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, November 27, 2012

Edition #690


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

November 20, 2012 Edition #689

November 13, 2012 Edition #688

November 6, 2012 Edition #687

October 23, 2012 Edition #686


Weekly Spotlight:

Visit our Security Center for online banking and mobile security tips.


Our Current Rates:

For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.

Today's National Market Rates
November 27, 2012 6 Mo Ago
05/25/12
1 Yr Ago
11/25/11
5 Yrs Ago
11/27/07
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 660.57 or 5.41% since 12/31/11)
12,878.13 (-0.69%) 12,454.83 11,231.78 12,958.44
S&P 500
(Up 141.35 or 11.24% since 12/31/11)
1,398.94 (-0.52%) 1,317.82 1,158.67 1,428.23
NASDAQ
(Up 362.64 or 13.92% since 12/31/11)
2,967.79 (-0.30%) 2,837.53 2,441.51 2,580.80
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.65% 1.75% 1.97% 3.94%
British Sterling 1.6020 1.5682 1.5526 2.0657
Euro 1.2938 1.2568 1.3359 1.4839

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1st Flash

GCF Online Banker

GCF Online Banker is nearing its 10th anniversary. Our small, community bank was among the first of its size to offer the convenience of online banking to our customers when we first went live on January 3, 2003.

No need to reiterate the convenience and benefits of banking whenever need may arise from wherever you happen to be at the moment. It's commonplace today.

Yet it's taken me quite some time to begin writing this article. I first researched old GCFlash articles we published when introducing this new banking channel. And couldn't stop reading. Old articles can be quite amusing.

We had to explain everything that could be handled online. What type of transactions were possible, the simplicity and convenience of conducting them online and ability to monitor your accounts in real time all had to be spelled out.

It was a much safer time, too. Crooks hadn't yet figured out how to ply their trade in cyberspace. This is evidenced by a quote from the December 17, 2002 edition of GCFlash:

"Systems are coded in such a way that risk is practically non-existent. When was the last time you heard about a security breach regarding online banking? Never!"

Those were the good, ole' days. While not much is new as far as capabilities of online banking, security is an entirely different matter.

Americans have learned to protect themselves online. And they understand that the ability to manage accounts in real time allows them to detect fraud immediately, minimizing any risk incurred.

They've embraced online banking. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center earlier this year, 81% of U.S. households bank online. Online banking customer satisfaction stands at 78%.

IDC Financial Insights reports that 73.5% of U.S. consumers now use online bill payment.

Since we've already reached the pinnacle of online banking, there's not much more we can offer. Right?

Wrong. Now we can focus on the little things.

Searching for something in your Account Transaction history? Your results will now be sorted in an easier to read format.

The same with Detail information. When sorting one of the table columns, the rest of the information didn't always sort correctly. This has been fixed.

You'll be able to print easier, too. A Printer Friendly icon will appear on pages formatted to print quickly. Loan transaction reports will now print in the same order as they display on the page. Previously, transactions printed in ascending order regardless of how you sorted them on the web page.

Before year end, folks using older Quickbooks versions prior to 2006 will be able to export their transaction information directly into the financial software.

If you're among those who see highlighting in the Summary page header, it will no longer display. This doesn't affect many users but it's a nuisance to those it does.

These are little enhancements, no doubt. But isn't it the little things in life that make the most difference?


On The World Wide Web

Visit the official Nobel Prize website. You'll find information for every Nobel Prize since 1901, including biographies, interviews, educational games and much more.

It's impossible to envision the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy through news feeds alone. The satellite images provided by the Australian Broadcast Corp. display it best.

The cost of living may have only risen 2.2% this past year, but the cost of gifting the "12 Days of Christmas" increased by 6.1%. Expect to pay $107,000 for all 364 items this year. Break down the costs here.

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2nd Flash

Touch Banking

In the previous article, I told you we had reached the pinnacle of online banking where we really had nothing new to offer. I may have misspoken.

In fact, just this year we began offering an entirely new method of online banking. From the palm of your hand.

Technology changes rapidly, as does public acceptance. It was hard enough to imagine online banking becoming mainstream when we first launched it 10 years ago. We never could have envisioned a time when we could bank through a phone.

Remember those early mobile phones? They were as large as those old wall phones that used to be connected by wires, and carried in an equally bulky case.

The same has happened with the computer. They don't have to be lugged around in a briefcase anymore. You carry them in your pocket.

People are connected to their device. They use it to perform everything they once did on their PC.

Including banking. According to Juniper Research, 550 million people will use mobile banking services by 2016, up from 185 million in 2011.

And this is an area we can continue to enhance. So it's just what we're going to do.

We discussed the details of Touch Banking when it was first introduced. You can brush up on the basics here.

We've also covered mobile banking security here.

So what does that leave to talk about today? How about coming attractions? Here's a sneak peak at a few things in the works:

Transfer money to anyone, anywhere. You need only a cell phone number or email address. Popmoney is coming to Touch Banking!

Bill pay customers are already familiar with the speed and convenience offered through Popmoney. You don't need the recipient's account information to send funds instantly. The Popmoney tab in the bill pay program allows you to send money to your kids at college, or chip in for a Christmas present, with just a couple of quick clicks.

Expect Popmoney to reach your cell phone in January.

Presently, you have to bookmark the mobile banking browser page to access your accounts. Coming soon, you'll find a link directly from the mobile version of our website.

As I mentioned earlier, technology changes rapidly. So does support for earlier versions of a product.

If you're still using an iPhone 2G or 3G, you'll no longer find support for these products. As long as your existing configuration is running fine, it will continue to do so. But if the software fails or you start to have issues, your device will have to be upgraded before you can continue to use Touch Banking.

New Blackberry users will not be able to download the app version of Touch Banking. The browser and SMS channels will still be available. But the app channel will be history. As with the older iPhone versions, any app currently installed will continue to work. But if it becomes problematic or you upgrade to a new device, you won't be able to download a new app.

Keep reading GCFlash for more information as these enhancements become available.


Tip of the Week

Medicare open enrollment period ends December 7th. Review your policy now to make sure it still serves your needs. Sit down with family, friends or loved ones who may need help understanding their current policy and evaluating options.

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Financial Insights

Consumer confidence hit a nearly five-year high as consumers trot into the holiday shopping season, unlike the last few years when the movement could be better described as a "trudge." That said, most other economic "sentiment indicators" were flat, with unemployment unchanged and drifting higher - that is, if those who have given up the job search are accounted for.

Still, with the election behind us, most people move on - regardless of whether their candidate won or lost. Under normal circumstance, all things equal, the recovery should strengthen at this point. But these are not normal circumstances and all things are not equal, particularly government receipts and expenditures - which are ridiculously out of balance.

And the economy is so wounded that many fear the politicians (of both parties) inability to deal with the "fiscal cliff" by year end could trigger yet another recession. One prominent economist put the chances of that unsavory outcome as "even." Happy Holidays...

I received some feedback from my comments last week about Bill Clinton being "a great president." Actually, I was quoting renowned economist Art Laffer who made the comment. I was simply heralding Bill Clinton as one who understood economics and generally friendly to business. I grew up very close to the border of the state (Arkansas) where Clinton served as Governor in the late 1970's and early 1980's. During that period of time, even though he was a Democrat, Clinton was well respected by the business community.

So the facts are the facts regarding Bill Clinton and the deficit. When Bill Clinton took office, he inherited what, at the time, was a fairly large annual deficit from his predecessor George H.W. Bush. To be fair to Bush 41, the first Gulf War had to be fought, won and paid for and a recession had begun and ended during his one term. Deficits were almost certainly unavoidable under these circumstances.

Regardless, Clinton reduced the deficit every year he was in office until his final three - whereupon he ran INCREASING SURPLUSES. So while Bill Clinton may have been moderate and even liberal on many social issues, he was by modern standards, the most economically rational President we have had.

But wasn't Clinton pulled by his liberal leanings for an ever increasing social welfare state? Nope. He also drastically reduced the welfare rolls during his term - a fact in no small part responsible for his success regarding the deficit. Unlike many, many liberals, Bill Clinton understands that a vibrant economy IS A NECESSARY COMPONENT to support any reasonable safety net.

As I type this, I am reminded that I was not, during his term, a big fan of William Jefferson Clinton. Yet when I review the historical economic data, it is clear that, at least on fiscal prudence matters, he stands head and should shoulders above most of his predecessors and all his successors. I expect lots of email...


Quotable

"The Nobel is a ticket to one's funeral. No one has ever done anything after he got it." - T.S. Eliot


Today in History

1895 - Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, establishing the Nobel Prize.


Flash Fact

Pierre and Marie Curie are the only husband and wife to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics. Since 1901, 44 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to women.

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, click this link to send us an email to unsubscribe. 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