COVID-19 FAQs

We recognize uncertainty can be difficult. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to provide you with some answers during this uncertain time.

What is Alterna doing to protect its members and staff from COVID-19? Expand/Collapse


The safety and wellbeing of our members and staff has always been our top priority. That is why we have increased cleaning services to our branches, ABM machines, and offices, and our staff have easy access to sanitizers and disinfectant. In addition, staff are now required to wear provided masks for added safety in common spaces. We are also in the process of installing additional plexiglass barriers throughout our branches, so that every branch will have that enhanced level of protection when serving our members.

Our branches are open, and members are welcome to visit for their banking needs. By heeding the social distancing advice of our health officials, you can do your part. Allow for space between yourself, other members, and staff when visiting in person. Staff are encouraged to follow effective hygiene strategies like discouraging handshaking and encouraging frequent handwashing as directed by public health authorities. If you prefer, phone or virtual appointments are also available.

 

Online, mobile, or telephone banking are the best ways to complete your day-to-day banking and protect yourselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.




    Is there support for members who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 impacts, such as deferring mortgage payments or other financial obligations? Expand/Collapse


    In addition to support that is being provided by our government, we recognize that some of you, for personal and/or business reasons, will need additional assistance to help you get through this extraordinary time. Please call your branch to discuss options to help with your cash flow.


    Are there any changes to RRIF mandated withdrawal limits as a result of COVID-19? Expand/Collapse


    On March 18, 2020, as part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Federal Government has proposed a 25% reduction in the mandated annual minimum withdrawals from RRIF contracts for 2020. This Change was passed by the Federal Government on March 25, 2020 and is now in force for 2020 only.

    What you need to know

      • If you have a RRIF you now have the option to have your minimum that must be paid from a RRIF in 2020 reduced by 25%.
      • If you do not need or want to change your RRIF Annual Minimum Payment amount for 2020 you do not have to and you can still receive your current 2020 RRIF Annual Minimum Payment without any tax implications; however, withholding tax will be applied to any amount in excess of the greater (pre 25% reduction) 2020 annual minimum payment.
      • The spouse/common-law partner of the RRIF plan holder of a spousal/common-law partner RRIF will not be subject to spousal attribution where the holder receives RRIF payments up to the greater (pre 25% reduction) minimum amount.

    Please reach out to your branch or call us at 1.877.560.0100 if you have questions or would like to opt in to changing your RRIF payment for 2020.

    To learn more please visit

    How can I find a branch near me? Expand/Collapse

    To locate the nearest available branch, you can use our Branch/ATM Finder.

    Branch hours will be:

    • Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
    • Saturday from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

    What if I need cash? Expand/Collapse

    Alterna members have access to the largest surcharge-free ATM network in Canada through THE EXCHANGE® Network, with over 3,700 ATMs to serve them. Find the one closest to you.

    I’m not comfortable going into the branch, what can I do? Expand/Collapse

    Your banking can be done anywhere and at anytime by using our

    These services allow you to:

    • Check balances
    • Pay bills
    • Send money (mobile and online only)
    • Transfer funds between accounts
    • Deposit cheques (mobile only)
    • Find the nearest Alterna or Exchange Network ABM (mobile and online only)

    Not set-up for online or mobile banking? Give us a call at 1-877-560-0100 and we can help set you up.

    For information and tips please refer to our Online Banking Demos.

    How can I stay up to date on what’s happening? Expand/Collapse

    For further Alterna updates on COVID-19 please click here. We’re constantly monitoring developments during this global health situation and will continue to update impacts to your banking experience and ways that we can help support you as the situation evolves.

    Our main concern is the health and safety of our members and employees and we are working to ensure that our services continue while supporting your need for safety.

    Should we need to contact you, we encourage you to update your contact information by logging into online banking, calling 1-877-560-0100 or by sending an email to getintouch@alterna.ca.

    What are your Contact Centre hours? Expand/Collapse

    New Contact Centre hours to better serve you are:

    Monday to Friday           8:00am - 6:00pm EST
    Saturday and Sunday    9:30am - 4:00pm EST

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I am using my Alterna Debit Card more frequently to make purchases. This is increasing the number of transactions I make and is causing an increase to the banking charges I pay. What can I do about it? Expand/Collapse

    Alterna offers several account package options for members which range from low to high usage, and we provide discounts for seniors and students. Please call your branch or the Contact Centre to discuss which account package would best suit your current banking needs.

    Has Collabria increased the tap limit on Alterna Collabria Visa credit cards to make it easier to avoid using cash for transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic? Expand/Collapse

    Members who use an Alterna Collabria Visa credit card may find that their Contactless Payments “tap” limit has already been increased to $250 for all merchant purchases (wherever merchants have enabled acceptance of contactless transactions), which should make it easier for members to complete transactions. To learn more about Collabria’s response to the COVID-19 crisis you can find more information at their website.

    What is the per transaction purchase limit for Alterna Debit Cards? Expand/Collapse

    Members who use an Alterna Debit Card can tap their card to complete purchases where point of sales (POS) devices are available. The Tap Limit is $100.00 per purchase.

    For more information about the use of the Alterna Debit Card visit our website.

    Please note, we recognize that the pandemic may be changing the way you bank and Alterna is continuing to evaluate the needs of our members.