Using a debit card is safer than carrying cash and more convenient than writing checks. That’s especially true when traveling. Following some simple guidelines will help insure a safe, worry-free trip.
Keep your bank informed.
Letting your bank know where you’ll be traveling is the best way to avoid blocked debit card transactions. This is especially true when traveling outside the United States. Due to the potential for international fraud, most banks automatically restrict international transactions. With proper notification, debit card transactions can be accepted safely wherever you may be.
Know your card’s features.
Most debit card apps come with a slew of safety features that include customizing alerts for debit card transactions, freezing your card when it’s misplaced, and turning payments on or off. For example, the FKCB mobile app allows you to view your spending by type, date and location. You can turn access to the card off when not in use; configure the controls and alerts for debit card transactions; and manage the card’s other features. In addition, many cards feature advanced controls that can be managed through your smartphone that can save you time and money if you encounter problems with your card.
Bring fewer cards.
When vacationing, take only the cards that you know you’ll use, plus one backup. Make sure all cards are well-protected at all times, and monitor your balances when possible. Remember to be cautious when accessing a financial account online or using public wi-fi connections. Double check your purchases when you return home. Don’t forget about your digital wallet. Most debit cards can be uploaded to your mobile app thereby eliminating the need to carry them with you.
Be aware of your surroundings before using an ATM.
Be vigilant about observing your surroundings when using an ATM. Pay attention to anyone loitering near a machine. Always use a machine in a well-lit area, preferably inside a facility. Inspect the front of the ATM for card skimmers that can be adhered to the machine or to a nearby wall or light fixture. Cover the keypad as you enter your PIN.
Familiarize yourself with the steps if your card is missing.
The most important thing to remember if your debit card is missing is to act fast. Immediately contact your financial institution to cancel the card. Make sure you have their contact information with you when you travel. File a police report and place a fraud alert on your credit report. Change the passwords to your accounts as soon as possible.
For more information on debit card safety, or to apply for a debit card, call First Keystone Community Bank at 570-752-3671, or visit https://www.fkc.bank/services-tools/banking-services/online-banking-bill-pay/.