How a dog, mobile banking apps and a little luck came together for a fur-ever tale

By Eric Springer, Integrated Communications Manager, WSFS Bank

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Reading Time: 3 minutes
As one of the millions of Americans that use mobile and online banking every year, I took the convenience and instant access to my banking accounts, ability to make quick transfers, and ease and speed in which I can pay peers and businesses for granted.

But the COVID-19 pandemic brought the benefits of these tools into focus for me and my family when we embarked on a new, quarantined adventure – adopting a dog.

Our journey begins
Ever since our beloved Chihuahua/Corgi mix, Bruno, lost his battle with cancer in early February, we knew we’d be adopting another dog when the time felt right. We’re a dog family – my wife and I both grew up with dogs as part of our families – and our 5-year-old daughter was devastated over losing her “big brother.”

By late-March, we felt ready to adopt a new member of our family. What we didn’t realize was that everyone else was ready, too. With stay-at-home orders already in place for a couple weeks throughout the region and no clear end to quarantining in sight, the demand for pet adoptions skyrocketed.

Every dog we found online that seemed like a fit was already adopted by the time we inquired, and while many agencies and shelters were scheduling socially distanced visits to meet pets, they were already booked for several weeks in advance.

By mid-April we had all but given up when I remembered a text my mom had sent a few days prior.

A breakthrough
When I looked closer at the dog rescue website my mom sent me, I discovered they were listing dogs that would be available in early May and were accepting applications now. One struck me as a great match – a little female Chihuahua mix, temporarily named “Hibiscus,” about two or three years old. A perfect “little sister” for our daughter, and we knew the breed well. I went for it and applied.

Later that afternoon, I received a text from a match specialist wanting to discuss our interest in adopting Hibiscus.

In a half hour, we were successfully matched and all they needed was our deposit – within the hour.

Sealing the deal
With a quick look at my finances from my mobile banking app, I confirmed I had the money in the right account to make the payment. Luckily, I was already using mobile payment options like Zelle® that allowed me to quickly and securely send payments from my phone. Within minutes, the rescue organization had our deposit and we were on our way to adopting Hibiscus.

A couple nights before Hibiscus was scheduled to arrive, we told our daughter that we were adopting a new dog. Overridden with joy that she was going to be a “big sister,” she asked if she could name our new family member.

Our daughter is a huge Frozen fan (what 5-year old girl isn’t?) so I was expecting Elsa or Anna to be her choice.

She chose Leah Heart.

Adoption day
On a Saturday morning in early May, I pulled into the outdoor adoption headquarters. Leah was soon brought to my car and placed in her crate in the back seat. To avoid any physical contact with the adoption volunteers, the organization preferred we use mobile payments, like Zelle or Apple Pay, for the remaining adoption fee. Once again using mobile banking and payments, I was able to quickly transfer the money from our savings account, then securely send the payment from the comfort of my car. All I had left to do was take Leah home to meet the rest of her forever family.

During these unprecedented times, I was able to use linked mobile banking and payments tools to bring home our new family member safely, making our little family complete. And before COVID-19, I never would have imagined that making the payments would be the smoothest part of our adoption adventure.



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