Your Top Debit Card Questions Answered
The most-used product provided by SCCU is checking accounts. Debit cards are now the primary way that members conduct transactions on their checking accounts.
But despite their familiarity, our members also have questions about the “inner workings” of debit cards. In this edition of Perspectives, we wanted to address the top debit card questions our members ask.
When can I expect to see the completed transaction in Online & Mobile Banking?
When the transaction is completed and it shows in your account record, it is called “posting” the transaction. Posting can occur anywhere from 5 minutes after you make the purchase to several days. The posting time is controlled by the merchant, not SCCU. Years ago, posting could take several days, but generally that time is now down to minutes or a few hours.
When does the money come out of my account?
Right away. Even if the transaction does not “post” immediately, your available balance is reduced by the amount of your transaction. Debit cards are not credit cards – when you use the card, the money is effectively taken out of your account, the same as if you used cash – so don’t count on any “float”!
Why do I sometimes see an amount in Online & Mobile Banking for my transaction that is different than the amount of my purchase?
Some merchants will run a “test” transaction when you swipe your card. The smaller test transactions you see, usually for $1, are to ensure that your card actually works. Larger test transactions, usually for $75 and most common at gas stations, are to ensure that you have enough funds available to pay for a typical purchase. The “test” transaction is removed as your actual transaction is posted.
How can I protect myself from fraud?
There are a few simple actions you should take:
Update your contact information! If an unusual transaction occurs on your account – perhaps an unusually high amount or you make a purchase in a geographic area where you do not normally shop – our fraud monitoring service will attempt to contact you. Please ensure that we have your current address and phone number on file. If we cannot reach you to report suspected fraudulent activity, your card may be blocked until we hear from you.
Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not write it down.
Sign your card. Without a signature, your card is vulnerable to being signed by an unauthorized party and used for purchases without your consent.
Sign for your purchases. Signature purchases are protected by “zero liability” fraud protection programs.*
Review your account regularly using Online and Mobile Banking. You don’t have to wait for your monthly statement to see what activity has occurred on your account.
Set up Account Alerts. Log in to Online or Mobile Banking and set up free transaction alerts that will generate an email or text/push message when stated transactions occur – such as a purchase or withdrawal of a certain amount. Parents, you can set up alerts for your teen’s account to help you assist your teen in managing his or her money.
If you ever have questions about your account or your card, please call the Member Service Center or visit any branch.
*Some conditions apply. Visit SCCU.com/verified for complete details.