in economically distressed areas and underserved communities. CDFI Certification opens opportunities for institutions to access CDFI Fund grants, which must be used to support financially vulnerable residents and communities.

New Credit Cards Coming June 25th

We are excited to announce Wauna Credit Union’s next step in ensuring we offer our members only the best products and services. In June, we are updating our credit cards to provide an enhanced experience to thank those who continue to support local business by banking locally.

Our new cards introduce contactless payment, and have increased security protections to keep your identity and your money safe. You will continue to have the benefits you’ve grown accustomed to, like Mobile Wallets, Visa 3D Secure, and Account Updater. The new cards even have an updated look designed to evoke the beauty of the natural world around us.

Next Steps

Be on the lookout for your new card, which will be arriving in your mailbox in early June. The new cards have a different design than existing WCU cards. If you have a WCU Rewards Visa, your new card will be green with eagle feathers. If you have a WCU Platinum Visa your new card will be grey with eagle feathers.

Simply follow the instructions on the card when you get it in the mail, update your automatic payments to your new credit card number, and you’re ready to go. Your payment date, credit card rate, terms, and limits all remain the same. We’ll even transfer any rewards points you have over to the new card.


Remember, you will first need to call the number on your card’s sticker to activate it. Please activate on Sunday, June 25th (cannot activate early). Once you have activated your new card, ensure it is in working condition by making a transaction. Please use your current card through Saturday, June 24th, which is the last day you can do so.

If you have any questions for us about your new cards, please call us at 800-773-3236, use the chat function in U banking, contact us with Wauna CU Now, or visit your local branch.

New Phone System

As many members have experienced, our phone system has not been providing the standard of service we hold ourselves to as an organization. We began noticing issues at the beginning of the pandemic. Attempts were made to rebuild the infrastructure of the phone system without installing a new system from the ground up.

That did not solve the problem, which has led to the unacceptable situation you experienced. Fortunately, our Board of Directors approved the purchase and implementation of an entirely new phone system. Our team worked hard behind the scenes implementing this new system, which is designed to serve the needs of our members for years to come.

The new phone system is now complete. We hope it meets your needs, and thank you again for being a member.