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Internet Credit Union (iafcu.org)
24 points by ctoth 1486 days ago | hide | past | web | 23 comments | favorite

Why is this here? There are other credit unions.

This 'bank' is running on Wordpress - 3.5.1 from what I can tell [0]. Isn't that vulnerable [1]?

The customer login page takes you somewhere else [2] - seems sketchy.

I can't find any information about their interest rates - why should I put my money with them?

[0] https://iafcu.org/wp-admin

[1] http://codex.wordpress.org/Version_3.5.2

[2] https://obc.itsme247.com/237/

NOTE: Change the /237/ in link [2] and you will see its running portals for other banks... This bank is just a cheap domain outsourcing their entire infrastructure on the cheap. No.

I have the same question. Maybe because Founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle, is on the management team?

It seems like a interesting option (they have some decent ideas in place) but I agree it also seem sketchy/fly by night. It is only a small credit union for people in a specific part of NJ, USA.

Most banks/credit unions that aren't giant or don't have old legacy systems tend to use outsourced core software from one of a few vendors, like Jack Henry or FiServ. Banks/CUs can outsource their Internet banking for roughly $1/ account per month for a hosted solution.


"Persons who live, work, worship, attend school, or participate in associations headquartered in New Brunswick or Highland Park, New Jersey"

Am I misunderstanding what this means, or are they saying you have to live there in order to be a member?

I looked into the feasibility of starting a web-based credit union a few years ago and I discovered that federal regulations require credit unions to serve some distinct community -- whether it be a physical community (like a town) or an affinity community (like an alumni association).

This makes it more difficult to establish an open-to-everyone web-based credit union; you basically have to have some sort of online community already in place, and attract members from that community.

Nevertheless, there are some web-based credit unions that have been able to successfully meet the requirements ... however, this explains why you don't see the cooperative equivalent of an ING Direct/Capital One 360.

Even so, I do hope that either the regulations change or some established web-based credit unions are able to attract people away from the for-profit banks, because credit unions, being member owned, never put profits before people. (But if they DO happen to make a profit, it goes back to the members, not to some outside shareholder.)

Or it goes to the CEO. Locally the head of OnPoint - formerly Portland Teachers Credit Union - makes $2 million a year.


No, you don't have to live there. As part of the account creation process, you donate a small amount of money ($5, iirc) to one of their local partners, and that satisfies the "participates in associations" aspect of the rule.

EDIT: See "Persons participating in programs to alleviate poverty or distress that are located in the approved area" on the members page

I have serious apprehension about trusting a banking service labeled as "Beta"

Naturally, you should wait and check on the credit union periodically to see how their project is going, and when they come out of Beta.

I was interested until I couldn't easily find the interest rate for a savings account. I like having a physical branch with in walking distance, but iff you could give me an extra percent on a savings account that is accessed infrequently I'd probably go for it.

I'm kind of the opposite. I really have no need for a physical branch. If anything, it might imply that the bank has less focus on serving customers without access to a bank branch. I prefer doing my banking online. I think USAA has physical branches someplace, but I have no idea where they are off the top of my head.

I'm really not sure why I would normally need access to a physical branch. I once had to get paperwork notarized at another bank, but that only cost me $5 and USAA probably would have sent a notary out if that paperwork had anything to do with them.

Hi folks so I am Jordan CEO of Internet Archive FCU. Just wanted to know I hear ya. Will put up interest rates by Monday but honestly because they are so low does that really make the difference for you? We are more about offering things like free accounts to those that can't afford and helping the community both local and on the Net. As I said in my blog do you really want to put your money in the same banks that brought the whole system down in the first place? So if not us find any Credit Union near you. But please please keep the comments coming! Its weird to be called "sketchy" so really want to know what we can do to be more real to all of you. Best...Jordan

Why isn't IAFCU part of CU Service Centers? That seems like a way to open it up to more members.

I don't know very much about the banking system, but I had a roommate in college who was a business/finance student, and always told me, "Banks are for businesses. You, as a person, don't have enough assets to make a bank care about you. Credit Unions are for people."

I don't know if he is right or not, but I've been a die-hard CU member for the last 12 years, and would never go back to a bank for my personal finances.

Must be different in the US. I don't even know the term for 'credit unions' in my native language, everyone here uses a bank. Although, the larger banks tend to favour businesses, while the smaller banks tend to favour people.

As far as I can gather from Wikipedia, it seems that in other languages, the term for 'Credit Union' still includes the word 'bank', so that might be the confusion. Still, I don't believe my bank technically is a credit union. Also, bankers here aren't dicks.

Here is a talk by the founders @ the Bitcoin 2013 conference... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD6fVNGEnlI

They are working on quite a bit at the moment; their site might appear 'sketchy' at first glance but it seems like this is only the beginning and they have some pretty serious plans for their future.

Interesting idea, but without a physical locatiin I wonder if they'll be able to compete with the online products people would expect from an online bank.

Also, usually credit unions are linked to a small commub you etc & help finance things in that community. Is there going to be a specific focus for this bank?

... yes. The Internet Community is their chosen focus...

Yeah, but what specifically are they going to do to help the "internet community."

Is it giving low costs loans to people who want to start businesses that happen to use the internet, or is it going to give loans to businesses that help facilitate internet infrastructure.

The website made it look like they'll give a low interest loan to anyone who simply uses the internet & the only reason that condition seems to be there is because you have to use the internet to get to the credit union. More likely just low cost loans to whoever is a member of the Internet Credit Union. Doesn't really seem to have any cooperative aspect to it about promoting the internet as a community.

Preemptive answer to a question that should get asked: NCUA is the equivalent of FDIC for credit unions.

Interesting idea. Unfortunately it won't fly with me because the checking has a $2 monthly maintenance fee and they don't post their interest rates (if there are any) in an easily locatable place.

One neat perk is that they're super excited about supporting bitcoin. It doesn't really talk too much about it on their website, but they were at the bitcoin conference this year.

Netbank was somewhat successful until it diversified too quickly.


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