Category Archives: Banking

Thankful you’re our customer!

In the spirit of thankfulness, everyone at Two Rivers Bank & Trust wants to extend our gratitude to you, our neighbors.

In the last year we’ve made many updates to our products and services to make them even better for you.Picture1

“Two Rivers Bank & Trust is always looking to increase consumer protection and safety for our customers,” said Linda Springsteen, Senior Branch Manager in Mediapolis. “It’s our top priority.”

Our upcoming domain name change and new website will increase security for you and make it easier to access financial tips and tools.

“Only a financial institution’s website domain can end in .bank, making it much easier to verify the site and know your web browser is safe,” Springsteen explained.

Mobile Money, our mobile app, allows you to take Two Rivers with you wherever you go. View account balances, transaction history, transfer funds between accounts, and pay your bill anytime, anywhere!

We hope that you take time to enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones and we hope you know how happy we are to serve you.

“We always want to do right by our customers,” she said. “2018 will be another year to show our neighbors how much we care from education about financial safety and budgeting to new products and services delivered with good, old-fashioned customer service.”

Follow us on Facebook, visit our blog regularly, and stop by to see us to know everything new at Two Rivers Bank & Trust!

Fraud Tips for the Holidays

Where has this year gone? It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is right around the corner, but it seems to sneak up on us every year. At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we love the holidays! We also know it can be a time when our customers need us the most.

According to ACI Worldwide, fraud increases by 31% during the holiday season and we want you to be prepared for the scammers and skimmers that are getting more sophisticated every year.

Follow these fraud tips from Alicia Whalen, Mt. Pleasant Branch Manager, to protect yourself during the holidays when you’re shopping for loved ones.

“Even though it’s cold, check the card slot reader at gas stations before you fill your vehicle with gas,” Whalen said. “It’s common for skimmers to loosen the slot to try and steal your card’s information.”fraud

Another way to protect yourself is to use your Two Rivers Bank & Trust EMV chip card.

EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard, and Visa”, the three companies that originally developed the specifications for the technology. “EMV chip credit and debit cards offer better protection than cards that do not have this technology,” she explained. “The embedded chips add security that can help keep your account safe.”

If you’re shopping online, be careful of fraudulent websites. Don’t enter your credit card information unless the address starts with ‘https:’. The ending ‘s’ means it’s a secure web address.

“As always, remember to keep your passwords varied and updated,” Whalen said. “It’s the first step to keeping your private information secure.”

“I love working at Two Rivers because my co-workers and I are just a big family that wants to help our customers,” she explained. “If our customers ever have a security issue with their accounts, we want them to know we are here to help.”

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we always have your protection in mind. Don’t forget about these helpful tips as we soon get swept up in the holidays and if you fall victim to a skimmer, call us!

Scary ways you get scammed

As humans, we’re conditioned to be nice to each other, to not be defensive, and to treat others with respect. However, advanced scamming techniques are preying on good-naturedness and it’s important to have a dose of skepticism.

Sean Allworth, Information Security Officer at Two Rivers Bank & Trust shared some ways you can get scammed and some advice to keep yourself safe.

Over the phone. People can pose as your relative and ask you to wire money. Don’t do it. “Ask for some sort of verification, hang up the phone, and call another family member to confirm what’s happening,” Allworth explained.

In your inbox. “The biggest issue we see right now is with business emails,” Allworth said. “Scammers are sending out emails with alerts to schedule transactions on behalf of clients. We tell our employees to always utilize call back procedures and to not move funds unless they have verified the transaction with our customers.”

Another tried and true method of fraud is phishing emails that have attachments containing malware.scam

“It’s the easiest to fall victim to, so you always have to look closely at the email addresses from which you’re receiving mail,” he said. “Phishing scams are getting more and more sophisticated. Never open an email from an address you don’t recognize and never download the attachments.”

Your online cart. Online shopping can be dangerous, for more reasons than one. Know where you are shopping and know when to give away financial information. Use the 3 Rs as your guide. Reputation, Recommendations, Research.

It’s always best to be proactive, too.

“Make sure you have a proper anti-virus on your computer and just be diligent,” Allworth urged.

If you think you’re a victim of fraud in any way, make sure you call us so we can help you take the necessary action. We care about the safety of our neighbors and will help you in any way we can!

Retirement Options at Two Rivers

Less than one-third of Americans are taking advantage of the benefits of an IRA, according to a recent survey conducted by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA). While the business landscape changes frequently, it can be difficult to know whether your retirement through your employer is adequate to get you to your retirement goal.

That’s why you should open an IRA with Two Rivers Bank & Trust. Whether you’re just starting out or are well into your career, it’s always a great time to start saving. We offer Traditional and Roth IRAs and have skilled professionals who can help customize a plan for you!

Brett Bessine, Vice President & Retirement Plan Services Specialist at Two Rivers Bank & Trust, explained a little bit about IRAs and the benefits of an account with Two Rivers.brett

What is an IRA? 

“An IRA is simply an account (not an investment itself) where you can make contributions, have those contributions invested, and accumulate assets throughout your working years so that you have money set aside to live on in retirement.”

Why are they beneficial? When should you open one?

“Not everyone has access to a 401(k) or another type of retirement account through their employer. For these individuals, it is imperative that they take the initiative on their own to start an IRA and make contributions consistently throughout their careers. Even for those who do have access to an employer sponsored retirement account, it can make sense to have an IRA also. If a person has maxed out his or her 401(k) contributions and would like to save more or if the employer’s plan doesn’t allow ROTH contributions, opening an IRA or ROTH IRA is an option. If you are unsure if an IRA makes sense for you come see us at Two Rivers for additional information.”

What tips do you have for people saving for retirement? 

“It is so important to start saving early and consistently save throughout your working years. Create a budget so you know where your dollars are being spent and adjust in order to increase your savings level. Have a long term plan and sit down with a retirement plan specialist to review.”

Controlling the expense of your IRA is critical to maximizing the return.  One of the ways we can help you increase your return is by reducing your costs through the utilization of lower expense share classes of funds made accessible by partnering with our knowledgeable team at Two Rivers Bank & Trust.  Come talk with our team about the many advantages we can offer. As your neighbor, we want you to retire well. Contact Two Rivers today!

Investment and Insurance Products: Are Not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency; Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by the Bank or any Bank Affiliate; May lose value.

Mortgages with Two Rivers – You Have Options

Sweet summertime is one of the most popular times to buy a house. Choosing which home to purchase is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. If you’re looking for more information, check out our blog about home buying.

Two Rivers Bank & Trust is alongside you for every milestone, including buying a house! Julie Brown, Retail Loan Officer at Two Rivers, explained the flexibility of your options with us. “We have a variety of loan options available at Two Rivers,” she said.

“Instead of only offering a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all mortgage product we will take the time to sit down with you as your trusted financial partner and talk through your individual situation. By discussing your individual situation, talking about monthly payments you are comfortable with, as well as how much you have available for a down payment, we are able to figure out what loan product will best work for you with your current or future home.”moving

If you think you’ve found your dream house or you’re ready to start looking, come see us! “As far as home mortgage products we offer in-house Adjustable Rate Mortgages, secondary market conventional loans, VA loans, FHA loans, USDA loans and Jumbo loans,” Brown explained.

While these options might seem overwhelming, let one of our loan professionals help you through the home financing process.

“The best advice I can give a first-time home buyer is to educate yourself,” Brown said. “Buying a home is an exciting and emotional experience, it is easy to look at a home for sale and see the listing price but have no idea what the monthly payment will be. By coming to Two Rivers to be pre-qualified to purchase a home you can then look at a listing and know roughly what your monthly payment will be on that property.”

Another benefit of being pre-qualified is the added negotiating power you can offer a seller, making them comfortable with your financial ability to purchase their property.

Don’t forget, if you have a mortgage with another institution, we can help you refinance.

“If you are considering refinancing your home we can sit down with you and review your individual situation, your current mortgage amount, your current interest rate and remaining loan term,” Brown explained. “By doing this, we can determine if there is an opportunity to lower your monthly payment or to shorten your loan term.”

At Two Rivers, we are willing to take the time, as your trusted financial partner, to look at your current or future mortgage needs to make sure you are utilizing the best loan product for you. Come see us!

Two Rivers Bank & Trust – Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

Investing, in the Beginning

Budgeting and saving your money is the first step to financial freedom. Investing is the next.

To some, the stock market is a very scary place full of uncertainty. We understand! At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we want you to achieve the financial success you’ve worked hard to earn. We can help you make that happen through our Two Rivers Investment Services team.

Our investment professionals can assist you if you want to invest and save for the short and long term with our array of mutual funds, stocks, and money market options.

With Two Rivers in your corner, you don’t have to be an expert to make a thoughtful investment plan.invest blog

Tom Johanns, Senior Vice President – Senior Trust Officer at Two Rivers, encourages you to do your research first. “There are a lot of great places to gather information about investing before you jump in,” he said. “Trade publications and Internet sources are helpful. In fact, at Two Rivers, we actually have several investment classes available at no charge.”

Best practices for a beginner investor? “One good investing technique to practice is dollar-cost averaging,” Johanns explained. “That means you buy a fixed dollar amount of a particular investment at a regular interval.”

What can Two Rivers do for you? “We have the most complete offering of investment services and guidance,” Johanns said. “We can literally provide our clients help throughout their entire lifetime.”

We can offer you personalized financial planning by analyzing your current financial situation, helping you determine achievable goals, and then we guide you in implementing the plan that works for you.

Our investment professionals care about you, our neighbor! Visit our website for more information about our Investment Services, Financial Planning, and Investment Accounts.

Investment and Insurance Products: Are Not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency; Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by the Bank or any Bank Affiliate; May lose value.

Make it Work for You

The average tax refund is about $3,000. Granted, this is not a ‘gift’ but money in your pocket nonetheless.

One way to make that money work for you is to put it in a Certificate of Deposit (CD). A CD is a great savings tool when you don’t need to access your money right away.

Llew Anderson, Two Rivers Branch Manager, explained that there are times when CDs are a very logical choice.Capture

“CDs are good tools for people who get large lump sums of money (bonuses, tax refunds, inheritance, etc.) and want to keep that money for future purposes,” she said.

Why choose a CD over other options? The great benefits, of course!

“CDs generally earn a higher rate of return than a traditional savings account because you can’t access the funds in the account in the same manner,” she said. “They are great for people who have a hard time saving because you can’t access the money (other than at maturity) without a penalty.”

Two Rivers Bank & Trust has lucrative CD options with flexible terms and rates. These accounts require a minimum deposit of $1,000, which might be close to the amount of your tax return!

At Two Rivers, we want to help our neighbors achieve their saving goals.

“I had a customer who was saving to purchase a home in the ‘next few years,’” Anderson said.

“She admitted she wasn’t great at saving and needed a way to put money aside where she couldn’t access it easily.”

Anderson recommended we set up an auto-transfer from her checking account to a special savings account. When those savings accumulated, she opened an additional CD, and started building her balance again!

“She was able to save a little over $5,000 over the course of a year, and the interest that she earned seemed like an extra perk to her.”

If you’ve opened a savings account with Two Rivers, consider opening a 3 to 60-month CD with us, too! Select the term that best fits your needs. You can easily transfer some of the funds between Two Rivers accounts to earn higher interest with a CD – just remember the minimum requirement for your savings account!

We want you to have financial success! Contact us if you have any questions. We’re always happy to help our neighbors.

 

 

Banking at Your Fingertips – Mobile Money App

At Two Rivers Bank & Trust, we like to make banking as convenient as possible—which is why features like mobile banking, online bill pay and electronic statements were all made with YOU in mind!

Mobile App 1Believe it or not, that’s just the beginning! We’ve added even more to our arsenal, and now it’s even easier to take your banking with you with the Two Rivers Bank & Trust mobile app!

The Two Rivers Bank & Trust Mobile Money app provides quick, easy, and secure access to your accounts — anytime, anywhere. You can check balances, transfer funds, pay bills, and find Two Rivers Bank or ATM locations, but it doesn’t stop there.

Assistant Vice President of Community Banking, Liz Ross, talks about even more exciting features you can put to use right now when you download the mobile money app.

Manage Your Cards

“One of my favorite features is the ability to turn your debit card on or off,” said Ross. “So let’s say you’re looking through your purse for your debit card and you can’t remember the last time you used it. You panic. What would you normally do? You’d call the bank. Now, you can log right into your online banking, and with two clicks, turn your debit card off. Then, if you end up finding the card, you can pick your phone back up, and with two clicks, it’s right back on.”

stolen debit card large

Organize Mobile Receipts

“If you’re like me, whenever you open up your purse or a drawer, you have a ton of receipts you’ve thrown everywhere, because at some point you know you need to settle your accounts. With our new mobile app, you have the ability to take a picture of your receipt and tie it to the transaction, allowing you to get rid of the piece of paper by capturing and saving it on your device. It keeps you organized!”

Ross also expressed her excitement for some “coming soon” features that Two Rivers Bank & Trust anticipates launching in early 2017!

Receipts

SPIN—Coming Soon!

Spin is the ability to pay someone or make transfers with your debit card. “So, let’s say you’re out to lunch with a friend and they want to pay you for lunch. You can simply initiate that transfer right at the table with your mobile app,” said Ross. “All you have to do is enter their information, and then they’ll get a cue to enter in their debit card information and it’ll send the money directly to your account.”

Apple Pay—Coming Soon!

Apple Pay is the ability to use your iPhone to make payments at grocery stores, restaurants—wherever it is compatible. Pay in seconds by placing your finger over the Touch ID on your iPhone while you hold it near the Apple Pay reader, and you’re done!

“The Two Rivers Bank & Trust mobile app is simple, safe and secure,” said Ross. “You’re in control because you always have your phone, so you can manage your accounts from anywhere. It’s a great opportunity to take control of your finances.”

Anyone who has a mobile, smartphone device can take advantage of the Two Rivers Bank & Trust mobile app. Unfortunately, those with flip phones won’t be able to use it and its features, but Two Rivers does also provide a text banking service to those without smartphones.

You can find the free Two Rivers Bank & Trust mobile app in the iTunes app store or in the Google Play store by searching, “Two Rivers mobile money.”

If you don’t know where to begin, have questions or just want someone to guide you through the process, let us know! “We would love to have the opportunity to sit down with you and walk you through the app,” said Ross. “We’d really love to get everyone as excited about it as we are!”