First Impressions of NetBranch Mobile

March 27, 2009

NetBranch Mobile has been live for two weeks now.  My first impression is “Wow I love this!”.  I find that I’m using it more often at home than I thought.  I’ll use NetBranch Mobile if the computer is turned off or if my wife is using it.   I’ve used it to quickly pay a bill while sitting at the dinner table or waiting at swim lessons.  I’ve been using it on my Palm TX wherever there’s a wifi connection.  If I had a mobile phone I think I would use it all over the place.

The security features are just as strong as NetBranch because the features are more limited.  NetBranch Mobile cannot create new bills, only pay existing ones.  It can only transfer within your accounts at the credit union.  It is not able to transfer outside of the credit union like our full Online Billpay can.  I like how it doesn’t show any private or personal information on the screen.

The only tip I have for using NetBranch Mobile is this.  Double check your MFA security questions and choose more simple answers for them.    A simple, short one word answer is best.  That makes it a little faster to logon to NetBranch Mobile.  I’m interested to hear what other Piedmont CU NetBranch users think of NetBranch Mobile.  So far I really like it alot!  I may finally decide to ditch my Palm TX get a real mobile phone!

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Thank You Whoever You Are!

January 21, 2009

Today’s local headline was about fraudulent charges posted against a few of our member’s accounts.  This was related to the breach which also made headlines late yesterday and today.  Heartland Payment Systems has issued a statement about the security breach at www.2008breach.com.  You can read what we said about it here on our main website.  You can also rest assured that there was no breach at the credit union or with any of our vendors. But right now I want to say “Thank You” to the anonymous member who, just 15 minutes after the initial story came out on the Register & Bee website, went online to speak up on our behalf.  Here’s what was said:

“PCU is doing an excellent job of handling this. I had my money back within 1 hour of discovering the fraudulent charges. They also said they are going to call people who have suspicious activity on their account who may not do online banking and find the error.
It’s nice to know when something like this happens that they are going to do everything to make it right for you.”

Thank you!


Traveling Overseas?

August 23, 2007

Visiting another country can be a very rewarding and enlightening experience.  Just ask my father-in-law who went to Honduras on a medical missions trip last Spring and plans to go again next year.  With VISA being accepted virtually everywhere it’s very convenient to simply use a debit or credit card and not worry about carrying cash that usually has to be exchanged for local currency anyway.  (You usually pay a fee for that too.)  Recently our credit union had a member who was traveling overseas and was using his debit card for some big purchases.  Every time a Piedmont Card is used overseas we get a phone call from our card processor to find out if the transaction is legitimate or not.  The card is automatically frozen until they hear back from us.  In fact in some countries that have a reputation for being hotbeds of fraud and identity theft, Piedmont cards will not work at all without special attention from us.

So if you are planning an overseas trip and you expect to use your debit card, just give us a call to let us know so we won’t turn your card off when you try and use it.  Of course if your card is lost or stolen you can call a toll free number that can be found on our website, which can be viewed anywhere in the world!


Good advice for ATM users

May 16, 2007

Midwest Financial Credit Union, in Michigan, has some very good advice on their blog for protecting oneself at the ATM. Click here to read it. Similar advice can be found at CU*Secure.org.

If your Piedmont Credit Union ATM or Debit card gets lost or stolen call our office first. If we’re closed call 1-800-554-8969. If your PCU credit card is lost or stolen call 1-800-991-4964.


7 Ways to “Trick out” your NetBranch Experience

May 9, 2007

First of all I admit that I am probably just a bit too old to use the word “Trick out”. Recently after balancing my checkbook I looked into what options were present in PCU’s NetBranch. I was pleased to find some features that I think are worth mentioning. Here’s a brief description of them.

  1. Auto Transfers. This feature is self explaining. There are lots of ways to customize it with different frequencies, ending dates, and such. A great way to make sure your savings gets to savings before you spend it!
  2. Account Names. You can give friendly names to your accounts. This helpful for those of us who don’t think in account numbers. It’s also good if you have multiple children’s accounts that you send money to.(BTW:New kids club coming soon!)
  3. MFA Preferences. You can choose your own login graphic, passphrase, and questions. There are hundreds of images to choose from.
  4. Dial-up Options. If you have a slow Internet connection you can tell NetBranch not to show the standard graphics which makes it load a bit faster.
  5. BillPay Alerts. Here I found what I thought were the most intriguing customizable features. Our BillPay service has a nice e-Notification feature. It can send out alerts or status reports to your email or even to your mobile phone via a text message!
  6. BillPay Gift Reminders. You can use BillPay for much more than bills. Reminders can be setup for almost any occasion to remind you to send a gift.(Mother’s Day is this weekend!) There is also a pre-loaded list of popular charities.
  7. BillPay Startup Page. If you would rather not schedule payments to be made automatically, you might want your initial screen to be a list of your bills so you can quickly choose the one you want to pay. If you have all your bills pre-scheduled to be paid then you may want your BillPay start page to show a list of recent and pending payments which is the default setting. There is also a Calendar view option.

Just some ideas on how to make your NetBranch experience more personal and friendly. If you have any suggestions from your experience, or things to add that I might have missed, feel free to share them.


Protecting Yourself Online, Part 2

April 20, 2007

Since the credit union has implemented Multi-Factor Authentication I thought I would take the opportunity to remind us all of some basic online security practices.

As stated in our previous post “Protecting Yourself Online“, MFA will make it more difficult for online thieves to create a Piedmont CU look-alike website designed to steal user names and passwords. Here are just a few more tips for protecting yourself online:

  1. Before entering your password or personal information on any secure site look for the padlock graphic either in the address bar or in the bottom right-hand corner of the browser window. Note: PCU NetBranch addresses always start with “https://nbp1.cunetbranch.com/piedmont”.
  2. Do not click on a weblink that is inside of an email claiming to be from your credit union, bank, financial firm, or anyone that you give personal information to. Instead type the address in by hand.
  3. For sites that you visit regularly like NetBranch, piedmontcu.org, or even PCU Member Connect, make a bookmark to the site and always use the bookmark to get back to it. PCU Member Connect has a nice live feed feature that can be bookmarked by clicking the little orange icon in the address bar.
  4. Update your web browser. The most modern web browsers such as Firefox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 7 have anti-phishing capabilities built-in. Use them.
  5. Use MFA to your advantage. Unless you are using a foreign computer it should not ask you to answer any security questions. So if you are using a computer you always use to access NetBranch and it all of a sudden it prompts you to answer a security question, please take note and verify the address and the pad-lock icon that we talked about in step 1.

If you are ever in doubt about any Piedmont Credit Union site just give us a call, email, or even a comment on this site. Sometimes this site even gets checked on the weekends! So far no one has had any problems with MFA that we know about. Please contact our office directly if you have experienced any problem with it. Thank you for using NetBranch and thank you for being part of Piedmont Credit Union.


Protecting Yourself Online

March 15, 2007

Next month Piedmont Credit Union’s NetBranch will get a security upgrade. If you have used NetBranch since March 14 then you have undoubtedly seen a notice about this. I promise that the pop-up will not become a permanent feature of our site! I thought I would use this forum to give a little more detail about this thing called Multi-factor Authentication. It is all designed to protect our members from Phishing. Phishing is when an Internet thief creates a website or an email that asks you to put in some type of your personal information. You might say “But I would never do that!” But it is easier to get scammed than you might think. According to phishtank.com, a website devoted to fighting this type of theft, eight of their top ten copied websites were bank websites. The reason thieves do this is to try and get bank customers to enter their logons and passwords into a “fake” bank website. The thieves in turn take that stolen info and attempt to steal other information or gain control over the accounts. Our new MFA upgrade will completely change the way we login to our NetBranch so that the possibility of such a thing ever happening to PCU is virtually eliminated.
-Dan Veasey
Piedmont Credit Union