Blog

No Fees for Out-of-Network ATMs

No Fees on Out of Network ATMs

Have you memorized the location of every Points West Community Bank ATM in Northern Colorado? Do you plan your errands around visiting in-network cash machines? Life’s about to get a lot easier for you: PWCB is dropping out-of-network ATM fees.

Planning your day is about to get a lot easier, as you’ll no longer incur fees from Points West Community Bank for using foreign ATMs. (Depending upon the ATM’s setup, you may receive a surcharge fee from its owner. Consult with each machine before you use it.) Using a community bank is now convenient even when you’re no longer in the community.

While you make use of the flexibility our new policy grants you, make sure you practice basic ATM safety.

  • Be aware of your surroundings when using a foreign ATM. If the ATM is poorly lighted or suspicious persons are nearby, find one that seems more secure.
  • Be on the lookout for skimmers, pieces of hardware that thieves attach to ATMs to swipe your card data when you’re using them. Signs that an ATM has been affixed with a skimmer include scratches or other damage on its face, adhesives around the card insertion area or suspicious hardware on the outside of the machine.
  • If using an ATM that requires you to use your card to enter its vestibule, avoid letting others follow you in.
  • Shield your PIN from view of others in the area, either with your body or with your hand.
  • Protect your balance information and other account details by taking your receipt with you when you leave the ATM.
  • When using a drive-up ATM, always lock all your doors and roll up all windows before starting your transaction.
  • After receiving your money, put it away – in your wallet or purse – and leave the ATM quickly.
  • Limit your time at the ATM. Have your card out of your wallet and ready to use before you approach to streamline and save time at the machine.

ATM crime is rare, and most banks take ATM security seriously. When you use machines that are outside of the PWCB network, take extra precautions to protect yourself.

Read More

Financial Power of Attorney for Adult Children

financial power of attorney

Congratulations! You’re the parent of an 18-year-old. Your freshly minted adult is now capable of handling all his or her financial, legal, healthcare and education decisions – at least in the eyes of the law. While you may be used to shepherding your child’s finances, you won’t have access or input into decisions now that he’s 18 – unless you receive financial power of attorney.

Financial power of attorney is a revocable authorization that allows parents the authorization to act on their adult child’s behalf. Depending upon your needs, you can set limits on its powers or duration. It’s perfect to help you manage your adult child’s financial matters in many instances:

  • Helping manage checking and savings accounts: Without financial power of attorney, you can’t access information on your child’s account activities or balances.
  • Emergency management: If your child is suddenly incapacitated, such as in a car accident, financial power of attorney allows you to immediately and seamlessly assume management of all his or her financial obligations, including car payments, lease agreements and other bills.
  • Travel abroad: If your child travels abroad and runs into financial difficulties while overseas –such as theft of debit cards, theft or other types of fraud – financial power of attorney allows you to work to resolve matters for your child’s stateside bank accounts.
  • Responsibility issues: Hopefully, your child is able to manage his or her finances correctly. If not, financial power of attorney grants you the ability to correct overdraft fees and address other issues so credit isn’t damaged.

In Colorado, financial power of attorney is often referred to as general power of attorney. Many online resources offer downloadable forms you can use without seeking an attorney, or you may have your family’s attorney draw up papers for you.

Financial matters are just one of the areas in which your 18-year-old is now independent from you. Parents concerned about their child’s financial power of attorney may also seek to make plans to handle medical decisions and information with a medical power of attorney and HIPAA authorization, as well as educational records releases as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Read More

Be Aware of the Microsoft Phone Scam

microsoft phone scam

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had a number of customers reach out to us after being impacted by a Microsoft phone scam. Victims of the scam receive a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft technical support. The tech specialist walks you through a number of steps to “fix” something on your computer and may even request that you provide them with additional personal information. According to Microsoft, once the scammer has access to the PC, they can do any of the following:

  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Remember, Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication with Microsoft must be initiated by you. If you do receive a call, please write down the phone number and contact local authorities. 

For more information on phone scams and how to report them, visit Microsoft.com. 

Read More

Holiday Budgeting Tips

The holidays are approaching, and if it’s like last year, 46 percent of Americans will feel pressured into spending more than they can afford. Avoiding falling into the trap of overspending can be difficult, but if you develop a plan for holiday budgeting, you’re more likely to ring in the new year with your finances in good shape.

Start by thinking big-picture about your overall holiday budget. If you’ve set aside funds to help cover celebrations, use that to pad your monthly discretionary income. A big-picture holiday budget doesn’t focus merely on gifts, but looks at every added seasonal expense:

  • Christmas cards and postage: Trimming your list can save expenses each year. Consider substituting e-cards for traditional cards for some contacts on your list.
  • Decorations: Everyone loves holiday traditions, so cut costs by bringing old favorites out of storage.
  • Hosting parties: Your annual get-together may be a tradition, but it can be taking a huge bite out of your seasonal budget.
  • Eating out: Whether it’s grabbing fast food while shopping or enjoying a celebratory night, food expenses tend to jump around the holidays. Keep a tight reign on yours.
  • Gifts: Generosity is wonderful, but reducing the amount you budget for gifts to secondary and tertiary members of your list (mail carriers, hair dressers) frees up funds to spend elsewhere.

After you understand where you need to allocate resources, it’s time to start developing your budget. Budgeting is a process of making decisions and sacrifices. Its likely you won’t have enough funds to meet every need. Remember: You’ll need to address expenses such as credit card debt – including interest charges – in the future if you lose control of your budget.

Some families turn to envelopes of cash divvied out to strictly enforce each area of a budget. While this imposes discipline on spending, it’s also risky, as there’s no protection against thieves or misplaced cash. We feel it’s worth reducing the risk to manage your money in a more secure setting.

The new year is always a great time to rethink your household budget. Start planning for next year’s holiday budgeting now: Socking away just $50 each month will give you an extra $600 to help pad out your holiday expenses next yer.

Read More

2017 Holiday Hours

Windsor Main, Wellington, Greeley, and Water Valley (FRONT RANGE):

November

Thursday, November 23rd: Thanksgiving – CLOSED
Friday, November 24th: Black Friday – OPEN until 1:00
Saturday, November 25th – CLOSED

December

Saturday, December 23rd – CLOSED
Monday, December 25th: Christmas Day – CLOSED

January

Monday, January 1st: New Year’s Day – CLOSED

Julesburg: (Not open on Saturdays)

November

Thursday, November 23rd: Thanksgiving – CLOSED
Friday, November 24th – OPEN until 12:00

December

Friday, December 22nd – OPEN until 12:00
Monday, December 25th: Christmas Day – CLOSED
Friday, December 29th – OPEN until 2:00

January

Monday, January 1st: New Year’s Day – CLOSED

Haxtun: (Not open on Saturdays)

November

Wednesday, November 22nd – OPEN until 12:00
Thursday, November 23rd: Thanksgiving – CLOSED
Friday, November 24th – OPEN until 12:00

December

Friday, December 22nd – OPEN until 12:00
Monday, December 25th: Christmas Day – CLOSED
Friday, December 29th – OPEN until 2:00

January

Monday, January 1st: New Year’s Day – CLOSED

Read More