VCNB Tips and Tricks To Keep Your Vacation Running Smoothly

School is letting out across our region and summer vacations are underway. You’ve packed the sunscreen, boarded the dogs and loaded the car but you might not have considered things you should do for your vacation finances. Whether you’re flying to Florida or headed to the mountains, there are some basic things you can do to keep your finances running smoothly and to insure you aren’t stranded somewhere with no access to your money.

Here’s a checklist of some things you can do:

  • Update Your Phone Number With VCNB – In recent years we have seen a spike in fraudulent activity. That’s why we have a talented team to detect and prevent this kind of crime. If we notice activity that’s outside of your normal spending pattern, our fraud department may turn off your card and call you to verify the attempted purchases. If you’re at a gas pump far from home and the only number we have on file is your home number, you won’t understand why your card isn’t working and we will have no way to contact you. PLEASE, take a moment to contact your local branch or our Customer Service Department and give us your mobile phone number.
  • Give Us a Heads Up – If you know you’re traveling, let Customer Service know where you’re headed. It takes just a minute and we appreciate hearing from you.
  • Plan A Second Form Of Payment – Always carry a second form of payment. We actually advise this even when you’re just tooling around town close to home but it’s especially important when you’re far from home. If you plan to use your debit card for primary spending, take a credit card, some cash and/or a prepaid card. VCNB offers credit and debit cards as well as prepaid and gift cards that can be used anywhere Mastercard© is accepted.
  • Download CardValet® – Knowledge is power, especially where your money is concerned. If you haven’t tried it, Card Valet is a fantastic way to keep up with activity on your VCNB cards and even to control how, when and where your cards can be used. With the Card Valet app, you can turn your cards on when you need them and turn them off when you don’t. You can also receive alerts whenever your card is used and place limits so that it can only be used at merchants you choose. You can even place spending limits on your card. This is free and easy to use! Look for CardValet in the app store on your mobile device.
  • Use Account Alerts– Another way to keep up with your money is to sign in to your online banking account and register for account alerts. You can receive a text or email whenever there is activity on your account, when your balance dips below an amount you decide and for a host of other reasons. Knowing how much money is in your account will help keep your spending under control and seeing activity on your account will help you spot unauthorized purchases. This is a free perk of online banking with VCNB.
  • Don’t Forget To Pay Your Bills – Being away on vacation doesn’t give you respite from paying bills. If you have bills due while you’re away, use Online Bill Pay to schedule payments while you’re gone. This is a free service of VCNB online banking, as long as you use it at least one time each month.

Vacation is supposed to be fun! Don’t let money, bills or card problems ruin your relaxing time away. Remember, VCNB Mobile and our http://www.vcnbfamily.com/ are here whenever you need them! You can also call our Customer Service Department at 1.800.542.5004 during business hours.

Have you tried VCNB Mobile?

Have you tried VCNB Mobile? We’ve had a mobile app for some time now but introduced a new and improved app earlier this year. We couldn’t be happier with how easy the app is to use or how customers are reacting to it.

With VCNB Mobile, you will find streamline access to your account information, literally at the tip of your fingers. Once you login, you can view account balances, transfer funds, send funds with Popmoney® Personal Payment Service and pay bills with Online Bill Pay. You can also deposit checks using mobile deposit.

No matter where you go in the world, if you have a mobile device with data or internet service, you can bank with VCNB. Popmoney to your buddy from the movie theater line, transfer funds from the breakfast table and deposit a check on a rainy Monday when you just don’t feel like going to the bank.

It’s easy, quick and convenient.

Ready to get started?

To install VCNB Mobile, visit your phone or tablet’s app store and download VCNB Mobile. When prompted, enter your online banking username and then answer the online banking security questions you set when you registered for online banking. Then enter your Online Banking password! It’s easy and quick to get started and simple to use!

Want to learn about more VCNB products and the things we can do for you? Click here to get started!

Earning Rewards With Rewards Checking

Lots of our customers are signing up for Rewards Checking and are excited to find ways to earn points with UChoose Rewards®. Here are a few ways points can be earned.

Swipe your card(s)
Receive one point for every $3 spent with your debit card. Have a VCNB Platinum Visa® Favor Credit Card? Earn one point for every dollar spent when you swipe this card.

Direct Deposit
You’re receiving a paycheck anyway. Now you can earn ten points for one direct deposit per monthly cycle.

Swipe your debit card more
Swipe your debit card 21 or more times during a monthly cycle and receive 200 bonus points! Earning points was never so easy.

Online Bill Pay
Pay bills with VCNB Online Bill Pay to earn even more! Receive twenty points per transaction and receive up to 100 points per monthly cycle simply for paying your bills. Just remember, if you sign up for Bill Pay, you must make at least one payment during the calendar month or you will be assessed a $3 fee.

Popmoney ® Personal Payment Service
Send money to someone with Popmoney® and earn 50 points per transaction. You can earn up to 200 points just using this service you may already be using. At .50 per transaction to use Popmoney®, it’s cheaper than mailing a check!

New Savings Account
Receive a 1,000 point one-time bonus at the time of account opening when you open a new savings account.

One more thing. We will reward your loyalty to VCNB with 500 Anniversary rewards points. This will happen every year for the life of the account! Also be sure to check in with us periodically – we may offer future promotions for loan accounts.
 
Don’t have Rewards Checking? Learn more about this account here. Have an account but still need to sign up for UChoose Rewards? Click here to get started.

 

Simplify Money Management With VCNB

This week is National Simplify Your Life Week. That sounds nice but sometimes simplification is the hardest thing you can do. Between work and family, it often feels like a struggle to just keep everyone fed and on time for school.

Since much of your life hinges on money – paying bills on time, buying groceries, saving money and the piece of mind that comes with knowing these things are done – we want to give you a quick overview of how you can simplify your money.

If you’re a VCNB customer, you have access to several of things that will make your life easier thanks to Online Banking and VCNB Mobile. Accessing accounts electronically really is a lifesaver for a lot of our customers. Need to save money? You can automate it and forget it. Have trouble paying bills on time? You can automate those too! Do you sometimes overdraw your checking account? Get a balance alert via text or email when you go below a certain balance!

Here are some features that will simplify your life:

Save Money
Experts say you should save ten to fifteen percent of your income toward retirement. They also recommend having an emergency fund to help with life’s little surprises. But are you actually saving? Schedule on-demand transfers from your checking to your savings. Better yet, set up automatic transfers to ensure it is done regularly. Automatic transfers can be scheduled for any amount on any day of the month. Just set it up once and watch your balance grow!

Think you won’t be able to leave your savings alone? A lot of our customers use Christmas Club accounts as a means to save. Regular transfers are made from your checking or savings account into a Christmas Club account. Since there is a $20 fee to access those funds before the Christmas Club cycle finishes, most customers successfully reach their savings goal.

Track Money
Do you sometimes overdraw your account? Wonder if your direct deposit hit your account? Forget to make a loan payment? Set up account alerts for these things and more. There are nineteen different account alerts that can be sent via text or email. If you need a gentle reminder that your car payment is due or if you want to know that a check cleared, we will let you know!

Do you have a lot of plastic in your wallet? Between credit cards and store rewards cards, most Americans are carrying a lot of plastic. You can personalize your VCNB debit card to make it easy to find. Upload your own picture or use one of ours for a $5 annual fee! Locating your debit card has never been simpler!

Pay Bills and Spend
It’s a fact of life. Busy people often pay bills late. Whether it’s a lack of time or stamps, or simple forgetfulness, it’s easy to incur a late fee. Streamline your bills with Online Bill Pay. You can put your payments on autopilot and schedule them to pay the same day every month or you can manually schedule payments as needed. Either way, the service is free as long as you use it at least once a month. Otherwise, there is a $3 monthly fee.

If you use Online Bill Pay, you also have access to Popmoney ® personal payment service. Popmoney allows you to send money to anyone with just their email or mobile phone number. Best of all, other people can send you money too! So the next time you split the cost of a gift for your boss you can just send your share via Popmoney. If you buy concert tickets for the gang, they all can send your share to you! The cost is .50 per transaction for the person who sends the funds.

Save Time
Online and on your mobile device, you can save yourself time by checking balances, paying bills and keeping things straight. But did you know you can also save yourself a trip to the bank? Use our mobile app to deposit a check for just .50! You can do this by logging into your mobile account and taking a picture of the front and back of the check. CLICK HERE for complete instructions and details. (W/LINK TO WEBSITE)

Still write checks? You can reorder those online as well!

Keep Us Close
Keep us close – on your computer, on your mobile device, in branch or over the phone. You can also chat with our Customer Service Department during business hours. Just visit our website and click the Green Chat Now button to start a conversation!

Phew! That’s a long list! How do you use VCNB to simplify your life? Tell us in the comments section!

Keep Your New Year’s Money Resolution

On New Year’s Eve you swore that you would change your ways when it comes to money. Maybe you wanted to save money or pay off debt. Maybe you wanted to break a bad spending habit or save for retirement. Perhaps you wanted to just be more mindful of your spending.

You were pumped because the new year would bring a new you.

Do you remember how excited you were?

Yet, here we are more than a week into the new year and you’ve done nothing to reach your goals. You’re not alone, though, as most people who make Near Year’s Resolutions quickly abandon their dreams within a few days. Often this happens, not because a goal is too lofty, but because of a simple failure to plan.

Most folks find it easier to stick with a resolution if they break it into smaller goals which they write down and read frequently. But there are other things you can do to work toward a financial goal.

Stack of Papers

Organize your finances with Automatic Transfers and guarantee your bills are paid on time with Online Bill Pay at VCNB.

If your resolution is to save money for something like an emergency fund or retirement, the simplest approach is to set up automatic transfers from checking to savings. This is easily done with VCNB Online Banking.

To get started, login to your online account. Click the Transfers Tab at the middle of the screen. Choose the account you would like to transfer from and the account to transfer to. Then select the frequency of the transfer. Selecting On Demand will cause this transfer to occur once. Other options include Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and more. You can choose the date on which you want the transfers to begin and the amount of the transfer.

Automation removes uncertainty, insuring you will save for your goal.

Automation is also helpful when trying to pay off debt. Using VCNB Online Bill Pay is an easy way to schedule payments in advance. Online Bill Pay is free if you use it at least one time per month and saves you time plus the cost of postage. The key is to decide in advance how much you can afford to pay and set it up to pay the bill on pay day or as soon as the money is available. After all, you can’t spend money you don’t have!

Ease into saving money this year with a savings challenge like this one.

Ease into saving money this year with a savings challenge like this one. Click to view enlarged image.

If you search the internet for money saving tips, you will find a plethora of websites and blogs dedicated to this topic. From professional financial advisors to stay at home moms with hobby blogs, there is no shortage of people with tips and advice for stretching, managing, manipulating and growing your bucks.

Read carefully to find sites that suit your lifestyle and you may find good strategies for debt pay-off, games to help you save money and an abundance of tips for cutting daily expenses. Not only may you find good ideas from these resources, spending online time with like-minded people goes a long way toward changing your mindset.

If your goal is to curb recreational shopping, delete your card information from online accounts and avoid stores. Try grouping all your errands into one trip or even all your purchases to one store to remove temptations. Be mindful when you do purchase something, asking yourself questions like whether it’s made well enough to last, do you really need the item or how many hours you must work to pay for the item. Is it really worth the price?

Experts say it takes thirty days to form a habit. If you can’t automate your resolutions, try to study your goals as much as possible and gradually your mindset will adapt to one of goal achievement. It may take some time and you may face setbacks along the way but perseverance will pay off.

Do you have tips to share? Tell us in the comments section below!

On the Go? We Can Help!

On the go? We can save you time! With just a few simple steps, Online Banking at VCNB can save you time during this busy holiday season. You ask how? Here are just a few things you can do online that will help!

Schedule Bill Payment
Who has time to write checks, search for a parking space at the post office and then stand in line for stamps? By using Online Bill Pay, you Couple on computercan pay all your bills without checks or stamps. Just enter some basic information about your account with the business you are paying and we take care of the rest. You can schedule payments either for one time or for automatic payment. While you’re at it, get a jump on 2015 by scheduling bills for payment in January. Done and done.

 
Be a Payback Hero
If you have Online Bill Pay, you also have Popmoney ®. This personal payment service allows you to send and receive money with the same ease as sending an email or text message. All you need is the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number to send them funds from your VCNB Online Account. The cost is .50 per transaction, making Popmoney cheaper than writing and mailing a check to someone. With Popmoney you can payback a friend or relative or even send monetary gifts to loved ones far from home this season.

Transfer Funds
We welcome you to visit the bank as often as you like but we understand that folks are busy. If you just need to transfer funds from one account to another, you can take care of that through Online Banking. It’s as easy as 1-2-3. When you log in to Online Banking, just look for the Transfers tab.

Check Balances
While you’re logged in, check your balances and activity. Contact Customer Service immediately if you believe there are fraudulent charges on your account. And of course, make sure you really have the money you think you should have. After all, being one of Santa’s elves can be expensive and it’s easy to lose track of what you are spending.

If you are not internet savvy or are on the go, remember that our Telebanc telephone service is available 24 hours a day. Call 1-800-317-5990 to check your balances, review account activity, transfer funds and make payments. It’s easy to use and free!

This is a busy time of year. Trim the trouble of banking from your list and just enjoy the season!

Enter “Thousands of Prizes” contest through VCNB

Fiserv

We are excited to announce that VCNB will participate in the Fiserv “Thousands of Prizes” contest this fall.

From October 1 through November 30, VCNB customers who use Online Bill Pay and Popmoney ® personal payment service on the VCNB website will be entered in a drawing for prizes.

Fiserv will give away thousands of prizes nationwide including iPads ® and gift cards for Amazon.com, Starbucks and Restaurant.com.

There are a host of ways to use Online Bill Pay and Popmoney. If you need to pay the dentist, your electric company or your homeowner’s insurance, Online Bill Pay is a quick and secure way to send payment. This service is free as long as you use it at least one time per month. Otherwise it costs $3 per month.

If you need to pay a friend or relative, Popmoney is the way to go. For just .50 cents per transaction, you can send money to anyone using just their mobile phone number or email address. You can also request funds from someone using Popmoney. So if your roommate owes you rent or friends owe for concert tickets, just send them a request!

Best of all, you will automatically be entered in the drawing with each Bill Pay or Popmoney transaction you make.

So what are you waiting for? Sign in to your VCNB Online Banking or Mobile Banking and look for the Online Bill Pay section to get started today!

Contest runs through November 30. See terms and conditions here.

Quiz Time: Bill Pay Basics

We recently had a customer tell us that he wouldn’t use Online Bill Pay because he doesn’t want to lose control of his bills. That started us thinking about Bill Pay and the misconceptions circulating about this service. Test your Bill Pay knowledge with this short quiz:

When scheduling an Online Bill Pay payment, payments can be scheduled for:

a.) Just one time.

b.) To be recurring for as long as I like.

c.) Both A and B. 

The answer is C! You can schedule a single payment or a year’s worth of payments! Whether you want to schedule a payment every month or whether you want to put these things on auto pilot, Bill Pay can accommodate your needs.

 

One of your payees isn’t on the VCNB list of payees. What do you do?

a.) Call the bank and complain.

b.) Just write a check like you normally would.

c.) Spend a few seconds entering that payee’s information into your Online Bill Pay Account.

The answer is C! Entering your payee’s information into your Online Bill Pay Account takes just a few minutes and it is saved forever. You only go to the dentist twice a year? That’s ok! Her information will be saved and waiting for you when that next cleaning comes around!

 

The cost for Online Bill Pay is:

a.) There is no charge if you use it!

b.) Very unreasonable.

c.) Three dollars a month

d.) Both A and C

The answer is D! If you are registered for Bill Pay, this service is free as long as you make at least one payment during the calendar month. If you do not meet this minimum requirement you will be charged a three dollar fee. That’s just one bill paid per month to keep the service free!

 

Once your bill is paid, records of the bill are:

a.) Accessible online for up to seven years.

b.) Gone with the wind.

c.) Are kept for just a few weeks.

The answer is A! You can search your complete bill pay history for up to seven years! You may search by company, date or status. If you aren’t certain whether you paid your electric bill, the answer is a click away.

 

 Online Bill Pay can be used to pay:

a.) Established businesses

b.) People

c.) Both

The answer is C! Use Online Bill Pay to pay all your regular bills like credit card, utilities and car loan. The Popmoney ® personal payment service feature allows you to pay friends and family using just their mobile phone number or email address. (An additional .50 per transaction fee will be charged for Popmoney.)

Want to learn more about Online Bill Pay at VCNB? Click this link to watch a tutorial. Then log in to your online banking to get started!

College Bound? Financial Products You Need

Are you headed off to college this fall? If you’re like most college freshmen, you are probably worried about finding your way around campus and meeting your new roommate. But have you thought about how to access and manage money while you’re away?

Starting college makes you a bona fide grown up. That means you will need a checking account. After all, you will have some source of income – whether it comes from your folks, overage checks or a part time job – and will need a place to keep your money safe. The piggy bank your grandma gave you when you were four just won’t cut it anymore.

Here are some VCNB products that we think will help.

A shot of an asian student working on his laptop at the campusChecking My Way – This checking account is a great option for a young person just starting out. This account has no minimum balance requirements and there are no fees if you take electronic statements. It comes with a free debit card or the opportunity to upgrade to a vanity debit card for $5. With free access to Online Banking and Mobile Banking, you can access accounts, pay bills and transfer funds with your computer or mobile device.

Mobile Deposit – Use your mobile device to deposit paper checks to your account for just a .50 cent per transaction fee (and standard data rates). You simply use our mobile banking app and the camera on your device to take a picture of both the front and back of the check. It will deposit into your account, from anywhere in the world.

Online Bill Pay and Popmoney Use Online Bill Pay through VCNB Online and Mobile Banking to pay bills. No need to mail a check for your car insurance. Just sign into Online Bill Pay at VCNB to schedule one time or recurring payments. Another perk of Bill Pay is access to Popmoney ® personal payment service. Popmoney ® allows you to send and receive money to and from an individual. So if you owe a friend for pizza or if mom and dad wish to give you money, it can be done through Popmoney®. At .50 cents per transaction, it is quicker and cheaper than mailing a check.

General Purpose Reloadable MasterCard © – If you don’t trust yourself with a lot of money at once, a VCNB General Purpose Reloadable Mastercard © is a great way to pay. With this card, you load it with a specific amount. Once the money is spent, it is gone and there is no risk of overdraft.

If you are leaving the area for college and are concerned about ATM or branch availability, remember this: PIN and signature based purchases with your debit card are free. Any time you make a store purchase, you have the option of getting cash back. With just a small store purchase, you can get cash back for no fee. Also remember that mobile banking allows you to deposit checks from anywhere in the world and online/mobile banking make it possible to transfer funds, check balances and even pay bills with a few mouse clicks.

And at the risk of sounding like your parents, remember to be careful when it comes to credit cards. One of the first people you will likely speak to on campus will be someone offering you a credit card. We offer credit cards at VCNB but we encourage you to use this line of credit wisely. Use credit cards for emergencies rather than for daily purchases and be sure to not charge more than you can pay off in a month.

So before you head off to college, swing into your local VCNB office or check us out at www.vintoncountybank.com. Our New Accounts Officers would love to give you all the details on these products and on others that we think you can use.