OWCU Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new name of our branch, and what will the hours be?

Your branch will be known as the ‘Centretown Community Branch’. Starting January 6th, 2014, the Centretown Community Branch hours will be:
Monday – Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday & Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

I want to transfer my account(s) over to Alterna right away, rather than wait for the ‘official’ changeover. Can I do that?

We’re pleased to say that, starting the week of January 13, 2014, you’ll be able to request your account(s) be transferred over to Alterna, rather than wait for the future conversion date. This process will need to be done in the Centretown branch, and will be completed on request only. Otherwise, your account will be changed over to Alterna during the full conversion (more details will follow about this).

Does Alterna have someone I can speak with about these upcoming changes?

Yes! You may call the Alterna Solutions Centre at 613.560.6358, email us, or speak with the Centretown (OWCU) branch staff. We’re here to help.

How will important information and updates be communicated to me about these upcoming changes?

We will be sending information by regular post mail as well as email, plus publishing certain updates online at owcu.ca. To ensure you don’t miss any of this important information, please advise the Centretown (OWCU) branch staff of any recent address changes, and subscribe to our merger email list.

Who is the Centretown Branch Manager?

We’re pleased to say that Holly Hughes will continue to manage the Centretown Community branch.

What will happen to the ATM?

You’ll notice that the ATM will look a bit different soon, but you’ll still enjoy the same surcharge-free service. Please note that there will be a brief outage while the ATM undergoes the necessary update, but notices will be posted in advance advising you of the date and/or time of the outage. There will also be notice(s) published online.

Will everything I currently have with OWCU be transferred to Alterna’s systems, and when will that happen?

Your products with OWCU will be transferred to Alterna and housed on Alterna’s systems. The timing of this conversion is early 2014, but the exact date has not yet been determined. You will receive more information about this in the coming weeks.

What debit card will I use?

You’ll continue to use your existing debit card (or MemberCard) for ATM transactions and point-of-sale purchases. A new Alterna debit card will be issued once your products have been transferred to Alterna. You will receive more information about this in the coming weeks.

Will I be given a new membership number or will I be able to use the same number?

We are currently investigating this item, and will provide updates as available.

Who will pay for my new cheque order?

As old cheques run out and replacements are required, you will request and pay for new cheques in the same way you previously did.

I have a number of direct payments and deposits going into my old accounts. Will I need to manually intervene? How will these be redirected?

Provided the existing membership numbers are used, any direct payments and deposits will be redirected through Alterna with no intervention required on your part. This is an item we’re currently looking into, and an update will be provided soon.

I have investments attached to my membership account. How will these be redirected?

An Alterna Personal Banking Representative, will contact you in early January to review your investment objectives and discuss the steps required to transfer your account to Alterna’s investment partner, Qtrade Asset Management.

Will my OWCU membership account remain at the Centretown Community Branch, or will it be moved to another location closer to my home address?

Unless you specifically request your membership account be moved, it will remain with Centretown Community Branch as the branch of record.

When I go into an Alterna branch to validate my account, what identification will I need to bring?

You’ll need to bring a standard Government-issued identification containing your full legal name and address, such as a valid driver's license or a valid Canadian Passport, as well as a secondary piece of I.D., such as a credit card or birth certificate.
Note: Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Health Card are not considered acceptable forms of identification for these purposes.

What kind of interest rates will we be receiving on our chequing and savings accounts, RSP’s, etc.?

Effective Nov 18th, interest rates on OWCU’s chequing and savings accounts have been updated to reflect Alterna’s rates.
Fixed rate products that have a closed term (eg. a Closed Mortgage, Term Deposit) will remain at their current rate until they reach maturity.
For Variable rate products, such as a Line of Credit or Variable Rate Mortgage, the rate variance to Prime will remain at the current rate until they are migrated to an equivalent Alterna Savings product.

Will I need to go through another account opening process, and if so, what will be required?

We’re making every effort to ensure your accounts are transferred to Alterna seamlessly. However, there may be a requirement for you to complete and/or sign some documents as a formality, in order for us perform the transfer. You will receive more information about this in the coming weeks.

What happens if I ordered cheques before the acquisition?

Your OWCU cheques can still be used; they will simply be redirected to Alterna for settlement.

We had a minimum of $250.00 shares with OWCU, but Alterna's share requirement is $15.00. What happens to our excess shares?

In order to continue to provide capital for the OWCU assets acquired by Alterna, it was agreed that OWCU membership shares will be transferred to Alterna Membership shares up to $1,015.00, which is the limit in Alterna's By-laws. For those members with OWCU shares in excess of this amount, the amount transferred into Alterna membership shares would be $1,015.00, and the balance would be credited to a deposit account.

What will happen to the monthly fee that is currently debited from my membership account?

Alterna does not have monthly membership fees, and the monthly fee was discontinued as of November 1, 2013. Any membership fee that was debited in error will be credited back to your account.

Why is the statement I received from Alterna blank?

We have been advised that some OWCU members have received blank Alterna Savings statements with no dollar amounts or transactions listed. These statements were generated in error during our preparations for account conversions. Please disregard. We apologize for the confusion.

Ottawa Women’s Credit Union used to be part of the Acculink network, but I don’t see that logo at the ATM or on the back of my Alterna debit card.

Alterna is not part of the Acculink Network. However, to ensure you enjoy surcharge-free access to your money at thousands of ATMs across the country, Alterna is part of THE EXCHANGE® Network.

My new Alterna debit card isn’t working. What do I do now?

If you experience problems with your new Alterna debit card after your account is converted to Alterna, please speak with a knowledgeable representative at any Alterna branch. They will be pleased to help.