At PennCrest Bank®, we are diligent about protecting your personal information.

We use a variety of methods to ensure your privacy. As always, we recommend changing your passwords on a regular basis and not using the same password for multiple online accounts. You may access the link to our Customer Alerts and Tips below, where more tips are available.

Please take as many precautions as you, our valued customer or visitor, can take to help lower the risk of unauthorized activity on your account(s) and protecting your computer(s) and devices.

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Your Computer Internet Access Security

With Wired Internet Access:

  1. The operating system should have current Service Packs and Security Patches installed.
  2. A current and updated anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware with real-time scanning should be installed.
  3. At least the Windows Firewall should be activated, but a software firewall and Intrusion Prevention System(IPS) or Intrusion Detection System(IDS) is preferable.
  4. If the system has the Adobe Acrobat and/or Java programs,these should also be removed or updated with security patches from the vendors.

With Wireless Internet Access:

  1. The operating system should have current Service Packs and Security Patches installed.
  2. A current and updated anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware with real-time scanning should be installed.
  3. At least the Windows Firewall should be activated, but a software firewall and Intrusion Prevention System(IPS) or Intrusion Detection System(IDS) is preferable.
  4. If the system has the Adobe Acrobat and/or Java programs,these should also be removed or updated with security patches from the vendors.
  5. In addition, the wireless router should have no less than WPA-2 encryption, while WPA-2 PSK is considered stronger.
  6. The router should be strong password protected.
  7. Preferably, the router should not broadcast its address, but if it does, the encryption should be strong.

Internet Banking Security

PennCrest BANK provides security through RSA Multifactor Authentication Device Security.  In conjunction with RSA’s device forensics to seamlessly authenticate our customer’s computers/devices, the traditional Access ID and password required at login and security challenge questions used to verify our customer’s identity are used as a method of layered security.  This type of multifactor authentication device security is in compliance with FFIEC guidelines.

RSA Multifactor Authentication Device Security includes the use of Extended Validation (EV) certificates.  PennCrest BANK customers can easily and reliably verify this site’s identity and security by looking for the green website address bar above. The Extended Validation (EV) certificate triggers web browsers to display a green address bar and our site provider’s name (Fiserv, Inc.).  Each browser displays the EV certificate differently. 

Customer Alerts and Tips

Finding Affordable Healthcare

Finding affordable healthcare services is a challenge for the majority of Americans. Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs continue to increase, and many individuals simply cannot afford a health plan. Consumers are now looking to shop for their needed medical services based on value, which includes both quality and cost. Consumer choice and price transparency create incentives at all levels and motivate the entire system to provide better care for less money. 

Bundled Cash Pricing

A relatively new concept of posting bundled cash prices online for procedures and imaging has taken the healthcare system by storm. This trend in the healthcare transparency movement towards providing a fair and reasonable price that is publicly posted is significantly changing how consumers view and purchase healthcare. Time magazine, Business Insider and other national publications have featured stories on these types of providers. More and more providers are willing to quote a bundled cash price over the phone to patients who ask. Employers are also starting to incorporate this type of pricing model into their health plan by incentivizing participants with lowering or eliminating out-of-pocket costs.

Direct Primary Care & Telemedicine

Two new options—direct primary care (DPC) and telemedicine—in the primary care space are changing the way consumers interact with primary care. 

DPC* physicians do not take insurance or third-party payments, but instead charge a low, monthly fee to patients. This covers all or most primary care services, including clinical, laboratory, consultative services, care coordination and comprehensive care management. DPC physicians work only for the patient and generally offer same-day or next-day appointments; the ability to text, video chat and email the physician; urgent care services; and often medications at wholesale prices. Some employers are also adding DPC as a benefit of their health plan to incentivize wellness and value-based healthcare purchasing decisions.

Telemedicine is another new option that gives patients the option to have an “appointment” with a physician via telephone or video conference for minor health services. Telemedicine is low cost, convenient and efficient for the diagnosis and treatment of minor conditions.

Online Shopping Tools

Individuals can leverage the benefits of technology by accessing online shopping tools to evaluate and compare prices for medical services. The Free Market Medical Association (www.fmma.org) offers an online search tool that allows patients to search by type of provider, procedure name or even by CPT code. PriceMDs (www.pricemds.com) allows users to search and book appointments with doctors, dentists, hospitals and surgery centers worldwide. Medibid (www.medibid.com) is an online tool that allows providers to competitively ‘bid’ on performing medical services. Healthcare Bluebook (www.healthcarebluebook.com) offers a public site for users to search for medical procedures or services, and results provide a fair market price for that zip code. Patients can use that information to compare or negotiate pricing at their local facilities.

Transparency in the Medical Marketplace

Remember, high-quality healthcare does not need to come at a high price. In the costly world of healthcare, higher prices are not a good indicator of quality due to how services are reimbursed by third-party insurance companies and Medicare. Lower prices in healthcare often represent a provider’s ability to compete based on efficiency and positive outcomes. 

Healthcare services can and should be viewed just like any other purchase—based on value, which includes both quality and price. Fortunately, the time of cost and quality being hidden from consumers is over. The information is now available to those who seek it!

*Consult a qualified tax advisor before becoming a DPC patient if enrolled in a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan with an HSA.

This article was contributed by Advantage Health Plans Trust (advantagehealthplans.com).

This information is provided with the understanding that the association is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting or other professional services. If specific expert assistance is required, the services of a professional should be sought. Provided as a public service by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers.

Online BillPay Will Keep You On Time 

We've become a nation of time-savers. One of the simplest and most burgeoning time savers is online bill pay. By using online bill pay, we can save time, postage and ensure that our bill payments arrive on time.

Some people are hesitant to use this service because they don't understand how it works, are distrustful of putting financial information on the web or prefer the traditional method of paying bills by writing a check so they can have a paper trail.

There are three ways to pay your bills online:

  1. First, you may want to check with your community bank or other financial institution to determine whether they offer online bill pay to their customers. Many financial institutions offer online bill pay as a free service to their customers. You simply set up an online account on the bank's secure server, register your bills and schedule payment dates.
  2. Secondly, you may want to use a third-party bill pay service to set up accounts for all of your monthly bills. This system works in the same manner. Just be sure the service you select has a safe encrypted Internet site. To ensure that you are not being directed to a fraudulent site, look for an image of a padlock in the lower portion of your computer screen. When you double-click the padlock, you'll be able to read the certification information on the pop-up screen. If there is no padlock image, you need to keep searching for another secure bill pay service.
  3. As a third alternative, many companies accept online payments without charging you a fee. Additionally, once you set up an online bill pay account with one of your creditors, the company will send you an e-mail reminder that your bill payment is due and then send you a follow-up e-mail after you confirm your payment.

With online bill pay, you can schedule your payment due date and won't have to worry about finding time to sit down and write checks. Should you be on vacation or have an emergency situation, you don't have to worry about paying your bills. With your established due date, the bank online bill pay service will automatically deduct your stated amount from your account. Just be sure that you have enough money in your bank account each month to cover your payments. 

If you are really serious about getting all of that clutter off your desk, you can also request that your creditor e-mail your statement to you. At the click of a button, you can access all of your account information whenever it is convenient for you. You can review payment history, transactions and recent activity so you will know if someone is using your account without authorization without waiting for a statement in the mail.

Once you see how easy an online bill pay service can be, you'll wonder why it took you so long to get started. Just remember to always use caution any time you transact business via the Internet. Be sure to use a reliable and trusted company with a secure server. 

This information is provided with the understanding that the association is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting, or other professional services. If specific expert assistance is required, the services of a competent, professional person should be sought.

Provided as a public service by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers.

Contact: Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers (717) 231-7447

You're Entitled to a Free Credit Report!

Thanks to a recent change in federal laws, Americans are now entitled to receive one free copy of their credit report every year from each of the nation's top three credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

And according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the only website authorized to provide those free reports is www.annualcreditreport.com.

However, there are plenty of companies that charge consumers for access to their credit reports, so the FTC cautions you to type that web address carefully to avoid accidentally ending up on a site that charges a fee for a service you're entitled to receive for free.

Consumer Alert: Equifax Breach

On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted.

In their press release, Equifax stated they will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.

We encourage you to pay close attention to your account activity through Click&Go Internet Banking® and PennCrest Mobile Banking.  Contact the Bank immediately at 888-716-7587 if you suspect fraud on your account so that appropriate action may be taken.

If you feel you are a victim of identity theft please visit www.IdentityTheft.gov, the Federal Trade Commission’s resource site which will help you report and recover from identity theft.

Consumer Alert: New Medicare Cards/New Scams 

Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you. Read more on the Federal Trade Commission site https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/05/new-medicare-cards-are-way 

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