Danielle L. Barto | Posted on May 22, 2020
During these unsettling times, our hearts go out to all who have been affected by COVID-19. The new normal in how we interact with local businesses may feel strange, but rest assured, your community bank is working diligently behind the scenes to continue to service your financial needs in a professional and timely manner.
You are likely using drive-up services only for in-person banking transactions, with lobby access available via appointment in the case of critical needs for services such as safe deposit box access. Across the country, bank lobby closures were put into place as a temporary measure designed to keep customers and staff members safe. In the meantime, you can take advantage of conducting your banking business online from the convenience of your home at any time of day or night.
Social distancing and mobile banking technology
Advances in mobile banking technology enable you to exercise social distancing and conduct banking transactions at the same time with your computer, smartphone or tablet. If you aren’t using online banking services, ask your bank if the following are available to you and how you can activate them.
- Online Banking: Now more than ever, 24/7 access to your bank accounts is important. You can rely on online banking and mobile apps to monitor your accounts, check account balances, and transfer funds. Most banks also provide the ability to set up alerts on your accounts so that you know, for example, when your account balance falls below a certain dollar amount or a deposit is posted to your account. These alerts can typically be delivered to you, at your preference, via email, text message, or phone.
- Online Bill Pay: These programs generally allow you to sign up on your bank’s website to receive bills electronically from companies you use regularly. Then, you can review the bill, or one you receive in the mail or via email, and pay it online in just a few clicks of the mouse.
- Mobile Check Deposit: Many banks allow customers to use remote deposit capture technology, which allows customers to take a picture of a check with their mobile device and deposit that check electronically without ever visiting a bank location or using an ATM.
Safest place to keep your money
Banks have adjusted services to observe guidance on social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t change the fact that an FDIC-insured account remains the safest place for you to keep your money. FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE), can help you determine deposit insurance coverage based on accounts you already have with a bank or accounts you are considering opening.
As a reminder, keeping large sums of cash in your home is not advisable because it puts these funds at risk of theft, fire, flood, loss or damage.
Financial difficulty resulting from pandemic
Due to the economic impact of COVID-19 as a result of stay-at-home orders put in place to contain the spread of this pandemic, many may experience loss of income. Making loan payments late or not at all can result in penalties, interest charges, and damage to your credit score. Your bank is likely able to work with you on a solution, but it is important to contact them as soon as possible and explain your situation.
Unfortunately, some people may take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by using fraudulent websites, phone calls, emails, and text messages. While claiming to offer help, they may be trying to trick people into providing social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit or debit card numbers, and other valuable personal information. Do not divulge your personal or financial information over the phone unless you initiated the conversation with the other party and you know that it is a reputable organization.
In addition, you should be cautious about online or telephone solicitations. Be on guard against imposters who contact you asking for money or for your personal or financial information to make a contribution.
Community bankers, like those of us at the Bank, are certainly looking forward to an opportunity to visit with their customers in person when the time is right. In the meantime, practice social distancing and keep yourself and your money safe by utilizing these helpful tips.