IMPORTANT!!

We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed a preliminary assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. We will be sure to keep you updated should anything to the contrary be discovered. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

It is always a good practice to use unique passwords for all of the online services you access. If your GCF Online Banking password has also been used with a different service, we do recommend that you change your Online Banking password at this time.





If you currently utilize GCF’s online banking EXPRESS TRANSFER function to make your loan payments, this service will be temporarily unavailable from April 25, 2014 through June 9, 2014. As an alternative to this temporary inconvenience, you can do one of the following:

  • Contact 1-877-589-6600 ext. 320 or 368 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to manually complete the transaction.
  • Mail a check to Investors Bank, 101 Wood Avenue South, Iselin, NJ 08830.
  • Sign up for GCF’s online bill payment system and set up a monthly payment to be sent to Investors Bank.


Fast Access




GCF Bank is now part of the Investors Bank family!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Edition #663


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

May 8, 2012 Edition #662

May 1, 2012 Edition #661

April 24, 2012 Edition #660

April 17, 2012 Edition #659


Weekly Spotlight:

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.

Today's National Market Rates
May 15, 2012 6 Mo Ago
11/15/11
1 Yr Ago
05/15/11
5 Yrs Ago
05/15/07
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 414.44 or 3.39% since 12/31/11)
12,632.00 (-0.50%) 12,096.16 12,548.37 13,383.84
S&P 500
(Up 73.07 or 5.81% since 12/31/11)
1,330.66 (-0.57%) 1,257.81 1,329.47 1,501.19
NASDAQ
(Up 288.58 or 11.08% since 12/31/11)
2,893.73 (-0.30%) 2,686.20 2,782.31 2,525.29
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.78% 2.06% 3.15% 4.71%
British Sterling 1.5999 1.5991 1.6193 1.9817
Euro 1.2727 1.3707 1.4110 1.3541

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1st Flash

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.

Have questions about Touch Banking? Read our FAQ. Find more smartphone safety tips here.


On The World Wide Web

Google has taken every precaution available, but the popularity of its mobile Android browser makes it a favorite for cybercrooks. Learn how you can secure your smartphone.

The automotive world lost a legend last weekend with the passing of pioneer Carroll Shelby. Read what led to his creation of the iconic Shelby Mustang.

While the calendar waits for June, May marks the traditional beginning of the summer season. And the sunburn season. Start the season off safely by following Coach Bill Cowher's game plan.

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2nd Flash

Facebook Frenzy

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.


Tip of the Week

Android users beware. The recently discovered "NotCompatible" Trojan is distributed through your browser, being the first such threat to be delivered outside of the app store. Visitors to rogue web sites are greeted with a security update prompt. Following the link will prompt an app download that delivers the Trojan. Once installed, it has access to your private networks. PC users visiting those same web sites are not affected.

Open your Settings options and launch the Security menu. Versions of Android before 4.0 will need to launch the Applications menu. Make sure the "Unknown Sources" box is not ticked. This option allows non-market apps to be installed, leaving your phone vulnerable to whatever threats may come along.

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Financial Insights

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.


Quotable

"I'm a firm believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson


Today in History

1672 - The first copyright law enacted by Massachusetts.


Flash Fact

Three college students founded Facebook in 2004. Today the company expects to eventually house 9,400 employees in their new headquarters at 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, California.

Have a comment about something you read in GCFlash? Suggestions for future articles? Drop us an email!

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PURPOSE:

GCFlash is a weekly e-mail sent only to its listed customers and associates free of charge. GCFlash informs customers of special product offerings which may be of interest, current interest rates on both deposit and loan products, selected financial news and other financial tidbits. GCFlash is intended to supplement the more comprehensive information listed on the GCF Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com.

For more comprehensive information, visit our Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com or call (856) 589-6600 Ext: 337 (Timothy P. Hand)

GCFLASH PRIVACY STATEMENT

For a copy of our Privacy Policy, visit www.gcfbank.com/gcflash_privacy.aspx

GCF maintains your e-mail address in a confidential and secure database along with much of your other account information, such as mailing address and telephone number, etc. Before aggregating our e-mailing list each week, we filter out any duplicates. In most cases, this inhibits the unintended e-mailing of multiple copies of GCFlash to a single e-mail address. However, because these account records are kept by both individual and account, there is a chance members of the same household could each receive a copy of GCFlash or any other transmission at the same e- mail address - resulting in multiple copies. For example, a husband and wife that both have accounts with GCF may both receive a copy because the names are different but listed at the same e-mail address. This is similar to the manner in which each individual may share a common telephone number. To handle this situation, GCF recommends you simply delete any extra copies of GCFlash as this will ensure that ALL individuals receive any future promotional mailings, which might only be targeted or offered to specific accountholders meeting certain criteria. GCF has the capability to suppress customer e-mail addresses so they are omitted from our transmission list. If you would rather have a specific household member's e-mail address suppressed in our electronic database, simply send us a reply, as stated below, and indicate the accountholder for which you would like to have e-mail suppressed. Please keep in mind that this suppression will mean that NO future e-mails are sent, including special promotional offers. If you have any questions about this process or need additional information, please contact us at netaccess@gcfbank.com.

If you would like to be removed from this electronic mailing list, please hit reply and place the word REMOVE in the subject line. Please note, removing your name from our electronic mailing list means GCF will send NO FUTURE NEWS or SPECIAL OFFERS.


GCF Bank
381 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
(856) 589-6600
www.gcfbank.com