Have questions? Well, no need for the magic eight ball or to ask Siri here! Find answers to the commonly asked questions below.
Yes! If you and your family have $250,000 or less in all of your deposit accounts at the same insured bank or savings association, you do not need to worry about your insurance coverage — your deposits are fully insured. A depositor can have more than $250,000 at one insured bank or savings association and still be fully insured provided the accounts meet certain requirements. In addition, federal law provides for insurance coverage of up to $250,000 for certain retirement accounts. For more information regarding insurance of accounts visit the FDIC website or contact us.
How do I set up Direct Deposit of my payroll check?
After your checking application has been approved, you will receive the bank routing and transit number and your account number. If your employer participates in a direct deposit program, simply provide this information to the human resources or payroll department at your company, and your direct deposit will usually begin within thirty days.
How do I set up Direct Deposit of my Social Security check?
After your checking application has been approved, you will receive the bank routing and transit number and your account number. You may call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 and provide your Social Security Number and account information to establish direct deposit right over the phone.
Can I get information about my account by phone?
Yes! Account information is available with our Customer Service Representatives during business hours at any of our locations or ask about our FirstLine for automated account information 24 hours a day.
What products can I apply for online?
Check out our Personal Banking section to see which accounts you can apply for online.
Can businesses have accounts at CharterBank?
Yes! We offer business deposit products and loans. To see what we currently offer, check our Business Banking section. However, we currently offer only personal loan applications online. If you would like a business loan application, or additional information on the business products and services we offer, simply contact us.
Does CharterBank offer IRAs online?
Currently, we do not offer IRAs online; however, we continually update our Personal Banking section so check back with us soon! Please contact us for our current IRA products and rates.
Is interest paid on CharterBank's checking accounts?
Yes! We offer two checking accounts that pay you interest. Check out our Personal Banking section to see which account is best for you.
Can I open an account if I don't live in Georgia, Alabama or the Panhandle of Florida?
At this time, we only accepts applications from persons residing within Alabama, Georgia and the Panhandle of Florida with valid US tax identification numbers. If you have questions, contact us. We'd love to hear from you.
Can I do all my banking with CharterBank?
Yes! Thanks to the convenience of Direct Deposits and ATMs, Online and Mobile Banking, and our convenient FirstLine, everyday banking activities can be performed on your own time. Contact us with questions about your banking needs.
Can I look at all my transactions at any time?
Yes! With Online Banking, you have access to your account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
How frequently is my information updated?
Your account information is updated every business day with new transactions that posted to your account the previous day.
Are wire transfers possible to and from my CharterBank checking account?
Yes! Funds can be transferred to and from accounts by wire transfer or via ACH (Automated Clearing House) debits or credits. Contact us for details.
How do I make a deposit to my account from a remote location?
You can do most of your banking by using direct deposit or ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions. We also offer a bank-by-mail service, which allows you to mail non-recurring deposits. Mobile Deposit powered by CharterBank's Mobile Banking also allows you to deposit checks securely from you Phone or Tablet. Contact us for details on a method that's best for you.
Can I reorder checks online?
Yes! Personal checks may be reordered online, and the status of recent check orders may also be accessed. We've attached a link to Clark American, our check vendor, in our Personal Banking section or ordering your checks here.
Online Banking is a tool that allows you to use a personal computer with an Online connection to conduct your banking online.
What can I do with Online Banking?
You can view account balances and transaction history, transfer money, pay bills and download transactions to a personal financial manager and much more. Check out the to see all the features of Online Banking and how you can personalize your online banking experience.
What is required to use the Online Banking service?
All you need to use Online Banking is a secure browser that supports 128-bit encryption, such as Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. You can use any computer that has Online access.
What accounts will I be able to access through Online Banking?
You can access your checking, savings, investment and loan accounts with CharterBank from the Online Banking Service. Our Online Banking is intended to give you as much access, security, and versatility as possible.
How do I access Online Banking?
You must first complete the Online Banking registration form and submit it to CharterBank. Once your registration is received we will process your request. You will receive your Registration Key via email in approximately 3 business days. You must have an existing checking, savings, or loan account before banking online.
How much account information can I view at once?
The system will automatically show the current month's transactions and information. However, by selecting User Options, you can choose to view the current month and previous month. Or, you can choose to view your account from the current date to same date of the previous month.
Can I view my account details in more than one way?
Yes, you can view your accounts by date, check number, payee, or amount in ascending or descending order.
What formats can I download my transaction history in?
Our Online Banking supports downloads to Quicken™, Microsoft Money™ or as a comma-delimited text file.
I'm still hesitant about banking online. Can other people see my account information?
Your account information is just as secure as it is at your physical brick and mortar bank. We've taken every step possible to be sure our system meets the latest security standards, including using the latest security encryption methods and software.
I keep hearing a lot about encryption? What exactly is it, and why does it make everything more secure?
Encryption is basically a way to rewrite something in a code which can then be decoded later with the right key. The encryption we use employs a mathematical process for the key, which is made up of a certain number of bits (hence, 128-bit encryption). The higher the number of bits, the better the encryption. While using our Online Banking System, all communication from you to the system and from the system to you is encrypted using a maximum of 128 bits. In other words, when you send information to the system, your browser encrypts it using a 128-bit key, and then sends it to the system. The system then decodes the information you sent it using the key (which is predetermined when your Online Banking session is started) and processes it.
To help you understand the process, we have provided a diagram.
How do I register for electronic bill payment?
If you selected to use Bill Pay on your online banking application, Bill Pay will be available on your first login.
Can I use electronic bill payment with all my accounts?
No, only checking accounts can be used for bill payment purposes.
Is there a limit to the number of bill payment accounts I can set up?
You are limited to one primary bill payment account. However, you can add additional internal or external funding account(s) to your bill pay account.
When is bill payment available?
You can schedule payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
After I make a bill payment, how long does it take for the money to be debited from my account?
The money will be debited electronically from your account within 1-3 business days starting on the business days following the payment date.
How long does it take for a payment to reach the payee?
A payment that generates an ACH payment will credit the payee's account within 1-3 business days; whereas, a paper check will take up to 10 days.
How do I place a stop payment on a bill payment?
A payment may be edited or deleted anytime before the "process date." Payments that have been remitted electronically cannot be stopped. If you need to place a stop payment on a bill pay that is a check, you can call bill pay customer service at 1-800-601-5911 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. There is a $32 charge for this service.
What if I do not have sufficient funds on the day FIS, our bill payment provider, debits my account?
Following is a summary of FIS Insufficient Funds procedures:
For Funds Related returns that come back with an R01(insufficient funds or R09(uncollected funds) code: Reversible Payees
1) The Bill Pay account is immediately blocked.
2) ALL funding accounts are set to Internal Review Complete.
3) The 1st return is resubmitted.
4) If the attempt is successful, the customer's account will be unblocked by the 3rd business day.
5) The 2nd debit attempt, if unsuccessful, the payment will be reversed from the payee.
6) The customer's account is unblocked automatically within 3 business days.
For Administrative returns that come back with an R Code other than R01 and R09 code:
1) The Bill Pay account is immediately blocked.
2) The payment is reversed.
3) ALL Funding Accounts are set to Internal Review Complete.
4) The financial institution will need to submit an unblock request to FIS
How can someone steal your identity? Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Identity theft is a serious crime. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years – and their hard-earned money – cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.
How do they go about stealing my identity?
Identity thieves may use a variety of low- and high-tech methods to gain access to your
personally identifying information.
- They get information from businesses or institutions by: stealing records from their employer, bribing an employee who has access to the records, conning information out of employees, or hacking into the organization’s computers.
- They rummage through your trash, the trash of businesses, or dumps in a practice known as “dumpster diving.”
- They obtain credit reports by abusing their employer’s authorized access to credit reports or by posing as a landlord, employer or someone else who may have a legitimate need for and a legal right to the information.
- They steal credit and debit card account numbers as your card is processed by using a special information storage device in a practice known as “skimming.”
- They steal wallets and purses containing identification and credit and bank cards.
- They steal mail, including bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, or tax information.
- They complete a “change of address form” to divert mail to another location.
- They steal personal information from your home.
- They scam information from you by posing as a legitimate business person or government official.
How can I tell if I’m a victim of identity theft?
- Monitor the balances of your financial accounts. Look for unexplained charges or withdrawals.
- Other indications of identity theft include: failing to receive bills or other mail, which may signal an address change by the identity thief, receiving credit cards for which you did not apply, being denied credit for no apparent reason, or receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy.
Although any of these indications could be a result of a simple error, you should not assume that there’s been a mistake and do nothing. Always follow up with the business or institution to find out.
What can I do to protect myself?
As with any crime, you can’t guarantee that you will never be a victim, but you can minimize your risk. By managing your personal information wisely, cautiously and with an awareness of the issue, you can help guard against identity theft.
- Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or are sure you know who you’re dealing with.
- Identity thieves may pose as representatives of banks, Internet service providers(ISPs) and even government agencies to get you to reveal your Social Security number (SSN), mother’s maiden name, account numbers, and other identifying information. Before you share any personal information, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization. You can check the organization’s Web site as many companies post scam alerts when their name is used improperly, or you can tell customer service by using the number listed on your account statement or in the telephone book.
- Don’t carry your SSN card; leave it in a secure place.
- Secure personal information in your home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having service work done in your home.
- Guard your mail and trash from theft:
- Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in an unsecured mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. If you’re planning to be away from home and can’t pick up your mail,call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 to request a vacation hold. The Postal Service will hold your mail at your local post office until you can pick it up or are home to receive it.
- To thwart an identity thief who may pick through your trash or recycling bins to capture your personal information, tear or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you’re discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail. If you do not use the pre-screened credit card offers you receive in the mail, you can opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). Please note that you will be asked for your Social Security number in order for the credit bureaus to identify your file so that they can remove you from their lists and you still may receive some credit offers because some companies use different lists from the credit bureaus’ lists.
- Carry only the identification information and the number of credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need.
- Have passwords for your credit card, bank and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information like your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or other phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers. When opening new accounts, you may find that many businesses still have a line on their applications for your mother’s maiden name. Use a password instead.
- Ask about information security procedures in your workplace or at businesses, doctor’s offices or other institutions that collect personally identifying information from you. Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that it is handled securely. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well. Find out if your information will be shared with anyone else. If so, ask if you can keep your information confidential.
- Give your SSN only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible. If your state uses your SSN as your driver’s license number, ask to substitute another number. Do the same if your health insurance company uses your SSN as your account number.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
- Be wary of promotional scams. Identity thieves may use phony offers to get you to give them your personal information.
- Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work as well as any copies you may keep of administrative forms that contain your sensitive personal information.
- Cancel all unused credit accounts
- When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank, rather than having them sent to your home mailbox.
Information on Credit Bureaus
If an identity thief is opening new credit accounts in your name, these accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You can find out by ordering a copy of your credit report from any of three major credit bureaus. Check your credit carefully to make sure it is accurate. If you do find any inaccurate information, you should check your reports from the other two credit bureaus. Note: If your personal information has been lost or stolen, you should check all of your reports more frequently for the first year.
GOOD NEWS: A great way to keep tabs on your identity, and find out FAST if someone is opening accounts or credit cards in your name, is by checking your credit report. Soon
you’ll be able to do it for free! A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months, from
www.annualcreditreport.com. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, Your Access to Free Credit Reports, explaining your rights and how to order a free annual credit report.
TIP: Since you get one free report from each of the 3 bureaus per year, do not request them all at once. Spread them out, since you then get three free “snapshots” of your credit per year – all the better to thwart Identity Theft!
What is “Phishing”?
Internet scammers casting about for people’s financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go “phishing.” Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.
How do I identify a Phishing attempt?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with – for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to “update” or “validate” your account information. It might threaten some dire consequence if you don’t respond. The message directs you to a Web site that looks just like a legitimate organization’s site, but it isn’t. The purpose of the bogus site? To trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.
How can I protect myself from Phishing?
The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, suggests these tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:
- If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies don’t ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company’s correct Web address. In any case, don’t cut and paste the link in the message.
- Don’t email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization’s Web site, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL for a website that begins “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”). Unfortunately,no indicator is foolproof, some phishers have forged security icons.
- Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more that a couple days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; that can effectively reverse the damage; and that updates automatically.
- A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It’s especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. Finally, your operating system (like Windows or Linux) may offer free software “patches” to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them.
- Report suspicious activity to the FTC. If you get spam that is phishing for information, forward it to email@example.com. If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from ID theft. Visit www.ftc.gov/spam to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam.
Where can I get more information on phishing?
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business
practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit
www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. If in doubt check it out!!
A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that blocks hackers from entering and using your computer. Hackers search the Internet in much the same way that some telemarketers automatically dial random phone numbers. Hackers send electronic probes, or pings, to thousands of computers and wait for responses. Firewalls prevent your computer from responding to these random pings. A firewall blocks communications to and from sources you don't permit. This is especially important if you have a high-speed Internet connection, such as DSL or cable.
Some operating systems have built-in firewalls that may be shipped in the "off" mode. Therefore:
- Be sure to turn your firewall on.
- Ensure your firewall is set up properly and updated regularly.
- Check your online "Help" feature for specific instructions.
- Use anti-virus software:
Anti-virus software protects your computer from viruses that can destroy your data, slow down or crash your computer, or allow spammers to send e-mail through your account. Anti-virus protection scans your computer and your incoming email for viruses, and deletes them.
- Keep your anti-virus software updated to cope with the latest bugs circulating the Internet. Most anti-virus software includes a feature to download updates automatically when you are online.
- Make sure your anti-virus software is continually running and checking your system for viruses, especially if you are downloading files from the Web or checking your e-mail.
- Set your anti-virus software to check for viruses when you first turn on your computer.
- Give your system a thorough scan at least twice a month.
- Take advantage of Norton's offer specifically designed for Intuit customers.
- Use anti-spyware software
Spyware is software installed without your knowledge or consent. It can monitor your online activities and collect personal information while you surf the Web. Some kinds of spyware, called key loggers, record everything you type in – including your passwords and financial information. Your computer may be infected with spyware if you receive a sudden flurry of pop-up ads, are taken to Web sites you don't want to go to, or if your computer begins to run slowly.
Spyware protection is included in some anti-virus software programs.
- Check your anti-virus software documentation for instructions on how to activate the spyware protection features. You can also buy separate anti-spyware software programs.
- Keep your anti-spyware software updated and run it regularly.
- Download software only from sites you know and trust. Piggybacking spyware can be an unseen cost of many "free" programs.
- Don't click on links in pop-up windows or in spam e-mail.
- Manage your system and browser to protect your privacy Hackers are constantly trying to find flaws or holes in operating systems and browsers.
- To protect your computer and the information on it, ensure your security settings in your system and browser are set at medium or higher. Check the Tools or Options menus for how to do this.
- Update your system and browser regularly, taking advantage of automatic updating when it's available. Windows Update is a service offered by Microsoft. It will download and install software updates to the Microsoft Windows operating system, Internet Explorer, and Outlook Express. It will also deliver security updates to you. Patching can also be run automatically for other systems, such as the Macintosh operating system.
- Secure your wireless network
If you use a wireless network in your home, take precautions to secure it against hackers. Encrypting wireless communications is the first step.
- Choose a wireless router with an encryption feature and turn it on. WPA encryption is considered stronger than WEP. Your computer, router, and other equipment must use the same encryption.
- Consider disabling identifier broadcasting if your router enables it. Note the name assigned to your Wi-Fi network. This name – called an SSID, or Service Set Identifier – lets you connect your computers to the network manually. The SSID is often the equipment maker's name.
- Change the SSID on your router and the pre-set administrative password. Hackers know the pre-set passwords on many wireless routers.
- Consider turning off your wireless network when you're not using it.
- Remember that public hot spots may not be secure.
We encourage you to express your thoughts about us, our products, or our service on our Facebook and Twitter page. We want to hear what you have to say, and what your experiences are!
However, we reserve the right to delete comments or posts such as the following:
- Posts that are off-topic or irrelevant to our business.
- Posts that contain inappropriate words or phrases.
- Posts that contain personal or private information.
- Posts containing employee names, when unwarranted.
Protecting Your Online Privacy:
- Never open a spam email or other emails from unknown sources. They may contain viruses or other programs that will make your computer vulnerable to intrusion.
- Never click on a link in an email claiming to come from a financial institution or business, and never provide personal or account data in response. The email may be a fake sent by "phishing" scammers.
- Do not put any credit card numbers or any other personal information on any website that you are not familiar with and are not sure is authentic.
- Be aware of techniques for redirecting website users to "cloned" replica sites without their knowledge, also known as "pharming." Watch for odd error messages, unexpected page layout or content or other strange site behavior.
- Choose companies that provide secure transactions and have strong privacy and security policies.
- If you bank or transact online, watch your accounts closely for signs of fraud. Encourage those businesses to adopt multi-layer authentication (not just user name/password) to protect your accounts and information. CharterBank currently requires the use of 128-bit encryption - the highest level of authentication available.
- To keep hackers from stealing information on your home computer: install a firewall; install virus protection software and keep it updated; keep administrative names and passwords updated; set wireless networks to "no broadcast"; and be sure to power down your computer when not in use.
- Before disposing of your computer, remove all storage drives. Do not rely on the "delete" or trash function to remove files containing sensitive information.
- Store personal files and data back-up securely in your home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or have service work done in your home. Be sure to turn on all security settings built into your computer, and password-protect your computer and files that have sensitive personal or account data.
- Be wary of downloading anything in an email until you can verify the authenticity of the source. This includes the new social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
CharterBank will NEVER call or email you asking for account or personal information. If you ever receive a phone call or email like this, do not give out your information and please notify us right away. We will also NEVER ask you to download anything in an email, from Facebook, or from Twitter.
To report a suspicious call or email, or to simply ask questions, please call CharterBank's First Call Center at 1-800-763-4444
For other information on protecting your financial security, visit our website's Identity Theft Help Center. CharterBank does not endorse, nor are we connected to any of the ads posted on our pages by Facebook or Twitter.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO TRAVELERS:
If you are planning to travel outside the United States please contact us with the dates you will be traveling and plan to use your debit card. This will prevent bank personnel from suspecting your account is being compromised when out of the ordinary activity is noted.
Check to be sure your card isn’t set to expire while on your trip. If it does please let us know at least one month prior to your trip so we can order you a new card.
Your ATM and debit card transactions are monitored for potentially fraudulent activity which may include sudden changes in locale, a sudden string of costly purchases, or any pattern associated with new fraud trends around the world. Our bank staff WILL ASK YOU to verify recent transaction activity on your card. We WILL NOT ASK you for your card number, the CVV code on the back of your card, your account number or social security number.
Our goal is to minimize your exposure to risk and the impact of any fraud. If we suspect fraudulent ATM or Check card use, our fraud detection department may try to contact you if it sees unfamiliar transactions. To ensure we can continue to reach you if fraud is detected, please keep us informed of your correct phone number, mobile number,e-mail and mailing address at all times.
We're here to protect your account, but you can also help by being diligent in monitoring transaction activity on your account and by contacting us immediately at 800.763.4444 if you identify any fraudulent transactions.
When using your Check/ATM card there are a few key items to keep in mind to protect yourself personally and your financial resources. Please review and consider the following:
1. Unless absolutely required for a legitimate business purpose, avoid giving out your:
- Address, Zip Code & Phone Number
- Date of birth & Social Security Number
- Card or account number
- Card expiration date
Your PIN is private, NEVER give it out.
2. When using your card, cover it and your PIN, and watch for:
- Cell phone cameras, mirrors, or other tools used to view cards and PINs
- People watching your transactions
- Cashiers taking your card out of sight; take it to the register yourself if at all possible
- Any unusual activity at ATMs; if you feel uncomfortable go to another ATM
3. Inspect any ATM for evidence of tampering before inserting your card, and when traveling, use an ATM at a financial institution or get a cash advance on your check card inside a financial institution.
4. Online, you should never respond to unsolicited emails that
- Ask you to verify your card or account number
- Link to websites; such sites can look legitimate but may collect data or put spyware on your computer.
5. Keep your computer’s virus protection up to date. Use spyware and malware detection. Update your computer frequently with recommended security patches.