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Accessibility

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Access to our services

Access to our services

Access to our financial services has always been the focus of our mission

Responding to our members' needs has always been our raison d'être throughout the 110 year existence of Desjardins Group. Our first concern is to make our products and services accessible from all points of view. To do so, it is important for us to adapt to our members' evolving behaviours, their territorial distribution and their limitations, be they physical or social.

To ensure that accessibility standards are incorporated into policies and practices, Desjardins has adopted a multi-year accessibility plan that will be reviewed and updated at least every 5 years.

See the Desjardins Group Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.

Accessible formats and communication resources are available on request.

Propelled by values that include democracy, equality, equity and solidarity, Desjardins is committed to ensuring that its website is accessible to the visually disabled, to the aging population, to people with physical, cognitive or functional limitations, and to people with special requirements.

Process

We are constantly working to optimize the Desjardins.com user experience for our regular visitors and for those with special requirements.

Our ongoing efforts aim to improve the site so that we'll be able to provide Desjardins members and clients, as well as the entire online community, with a fully accessible website.

Audits and user tests were done with people with disabilities as well as physical and functional limitations to pinpoint the more pressing areas requiring improved accessibility.

Accessibility testing was done using Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) software, versions 2011.3 and 2012.1.

Compliance

Markup language is based on XHTML 1.0 transitional and complies with CSS2 W3C specifications.

Several Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 were applied when the Desjardins website was developed:

  • Navigation and presentation must be clear.
  • Links must lead directly to content.
  • Headings (titles, H1, H2, etc.) must be used to organize a page.
  • Language must be clear and simple.
  • Text equivalents and complementary text must provide context.
  • Page titles must describe page content.
  • Font must be resizeable up to 200%.
  • Good colour contrast for better readability.
  • It must be possible to stop and pause video.
  • No automatic redirect or refresh of content upon focus or data entry.
  • Multiple access points to content (breadcrumb trail, search engine, floating toolbars, site ma pat bottom of page).

Learn more about Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Contact us

Please contact us if you are disabled, have a general question, or if you want to know more about the solutions that could meet your particular needs, ou si vous désirez en savoir davantage sur les solutions pouvant répondre à vos besoins particuliers.

Email

If you use a teleprinter

  • Bell Relay Service: 1-800-855-0511
  • Vidéotron: 1-866-468-6763

Accessibility is very important to us

Desjardins is committed to always serving persons with disabilities better by providing easier accessibility to our services.

  • Policies and practices have been implemented.
  • Employees who provide goods and services to persons with disabilities have been trained.

Information about these policies and practices (PDF, 1,36 MB) is available by clicking on this link or upon request to your caisse.

Your comments on accessibility

You play an important role in making our products and services more accessible.

For information or to share your thoughts on accessibility at Desjardins, please contact your caisse or Desjardins Business centre.

A democratic organization responsive to its members' needs, Desjardins's focus has always been to make its facilities accessible. Several initiatives have been taken to reduce the obstacles that might prevent members with disabilities from being able to benefit from its services.

Here are a few elements that illustrate Desjardins's on-going commitment to accessibility.

Accessibility of buildings

Every new Desjardins point of service construction and every large point of service renovation project automatically includes features to provide access to people with mobility impairments according to established standards, including parking spaces.

Accessibility of ATMs

The Desjardins network's 2,508 ATMs are accessible to people with impaired mobility or vision.

Accessible ATMs can be identified by their lower components (keyboard, screen, buttons), a grab bar and shelves that are practical for people with reduced mobility or people of smaller stature, thus enabling them to safely make transactions.

All Desjardins ATMs now offer voice-guided systems to help the visually impaired, the functionally illiterate and elderly people take full advantage of ATMs. By inserting earphones into a jack on the ATM, these members can obtain private voice instructions explaining how to use the ATM and guiding them every step of the way through their transactions. This application was developed in collaboration with associations for persons with disabilities.

Accessibility made possible by other payment methods

A number of Desjardins services and online solutions can be helpful to persons who don't often leave home. Bills can be paid online or by telephone and received via epost, for example, purchases can be made from home with a credit card, not to mention direct payment, direct withdrawal and point of sale terminals, etc. These virtual access methods favour members with reduced mobility, helping them gain autonomy without sacrificing security.

How caisse member habits have evolved

In the last 20 years, the habits of caisses members have changed considerably, going from teller transactions at the counter (cheque cashing, deposits, etc.) to electronic transactions (electronic transfers, statements, etc.).

In the past 10 years alone, online transactions have shown an increase of 2,200%. This growth has translated to a decrease in visits to the caisse and to ATMs.

Desjardins has had to adapt to the changes brought about by this increased use of electronic transactions, while remaining aware of the concerns of communities when a service center must be closed, and of the effects of these closures on the community.

We obviously want to continue to offer high level of service to caisse members thanks to adaptive, innovative solutions regardless of where they live, be it in a low population density area or a neighbourhood in economic decline.

Our shared responsibility

Here are the principles guiding Desjardins in its decisions in light of the cooperative nature of Desjardins and its members' responsibilities:

  • As users and owners of their caisse, all members benefit from democratic rights and accept, in exchange, to make a commitment to the development of their cooperative by using its services, thus making their financial resources available for the development of the community.

    As users, they benefit from their cooperative and from fair redistribution of its surplus earnings on the basis of their use of those services. Members who deposit their savings in other financial institutions and who use their caisse only to update their passbook or to withdraw money will affect the overall profitability of their caisse.

  • To properly carry out its mission, the cooperative must pay close attention to its financial soundness (capitalization, solvency, profitability), but this cautious attitude is a condition for its success, not its reason for being.

    While it is committed to the development of its community, for reasons of equity to the membership as a whole, the caisses must be profitable. This implies, among other things, that all members or groups of members must assume the costs related to the services that they use.

    The caisse cannot, in the medium or long term, offer services to specific groups at a loss without jeopardizing the fairness of its practices to all members and the healthy balance of its income and expenses.

Activities in Quebec

Desjardins is the financial institution with the greatest presence throughout Quebec

  • Desjardins has more service outlets than all the financial institutions combined.
  • More than 32% of its service outlets are in low population density areas.
  • There is a Desjardins ATM in 75% of neighbourhoods in economic decline and the residents of the other 25% have access to one within 20 km.

Presence in the Nunavik region

Since 2007 the 14 communities of Nunavik benefit from Desjardins's financial services.

  • By December 2010, there were 2,517 individual and 60 organization members.
  • The 14 villages are served by bilingual or trilingual employees (Inuktitut, English and French).

Desjardins also responds to the reality of First Nations communities.

  • There are 3 caisses and 3 service outlets on their territory.
  • In addition, 36 caisses are located close to a native community.

For Desjardins Group, cooperatives are an exceptional inclusion tool, since they allow members to fully participate in their community.

The Desjardins Caisses are also a positive integration tool for cultural communities and newcomers to Quebec and Canada:

  • Our members have access to caisses which gather members of cultural communities (Chinese, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese and Ukrainian).
  • They can benefit from services in their mother tongue. Find a caisse offering services in another language.

In order to help newcomers become familiar with the Canadian financial system, the Desjardins Group became involved in the financial education of this clientele.

Desjardins is also present in the Nunavik region. Thanks to the Nunavik Financial Services Cooperative, the 14 villages in this region have access to financial services in French, English or Inuktitut.

Newcomers

Newcomers and cultural communities represent close to 20% of Quebec's population and constitute one of the main sources of demographic and economic growth in the province.

Since knowledge of the Canadian financial system is one of the conditions of successful integration and financial success of newcomers, the caisses launched an offensive to:

  • sensitize employees to the needs and expectations of newcomers and to the financial stakes relating to emigrating to a new country
  • encourage the transmission of information complementary to financial products (e.g., the importance of having a good credit record), in order to ensure better understanding of the suggested solutions

A number of tools intended for newcomers are available:

  • information kits in French (PDF, 1007 KB), English (PDF, 1007 KB) and Spanish (PDF, 1286 KB), also available at the caisses, present and explain the world of Canadian finance
  • newsletters published on the immigrer.com website (site in French only) supplies pertinent financial information to future immigrants
  • information about Desjardins and its financial products are presented in the Newcomers to Canada section
  • the form to open an account online has been simplified and can be filled in from outside Canada

Nunavik Financial Services Cooperative

Less than 4 years ago, most of the 11,000 residents of the Nunavik region didn't have a personal account. Once their cheques were cashed, they kept their money on them or at home. The coop store, owned by the largest local private employer, the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec (FCNQ), ensured basic bank services: issuing and cashing cheques, consumer credit, etc.

With the help of technology, the FCNQ and the Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins created the Nunavik Financial Services Cooperative in 2007. A total of 14 communities in Nunavik now benefit from Desjardins financial services in French, English and Inuktitut. By December 2010, there were 2,517 individual and 60 organisation members.

The other communities continue to be served by the coop store, which serves as an intermediary between the members and Desjardins.

Our online services complete access to financial services north of the 55th parallel.

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