Are You Using These 7 Tips to Protect Your Identity?

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Security Awareness Week: June 5-9, 2017

It may feel like keeping your personal information secure is impossible in a world tech-savvy hackers and scammers. Every day the news reports on new data breaches and scams. But, you can play an important role in protecting yourself from identity theft and fraud by taking small steps.

Here’s where to start:

  1. Check your financial activity. It only takes a few minutes, but reviewing your bank, credit card and other financial activity and statements for fraud is an important first step. If you see any suspicious activity, report it.
  2. Don’t use the “remember password” option. Using this feature on your computer or mobile device makes it easier for someone to access your accounts.
  3. Set up automated account alerts. Get a text or email alert for certain transactions, balances and more. We offer free alerts through Merchants Bank Online Banking for your checking, savings and loan accounts and through My Mobile Money for your debit card transactions.
  4. Be cautious when asked for personal information. If you are asked to provide personal information through a phone call, email or website pop-up page, think before you act. Verify the company or person asking for the information through a third party, like a phone book or other trusted resource.
  5. Store private information securely. Whether at home or work, do not leave your personal information out where others can see it.
  6. Make a fraud kit. Keep a list of your credit and debit cards, account numbers, expiration dates and customer service of fraud department telephone numbers in a secure place away from the cards for easy access.
  7. Be a skeptic. If a situation sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can’t win the lottery if you haven’t entered. You don’t need to send a payment to claim prize winnings.

To stay up-to-date on Merchants Bank fraud alerts and scams, sign up for our alerts emails.

Privacy Code: Why You Need One

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Security Awareness Week: June 5-9, 2017

As part of our privacy standards, we would like all Merchants Bank customers to have a privacy code in place to protect you and your data from being accessed by someone other than you.

What is it?

A privacy code is a word or numbers or combination between 4 to 30 characters that you choose and will easily remember. This will be used to identify you and protect your data from being accessed by someone other than you. It is not the PIN associated with a card, phone banking or online banking system. It is a part of identifying you as a person.

When will it be used?

Merchants Bank staff will use a privacy code to identify that it is really you on the phone before we give you information on your accounts. If you do not have your photo ID with you, we may also use this to identify you in person.

Why do I need one?

Fraud and identity theft are increasing. Without a privacy code you may no longer be able to call in and obtain information over the phone.

To set up a privacy code, please call or visit your local Merchants Bank branch.

 

Prevent Fraud on Your Debit Card with Just a Tap

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Controlling and monitoring your personal or business debit card usage anywhere, anytime has never been easier with My Mobile Money Access, available now for all Merchants Bank customers. With My Mobile Money Access you can protect yourself or your business from fraud by setting custom alerts and controls per debit card to determine how your card can be used. Plus, you’ll have the ability to turn your card off when you’re not using it, and turn it on only when you are.

Our Top Features
Over the past two months, Merchants Bank staff has successfully tested the different alerts and features of My Mobile Money Access. Here are four key areas you can use to ensure you’re getting the most out of My Mobile Money Access.

Manage Your Spending
With customizable controls, alerts for spending limits, and easy-to-find account balances, you can make sure you’re always on track with your budget.

Keep an Eye on Your Card with Transaction Alerts
A wide range of alert options make My Mobile Money an app that meets the specific needs of your business. Choose to set alerts for:

  • All card activity
  • Spending limits
  • Transactions where your card is not present
  • International transactions
  • Specific Merchant category purchases, such as gas stations, online purchases, etc

Card Controls Help Protect Your Account from Fraud
You can even set the app to deny a transaction before it takes place, based on criteria you set. Turning your card on and off will deny a fraudulent transaction before it takes place and, along with other card controls, will not interrupt recurring bill payments like rent or monthly subscriptions.

Account Management Keeps You in Control
My Mobile Money Access also has these account management features:

  • MoneyPass® ATM locator
  • Balance inquiries
  • Transaction history
  • Low balance alerts

You can download My Mobile Money Access for your personal or business debit card now. If you are a business with multiple employees who have individual debit cards, each employee can download the application on their own phone and set up an account while the business owner can add, view and control multiple cards for the entire business.

To learn more about My Mobile Money Access, visit our website. If you have questions about downloading the app or would like additional recommendations on it’s use for you or your business, contact your local Merchants Bank and ask to speak to a Customer Service Representative.

How Can Your Business Benefit from Positive Pay?

Tanya Schamaun thinks Positive Pay* “is just smart business sense.” Tanya is the Accounting Director at Winona State University and, along with co-worker Julie Sammann, has been using Merchants Bank’s fraud detection service Positive Pay since May.

“Positive Pay protects Winona State University from fraud. We can detect problems with copied or altered checks quickly and easily,” said Tanya.

Here’s how Positive Pay works: Each day, Winona State provides Merchants with an electronic inventory of checks issued. When the checks presented on WSU accounts each day are processed, Positive Pay matches the account number, check number and dollar amount of each check presented for payment against a list of checks previously authorized and issued by Winona State. All three components of the check must match exactly. When a check is reviewed that isn’t a match in the file, it becomes an “exception item.” Tanya or Julie then has the chance to review the image and can instruct the bank to pay or return the check.

“The whole process is very user-friendly. It only takes a few minutes a day,” said Julie. “Even if you don’t have your own IT department to help you create an inventory of checks to upload to Merchants, you can enter a check manually in a minute or less.”

According to Tanya, “[Positive Pay] is simple to use, even for a small organization. The hardest part is remembering your password!”

To learn more about how Positive Pay can help your business, contact one of our Cash Management specialists today.

*Fees may apply