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Financial Literacy

New Digital Tools to Help You Manage Your Money in 2022

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According to a 2021 article from Forbes Magazine, three in four Americans use their primary bank’s mobile app for everyday banking tasks like depositing checks or viewing account balances. Only 21% of survey respondents did not regularly use their bank’s app to manage their finances.

When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down physical branches, customers depended on the convenience of mobile banking to keep up their accounts. And while Millennials recently reported preferring a combination of digital and in-person banking services, digital tools have become more and more important to accountholders’ financial success.

Highlands Community Bank Pairs Hometown Service with Modern Banking Solutions

At Highlands Community Bank, we pride ourselves on providing local, trusted banking for residents of the Alleghany Highlands. In recent years, we’ve recognized the importance of digital banking tools to deliver on that promise. We’ve made one of our strategic priorities to learn about and implement a variety of digital finance tools to help our customers manage their money, make payments, track goals, and more.

Making Payments Easier

Even if you’re not into bitcoin and NFTs, there’s no denying that payments are going digital. In 2021, 82% of Americans used digital payments to send or receive money. Digital payments are defined as transactions that can be made in a web browser, online application, or in-store with a mobile phone. Whether you started using your smartphone to pay for groceries to avoid touching the keypad or send your roommate your portion of the rent digitally, there’s no denying that it has become a common way of life.

In recent years, Highlands Community Bank has rolled out a variety of digital payment options for customers to use:

  • Digital Wallet
  • Tap to Pay Debit Cards
  • Bill Pay

The Digital Wallet allows you to leverage your phone’s digital payment programs (i.e. ApplePay, GooglePay, SamsungPay). All you have to do is tie your debit card information to your phone. Supported by near-field communication technology, all you have to do is wave your phone near a payment processor equipped to pick up on this technology and complete your transaction.

Tap-to-pay debit cards work similar to a digital wallet, except you’re still using your physical card to make the payment, you just don’t have to swipe or insert it. (It’s great for those trying to avoid the germs on a keypad!)

Online bill pay is a tried and true staple of our online banking platform. It’s a great way to automate your month-to-month payments like utilities and credit cards. All you have to do is connect your bank account to your payees. You can schedule regular payments or make them one by one manually.

Learn other ways to automate your financial management.

Added Security and Control

With new technologies come new concerns about the safety and security of your personal information and accounts. While hosting your bank information digitally can feel worrisome at first, security is a top priority for Highlands Community Bank. We only partner with trusted vendors that offer top-notch security. In fact, we pass that top-notch security directly to our customers with tools like SecurLock.

SecurLock is a free mobile app for Highlands Community Bank to download and use. The application empowers debit cardholders to have complete control over their account. With SecurLock you can:

  • Control when/where/and how payment cards are used
  • Turn your card off
  • Use location-based controls
  • Block international transactions
  • Set spending limits

With SecurLock, if your card is stolen, you don’t have to worry about calling the bank after hours to deactivate your phone. You can do it right from your smartphone. This feature is also great if you’re sharing accounts with someone new to financial management like your teen. Putting a spending limit will assure they don’t “accidentally” drain your account!

Online Loan Application

One of our newest digital tools is our online loan application! Access to credit is a big financial priority, but sometimes customers don’t have the time to visit a branch and sit through a loan application process. With our online loan application, we make it a lot easier to not only apply for a loan, but upload documents, communicate with your loan officer, and provide an eSignature when your application is approved.

Online lending options include:

  • Commercial Unsecured Loan
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
  • Home Equity Loan
  • Personal Loans (Secured and Unsecured)
  • Auto Loans
  • Marine Loans
  • RV Loans

Initiation of your loan application is a simple process. All you need to do is set up your account with some baseline information and our portal will take you step-by-step through the rest of the process.

Local Service and Support

Although we’re always excited to see our customers find success with our digital banking tools, we realize that technology isn’t always the first choice for everyone. If you have a question about how to use these digital tools or need to get advice on your accounts, our doors are always open. We still look forward to seeing you in person whenever you need us! Contact or visit a branch today with your questions!

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