Debit and Credit Card Security

Protect your debit and credit cards.

Debit and credit cards are convenient, but they do require safeguarding. Here are some simple tips for protecting your cards from thieves and security breaches.

Tip for Travelers

Planning to use your debit card outside of the U.S.? Let us know your travel plans. Unusual charges are flagged in our system and may be blocked if fraud is suspected. Knowing you will be using your card in an unusual location will help us better protect your account. Contact your local branch or call our customer service center at 800-322-5222.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself
  1. Check your bank statements and report unauthorized transactions to the bank immediately.
    We highly recommend that our customers use online banking so you can keep a close eye on your account. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can review transactions through phone banking.
  2. Be wary of your surroundings at the ATM.
    If the slot where you insert your card looks different, discolored, or tampered with or if the keypad is unresponsive, go to another machine.
  3. Be wary of other people. Never give your PIN to anyone—not even family members.
    No one that is legitimate, not the police nor bank personnel, will ever ask you for your PIN number. This is true in person, on the phone and via email. If someone is asking for your PIN they are not legitimate! Do NOT give it to them.
  4. Memorize your PIN. Keep your receipts. Know your limits.
    Never store your PIN number with your card, and use a PIN that is not obvious. Your name, birth date, pet’s name are all easily guessed.
    Keep your receipts until you’ve checked them against the statement or online accounting. Always cross out any blank areas on a receipt, including the tip line at restaurants, so that the total amount can’t be changed.
    Know what spending limits the bank imposes on your card. If you are told you’ve exceeded the limit, but haven’t made any prior purchases, check your account immediately for unauthorized transactions.
  5. Keep a record of all of your ATM, Debit and Credit cards.
    You will want to maintain a file of the account numbers, card numbers, their expiration dates and issuing bank’s 800 numbers. If your card or wallet does get stolen, you will be able to easily contact the bank and provide the necessary information. Again, it is not necessary to give bank personnel your PIN even in this situation.
  6. Use the MasterCard® SecureCode online verification system.
    This system uses a personal password to add an extra layer of security when purchasing from participating online stores. Click here for details
What Merchants is Doing to Protect Your Accounts
  1. Merchants Bank MasterCard® debit cards are covered by MasterCard’s zero liability policy. You as the cardholder will not be liable for any fraudulent charges transacted on your account, as long as you report the unauthorized transactions to Merchants Bank immediately.
  2. Merchants Bank has implemented several anti-fraud technologies that include blocking locations where fraud may be occurring, monitoring our cardholder’s accounts for unusual activity, and real time reporting of transactions that are “out of the ordinary” for our customers. This may also include an automated call from us to verify transactions in question. Click here for details.
  3. Merchants Bank is proactively contacting customers if unusual activity is recognized on your card.