Simplify Your Finances With Online Bill Pay

Here at VCNB we are taking time this fall to be thankful for all the great ways technology has made banking easier for our customers. Here’s a peek at just one of several. Want to know about other popular technology products that we offer our customers? Click here! 

Paying bills is a task that no one enjoys. That’s why Online Bill Pay is so handy. Whether you wish to automate your payments or log in and pay them individually, it’s a quick and useful tool for making sure your bills are paid on time, every time and without the cost of stamps and checks.

Whether you are paying a national cell phone provider or your family doctor, setting up a biller is simple. Some payments will be sent to the payee electronically while others will require that a check be mailed but there’s no worry – we’ll take care of that part.

Once you have set up a biller, it’s easy to pay them as needed or to set up a recurring payment. Some bills that are the same amount every month such as a car payment or mortgage can be scheduled to pay the same day each month. This streamlines your budget and bill paying activities and gives you the peace of mind that your bill is paid when you schedule it.

If your biller offers e-bills you can sign up to receive your bill electronically. Also, sign up for reminders so you don’t forget to log in and pay those commitments on time.

This is a free service to VCNB customers as long as you use the service at least once a month. It’s straightforward and easy to use and manage. It’s just another way that VCNB is putting technology to work for you! Log in to your Online Banking or VCNB Mobile to get started today!

Embracing Kindness

Kindness. Caring. Compassion. In the fast paced and opinionated world that is 2021, it feels like these are words not used enough. Everywhere you go people are frustrated and sometimes unkind.  

That’s not true of everyone, of course, as there are still good people working to make this world a better place. Here at VCNB, we encourage our employees to follow the Golden Rule and to focus on being kind to others. That’s why we were so excited when we noticed how many offbeat holidays happening in October are dedicated to making the world a kinder place.

For example, October 1 was International Day for Older Persons. More than 60 million people ages 65 or older reside in America and, if we’re lucky, we’ll all eventually join this club of elderly Americans. As far as we’re concerned, every day is a great opportunity to show some kindness to an older person, to listen and to learn from them.

This is also Bullying Prevention and Domestic Violence Month. Any domestic violence shelter will tell you that these two issues go hand in hand. Bullying can happen at any age – on the playground or in the board room. It can happen to anyone as can domestic violence. As many as one in three women and one in ten men ages 18 and older experience domestic violence. While it’s hard to spot, chances are someone you know is living with an abuser.

 Sometimes the first step to addressing the issue is to be aware of it and to talk about it. Click here to learn about domestic violence in America and here to learn about bullying prevention.

October also addresses animal issues. It’s Adopt A Dog Month and there are days designated to recognize black cats and black dogs. Black animals are often the last adopted and the first abused thanks to silly superstitions. Animal shelters across the country are brimming with pets in desperate need of a home. Looking out for these four legged friends is a great way to bring joy into your own life while helping a creature in need.

Of course, October has long hosted Make A Difference Day, a national day of service where volunteers are encouraged to work together to do something impactful in their community. That could mean churches and 4-H Clubs or private individuals helping support community projects and things that they see simply need to be done.  

October 5 happens to be Do Something Nice Day. While it’s a pleasant sentiment on a calendar, here at VCNB we would like to think every day is a new chance to do something nice. There’s no opportunity too big or too small if it means extending kindness to another or doing something to improve the world around us.

Our employees are encouraged and even rewarded for their community spirit when they volunteer. In fact, our employees give hundreds of hours of their time every year, helping out wherever they can. They serve on boards like domestic violence shelters and the local chamber of commerce. They cuddle rabbits and walk dogs for animal shelters, pick up litter and help with distribution day at the local food pantry.

The bank also invests over $300,000 a year in sponsorships, fair animals, customer appreciation days, financial literacy, school sports teams, Chamber activities, and a host of causes in our communities.  We do this because we understand the value of investing in our communities and the people who call them home.

Our Core Values say that we will be community minded and that we will have the integrity to do the right thing – even when no one is looking. We encourage you to do the same and to seek out ways to make the world around you a little better. Money is great but sometimes what’s more important is a kind word to a friend, a little patience with that frazzled fast food worker, or a simple thank you to people who have helped you. Provide a home to a pet in need, stop to see an elderly neighbor or offer a shoulder to someone who is struggling.

There are many ways to help make our world brighter. You never know the ripple effect it may have and how your one small action could manifest into something far bigger than intended.

Practice Awareness To Boost Your Financial Health

Having a budget and regularly reviewing your financial commitments is a great place to start down the road toward better financial standing.

Being engaged and aware of what is happening in your financial life is the most effective way to improve your personal finances. We have some tips to help you be more mindful of your finances and how your VCNB account tools can help!  

First: Know Your Income and Commitments

It is imperative to know how much money comes in every month and where it’s going. The best way to do this is to gather up pay stubs and other income documents. Start by adding up your income. Then make a list of all your expenses and add them up to see how much you have going out every month to create a basic budget. Read our Budgeting 101 article to get started!    

Next Step: Get the Right Tools

VCNB offers account holders some user-friendly tools that will make life easier. From checking your balance and paying bills online to turning off your debit card in our mobile app, there are a number of tools for keeping tabs on your finances. Many customers especially love Account Alerts which allow them to receive a text or email for things like when a loan payment is due or each time their debit card has been used. You can even set an alert for when your account drops below a certain balance. Click here to learn more about how the leading technology offered at VCNB can help your financial life!

You’ll also want to review your credit report for accuracy. Download your credit report for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. This document will help you spot errors in your credit history which could impact your credit rating as well as your ability to borrow money, rent a home, qualify for auto insurance or even get a job.

As you’re creating your budget, be sure to put in place some maintenance routines. Have a special place for bills that need attention, automate what you can, and designate a time to pay bills and check balances. While you’re at it, be sure to file or scan any paperwork you need to keep.

What’s next:

These are some basic first steps that everyone should take on the path to financial awareness. Here are a few more.

Start by looking for ways to cut costs. Be sure to apply that savings to paying off debt or to plan for big expenses. Click here for 31 ways you can save money now.

If you know that you spend six hundred dollars on Christmas every year, don’t wait until the holidays and rack up credit card debt. Instead, open a VCNB Christmas Club account to have automatic transfers made from your account into a Christmas Club every two weeks.

Get into the mindset that you will think before you buy and curb those impulse purchases to save strain on your budget. Start thinking about what you want your life to look like and how money can help you strive toward those goals.

Most of all, be mindful and start thinking about how you can put your personal finances to work for you.

Banking Convenience, Leading Technology With Mobile Deposit

Depositing a check with Mobile Deposit is an easy way to take care of your banking business without a trip into the bank!

Here at VCNB we are taking time this fall to be thankful for all the great ways technology has made banking easier for our customers. Here’s a peek at just one of several. Want to know about other popular technology products that we offer our customers? Click here! 

While you can get cash from an ATM or even while paying at the grocery store, depositing a check keeps some customers coming into the bank even when they don’t have the time to spare. Thanks to Mobile Deposit, customers no longer have to do that. Instead, they can opt to deposit their check whenever and wherever is convenient for them.

Working through lunch? Can’t make it in during business hours? No time for errands? No problem.

Simply use the camera on your mobile device to submit images of your check through our mobile app! It really is that easy.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Log in to your account in VCNB Mobile.
  2. Choose Deposits and then press Deposit a Check.
  3. Choose the account where you want the deposit to be made.
  4. Enter the amount of the check.
  5. Endorse your check with your signature and the phrase “Mobile Deposit.”
  6. Photograph both the front and back of the endorsed check.
  7. Review and confirm deposit details and hit Yes to complete the transaction.

It’s a quick process that can save you loads of time driving to the bank. Whether it’s from home in your jammies or on a break from work, you can make that deposit whenever and wherever you have a free moment!

Don’t already use our mobile app? Find it in the app store on your mobile device by searching VCNB Mobile.

Find Leading Technology And Local Support At VCNB

Here at VCNB we strive to offer customers best in class leading technology. In fact, we have everything the big banks offer but with community bank service and local values.

While we take for granted that our customers know about all this great technology, we find that some customers still haven’t heard that they can deposit a check using their phone or that they can send money to a friend with Zelle® in our mobile banking app. We find they don’t know they can pay bills on the go or that our app makes banking as easy as 1-2-3.

That’s why we will be spending the next few weeks talking about some of the leading technology we offer. This technology makes it easier for you to keep track of your money, open accounts and bank whenever and from wherever is most convenient for you.

Here’s an overview of some of these services and we promise to talk more in depth about a few of them soon!

VCNB Mobile and VCNBfamily.com – Use our website and mobile app to check balances, pay bills, transfer funds, view account statements and even open accounts. It’s like carrying a bank branch with you everywhere you go! Both are free and easy to use and give you access to a ton of great options including those below.

Mobile Deposit – Customers who use our mobile app love that they can deposit a check using the camera on their mobile device. It’s easy and quick! Click here for instructions and to get started today.  

Online Bill Pay– There’s no need to stand in the post office line when you can pay bills without even leaving your chair! Log in to your online banking to sign up for Online Bill Pay to schedule bills to pay automatically or on demand.

ZelleZelle is a fast, safe and easy way to send money directly between almost any bank accounts in the U.S., typically within minutes. With just an email address or U.S. mobile phone number, you can send money to people you trust, regardless of where they bank. Find Zelle in Online Bill Pay on VCNB Mobile or in your Online Banking.

Account Alerts – Keep tabs on what’s happening with your accounts when you want to be notified about certain activities. Sign up for any of our almost two dozen account alerts to be sent via text or email. Want to be notified if your card has been used? Perhaps you want to know if a check has cleared, that a loan payment is due or if your balance dips below a certain amount. It’s easy and free to sign up in your Online Banking!

Mobile Wallet – Leave your VCNB credit or debit card in your wallet and pay for purchases with Apple Pay®, Google Pay and Samsung Pay! These mobile payment options are contactless and have built in security measures. Visit the app store on your mobile device to get started!

MoneyPass® – Need cash quick but aren’t near a VCNB ATM? Find a surcharge free ATM near you by searching MoneyPass.com or on their mobile app. VCNB belongs to this extensive network which includes over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. No need to sign up! Just look for the MoneyPass logo and insert your card!  

Rewards Checking Account – Earn uChoose Rewards for your everyday banking behaviors like direct deposit, bill pay and swiping your debit card with our Rewards Checking Account. Earn rewards like cash back, gift cards, travel and event tickets! Have a Visa® Platinum Favor Credit Card? Earn points for using that as well.

Ready to get started but still have questions? Chat online or call our Customer Service Team at 1.800.542.5004. You can also speak to a banker in your local branch today.  

Bruce Block To Retire Friday

VCNB Lender Bruce Block will finish his forty year career in banking and finance when he retires Friday. In doing so, he will turn the page to a new chapter in his life’s book. “I have enjoyed my years in banking and finance and have met a lot of people and made friendships that I hope will continue,” he said. “However, I’m looking forward to moving on to something different.”

Lender Bruce Block will end his forty year career in banking on Friday.

The Pennsylvania native began his career as a management trainee with a finance company in Yuma, Arizona. When they transferred him to Columbus, Ohio, his career took off and he spent the next four decades forging relationships and hitting his stride in a range of finance and banking areas. He trained younger employees, worked in collections and did all types of lending. Before coming to VCNB, Bruce had worked fourteen years as the Head of Consumer Lending for a community bank in Logan.

He joined the VCNB family as a Retail Lender in McArthur in 2015. It quickly became clear his connections with dealerships across Ohio would make Bruce a great fit in the bank’s growing Indirect Lending Department. So for the last four years, he has helped customers who wish to finance their vehicle purchase from the comfort of the dealership while working closely with the dealers who make that happen.

“These aren’t just business acquaintances. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people over the years and have developed good relationships with many dealers,” Bruce said. He went on to describe the lessons he has instilled in a new employee he has been training. “The key to being successful is developing relationships with people. Find common ground so that you have something to relate to when you’re talking. For me, it might be running or soccer or the fact I lived in Arizona for a while and they did too. Building relationships with people will help you become successful and will help you enjoy your job more.”

Bruce has many interests that he enjoys pursuing outside of work. He has been a soccer referee for eighteen years and will soon take on a new title as the Miller High School Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Coach. Bruce also enjoys running and working out at the gym.

The self-described lifelong learner is an avid reader who enjoys substitute teaching at the high school level. He has a bachelors degree in Public Administration and Social Science from Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania, a masters in Social Science from Ohio University and his teaching license in Social Studies. He also takes online classes from the University of Chicago as time allows.

“I believe there is no such thing as too much education,” Bruce explained. He went on to describe a letter of recommendation from a professor at OU who said she had never seen a student who pursued learning for the sake of learning the way that Bruce did, all while juggling family and career.

Bruce has a grown daughter and a stepson. His wife Korrie is a teacher in Athens County where they reside near Glouster.

“I have enjoyed my forty years in banking and finance. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many good people, interesting people, and to learn a lot from working for different people. Looking back, I have to wonder where the forty years went. Time goes so quickly as the days become weeks and the weeks become years.”

The bank will host a reception in Bruce’s honor at our Friendly Bremen Banking Center on West Fair Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

Six Ways To Save On Groceries Today

It’s a necessary purchase and one of the most expensive line items in most household budgets. What is it?

Food.

Everyone has to eat and it can be costly but there are some ways to eat healthy and for less simply by making a few adjustments to eat with the seasons.

  • Eat what’s in season. It typically costs less, isn’t shipped as far and tastes better. For example, melons, berries, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, cherries and a host of other fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer. In the fall, look for pears, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers and eggplant. Each season offers different bounty and new opportunities to switch up your diet.
  • Go for fresh. Those prepackaged salads are quick and look good but can go from attractive to limp or slimy quickly. Fresh romaine, head lettuce and spinach make a great salad and will last longer. Pre-cut veggies and melons are convenient but cost far more per pound that cutting melon or celery for yourself.
  • Go for frozen. Frozen fruits and veggies are typically picked when ripe and then flash frozen. That means frozen produce is a good substitute for fresh. However, beware the frozen prepared meals which often are packed with sodium and sugar and cost more for their convenience.
  • Eat (and take care of) what you have. How many times have you loaded up your cart with tons of fresh produce only for it to rot in the fridge? Make sure you’re either eating what you buy or learn what can be frozen for later. For example, grapes are an amazing treat when frozen. Even odds and ends of leftover vegetables make a great base for soups or omelets. Fruits go well in smoothies or baked goods.
  • Go meatless. Meatless Monday has long been a popular concept and summer is a great time to try that out. With an abundance of fresh from the garden produce, there’s a world of recipes and meal combinations to entertain your taste buds.
  • Preserve it for later. Learn what kind of produce freezes well. Then you can snatch up deals while the selection is abundant and enjoy the season’s bounty when the price is higher again later.
  • Shop local. By shopping farmers markets or farm stands, you’re getting seasonal foods and supporting a business in your community.

How do you cut grocery costs and still eat healthy? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear from you!

Teens Gain Money Management Skills With Student Checking

If you have a teenager in the house that means you have a child who is a few short years from being out on their own. What skills do you want them to have when they go off to school or to start a new career?

Chances are that good money management skills are on that list.

Whether they have a part time job or just an allowance, odds are your teens have some money to manage. Before they are expected to manage large sums, it’s best they learn to manage small amounts too!

That’s why VCNB offers a Student Checking account. This account is designed to help teens learn how to manage money, keep a debit card safe and learn some financial independence.

Here are some things to know.

This account is for teens ages 14 to 17 and requires that a parent or guardian be a joint owner of the account. There is no minimum balance requirement or fees for electronic statements. The account comes with a free standard debit card.

Like all VCNB accounts, Student Checking gives the account holder access to account alerts, online and mobile banking so that your teen can learn to successfully keep track of and spend their money. They can also access over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMS nationwide through the MoneyPass® network.

Learn more about our banking options for teens and to get started by opening a new Student Checking account online.  

Meet Your Banker: Tom Will Oyer Is A Sixth Generation Banker

It is rare to meet someone who is the sixth generation working in a family business. Yet, that’s the case for Tom Will Oyer whose family founded Vinton County National Bank in 1867. He is aware of how tightly intertwined the Will family history is with the bank’s story and the role the bank has played in local history all these years.

Tom Will Oyer is the sixth generation of the Will family to work at Vinton County National Bank.

“The bank has always been a part of my life in some way. As a kid I remember my grandfather taking us to lunch in McArthur there in the basement of the bank and I remember knowing that he was important in the community. When I got older, I was teller a couple of summers but it was never assumed that I would join the family business. No one ever made me feel pressured to come here but the option was available,” he said.

In fact, Tom began to pursue an entirely different career path in the forestry industry. He was studying Forestry at West Virginia University and working a summer internship at a local company when he realized that it may not be the future he wanted for himself. So he switched gears and headed off to Ohio State University to study Economics.

With a degree in hand he began his career doing management and outside sales for Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes in Dayton. Here he went to night school for his MBA at University of Dayton, met the woman he would marry, and decided to come home to contribute to the family business.

“When I decided to come here, I knew that it couldn’t be just a job. It would be my career and not a stepping stone to somewhere else. I owe a lot to the bank and it’s been wonderful being here and finding my way,” he explained.

Tom’s first step at the bank was in 2013 as part of the Management Trainee program. His grandfather Bob Will created this program more than sixty years ago to attract talented college graduates to the bank. The program gives participants opportunity to experience several departments and has produced many bank leaders over the decades

It was through this training that Tom found his love for lending and for helping customers achieve their dreams. “When you are lending money, you’re helping a customer reach their goals. Whether it is a first car, a new home, or starting a business, it is a great feeling when you’re able to help a neighbor,” he said.

He spent a short time as Branch Operations Manager for the bank before taking over as Head of Consumer Lending. This position gave him the opportunity to manage and develop lenders. His mother, Emily Will Oyer, is a retired Head of Retail who told him that he would truly enjoy his work when he started to see employees grow because of the efforts he has made in helping them improve and develop.  “I have also enjoyed my role as a manager, helping to guide employees and have a positive impact so they can blossom into the employee you know they can be. This is one of the true highlights of my job.”

It was under Tom’s leadership that the bank created the Personal Banker position which empowers bankers and broadens their ability to help customers with most of their deposit account and lending needs. He helped to develop new processes and training for this position which reached about forty employees in the first year. “We had to identify what was working and not working and even go back to the drawing board a couple of times to make sure we got it all right. In doing so, we went from about twenty lenders to sixty and we saw significant growth because of it,” he said.

Last year, VCNB President Mark Erslan approached Tom about a new opportunity on the horizon. Head of Commercial Lending Darrell Boggs had announced his intent to retire and Mark asked Tom if he would be interested in taking the reins. “Obviously, I don’t have a commercial lending background but I do have the lending background and the management background. I understand the processes and that it’s my job to facilitate the process to help lenders do what they do best,” he said.

He worked closely with Darrell to achieve a smooth transition and to prepare for the challenge ahead.

Mark commended Tom for the contributions he has made to the bank during his career here. “Tom has served the bank in multiple positions including the Head of Consumer Lending and Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair. He’s helped foster changes that have resulted in bank growth and improved customer and employee experiences. We look forward to his continued contribution to the bank’s success, in this new role.”

While Tom takes pride in his family business, he is modest about his own accomplishments “There’s definitely pride in the Will family history with the bank and how we’ve served the community for so many years. It’s a wonderful thing, a rare thing but I think we all have a kind of built in modesty. We’re not flashy people, we don’t call attention to ourselves, we live pretty modestly and are grateful to have good careers in southern Ohio, serving our neighbors and employees,” he said.

He expressed gratitude for many people who helped to shape his views on community banking and who have helped him along the way. “Mark Erslan has been critical to my success. He’s been my mentor from day one and I’m grateful to him.  My vision of the bank and perception of where it’s been and where it’s going have been influenced by my grandfather, my mother and my Uncle Tom Will who is Chairman of the Board.”

Tom grew up in Ross County. He and his wife Andrea live in the Laurelville area with their children ages 6, 5, 2 and newborn.