A New Way of Banking

 

Say goodbye to teller lines, drive-thrus, and bankers behind desks. A slow growing trend on the east coast will tell you that kind of banking is out of touch with high tech consumers.

Ascend Federal Credit Union in Nashville, TN feels more like a GAP than a bank when you first walk in. A greeter at the front desk can help direct you to the person you need or they can sell you an Ascend T-shirt or coffee mug.

Even the most loyal customer, one who even likes a bank’s logo, might wonder why they want to give money to the bank for a coffee mug. Well Ascend uses all the money sold from their merchandise to help charities. After learning that you might take two cups!

With floor to ceiling windows and all the bankers sharing the same identical offices this bank feels like the customer’s building where everyone is on even footing.

In other areas the retail trend takes a different shape. Instead of looking like a GAP your next bank could look and smell like a Starbucks! But you will get out a lot cheaper as the banks are giving away the coffee and scones in exchange for your business. These latte looking lounges also have computer terminals where one can check their on-line banking or pay bills on-line.

Banks like any other business are always evolving to try to attract new customers as well as be the best they can be for their existing clients. Will this new trend fit that bill? I think if you see this new retail style of banking in your neighborhood the answer is yes.

 

Check out some pictures of new age banks at

http://www.newground.com/casestudies.html

Get Some Green by Going Green

With all of the talk about “Going Green” lately, it’s time to remind people of any easy way they can help the environment; E-Statements.  Here are a few of the numerous E-Statement benefits…

o FAST – You’ll receive your E-Statement two or three days earlier than you normally receive your paper statement.
o EASY – A monthly e-mail lets you know your new statement is available online, and you can access it from anywhere. You’ll have up to 12 months of statement history to print or file anytime.
o SECURE – You’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing your statements are delivered to you securely via e-mail and encrypted for your protection.
o ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY – Receiving your bank statement via e-mail reduces the usage of natural resources. You will no longer receive a paper statement, so you can easily store your E-Statement to a file on your hard drive.

Not only will you save trees, you’ll earn money as well.  If you sign up to receive E-Statements on your Central National Bank checking, savings, or money market account between now and January 31st, CNB will deposit $10 into each account you enroll in.

• Take note that the $10 credits will be deposited to all of the customers’ accounts on the last day of the month (Dec. 31, and Jan. 31) – the deposits will not happen immediately upon enrollment.

A Tax Free Distribution For The Holidays

 

A lot of people are worried about their required minimum distribution (RMD) taking them into another tax bracket, or pushing them to a point that they are going to have to itemize their taxes. Are you or someone you know in this situation: a parent or grandparent maybe? If you’re at least 70.5 years old, you now have the option of making a tax free distribution. You have the opportunity to distribute some savings from your IRA to a charitable organization available (http://apps.irs.gov/app/pub78). When you take your RMD and donate it to a charity you don’t have to report this money as income for the year.  Another option is if you are supposed to take a $3000 RMD which may take you $1000 into your next tax bracket, and instead you could take $2000 towards your reportable income and the other $1000 given as a charitable distribution. This is an excellent opportunity for those who are interested in giving to charity. But you may want to act now, the government has designated these guidelines until December 31st, 2007 when they expire, so act quickly!Another option is to use the money from the RMD as a gift to a grandchild’s college education fund (529 plan). You’d still have to pay taxes on the RMD; however, the money can go to the grandkids income tax free.  The money is no longer in the giver’s estate and the giver of the gift still controls the spending of the money in the future. The grandchild never becomes the “owner” of the funds. 

 

·                    IRA owner must be age 701/2 or older

·                    Cannot exceed $100,000 per year per IRA owner

·                    Effective for distribution on or before December 31, 2007

·                    Have a check made payable to charitable organization

·                    IRA owner may hand carry the check to the charitable organization

·                    A qualified charitable distribution offsets an IRA owner’s required minimum distribution

·                    IRA owner addresses taxation on federal income tax return

 

*Contact the Central National Bank Trust Dept. for further information

 

*Info provided by Allison Gowing and Joe Karnes

Protecting Your Money

There are lots of people out there making a living off of tricking an honest consumer out of their money. Yet there are simple tips and precautions that can protect you. After all criminals look for the easy scam, if they were into hard work they would probably have real jobs!

 

Tip #1

Do not leave your wallet or purse in plain sight in an unattended vehicle. It takes less than a minute for a passing thief to break your window and snatch anything they want. 

 

Tip#2

Never write your PIN on your debit or credit cards or have them written down close to where you keep your cards. 

 

Tip #3

Buying products or services on-line must be done with care. Using reputable sites that have been around awhile is always encouraged. Sometimes when you authorize them to charge your card you are unknowingly signing up for a service as well. They might charge your card every month for a monthly e-newsletter or some other nonsense.

 

Tip #4

This is more a fact than a tip. Lately there has been an e-mail rumor going around saying if you are held up at the ATM and you put in your pin backwards the ATM will signal the police. THIS IS NOT TRUE! In fact most debit and credit cards have the option where the user can pick their own pin number. In that case if you pick 5555 as your pin there is no way the ATM could decipher what is forwards and what is backwards. 

Thanks to Sherol Rumbagh for sharing these tips!  

I Won the Lottery!

That’s right; I really did win the lottery.  Well, at least that’s what an email told me.  Even though I’ve never lived in, or visited England, somehow I won their lottery.  I couldn’t believe my luck while reading this.  It seemed so weird that I had won because just that week a customer came in with a check saying she won the lottery in Nigeria.  Two big winners in one week!  All I had to do to collect my winning check was send back an email with my current contact information.  There was also a form where I had to fill in my lottery ticket number and the amount I won.  Strange that they were informing me I won, yet they didn’t have my ticket number, but I chalked it up to a misunderstanding. So I filled in the winning ticket numbers I would have played.  Deciding the amount I won, well that was difficult.  I didn’t want to appear too greedy so I put down a meager five billion dollars.  I figure that’s the difference between having a plain quarter pounder and having one with cheese for the rest of my life. The English lotto officials were so accommodating.  All I had to do in order to get my winnings was give them my bank account number and they took out several thousand dollars for ticket and handling fees.  After doing this, I was told it would only take a few weeks for them to send me my big winnings.  It’s only been a few months since they emptied out my account, so I know I should be receiving the money any day now.  I wonder what I’ll buy first after I pay off all of the recent debt I’ve incurred.

NO, I did not send them any money or give out my bank account number! Hopefully after reading this, most of you have realized what a joke lottery scams are.  I guarantee it’s a scam any time you receive an email saying you’ve won a foreign lottery.  Why on earth would someone send money to a lottery office in order to get money sent back to them?  Yet it happens all the time. Even if by some one in a trillion chance it was real, too bad!  It’s illegal in the U.S. to play any foreign lottery.   So please don’t get fooled by these emails and watch out for your elders so they don’t fall for these tricks via direct mail or phone and end up losing everything.  To learn more about foreign lottery scams, talk with your local police department, talk with a bank official, or check out http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/intlalrt.shtm.

123 Years and Going Strong!

Birthday Cake

Central National Bank is celebrating its 123rd birthday this month – yes, that’s correct: 123 YEARS.  When this bank was founded, the car hadn’t even been invented yet!  Times have certainly changed since 1884, but Central National Bank has stood the test of time as a strong, successful bank throughout its storied history. 

The bank was founded by Sumner Pierce in October of 1884 in Junction City.  Originally chartered as a state bank, “Central Kansas Bank” was elevated to a more prestigious national bank just six years later in 1890.   

Central National Bank’s long history of strength and consistency is rare in the banking industry today.  In an era where bank acquisitions and name changes are commonplace, Central National Bank has kept the same name for more than a century!  Central National Bank is a family and employee-owned business, and our team of bankers across Kansas and Nebraska take pride in building their communities by providing excellent financial services and by donating their time and energy to community projects.

Happy 123rd birthday, Central National Bank!  Now we just need to get enough people together to blow out all of these candles…

–Sara Munson

Green Machine

On September 19th Central National Bank hosted its 5th Advisory Board Roundtable Forum.  The topic was “Going Green”.  Guest presenters were Sarah Hill-Nelson, secretary/treasurer of Bowersock Mill & Power Co. in Lawrence and a representative of The Bonneville Environmental Foundation out of Portland, Oregon as well as the director of Zephyr Energy of Lawrence and Scott Zaremba, president of Zarco Earth-Friendly-Fuels and Zarco 66 stores of Lawrence. 

Bowersock operates a Hydroelectric-power plant along the Kansas River in Lawrence and has been providing energy for Lawrence since the early 1900’s.  The Hill family has been involved in the plant for much of its rich history.  The Bonneville Environmental Foundation is focused on the reparation of damaged watersheds across the country and establishing new renewable energy generation.  Zephyr Energy is the local vehicle for buying green tags to offset you or your businesses energy usage and to support the use of renewable energy generation.

The Zaremba family has been in the fuel business in Lawrence for the past 40 years.  Scott Zaremba is in the process of opening the first retail Bio-fuels station in the state of Kansas at 9th & Iowa Street in Lawrence.  The station will be open later this fall and Scott informed us that many cars are already compatible to run on E-85 grade fuel.  A list of vehicles that are equipped for this use can be founds on the Zarco 66 web site (www.zarco66.com).

Central National Bank of Lawrence is proud to announce that a three-year commitment to invest in green tags to offset 25% of the energy usage in its six Lawrence bank branch locations.  CNB is the first and only bank in Lawrence to make this commitment and we do this consistent with the mission of our bank, which is focused on “…making our customers and the communities we serve successful.”  An investment in renewable energy is an important investment in the future of Lawrence and the state of Kansas. 

Additionally, CNB is proud to be the financing source for Zarco Earth-Friendly-Fuels and their new Biofuel station in Lawrence.  The leadership and commitment by the Zaremba family in taking such an important step to begin to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to make a positive impact on the environment is truly a landmark step in Kansas.

As Scott Zaremba stated in his presentation, “to create change one must take action.”  Central National Bank is very pleased to play a small role in supporting these great community leaders and helping promote issues that truly do make our community and customers successful.

 

Blog by Brad Chindamo

Music for Life

There’s an interesting phenomenon going on in the NE region of Central National Bank.  The bank is injecting itself into the local music scene.  CNB has partnered with over 20 local artists to help spread the enjoyment of local music.  You can find more details about how the program works at www.centralnational.com/musicforlife

I’m fortunate enough to be involved on both sides of this project.  I’m an employee of the bank and I’m in a local band.  While my band is not performing on Friday, we do have songs available for our new deposit customers (my Risky Shift Phenomenon plug).  This project is designed to give local musicians an affordable way to get their name and, more importantly, their music out to the public… period.  That is why I’m such an advocate of this venture. 

CNB has a unique opportunity in Lawrence to appeal to a younger generation.  With so much great local music in Lawrence, this project targets not only the young “Gen Y’’ crowd, but it’s sure to transcend to all generations.  I’ve noticed that banks tend to offer similar products and services, so it’s important that banks find ways to distinguish themselves.  All banks tend to take pride in providing high levels of customer service, but getting involved with the local music scene further separates CNB from the pack.

The inaugural event is being held at the Granada on Friday, September 28th.  There will be four local bands performing from 8:30-12:00.  And to top it off, Lazer 105.9’s Chris Merrill will be hosting the event.  I hope to see you all at the event and encourage you to keep tabs on the progress of Music for Life.

Author – Tim Mock

Online Bill Pay, One Stop Bill Payment

When I ask customers if they would like to try online bill pay some say they already pay their bills online, but they go through their providers’ websites. “Same thing right?”

Well not quite!  You are paying your bills online, but you are doing it the hard way.  Online bill pay from a bank gives you one stop shop to pay all your bills at the same time, instead of going to numerous websites to pay each bill individually. You enter in the name of the payee you want to pay, how much, and when.  Just log in and take care of everything all at once.

You can process payments online to anyone, even if they do not have their own online payment system set up. The payments are processed on whatever day you choose.  Some larger companies accept payments electronically aka ACH (Automated Clearing House) while others still require a check to be mailed.  Either way this is a fast, convenient way to pay your bills. Anyone with a mailbox can get a payment from online bill pay!

At Central National Bank you can test drive bill pay for up to six months to see if you like the convenience. So forget the stamps, envelopes, and going to several websites to pay your bills! 

Recipe Corner

I am proud to present the first installment of Central National Bank’s recipe corner! Where we are proud to present our favorite recipes with all our blog fans and friends.

 The debut recipe is one of my all time favorites Cookie Salad! It is always a hit and despite the name it is more of a dessert ;-)

 You can’t mess this one up and it is always a rave at potlucks. And one tip I have is right after you make it for yourself pass the instructions along to a friend with the extra of your buttermilk. If you are like me, I had no use for the rest of my buttermilk and didn’t want it to go bad, you’ve got about a week and a half before that happens.

Enjoy! And look for more recipes to come!

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 12 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/2 (11.5 ounce) package fudge stripe cookies

Directions

In a large bowl, mix together the pudding mix and the buttermilk. Fold in the whipped topping. Mix in the pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges. Chill until ready to serve. Crush cookies and mix in just before serving. You can also freeze it and make a frozen treat out of it for hot summer days.