Debit Card & ATM Security FAQs

    How can I protect my debit card?


    Just like with website credentials and account information, it is important to safeguard your debit card information. Some additional precautions to protect your debit card are listed below:

    • Memorize your personal identification number (PIN) and safeguard it in the same way you would a password.
    • Avoid writing your PIN down and do not share your PIN with anyone else.
    • Monitor your account statements for unfamiliar transactions.
    • Report lost or stolen debit cards immediately.
    • When making internet purchases, evaluate retail websites to make sure they are secure before you shop, and know who you are doing business with online.
    • Never send debit card information by email or text.
    • Always log off after completing an online transaction, or close the browser window.

    How can I protect myself and my debit card at an ATM?


    The following precautions can be used to protect yourself and your debit card at ATM locations:

    • Do not use an ATM if the machine appears to have been tampered with in any way.
    • Before using an ATM carefully evaluate the machine and the surroundings before starting the transaction.
    • Find an alternate ATM to use if you feel unsafe or if the area is not well lit.
    • Avoid counting your money at the ATM.

    What are debit card compromises?


    Debit card compromises occur when your debit card is used at a merchant whose terminals or merchant network have been breached by criminals. Most often these breaches can be the result of the merchant network being infected with malware or card skimming devices attached to the merchant terminals that process the transactions. These devices are designed to capture sensitive information from your card so that the card can be used to either create counterfeit debit cards or make purchases online. Smart Financial Credit Union will send out card compromise notifications to members as soon as they are identified.

    In the event of a card compromise will I automatically receive a replacement debit card in the mail?


    Yes. A replacement debit card will be mailed to the address on file as long as the address is valid and no mail has returned. Members that have cards on the compromised card list will receive an email communication if there is a valid email address on file. Otherwise, a letter will be mailed.

    How can I obtain a replacement debit card immediately?


    Members seeking a same day replacement card can visit the one of the following Smart Financial Credit Union branches:

    • Newcastle Branch
    • Wayside Branch
    • Westchase Branch
    • Conroe Branch
    • FM 1960 Branch
    • Kingwood Branch
    • Rayford Branch
    • North Loop Branch
    • Sugar Land Branch
    • FM 2920 Branch
    • VA Medical Branch
    • Missouri City Branch
    • Pearland Branch

    Are these card compromise notifications the same as the SMS Text/AVR Alerts?


    No. Card compromise alerts notify you that your card was potentially exposed due to a data breach. SMS/AVR Text Alerts is a service that monitors card transactions for purchases outside of normal purchasing patterns, unusual timeframes and geographical locations, or purchase patterns that are consistent with previously identified fraud trends.

    • The text message will arrive with a 5 digit code (33748) and contain our financial institution name, dollar amount of the transaction and merchant name.
    • You will be asked to reply with “Yes” if you authorized the transaction. You will receive a confirming text message and can continue to use your card with confidence.
    • A “No” reply means you have not authorized the transaction. You will receive a confirming text message and you will be contacted immediately by a fraud specialist to protect your account. Please answer this important call.
    • Do not reply to the text message with any personal or confidential card information
    • If you would like to opt out of receiving these important messages by text, you may reply with STOP to indicate this preference.
    • Some members may not have a phone with SMS/text capabilities. Those members will receive Automated Voice Response (phone message) instead.
    • An example of an AVR message is as follows: “This is the fraud prevention department at Smart Financial Credit Union calling for John Doe. We need to verify some recent activity on yourMasterCard® debit card ending in 1234. In order to prevent possible difficulties using your card, it is important that you call us back at your earliest convenience, toll free at 1-800-442-4757 to verify this activity. You may call us back 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number again is 1-800-442-4757. Thank you."
    • For more information about Smart Financial Credit Union’s SMS Text/Phone Alert, go to“Debit Card Alerts”

    What if I am not set up for Virtual Branch and do not have an e-mail address on file?


    Unfortunately you will not be able to receive card compromise notifications via e-mail. Card compromise notifications will have to be sent via standard mail.

    How do I add an extra layer of protection to my Smart Debit MasterCard from fraud or unauthorized transactions?


    Use MobiMoney to give your Smart Debit MasterCard an extra layer of protection. To learn more about MobiMoney, click here.

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