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Force Majeure… then what?

Hurricanes, flooding, tornados, wildfires, and severe storms are making the news worldwide more and more lately. But when the disasters are finished wreaking havoc major infrastructures have often taken a hit. Things most people take for granted like food, shelter, and electricity are just the tip of the iceberg in disaster recovery. One of the biggest issues many victims face is a sudden lack of financial access.

In the midst of disaster, how are banks and credit unions supposed to provide much needed access to money?

The Fed has some ideas

In light of the recent influx of natural disasters, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released some guidelines for how financial institutions can help respond to emergencies. The guidance is supposed to address a wide range of natural catastrophes, including hurricanes, high water, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and many more.

And it should come as no surprise that some of the number one short-term response recommendations on the list include waiving ATM fees and increasing daily cash withdrawal limits.  Longer-term recovery efforts get a bit more robust such as easing credit terms for loans, waiving late fees, and offering payment accomodations. But how are account holders facing disaster supposed to find an active branch or ATM?


Chart of Different Generations Likelihood to Use Negative Descriptions About Their Own Generation
Chart of Different Generations Likelihood to Use Negative Descriptions About Their Own Generation

Financial institutions get inventive

“Due to the severe storm system that came through Central Arkansas last evening, our Vilonia and Mayflower branches are closed,” posted Centennial Bank on April 14, 2014. “The Centennial Bank mobile branch will be set up at the Vilonia Primary school. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all victims, volunteers, and emergency personnel.”

Wait…mobile branch? That’s right. Centennial Bank is a part of a small group of banks and credit unions that have found a unique way to respond to community financial needs – by putting a branch on wheels. Other financial institutions joining the charge include PNC, Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, and Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union.

These institutions use their mobile units in a variety of ways. They offer community classes, attend events, and even bring financial access to areas that are hard to reach. Providing financial access in the aftermath of a natural disaster is just one aspect of these handy branches on wheels. But the issue remains – how are disaster victims supposed to know where to go?

Helping consumers find access

Social media is one way to keep disaster victims up-to-date on ATM and branch access. But there are faster ways to keep account holders up-to-date, and you can do it right inside your current website, suppport chat, mobile apps, digital banking platform, branch information pages, and more! Wave2 has the flexibility and technology to keep mobile and online locators up-to-date with the latest ATM, ITM, and branch information – including the global positioning of mobile units.

Real-time and scheduled emergency messaging

Getting timely and consistent messaging out during an emergency can be a big challenge, particularly when you are dealing with so many different digital channels. That’s where your Wave2 Locator cuts through the confusion! 

We have created our “Location Alerts” system to make it easy and instantaneous to show helpful and prominent location-specific messaging through all of your digital channels with just one step. You can create, edit, schedule, and display important information for your card holders directly inside the Wave2 Admin Portal, and it will be displayed right away, everywhere it is integrated! This makes it fast and easy to update all your channels with one tool, and to direct card holders to the best available resources, including mobile units, during an emergency.

Discover how Wave 2’s intuitive and interactive technology can help your financial institution respond to natural disasters and much more. Contact us today!

Wave2 Contact:
Jason Green, Co-Founder
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