Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Traveling abroad? The increase in debit card fraud has caused us to block all debit card transactions originating outside the U.S. You'll need to make arrangements if you plan to use your debit card while traveling. Learn how.
Our Current Rates:
For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.
Touch Banking Coming Soon!
In short time, GCF customers will be able to bank from the palm of their hands. That's right - mobile banking is right around the corner!
Registered users of GCF Online Banker will be greeted with an announcement as soon as we finish all the tweaks and twangs. Not much longer now, we promise you.
You will have options to download our handy App, use our mobile browser or send requests via SMS text message. Or utilize all three!
Touch Banking will allow you to view your accounts, transfer funds between them and find an ATM or branch location. If you're enrolled in our Bill Pay, you can process payments as well.
Once you're greeted by our mobile banking invitation, you'll need to register through your computer and not your phone. This is a security measure to ensure the phone you're registering is in your control.
An activation code will be sent to your phone during the registration process. Enter it into the online registration via your PC. In short time, you'll start receiving links to activate the channels you chose for mobile banking.
If you don't receive your activation code in a timely manner, you may have unknowingly turned off the option with your carrier. If you entered a contest at one time and were deluged with spam messages, your carrier may have blocked them to solve your problem. You'll need to call them to restore the short code setting, they're the only ones who can. Once it's changed, you can pick up again right were you left off.
Touch Banking recognizes the same user credentials as you currently have in place for Online Banker. However, if your current password is less than 8 characters in length, you'll have to change it to comply before using Touch Banking. New password protocol requires a minimum of 8 characters containing a combination of both upper and lower case alpha characters and at least one numerical character. Special characters are currently not supported.
Any form of business transaction carries risk, including your banking. We've taken every precaution to assure your banking is safe and secure.
SMS transactions are conducted by transmitting short codes interpreted by our server. No personally identifiable information, account numbers, usernames or passwords are ever transmitted.
Our mobile browser and downloadable App use industry standard authentication factors. You'll see the same image you chose when you registered for Online Banker to confirm you're banking on our mobile site.
Your phone is identified by a unique URL when accessing our mobile browser. This confirms the phone registered to you is in fact the same one accessing your account.
Information is transported using 128bit SSL.
We employ the strictest security measures to protect our customers. In the end, it's the possibility of a lost or stolen phone that can pose a greater danger. Should that happen, contact a GCF Customer Service Representative immediately. They will be able to de-register your phone and prohibit access to Touch Banking.
Not even the long-awaited Google initial public offering (IPO) saw this much hype on Wall Street. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will ring NASDAQ's opening bell on Friday, May 18th remotely from the company's Menlo Park, CA headquarters.
With that, the social networking giant Facebook will be known as FB to investors worldwide. And the frenzy will begin.
Despite still-fluctuating price points and number of shares they'll sell, buy orders already exceed anticipated availability. Brokers are expected to stop taking orders tomorrow.
Have no fear if yours isn't already on hold. Trading is expected to be fast and furious on Friday. Expect the price to quickly rise, initial shares dumped and resold at wild fluctuations. If you get queasy on roller coaster rides, you may want to sit this one out. It may well hold the steepest ups and downs history has ever seen.
Pricing a stock is tricky. A higher price favors insiders and venture capitalists planning to sell shares. It generates the most cash.
But if the general investing public believes it too high, it could cause a sudden downward swing. Average investors fuel the greater demand. Shares won't sell if they don't perceive proper value.
At present, the stock is expected to open in the range of $34 to $38 per share with total valuation between $92 and $103 billion. Sources suggest an additional 506 million shares may be made available as part of an over-allotment option.
This would make FB the largest Internet IPO ever, and rank among the largest overall IPOs in history.
Is the frenzy beginning to make sense? The last time the markets saw this type of a buzz was with Google's 2004 launch. Google only raised a mere $2 billion in its debut.
Facebook had no choice but to go public. They were on pace to exceed 500 shareholders, the point where financial data must be released publicly.
As you might expect, Facebook did not proceed in the typical fashion. Most tech startups go public rather quickly for seed money to grow their new enterprise. Facebook grew its user base, built its business model and became a mainstream product before it had no choice but to go public.
This can be good for investors seeking a stable business in which to invest. But those looking for growth may find FB already past that awkward stage.
How popular is Facebook? The company claims 526 million users check in everyday, 901 million who login once a month. They log 3.2 billion "likes" and comments per day, 300 million photos uploaded per day, and 125 billion friendships.
Once FB is actively trading, certain focus will have to change. They will now have to answer to shareholder demands. Read that to mean profits. The company insists the consumer experience will remain their highest priority but only time will tell if they can maintain this balance.
Facebook has confirmed it was testing paid posts. It would be a charge for users to guarantee their post is seen by all followers rather than the fraction seen on their news feed.
The company has plans to launch its own app store, similar but not in direct competition of Apple's or Google's.
They already make money through the advertising that pops up on your page, along with a cut of revenue generated by games and other apps on its site.
Rumors of Facebook phone have stalled with the FTC probe of the company's acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram. An entry in the mobile arena will guarantee Facebook remains a competitive force for the long haul.
What a birthday present for Zukerberg, who turned 28 on May 14th. To think it all began with a couple of college guys who wanted to share "hot" girl rankings amongst each other.
As of today, U.S. markets have reversed almost all their 2012 year-to-date gains. Some estimates have Eurozone GDP growth at zero.
Why? It was earlier this year when I stated that the European debt crisis would likely be averted because of the tough austerity measures that were agreed upon. Countries like Greece, Italy and Spain, after years of reckless spending, had no choice but to beg larger, more fiscally prudent countries such as Germany, for a loan.
Germany cautiously agreed to bail out its brethren, but like any loan, there were strings attached. The most important requirement was an end to the reckless spending. It is really that simple. Germany was being far from benevolent in that many Germans believed that bailing out its brethren was in its own self-interest. The reason is that it has been widely believed that failure to resolve the EU debt crisis could cause a collapse of the entire EU. Not good for any of the members, particularly Germany.
Although initially, countries like Greece agreed to the required austerity measures, support for fiscal prudence quickly wavered as they began to be adopted. In a country where a very large proportion of the population lives on some form of the dole, curtailing the gravy train proved too painful. Some far left politicians are even advocating greater deficit spending as a means of reducing unemployment.
Of course, Germany could never finance such a folly, so the Greeks may have no choice but to exit the EU and begin printing their own money to pay the bill. The Greek Drachma has not been a legal currency for over a decade when it was replaced by the Euro. Yet we may soon see Drachmas circulating about Athens - almost certainly accompanied by hyperinflation. And declining living standards. And perhaps street riots leading to much, much worse.
If Greece exits the EU, others may soon follow. Many analysts believe that the entire EU will collapse with the exit of just one or no more than a few members. This would have worldwide implications, and almost certainly spark another global recession. The anemic recovery we have been experiencing in the U.S. might soon give way to another recession and shrinking GDP. This is a distinct possibility.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opposed her country's entry into the European Union because she envisioned a time when the stronger, the more fiscally responsible members would have no choice but to prop up or bail out the more fiscally reckless countries. Well Maggie, you were right, and it only took a decade.
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