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, August 21, 2012

Edition #677


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

August 14, 2012 Edition #676

August 7, 2012 Edition #675

July 31, 2012 Edition #674

July 24, 2012 Edition #673


Weekly Spotlight:

Looking for a contact person at GCF Bank? Use our employee directory.


Our Current Rates:

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

Today's National Market Rates
August 21, 2012 6 Mo Ago
02/21/12
1 Yr Ago
08/21/11
5 Yrs Ago
08/21/07
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 986.17 or 8.07% since 12/31/11)
13,203.73 (-0.51%) 12,965.69 10,854.65 13,090.86
S&P 500
(Up 155.61 or 12.37% since 12/31/11)
1,413.20 (-0.35%) 1,362.21 1,123.82 1,447.12
NASDAQ
(Up 462.11 or 17.74% since 12/31/11)
3,067.26 (-0.29%) 2,948.57 2,345.38 2,521.30
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.80% 2.05% 2.09% 4.59%
British Sterling 1.5776 1.5861 1.6458 1.9832
Euro 1.2462 1.3227 1.4390 1.3485

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1st Flash

Service Recovery

Banking is a service business. Although something of a cliche, it is undeniably true. It is true that price and other convenience factors often play a role. However, most banking customers identify "service" as the, or a primary, factor in their decision in choosing a bank. And long-term customer satisfaction is closely correlated with profitability.

Stated differently, treating our customer right, even at the expense of very short-term profits, is usually more profitable over the longer term. It is an indisputable fact that it costs FAR more to find a new customer than to retain an existing customer. We all know this.

Before we discuss service recovery, it is worth a few words on service in general. As a bank, we service our customers every day and in countless ways. While most things go right, sometimes things go wrong - which leads to "service failure." Service failure occurs when, for whatever reason, the service chain is broken and a customer's expectations are not met.

I am not speaking of unrealistic customer expectations, but the realistic type. A customer's checks wind up, somehow, in the wrong statement. Or a customer's payment is applied to the wrong account, triggering a late charge. We can likely think of many more examples that are simply unavoidable in many cases.

Which brings us to service recovery: Service recovery is the manner in which we handle a service failure. Most customers understand that mistakes and errors happen - they are simply interested in getting things straightened out as soon as possible - with the least pain possible. And customer satisfaction is very closely related to service recovery, or stated differently "how problems are handled."

Interestingly, there is a concept known as the "service recovery paradox." The service recovery paradox refers to the heightened customer satisfaction that arises from a problem handled very well versus a lower level of customer satisfaction had the original problem (service failure) never even occurred!

A decade ago, some companies were knowingly de-emphasizing their focus on service standards, and placing much greater emphasis on service recovery. Some studies have shown that overall customer service indeed improved in such environments.

Although the service recovery paradox is an interesting academic concept, we do not wish to de-emphasize our commitment to quality service, or intentionally allow service failures. Our standards of excellence are incompatible with such a scenario. Instead, while we will always strive for the highest quality service possible. In the rare yet inevitable event that a service failure does occur, our staff will go that extra mile, or extra ten miles to make the situation right - within reason. For this, you have our pledge.

GCF Bank


On The World Wide Web

By recycling old cell phones, one non-profit organization has raised more than $7 million to help deployed military members communicate with their stateside families. Learn how you can help.

The Wounded Warrior Project helps injured service members aid each other. Find out more about these inspirational heroes.

Military families have special needs here at home, not only those deployed. The folks at Operation Homefront provide necessary services for those most in need. And they welcome your support.

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2nd Flash

13 Years and Still Growing

What were you doing on August 24, 1999? GCF Bank was preparing for whatever consequences Y2K would wreak on our computer system.

Keeping customers abreast of our progress was a key component of these efforts. Our ability to safeguard your accounts, and assuring your uninterrupted access to them, was vital. Our relationship is based on your trust.

Hence GCFlash was born. What began as a means to inform our customers how we would overcome the impending doom forecast by the media has grown into a weekly publication.

Yet our mission has remained the same. We no longer worry what will happen when a computer has to process a 21st Century date. But we do face continuing threats and issues never imagined way back in the 1900s.

Our main purpose today is to make our readers aware of the multitude of security threats, risks, scams and ploys lurking in the silicone that is now part of daily life. Crooks no longer try to sell snake oil on street corners. They hide behind the anonymity of cyberspace.

Keeping our customers armed with the latest security information is our ongoing gift to you. It's something you will always take with you, no matter where your browser may travel.

We've offered tips on creating a strong password, the lowdown on Stuxnet and its variants, and dissected the ZeuS Trojan.

We've featured articles to help you understand basic computer tools like Understanding Firewalls. These resources are all designed to complement the vast amount of information you'll find in our Security Center.

Learn about new products here first. We'll announce developments as they occur like we did with Touch Banking and Popmoney. And you'll find a quick link to our current rates in every issue.

Certainly financial and economic news is a key ingredient in GCFlash. We print tax tips, teach kids about money or reveal trends in the financial industry like credit card reform.

But with a weekly publication, you have to mix up the topics. There's only so much material we can offer on any one subject. Money is no exception.

So we try to offer consumer news wherever possible. This is relevant in every life. Here you'll learn about new technology being developed, what is the peak time of the year to purchase specific products or new laws being enacted. We leave product ratings to folks best suited like Consumer Reports or Cnet.com.

There will be family issues covered in GCFlash. We all deal with some aspect of family life; whether it's travel tips, a family member or neighbor in the military, finding a nursing home, dealing with the holidays after the loss of a loved one or back-to-school tips.

And we lighten things up with little tidbits such as Web Highlights, the Day in History, inspirational Quote and trivia Fact.

The staff of GCFlash has remained pretty stable over the years. Those of you who missed their introduction can find them in Meet the Staff.

You'll find past GCFlash issues going back three years on our website. Use the Search Box at the top of each page to refer back to a subject of your interest.

We love it when a reader takes the time to write, whether or not they agreed with our commentary. We do appreciate hearing your opinion. Try as one might, it can be hard to remove personal opinion from every piece one writes. Those times when it creeps in, we label the article Editorial so readers understand they're getting personal opinion rather than the view of GCF Bank or its management.

This newsletter can only be successful when it best serves our customers. And we can only do that through your continued feedback. Send an email to editor@gcfbank.com with your comments, suggestions for future content, or even to challenge me with a little sports trivia if the urge strikes. It's all welcome.

Thank you for being a loyal GCFlash reader.


Tip of the Week

Humans have an innate need to help each other in times of trouble. And crooks prey on the most basic of human vulnerabilities. Research any charity you feel moved to support. There may be others sharing the same mission with a better track record or lower overhead. Or you may learn the charity is a scam. Several sites serve this purpose, some even dedicated to a specific discipline. Your favorite search engine will offer links you can compare for the best results.

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Financial Insights

Stocks traded lower today, continuing the market's persistent sideways move. It is unlikely the markets will move decisively until after November's election removes some economic uncertainty.

Other interesting headlines today include:

Apple Computer (AAPL) achieved a market capitalization of about a trillion dollars, making it the most valuable company in U.S. history. Founder Steve Jobs, who passed away last October, must be smiling down on us, undoubtedly with great satisfaction. Apple's value surpassed even that of Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates, who was both Job's friend and arch rival.

Peter Thiel, Facebook's (FB) earliest investor, dumped another $400 million in Facebook stock, adding to the stampede to sell the beleaguered darling of Wall Street - whose share price is down to about half of its initial offering price from earlier this year. Don't feel too bad for Mr. Thiel though, as his original half a million dollar investment netted him, even at the reduced share prices, more than $1 billion. Pays to get in on the actual ground floor as opposed to the three ring circus that Facebook's IPO became.

Finally, a growing chorus of senior citizens are complaining that it is unfair that Uncle Sam is docking their social security checks to pay back delinquent student loans. It is unfair, they say. Really? After almost an entire lifetime, some senior citizens have not gotten around to paying back both banks and their fellow citizens (who ultimately guaranteed the debt). This is a sad testimony to what many Americans now consider "fair." To those of us who favor a true "balance of payments" system for government assistance, such episodes are further proof of why such a system is so sorely needed.

Next week I'll explain what a balance of payments system really is and how it would work.


Quotable

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." - Mahatma Gandhi


Today in History

1858 - Senate candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas held the first of their seven debates.


Flash Fact

The Lincoln-Douglas debates were not of the same sense as we know debates today. They were actually a series of speeches with no questions posed to the candidates. The first man would speak for an hour, then the other would offer a rebuttal for an hour and a half. Finally, the first man would have half an hour to respond to the rebuttal.

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