Debit Card FAQs
A: You can now suspend and unsuspend your Bank Independent Debit Card through Independent Express or through the Manage Cards function in Mobile Banking.
Independent Express: Call (866) 478-5010, choose Option 5, then Option 4 and follow the prompts. This will temporarily and immediately disable your debit card from being used for in-person or online transactions. When you find your card, call back and again choose Option 5, then Option 4 and follow the prompts. If you do not locate your card, choose from one of the options described below to report your card lost or stolen.
Mobile Banking: If you have downloaded the Bank Independent Mobile Banking app to your mobile device, simply select the Manage Cards icon, choose the appropriate card, then press Suspend Card. This will temporarily and immediately disable your debit card from being used for in-person or online transactions. When you find your card, follow the same steps in your Mobile Banking app, but select Unsuspend Card. This will restore your debit card services. If you do not locate your card, use the Manage Cards icon or the other options described below to report your card lost or stolen.
A: You have several options to report your card lost or stolen:
- Call Independent Express telephone banking at (866) 478-5010, choose Option 5 then Option 2
- Log in to Online Banking, choose Settings and then Manage Cards, or Mobile Banking customers can use the Manage Cards icon to report your debit card lost or stolen
With any of these options, your card will be cancelled and a new one will be sent to you quickly upon request. We will also work with you to ensure that your accounts are safe and secure.
A: If you find debit card purchases on your account that you have not authorized or participated in please complete this Online Dispute Form to report the issue or contact Customer Service Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at (877) 865-5050 or (256) 386-5000. Please note that you may still be required to visit a branch to complete the dispute process.
A: There are several ways to activate your new card:
- Call our Independent Express telephone banking line at (866) 478-5010, select Option 5, then select Option 2
- Log in to Online Banking, go to Settings, then choose Manage Cards (for activation only; this will not create a PIN for you)
- Select the Manage Cards option in Mobile Banking, then select Activate Card
- Call Customer Service Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at (877) 865-5050 or (256) 386-5000
A: After you use your card at a merchant or ATM/Point of Sale terminal, the funds will be debited from your designated checking account (just as if you wrote a check).
A: If the business accepts MasterCard for payment, they will accept your Bank Independent Debit Card.
A: There are no interest charges associated with using your debit card because, unlike a credit card, you are paying for the merchandise with your money in your checking account.
A: Yes! In addition to the merchant receipt you receive at the time of sale, your purchase will be listed on your bank statement.
A: Bank Independent imposes no fees if you use your card to make a purchase or if you use your card at an ATM belonging to Bank Independent. However, there may be a fee charged for transactions made at non-Bank Independent ATMs.
A: EMV is a "chip" technology for debit and credit cards. EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard and Visa” and although the technology originated in Europe, it is becoming a standard throughout the world. The United States is transitioning to EMV technology.
A: Chip cards look like regular debit or credit cards, but feature a secure embedded microprocessor chip in the card for storing and transmitting data. As chip cards become standardized in the US, point-of-sale terminals and ATMs must be enabled to process these cards.
A: Because a chip card is extremely difficult to counterfeit and requires special equipment to read, chip cards greatly decrease the probability of fraud through counterfeit cards or skimming (attaching devices to card readers to capture card information). Also, the point-of-sale terminals will be better equipped to authenticate cards, so fraudulent cards should not work. Customers’ confidential data will be more secure with a chip-enabled card.
A: Chip cards will be inserted into the terminal to be read rather than swiped. Merchants were to begin using chip-enabled terminals no later than October 2015 or accept additional liability. However, chip-enabled cards will feature both magnetic strips and chips that can be run using either method, at least for a while after the transition.
A: Yes. Chip card transactions are either “chip-and-PIN” or “chip-and-signature” transactions (a lot of people use these terms to describe the chip card itself).
A: Because your card will still have a magnetic stripe, you will still be able to swipe your card like you do today. However, the transaction will not be as secure as a chip card transaction.
A: Because of our commitment to protect you and your account from fraud, we carefully monitor for activity that differs from your usual spending patterns, transactions that occur in locations outside of your usual activity, and attempts to perform transactions in countries that we have blocked due to high fraud activity. When this occurs, we will sometimes block activity on your debit card until we can confirm this activity is legitimate. Learn more about our debit card monitoring here.
A: To minimize transaction problems and processing disruptions while you travel, please notify Bank Independent of your travel plans before you leave by completing this form or calling Customer Service at (256) 386-5000 or (877) 865-5050 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A: Most likely the merchant has enrolled in Mastercard's Automatic Billing Updater (ABU) program, which automatically updates expired or cancelled debit cards with the new debit card information to replace the old card you had on file with the merchant. This convenient feature keeps you from missing payments and incurring late fees if you forget to update your billing information with your merchant when you get a new debit card. Although all card issuing institutions are required to participate in this program, merchants and customers can opt out. To opt your Bank Independent Debit Card out of the ABU program, please contact Customer Service at (256) 386-5000 or (877) 865-5050 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A: Just visit a Bank Independent Sales Office near you, or call Customer Service at (256) 386-5000 or (877) 865-5050 to add Smart Swipe to your Bank Independent checking account. You may also submit your enrollment request online.
A: No; only one Smart Swipe transfer will be made on a business day. If multiple purchases post to your account in one day, Smart Swipe will round up each purchase and transfer the total difference in one deposit transaction.
A: There could be several reasons: First, Smart Swipe transfers are processed only Monday through Friday. Also, only transactions that are posted to the account during the business day are rounded up for the Smart Swipe transfer; there is often a delay in the actual posting of a debit card transaction, even though the amount is deducted from your balance at the time the purchase is made.
A: No. If the amount of your Smart Swipe transfer exceeds the balance in your account, your Smart Swipe transfer will be cancelled for that day and will not be reattempted.
A: At least one person must be on both the account from which you are transferring and the account into which your Smart Swipe transfers are being deposited.
A: Yes. Smart Swipe is an account-level program, so transactions using any debit card tied to that account will be rounded up.
A: Yes. Any non-ATM transaction will be rounded up, including online purchases, point-of-sale transactions, and debit or credit purchases using your Bank Independent Debit Card.
Simply speak to a Relationship Banker at a Sales Office or contact Customer Service at (256) 386-5000 or (877) 865-5050 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A: BI Card Guardian is a service that uses text messages to enable you to monitor activity occurring on your Bank Independent Debit Card and to respond immediately to fraudulent activity.
A: Enrollment is easy. Simply click here or follow the BI Card Guardian enrollment links at or within Online Banking. To complete your enrollment, you’ll need your full 16-digit Bank Independent Debit Card number, the last four digits of the primary cardholder’s Social Security number (or Tax ID number for business debit card holders), and your zip code.
A: No. BI Card Guardian is available to all Bank Independent Debit Card holders with mobile text capabilities.
A: The BI Card Guardian service is provided by Bank Independent at no cost to you. However, you are responsible for any text messaging fees from your carrier (not from Bank Independent), and carrier message and data rates may apply. Please visit cardguardian.com/CardGuardian/carriers to ensure that your mobile carrier is compatible with the BI Card Guardian service.
A: You will receive a text immediately after your enrolled Bank Independent Debit Card is used for the following transactions:
• International transactions
• Fuel transactions
• Transactions greater than $100
• Five or more transactions in a rolling 24-hour period
• “Card not present” transactions (like online purchases)
• Declined authorizations
A: No. The six transaction alert “triggers” listed above have been carefully selected by Bank Independent to ensure the most comprehensive monitoring of your accounts
A: You will only receive one text message for each transaction on each enrolled card, even if the transaction meets several of the alert criteria. For example, a purchase of over $100 that happens to be your sixth transaction in 24 hours will generate only one text message.
A: When purchasing fuel, the fuel merchant will preauthorize a certain dollar amount on your debit card prior to allowing you to pump fuel. This preauthorization ensures the merchant that you have available funds to make a fuel purchase. Depending upon the way this preauthorization is processed by the fuel merchant, you may receive two alerts for fuel purchases: one for the preauthorization amount, then one for the actual fuel purchase. Rest assured, though, that only your actual fuel purchase amount will be debited from your account.
A: Because of variations in the way some gas stations code their transactions, sometimes non-fuel purchases at gas stations or convenience stores will be shown as a fuel purchase.
A: Yes! BI Card Guardian is available for all Bank Independent Debit Cards (personal and business) at no charge.
A: Yes, for each Bank Independent Debit Card you enroll, you can opt to send BI Card Guardian alerts to up to ten mobile devices; simply select the “Devices” tab during your BI Card Guardian enrollment to enroll your mobile devices. Each device must have the ability to send and receive text messages and the use of “short codes” must not be blocked. Short codes are special telephone numbers, often five digits long, which are used to send text messages from mobile phones.
A: You are responsible for any text messaging fees from your carrier (not from Bank Independent), and carrier message and data rates may apply.
A: BI Card Guardian works with most major phone carriers. Please visit cardguardian.com/CardGuardian/carriers.do to ensure that your mobile carrier is compatible. Please note that if your mobile provider is Sprint, Nextel, Boost or Virgin, your carrier requires that we send a subscription reminder message to you every thirty days to remind you of your enrollment in BI Card Guardian. No reply to this message is required.
A: Yes. You will need to re-enroll your mobile device in the BI Card Guardian program.
A: Yes. You will need to re-enroll in BI Card Guardian if your debit card number changed. However, if you simply receive a replacement debit card upon expiration and your number has not changed, your BI Card Guardian enrollment will remain valid and re-enrollment will not be necessary.
A: Although your message will always begin with the identifier “BIBNK Guardian,” the exact message will vary depending on which of the six alerts is triggered. For example, the message you receive when exceeding five debit card transactions in 24 hours will be:
BIBNK Guardian Alert on card XXXX for 5+ trans in 24hr, recent tran at XXXXXXXXX- Reply XXXXXXX if unauthorized. Reply STOP to cancel alerts.
An alert for a “card not present” transaction, such as an online purchase, will read:
BIBNK Guardian Alert on card XXXX- card #key entered at XXXXXXXX for $X.XX- Reply XXXXXXX if unauthorized. Reply STOP to cancel alerts.
An alert for a fuel transaction will be:
BIBNK Guardian Alert on card XXXX for Fuel at XXXX– Reply XXXXX if unauthorized. Reply STOP to cancel alerts.
A: If the transaction listed in the alert is authentic, there is nothing you need to do. However, if the transaction in the alert was not authorized by you, simply follow the instructions in the text and reply within the next 12 hours from receipt via text with the unique code provided to you in the alert message.
A: If you report an unauthorized transaction within 12 hours of receipt of the BI Card Guardian text alert, our fraud team will immediately begin investigating the fraudulent charge, and your Bank Independent Debit Card will be blocked from future use. You must call Bank Independent Customer Service at (256) 386-5000 or (877) 865-5050 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to order a new debit card.
A: Within the Preferences section of the BI Card Guardian site you may set up a “Do Not Disturb” time period in which a text should not be sent. If a transaction triggers an alert during this time frame, you will not receive a text from BI Card Guardian until after your “Do Not Disturb” period expires.
A: You may cancel your BI Card Guardian text alerts service at any time by replying “STOP” when you receive an alert.
A: Yes. Your BI Card Guardian enrollment expires after one year, but don’t worry—you’ll receive a renewal notification via text six days prior to your expiration to allow you to renew your service for another year. If you are unable to renew your enrollment by replying to the text message renewal offer, you may enroll again at any time by following the enrollment link.
A: The only text replies that are acknowledged by the BI Card Guardian monitoring system are the commands “STOP” to cancel your BI Card Guardian service, “HELP” to receive service information, and the customized reply codes that you will receive within the text message to report an unauthorized transaction or renew your enrollment in the service. However, we welcome you to call Bank Independent Customer Service at (256) 386-5000 or (877) 865-5050 Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with any questions about your transactions or BI Card Guardian.
A: Your enrollment in BI Card Guardian expires after one full year unless you opt to renew for another year. Prior to your annual expiration date, you will receive the following text message:
Guardian acct expires soon. To renew for a year Reply XXXXXX. Message & Data rates may apply, Msgs per issuer settings. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for help.
If you reply with the designated code, you will receive the following text message and no further action is required:
Guardian subscription has been renewed for an additional year. Message & Data rates may apply, Msgs per issuer settings. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for help.
You can also renew your subscription by logging into your BI Card Guardian account online at bibank.com/BI-Card-Guardian-Enroll/ and clicking "Renew."