Currently, there is a security flaw in the Apple operating system affecting iOS devices and Mac® computers. This may allow cyber spies and hackers to grab emails, financial information and other data from online Apple product users.

The good news is that there are three things you can do to help protect your financial information from this Apple security flaw right now:

1.       Download the update on your iOS device. This is an update from Apple. You may have received an alert on your phone already, or you will most likely find it in “Settings” under “General.”

2.       Use the Bank of American Fork app instead of accessing it through the browser on your mobile device.

3.       Don’t access your online banking on a public Wi-Fi network.

Interested in more details about this news?

Our customer service team received a number of calls concerning a major security flaw in the Apple operating system. The exploit could allow cyber spies and hackers to grab emails, financial information and other data from online Apple product users. Affecting iOS devices and Mac computers, the bug allows a hacker to view unencrypted traffic that was believed to be encrypted between the user and a secure website. When a user is doing online banking or ecommerce purchases, all of the user’s traffic could be unencrypted.

To exploit the Apple bug, a hacker would have to be on your local area or Wi-Fi network.  If you’re an iOS user, avoid using your devices on public networks—at least in the short-term until you can download Apple’s latest update. When you’re using Bank of American Fork online banking, instead of opening a browser on your device, use our mobile banking apps for the iPad® and iPhone®—they are not impacted by this bug.

The operating systems affected by this bug are as follows: iOS (Apple mobile devices) 6.x before 6.1.6 and 7.x before 7.0.6 and OS X® (Apple computers) 10.9.x before 10.9.2. Apple rushed a fix for mobile devices running iOS, so your device may have updated automatically, you have received an alert on your phone or you can update it in “Settings.”

If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call us at 800-815-BANK.

Apple, Mac, iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.

New navigation and added features make app user-friendly Feb 24, 2014, 8:45 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

­Bank of American Fork launched big changes to its mobile banking application for iPhone® last week, making it easier for customers to bank on the go. 

Version 2.0 has new user-friendly navigation and several new features, including:

• New Apple iOS native look and feel

• Sleek new navigation

• Social media links

• eStatement access

Update or download version 2.0 in the App StoreSM today.

Bank of American Fork mobile banking is available through apps on iPad, iPhone and Android™, or smartphone and tablet users can visit mobile.bankaf.com on their mobile device. All of the mobile apps allow customers to deposit checks, check account balances, view account history, pay bills, transfer funds and find branch contact information and locations.

To ensure safety, we recommend that customers only download our native mobile apps from the following sources: download our iPhone app or iPad® app from the iTunes Store® or App Store and the Android app from the Android Market™. Customers can also visit the mobile site from their devices at mobile.bankaf.com without installing a mobile app.

For questions about mobile banking call 800-815-BANK or live chat with us at www.bankaf.com.

Although mobile banking is provided by Bank of American Fork free of charge, you may be charged access rates depending on your mobile carrier. Web access is needed to use mobile banking. Check with your service provider for details on specific fees and charges.

†  Enrollment in Mobile ExpressDeposit is available in mobile banking and includes meeting eligibility requirements. For consumer accounts there is a $0.50 service fee per deposit on the first 20 deposits processed in the calendar month and a $1.00 service fee per deposit on each deposit over 20. For business accounts there is a $0.50 fee per deposit on the first 60 deposits processed in the calendar month and a $1.00 fee per deposit on each deposit over 60. For full details, please visit the Mobile ExpressDeposit product page.

‡ Online customers must first enroll in PowerPay™ and establish payees in online banking prior to using this function in mobile banking.

iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark and iTunes store is a registered service mark of Apple Inc. Android and Android Market are trademarks of Google Inc. PowerPay is a trademark of Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

What’s it like to work for Bank of American Fork? Feb 19, 2014, 8:30 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

By Kristen Allen

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to love where you work and to feel like your employer genuinely cares about you, your family and your community? Well, Bank of American Fork employees do.

Recently, Bank of American Fork employees completed a Utah Business magazine survey, and the resulting score earned Bank of American Fork the honor of being designated one of Utah Business’ “Best Companies to Work For” in 2013. People love working for Bank of American Fork! This means that Bank of American Fork customers are being served well, by people who truly enjoy what they do for a living.

What is it like working for Bank of American Fork?

Among the perks of working for Bank of American Fork are a 401(k) employer match, profit sharing and financial advisers who help with retirement planning and investment options. The bank also takes care of the full cost of a term life insurance policy for employees, and the board of directors regularly approves generous annual bonuses for the full-time and part-time employees.

On top of that, Bank of American Fork associates have access to discounted tickets to local entertainment, sporting and fine-art events. They can attend various company parties (think copious amounts of food) and participate in health-related contests (to eliminate the subsequent muffin tops).

Bank of American Fork associates celebrate Ken Burnett's birthday by wearing bowties - Ken's signature look.

And, Bank of American Fork takes employee appreciation beyond ticket bargains and financial incentives. The bank hosts catered birthday lunches and celebrates Professional’s Day every year with a little something for each employee.

Bank of American Fork doesn’t just care about its employees, but about their families as well.

“I have never missed a parent-teacher conference, school performance or any other activity my children are involved with because of [a] work conflict,” one employee said.”[Bank of American Fork] offers the flexibility to participate in important family and community programs.”

And perhaps some of the most meaningful advantages of working for Bank of American Fork are the consistent opportunities the bank provides to volunteer and donate to charities. You may have heard of Project Teddy Bear, which benefits Utah’s at-risk children. In 2013, the bank sponsored its 14th annual Teddy Bear Project, which gives bank employees a chance to give back, and encourages the community to come together for a heart-warming cause. When asked what it means to work for a company involved in such a civic service, one employee answered, “It feels really rewarding to work for an organization that regularly tries to build and uplift our community.”

Bottom line: Bank of American Fork associates felt the love in 2013. When asked about benefits and compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, management and everything else about working for the bank, employees gave their employer a ringing endorsement. Or put another way: Bank of American Fork employees love their jobs, and love helping you love the bank!

2013: A Year of Giving Feb 18, 2014, 12:11 pm By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Last year was another year of generous giving to dozens of local non-profits, schools, arts programs and community groups. In 2013, Bank of American Fork donated more than $150,000 to almost 150 organizations, touching thousands of lives. Additionally, our annual Project Teddy Bear collected 20,466 stuffed animals for at-risk kids that utilize various family support centers across the state—a record year of donations from the bank family, community groups and individuals.

Here’s our comprehensive list of charitable giving in 2013. Looking forward to another year of giving back!

Alpine City Rodeo

Alpine Community Theater

Alta High School Boys Basketball

American Cancer Society Sandy Relay

American Diabetes Foundation

American Fork Arts Council

American Fork Canyon Half Marathon

American Fork Children’s Choir

American Fork Football Boosters

American Fork High School

American Fork High School Basketball

American Fork High School Drama Department

American Fork High School Girls Basketball

American Fork High School Girls Soccer

American Fork High School Girls Softball

American Fork High School Marching Band

American Fork Junior High PTSA

American Fork Rotary Club

American Fork Steel Days

American Fork Symphony

American Heart Association

American Leadership Academy

American Leadership Boys Basketball

American Legion Post #68

American Lung Association in Utah

American Premier Soccer

American Red Cross

Aristotle Academy Charter School

Boys and Girls Club of Utah County

Cedar Hills City

Center for Women and Children in Crisis

Central Utah Parks and Recreation Association

Community Action Services of Utah County Food Bank

Community Health Connect

Community Presbyterian Church

Desert Hills Thunder Football

Diamond Fork Riding Club

Distinguished Young Women of Alpine

Distinguished Young Women of Highland-American Fork

Distinguished Young Women of Utah-Lehi

Draper Community Foundation Rodeo

Eagle Mountain City

Fullmer Brothers Golden Glove

Habitat for Humanity Utah County

Herriman City

Highland Fling

Huntsman Cancer Foundation

Jordan High School

Karl Maeser Preparatory Academy

Kiwanis Club

Kostopulos Dream Foundation

Lady Caveman Lacrosse

Layton High School Basketball

Layton High School Jazz Band

Legacy Elementary

Lehi Booster Club

Lehi City Family Week

Lehi High Grad Night

Lehi High School Girls Basketball

Lehi High School Sports Marketing

Lehi Library Gala

Lehi Longhorn Rodeo Team

Lehi Round-up Rodeo

Lehi Youth Football

Lone Peak High School Football

Lone Peak High School Jazz Band

Manila Elementary PTA

Miss Northern Utah County

Mountain Ridge Junior High

Mountain Ridge Junior High Drama

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust

Mountain View High School

Mrs. Utah United States

Nebo Education Foundation

Neighborhood Housing Services of Provo

Pleasant Grove High School Football

Pleasant Grove High School Girls Basketball

Pleasant Grove High School Softball

Pleasant Grove High School Wrestling

Pleasant Grove Recreation

Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days

Polynesian Heritage Youth Association

Pony Express Elementary

Riverton High School Band Booster Association

Riverton High School Drill Team

Riverton Rodeo

Riverview Elementary

Rotary Club of Pleasant Grove

Rural Community Assistance Corporation

Rural Housing Development Corporation Urban Self-Help

Salem Hills High School Football

Saratoga Springs City Splash

Saratoga Springs Fire Department

Saratoga Springs Library

Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation

Service Legacy Foundation

Shelley Elementary

Shelley Elementary PTA

Southland Elementary PTO

Spanish Fork Chamber Easter Egg Hunt

Spanish Fork Fire Fighters

Spanish Fork High School

Spanish Fork High School Basketball

Spanish Fork High School Football

Spanish Fork Rotary

Timpanogos Academy PTO

Timpanogos Arts Foundation

Timpanogos Arts Foundation Community Theater

Timpanogos High School Intramural Program

Timpanogos High School Volleyball

Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra

Timpview High School Baseball

Timpview Tennis Team

Tiny Tim Foundation for Kids

Utah Bankers Association Education Committee Fisher House Dinner

Utah County Fair Pig Wrestling

Utah County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Utah Food Bank

Utah Home Builders Association

Utah Horns Baseball

Utah Housing Coalition

Utah Housing Non-Profit Housing Corporation

Utah Micro Enterprise Loan Fund

Utah Ram Sale

Utah State Junior Livestock Show

Utah Valley Skyline Chorus

UVU Scholarship Ball

Viewmont High School

Volunteers of America

Westlake High School Football

Westfield PTA

Westlake High School Girls Softball

Westlake Senior Night Basketball

Westlake Youth Football League

Youth Champions Charity

Charitable giving options Feb 13, 2014, 8:45 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Guest post by Angie Morris, CPA, Hawkins Cloward and Simister

Often we desire to share our good fortune by contributing to charities for those in need.  With tax season underway, you may be evaluating the charitable contributions you made last year and figuring out how you want to make contributions this year. While we tend to donate for altruistic reasons, there is also a tax benefit for making charitable donations.  The method through which you gift determines your tax benefit. There are several ways to make a gift to a charitable cause, so which one is right for you?

IRS-approved charity. One of the easiest and most common ways to donate to charity is by giving directly to an IRS-approved charity.  Donating in this manner allows you to take a tax deduction based on the fair market value of the gift.  Through direct giving you choose the charity, amount and timing of the contribution.  A tax deduction for a cash gift would be limited to 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) and 30% for securities held more than a year.

Private foundation. If you want to maintain control over investment and grant making decisions, a private foundation may be an effective way for you to donate.  A private foundation is an independent charitable corporation, with tax-exempt recognition by the IRS.  Private foundations are heavily regulated by the states and the federal government.  You will need to follow the compliance requirements including annual distributions and information reporting to the IRS.  Individuals that create private foundations often involve their family members with the management of the foundation.  Foundations can be costly to establish and operate; therefore, a donation to establish the foundation is usually a significant amount.  The tax deduction will be based on the fair market value of the gift.  Private foundations have a 30% AGI limit for cash gifts, and 20% for securities held more than one year.

Charitable annuity trust or charitable remainder trust. A charitable annuity trust and charitable remainder trust are a way to leave funds to a charity while receiving a stream of income over your life or a set period of time.  An agreement is reached with the charity to leave the remainder of the assets to the charity, but you get income during your lifetime.  An annuity trust will give you a fixed amount of income annually, a remainder trust will give you income for a set period of time; once you pass away the charity will keep the remainder of the assets.  There are reporting requirements with these types of trusts.  The tax deduction will be based on the fair market value of the estimated assets remaining that go to the charity.  These types of donations usually involve higher funding amounts.

Donor advised fund. A donor advised fund is a separate account maintained by a public charity that allows you to donate and accumulate funds, and recommend grants.  Once you make the donation, the organization has legal control over the funds, but you have advisory privileges on the investment and distribution of the funds.  Distributions must be made to public charities.  These types of funds are designed as a simple, accessible, and less expensive alternative to a private foundation.  There is usually a minimum amount you must contribute to set up the account. The tax deduction is 50% AGI for cash gifts and 30% AGI for securities held over a year.

There are a variety of ways to transfer assets to a charity.  Comparing the different options before deciding will ensure that you choose the best for you.  Some aspects to consider are the tax benefits, cost and complexity to establish and maintain and input you can have on the investments and charitable giving.  Once you compare and contrast the options you can determine the best tool to suit your charitable giving goals.

Angela A. Morris graduated from Brigham Young University. She is a member of the AICPA and the UACPA. She has served as the treasurer of the Utah Association of CPAs and president of the UACPA Southern Chapter. She is currently the vice chair for the Housing Authority of Utah County, the treasurer of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Network, and on the executive board for the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. Angie loves spending time at Lake Powell and is a devoted St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Picture This: Mobile ExpressDeposit TM Jan 31, 2014, 10:08 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

By Amy Falke

If there’s still a check sitting in your wallet right now, there are probably a few different reasons you haven’t gotten around to depositing it. Maybe you didn’t make it to the bank before you headed out of state for a week. Perhaps it was just another fast-paced day until you slipped under the covers for some much-needed sleep and you suddenly realized you forgot to deposit that check—again, and your mind began flooding with the next day’s already packed to-do list. Maybe you’ll swing by the bank at lunch.

Mobile ExpressDeposit allows qualified* Bank of American Fork customers to use their mobile device to deposit checks any time— day or night— simply by snapping a picture and sending it through mobile banking, so you can rest easy. Here are the basics of how to use it:

  • Select either Mobile Express Deposit or the Deposit option after you log into mobile banking.
  • Click on Deposit Check
  • Complete the simple enrollment (Takes a day or two for approval—first time only).
  • Take photos of the front and back of your endorsed check.
  • Enter the deposit amount and choose your account for deposit.
  • Submit and get confirmation of your deposit†.

Mobile ExpressDeposit is a secure way to deposit your checks.  Learn more about this product here (and click the FAQ for more great info). If you think this might come in handy for you, use your Bank of American Fork app to sign up now, so next time you’ve got a check sitting in your wallet you can deposit it on your lunch break and still have time to enjoy a tasty sandwich.

* To be eligible for Mobile ExpressDeposit, you must be a Bank of American Fork online banking customer with direct ownership of a Bank of American Fork checking or savings account, your account must have been active for at least 60 days, no overdrafts in the last 6 months, and no more than 1 chargeback in the last six months. For consumer accounts there is a $0.50 fee per deposit on the first 20 deposits processed in the calendar month and a $1.00 fee per deposit on each deposit over 20. For business accounts there is a $0.50 fee per deposit on the first 60 deposits processed in the calendar month and a $1.00 fee per deposit on each deposit over 60.

†Deposit cut-off time is 6:00PM Mountain Time, Monday – Friday (excluding holidays). Deposits submitted after 6:00PM will be processed on the next business day. Deposits are subject to verification and not available for immediate withdrawal. Deposit limits and other restrictions apply.

Traveling and Card Safety Jan 29, 2014, 1:27 pm By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

By Amy Falke

Details of this trip have been buzzing around your head for the past few weeks and now, as you start your drive to the airport, the to-do list runs through your head one more time. You begin to mentally check things off your list. Ask neighbor to take care of animals, check. Adjust the thermostat, check. Call the bank, check.

What? Call the bank—why would you call the bank?

Letting the bank know your travel plans helps prevent an unexpected block on your bank card. Because Bank of American Fork values cardholder safety, we try to anticipate normal cardholder activity. If a cardholder does something that is outside their normal activity, a “possible fraud” alert may be triggered and a temporary block may be placed on the card. This block remains on the card until the customer confirms the validity of the transaction with the bank or with the fraud monitoring service provider.  For example, if most transactions for a card have been in Utah County, when the card registers a transaction in Miami, Florida, it can trigger an alert and may block the card.

The prevalence of international card fraud has caused Bank of American Fork to implement practices that protect customers in these areas, as well. Certain countries have been identified as having higher fraudulent card activity and using your card in these countries may create a block on your card. If a customer is planning to travel internationally, he or she can contact the bank and request that their card be temporarily released from the automatic block. Once the customer returns home, they will not need to contact the bank again. The country blocks will automatically be placed back on the card based on the timeframe provided in the travel plans.

Providing the bank with travel notes of planned locations and time-periods prior to your departure allows the bankcard department to make the necessary adjustments that can ensure uninterrupted card service during and after your trip. For additional questions or to place travel notes, speak to a teller or new accounts person at your local branch, send a secure message through your online banking, or call customer service at 800-815-BANK.

My Card and the Target Breach Jan 06, 2014, 5:48 pm By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

By Amy Falke

If you used your credit or debit card at any Target store between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, we recommend that you cancel and replace your card even if you have not seen any fraud yet. Target’s systems were breached and card numbers used during these dates were stolen and are at risk of fraud.

In an effort to protect our customers, cards that have we identified as being at risk will be blocked by the end of this week. We are actively reaching out to notify these individuals to inform them of the breach and that their card will be blocked.  Blocking these cards is for the benefit and security of our customers. For more information or to block/replace your card, call Bank of American Fork’s customer service representatives at 801-642-3000 or 800-815-BANK. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding this issue:

I didn’t request to block my card. Why was it blocked?

  • If we have identified a card used at Target between November 27 and December 15 the card was at risk and was blocked.  If this card was not used at Target during these times, there may be a different issue. Please contact Customer Service.

My card was blocked. Why wasn’t I notified?

  • Bank of American Fork has been reaching out through phone or email directing customers to look for a secure message on their online banking. In some cases, incorrect or outdated contact information is all that we had on an account which made it difficult to reach certain customers.  This may have been the case on your account. Please contact Customer Service or visit a branch to verify your contact information. We apologize for any inconvenience.

I used my Bank of American Fork debit or credit card at Target during the compromised window but I do not see any fraudulent activity.  Do I really need to block my card?

  • Though the compromise was recent, it can take months before fraud occurs on a stolen card.  To protect the funds in your account from possible future fraudulent transactions, we would strongly recommend blocking and reissuing your debit/credit card.

How do I go about replacing my compromised debit or credit card?

  • For a compromised debit card you can come into a branch for an instant issue card or call Customer Service to have a card mailed to your home.
  • For a compromised credit card: Please call Customer Service to have your card blocked and reissued/mailed.

What do I do if I’ve already seen fraud on my account?

  • Contact Customer Service to file the dispute

If I do see fraud on my account, won’t it just be from Target?

  • No.  Though the compromise occurred at Target, once the card information has been compromised, it can be used in the form of a counterfeit card all over the world.

Since my debit card is attached to my checking account, does this mean I need to get a new checking account number too?

  • No, your checking account number & attached personal information have not been compromised; the compromise only affects the 16 digit debit/credit card number & magnetic stripe information.

If my card hasn’t been blocked does it mean my card information was not compromised?

  • We have made a great effort to identify those customers whose card information has been compromised, but we still encourage all customers to review their statements to look for transactions completed at Target between November 27 and December 15. If your statement shows that your card was used during this time, we strongly recommend calling customer service to block and replace your card.

How do I contact Customer Service?

  • Call  801-642-3000 or 800-815-BANK between 7:15am and 6:15pm or visit a branch.

As more time passes, more information is coming to light about the severity and scope of the Target breach.  To better assist its customers in answering Breach related questions, Target has put together a great information page with links about checking your credit, being educated about phishing scams, as well as general identity security tips.  Here is the link: https://corporate.target.com/about/payment-card-issue.aspx

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Bank of American Fork Receives Award for Age-friendly Banking Jan 03, 2014, 8:04 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

By Amy Falke

The Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services recently recognized Bank of American Fork for its pioneering efforts in age-friendly banking. Bank of American Fork has been a national leader in developing programs and products that make banking friendlier to seniors and those with physical or mental impairments.

Bank of American Fork trains its employees to be conscious of the needs of Utah’s growing elderly population.  Bank employees receive training on how to recognize the signs of elder financial abuse and how to report it.

Staff members are also trained how to assist families in structuring their banking to create checks and balances that help protect the senior and the caregivers. This financial structure is built around a line of innovative products designed by Bank of American Fork called AccountSmart TM Tools for Seniors. These products provide customers with services like view-only access to accounts, automatic transfers and bill payments, and a limited power of attorney to assist caregivers and seniors in managing finances.*

Our call center employees have received training from Relay Utah on assistive listening technologies to help us better serve customers with speaking or hearing impairments. These employees frequently receive calls from elderly individuals who have difficulty coming into a branch to complete transactions. The call center representatives do an excellent job in educating customers on our online banking tools and other technologies that help facilitate banking from home.**

Many of the technologies available to customers can be accessed through Bank of American Fork’s iPad app. This app features a user-friendly interface and larger, high-contrast text. Tablet users can also visit mobile.bankaf.com on their mobile device.

Bank of American Fork strives to cultivate a senior-friendly culture. All customers are treated with respect, but employees are especially conscious of elders’ needs when they come into a branch, provide a comfortable environment to accommodate hearing and vision restrictions or a place to sit while an associate provides assistance with a teller transaction.

It has been said that a society can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. This is a good test for businesses as well. Bank of American Fork is committed to the continued development of products, training and services to provide quality customer service to all that entrust the bank with their banking needs.

————

*Fees may apply

**Although mobile banking is provided by Bank of American Fork free of charge, you may be charged access rates depending on your mobile carrier. Web access is needed to use mobile banking. Check with your service provider for details on specific fees and charges.

iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

Debit, credit and prepaid cards: there are differences Dec 09, 2013, 8:40 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Courtesy of FDIC

Many consumers use debit, credit and prepaid cards, often interchangeably, to purchase goods and services. However, these three types of cards are quite different. Consider the following.

Each card works differently. If you use a credit card, you are borrowing money that you must pay back, in addition to interest, if you do not pay the balance in full by the due date. But, if you use a debit card, which is issued by your bank and linked to your checking or savings account, the money taken from the account is yours and you will never incur interest charges.

With prepaid cards, you are spending the money deposited onto them, and they usually aren’t linked to your checking or savings account. Prepaid products include “general-purpose reloadable” cards, which display a network brand such as American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa; gift cards for purchases at stores; and payroll cards for employer deposits of salary or government benefit payments. Be aware of the possibility of unanticipated fees and, with certain types of these cards, the potential for limited consumer protections against unauthorized transactions.

Watch for fees. You may be charged an overdraft fee if you use a debit card for a purchase but there aren’t enough funds in the account and you have given your bank written permission to charge you for allowing the transaction to go through. “You can always revoke that authorization if you don’t want to risk paying these fees, and future debit card transactions will be declined if you don’t have the funds in your account,” explained FDIC Consumer Affairs Specialist Heather St. Germain.

Similarly, a credit card issuer may decline a transaction that puts you over your credit limit unless you have explicitly agreed to pay a fee to permit over-the-limit transactions.

Prepaid cards are sometimes marketed with celebrity endorsements and promotional offers. “While some prepaid card offers seem attractive, remember that you may have to pay various fees on the card,” said Susan Boenau, Chief of the FDIC’s Consumer Affairs Section. “These costs may include monthly fees, charges for loading funds onto the card, and fees for each transaction.”

As an alternative to a traditional checking account or prepaid card, consumers who don’t plan to write checks but do want to bank electronically may want to consider opening a “checkless” transaction account that allows you to pay bills and make purchases online or with a debit card.

Your liability for an unauthorized transaction varies depending on the type of card. Federal law limits your losses to a maximum of $50 if a credit card is lost or stolen. For a debit card, your maximum liability under federal law is $50 if you notify your bank within two business days after learning of the loss or theft of your card. But, if you notify your bank after those first two days, under the law you could lose much more.

Your liability for the fraudulent use of a prepaid card currently differs depending on the type of card. Federal law treats payroll cards the same as debit cards, but currently there are no federal consumer protections limiting your losses with other general-purpose, reloadable prepaid cards and store gift cards. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering increasing the consumer protections for prepaid cards, but any action is likely to be a year or more away.

In addition, the funds you place on a prepaid card may or may not be covered by deposit insurance in the event of a bank failure, depending on how the account where the funds are held is set up and whether the bank or the card issuer’s records at the time of the bank closing identify each cardholder’s ownership interest.

For all cards, industry practices may further limit your losses, so check with your card issuer.

Also take steps to guard any cards from thieves. Never provide any numbers in response to an unsolicited phone call, e-mail, text message or other communication you didn’t originate. Immediately review your statement for unauthorized transactions.

To learn more about the three types of payment cards, visit www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/information/ncpw/index.html, which includes an FDIC “quick guide” to understanding the differences in the cards.

100 Year On Blog
This blog includes articles, information, tips and advice on all things money by the financial experts at Bank of American Fork. But this blog is not one-sided; we want to hear what you think. Share your ideas, experiences and comments to get the dialogue going.

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