Online Banking FAQs

    System and Web Browser Requirements for Online Banking

    What should I do to maintain the security of my personal and financial information?

    Answer:

    At Smart Financial Credit Union, we understand that security is one of our primary responsibilities. With this in mind, we have taken the necessary steps to provide our members with state-of-the-art security for their online banking transactions. Our infrastructure, coupled with the security features built into your browser and operating system, can provide you with a secure environment -- but only if you do your part. To help maintain the security of your accounts, follow theseguidelines:

    • Maintain the security of your Sign-On ID and password.
    • Protect your computer from malicious programs and intruders by running an anti-virus utility and maintaining a firewall.
    • Make sure you have applied the latest security patches to your web browser and operating system, especially if you use Internet Explorer and Windows.
    • If you use Internet Explorer, consider using an alternative web browser, such as Netscape. Protect yourself from e-mail fraud.

    For more detailed instructions on each of these guidelines, refer to our Security Information.

    What hardware, software, and services do I need for Online Banking?

    Answer:

    In order to provide you with the maximum level of security, we require that you use a browser that supports 128-bit encryption. Browsers that fulfill this requirement include: Microsoft Internet Explorer - Version 5.0 or higher. Note that not all Version 5.x browsers come with support for 128-bit encryption. You may need to upgrade your browser to this level of encryption.

    Netscape Navigator - Version 4.08 or higher, except for Navigator 6 (Navigator 6 is not compatible with the online banking service). Note that not all versions of Netscape come with support for 128-bit encryption. You may need to upgrade your browser to this level of encryption.

    AOL - Version 4.0 or higher. Note that not all versions of AOL come with support for 128-bit encryption. You may need to upgrade your browser to this level of encryption. Upgrades for 128-bit encryption are available directly from Microsoft, Netscape and AOL via their respective web sites.

    What is 128-bit encryption, and why do I need it?

    Answer:

    Encryption is the process of encoding a message so that only the sender and the recipient can tell what the message really says. A simple way to encrypt this sentence, for example, would be to substitute a number for each letter, according to the position of that letter in the alphabet: 1 for "a", 2 for "b", and so on. As you can imagine, this method of encryption could be easily decoded.

    Smart Financial Credit Union uses a combination of security technologies to protect its members, their transactions, and the Credit Union itself. Each customer is given a unique Sign-On ID and password that they must use in order to enter the online banking service. You, the customer, play a key role in maintaining security by ensuring that your Sign-On ID and password remain confidential at all times.

    A Verisign™ Digital Certificate and your browser's Secure Socket Layer (SSL) ensure 128-bit encryption of your banking transactions. Firewalls at each point of entry prevent intrusion into Virtual Branch.

    The 128-bit encryption enforced by our Verisign™ Digital Certificate is the highest level of encryption currently available for public use in the United States. To guarantee that you get this level of protection, we require that you use a browser that supports 128-bit encryption with Virtual Branch.

    How can I tell if my browser supports 128-bit encryption?

    Answer:

    If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, do the following:

    • Pull down your browser's Help menu and select About Internet Explorer. A pop-up window will appear with information about Internet Explorer.
    • In that window, look for a line that begins with the words "Cipher Strength". If the cipher strength is any less than 128-bit, then you must upgrade your browser in order to use Virtual Branch. You can go directly to Microsoft's web site and obtain the upgrade by clicking on the words "Upgrade Information" that appear in parentheses next to the cipher strength.

    If you are using Netscape Navigator, do the following:

    • Pull down your browser's Help menu and select About Navigator. A page will appear with information about Netscape Navigator.
    • In the left-hand column, look for a line that states "Contains encryption software from RSA Data Security, Inc. Copyright © 1994 RSA Data Security, Inc. All Rights Reserved. " Below that line, in bold you should find the following text: "This version supports U.S. security with RSA Public Key Cryptography, MD2, MD5, RC2-CBC, RC4, DES-CBC, DES-EDE3-CBC . " If you find this exact text, then your browser supports 128-bit encryption. If this line of text begins: "This version supports international security...", then your browser does not support 128-bit encryption, and you will need to upgrade your version of Navigator. You can get an upgrade from the Netscape web site. (Note: Do not attempt to use Netscape Navigator Version 6; it is not compatible with the online banking service.)

    If you are using AOL, you will know that your browser does not support 128-bit encryption if you receive a 403 error when you try to use online banking. If you receive this error, go to Keyword: 128 browser. Follow the instructions for downloading and installing a browser that supports 128-bit encryption. How can I tell if my browser supports 128-bit encryption?

    How to Sign Up for Online Banking

    Is Online Banking just for personal accounts, or can businesses also use online banking?

    Answer:

    Online banking is for anyone: individuals and businesses. We provide separate enrollment options for individuals and businesses.

    Note that due to banking regulations, you cannot create a single enrollment that includes both business accounts -- for which tax is reported under a Tax ID Number (TIN) -- and personal accounts -- for which tax is reported under your Social Security Number (SSN).

    How do I get a Sign-On ID and password for Online Banking?

    Answer:

    In order get a Sign-On ID and password for online banking, you need to enroll your account(s) using our online enrollment form. To enroll, go to the Smart Financial Credit Union Web Site and do the following:

    • Click on the Virtual Branch link; this will take you to the Virtual Branch log-in page.
    • Click on the Enroll Online link. This will take you to the appropriate online enrollment form.
    • Fill out the enrollment form and submit it.

    Once your enrollment is validated, you may log-in to Virtual Branch. If for some reason your enrollment fails, we will contact you to confirm that the information is correct. We will then set up your account(s) for online banking, and will send you your Sign-On ID and temporary password. When you log in for the first time, Virtual Branch will require that you change your password.

    Can I choose my own Sign-On ID and password?

    Answer:

    You can choose your own Sign-On ID.

    Passwords must contain at least one letter and number, and must be between seven (7) and fifteen (15) characters long. Passwords are not case sensitive, so a password of "abc12zyx" is the same as "ABC123ZYX".

    Virtual Branch will require that you change your password every 90 days. Passwords may not be repeated within 365 days. Your Sign-On ID and Password will become inactive if you do not log in for a period of over 90 days.

    What do I do if I forget my password?

    Answer:

    If you know your Sign-On ID, but you forget your password for your personal accounts, you may request that it be e-mailed to you by correctly answering your challenge questions. Otherwise, you must call Smart Financial eServices Support at 713-850-1600 or 800-392-5084. Online Banking Support can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 5:00PM. You must know your Sign-On ID in order for us to reset your password (if you have forgotten or lost your Sign-On ID, please refer to the next question).

    What do I do if I cannot find my Sign-On ID and password?

    Answer:

    If you forget your Sign-On ID for your personal accounts, or you forget both your Sign-On ID and your password, you have two options: First, you can visit one of our branches and speak to a Member Services Manager (MSM). The MSM can assist you with this problem. Otherwise, please call us at 713-850-1600 or 800-392-5084 during normal business hours.

    What You Can Do with Online Banking

    Can other people access my financial information?

    Answer:

    We give you a Sign-On ID and password so that only you have access to your accounts through Virtual Branch. All information that is transferred to your computer is done so over a secure connection.

    Keep in mind, however, that you yourself have a critical role in maintaining the privacy and security of your account. To help ensure the security of your financial information, follow these rules:

    • Do not give your Sign-On ID and password to anyone. If two or more people share a Sign-On ID and password, Smart Financial has no way to tell which of those people actually performed a given transaction. You are responsible for any transaction performed using your Sign-On ID and password.
    • Do not leave your Sign-On ID and password out in the open where anyone passing by can see it.
    • Do not leave your computer unattended while you are logged in to online banking. If you leave your computer unattended while you are signed on, anyone passing by could use your computer to perform any of the transactions that you are authorized to perform.
    • Always sign off at the end of an online banking session. This will terminate your session, which will prevent someone from using your browser's Back button to return to a session that has not yet timed out.

    In general, all of these are common-sense rules. Use good judgment to ensure that your financial information remains secure. Smart Financial Credit Union is not responsible for nonpublic personal information or financial information that becomes public because you did not maintain the security of your Sign-On ID and password. Smart Financial Credit Union is also not responsible for financial loss that occurs because you did not maintain the security of your Sign-On ID and password.

    Can I view Check Holds?

    Answer:

    What is a check hold (Reg CC)?
    The length of the delay is counted in business days from the day of your deposit. Every day is a business day except Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays. The length of the delay varies depending on the type of deposit and is explained below.

    Same Day Availability
    Funds from the following deposits presented to us will be given same day availability:

    • U.S. Treasury Checks that are payable to you
    • Wire Transfers, including preauthorized credits, such as Social Security benefits and payroll payments.
    • Checks drawn on a Smart Financial Credit Union member’s checking account.
    • Cash.
    • Texas state and local government checks that are made payable to you.
    • Cashier’s, Certified and Teller’s Checks that are made payable to you.
    • U.S. Postal Money Orders
    • Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank Checks made payable to you.
    • First $100 of the day’s other check deposits

    Other Check Deposits
    The length of the delay of availability of funds for other check deposits depends on whether a check is a local or non-local check. To see whether a check is local or non-local, look at the routing number on the check:1010 3010 1011 3011 1012 3012 1019 3019 1030 3030 1031 3031 1039 3039 1110 3110 1111 3111 1113 3113 1119 3119 1120 3120 1122 3122 1123 3123 1130 3130 1131 3131 1140 3140 1149 3149 1163 3163

    If the first four digits of the routing number (1234 in the examples above) are 1130, 1131, 3130, 3131, 1110, 3110, 1111, 1119, 3111 or 3119, then the check is a local check. Otherwise, the check is non- local. Some checks are marked “Payable Through” and have a four- digit or nine-digit number nearby. For these checks, use the four digit (or first four digits of the nine-digit number) not the routing number on the bottom of the check to determine if these checks are local or non-local. Our policy is to make funds from local and non-local checks available as follows:

    Local: The first $100 from a deposit will be available on the same business day as the day of your deposit. The remaining funds will be available on the second business day after the day of your deposit.

    For example, if you deposit a local check of $700 on a Monday, $100 of the deposit is available on Monday. The remaining $600 is available on Wednesday.

    Non-Local: The first $100 from a deposit will be available on the same business day as the day of your deposit. The remaining funds will be available on the fifth business day after your deposit.

    For example, if you deposit a $700 non-local check on a Monday, $100 of the deposit is available on Monday. The remaining $600 is available on Monday of the following week.

    Exceptions May Apply
    Funds you deposit by check may be delayed for a longer period under the following circumstances:

    • We believe a check you deposit will not be paid. In this case, you may have previously deposited checks that have been returned unpaid.
    • You deposit checks totaling more than $5,000 on any one day.
    • You redeposit a check that has been returned unpaid.
    • You have overdrawn your account repeatedly in the last six months.
    • There is an emergency, such as failure of communications or computer equipment.
    • In the event that there is evidence of a check kiting activity or a forgery on an account.

    We will notify you if we delay your availability to withdraw funds for any of these reasons, and we will tell you when the funds will be available. They will generally be available no later than the eleventh business day after the day of your deposit.

    Special Rules for New Accounts
    If you are a new member, the following special rules will apply during the first 30 days your account is open.

    Funds from electronic direct deposits to your account will be available on the day we receive the deposit. Funds from the deposits of cash, wire transfers and the first $5,000 of a day’s total deposits of Cashier’s, Certified, Teller’s, Travelers and Federal, State and Local Government Checks will be available on the business day of your deposit if the deposit meets certain conditions. For example, the checks must be payable to you. The excess over $5,000 will be available on the ninth business day after the day of your deposit. If your deposit of these checks (other than a U.S. Treasury Check) is not made in person to one of our employees, the first $5,000 will not be available until the second business day after the day of your deposit.

    Funds from all other check deposits will be available on the seventh business day after the day of your deposit.

    Can I view Card Holds?

    Answer:

    Debit card holds may include deposits or withdrawals made to your account during that day that change your current balance. Most card holds will clear your account overnight on business days and display on your Online Register the next morning. The card holds may remain on account holds screen for a few days until the merchant settles the transactions.

    For some MasterCard debit card transactions, the hold amount may not match the actual purchase amount because the final purchase amount is not known when the card is swiped for payment. The actual purchase amount should clear your account within a few days and match the amount that is listed on your receipt. This is common for the purchases listed below:

    • Restaurants my use a hold that includes an estimated tip, often 20% of the bill.
    • Car rental agencies, hotels, and airlines may use a hold amount for the estimated final purchase when you check-in or make a reservation.
    • Gas stations may use a $1.00 hold amount when you pay at the pum

    If the name on the debit card hold is not the same name of the merchant where you made your purchase, it may be the name of the parent company. When the transaction clears and displays in your Online Register, the actual name of the merchant should appear.

    How to Access Your Accounts Online

    How do I log in to Online Banking?

    Answer:

    To log in to online banking, do the following:

    • Click on the Virtual Branch link located on our homepage. This will take you to the Virtual Branch log-in page.
    • Enter your Sign-On ID in the box next to the label Sign-On ID.
    • Press the tab key to move to the password field.
    • Enter your password in the box next to the label Password.
    • Click on the button that says Sign On.
    • Wait until the online banking service displays your account list.

    If you have a problem logging in, refer to our Troubleshooting section.

    Why is it so important for me to sign off from Online Banking?

    Answer:

    It is very important that you end each online banking session by signing off. To sign off, click on the Sign Off link on the left side of any Virtual Branch page. This will end your online banking session.

    Why is this so important? Because of the way the Web works, signing off is the only way the online banking service knows that you have ended your session. If you leave Virtual Branch without signing off -- by going directly to another web site, for example -- Virtual Branch keeps your session alive for up to 20 minutes while it waits to see if there is something more you want to do. This is not good for two reasons: First, it is a security risk; if you leave your PC unattended during this time, someone could use your browser's Back button to return to your active session. Second, if you try to sign on again before Virtual Branch has timed out your session, you will receive an error message.

    Is Online Banking available all the time?

    Answer:

    Virtual Branch is generally available for 22 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We perform system backups and maintenance between the hours of 2:00AM and 4:00AM each day. We occasionally have other scheduled maintenance periods; we will notify you of scheduled maintenance. During backups and maintenance, Virtual Branch is not available. The service may also be unavailable due to unscheduled maintenance or other technical problems, but we try our best to make these interruptions as infrequent as possible.

    Can I use my browser's Back and Forward buttons to go from one Online Banking page to another?

    Answer:

    In general, you should never use your browser's Back or Forward buttons to go from one online banking page to another. If you are doing a transaction -- such as transferring money -- use the buttons at the bottom of the page to either complete the transaction or cancel it. Use the buttons at the top of a page to perform a function related to that page. If you are viewing information and want to go to another page, use the links on the left-hand side of each page.

    Do I have any control over the account detail that is displayed?

    Answer:

    The Options link on the upper right-hand corner of each Virtual Branch page allows you to set the number of lines displayed on each page of your Register, the default Register sort order, the Register background color, and whether to display each Register entry in 2-line format.

    The Transaction Detail report allows you to select transactions by Account, Date Range, Category, or Preset Date Range. This report also allows you to specify the sort order for transactions.

    Am I able to see both my personal and business accounts with one login?

    Answer:

    You need to log in to your personal or business account separately to view it Virtual Branch.

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