By Jen Smith and Honorine Uwishema
During these uncertain times, your finances may be one of many things on your mind. If you are thinking about what happens to the money that is in your bank account, you are not alone. Whether your money is at a credit union or bank, you can be assured it is safe and protected. Funds are insured up to a certain dollar amount by the government, so the best place for your money to be is in your bank account.
You may have noticed financial institutions operating a bit differently to help protect members and staff alike. For example, Maine credit unions and banks are temporarily closed to the public and operating their drive-thru service at reduced hours. While this may be a big change, all services are still available – they just might look a little different than what you are used to.
There are many ways to keep banking during these uncertain times without leaving your house – on your computer or right on your phone.
Many banks and credit unions have a check deposit feature built into mobile banking. This means that you can deposit a check just by taking a picture with your phone and it will go right into your bank account. While we are practicing social distancing and staying at home a bit more, this is an easy way to deposit a check right into your account.
Aside from making a check deposit, you can look up your balance, review your transaction history, and make transfers between checking and savings accounts. This can also be securely done on a computer or tablet.
Most financial institutions also offer a feature called Bill Pay so you can pay all your bills from one place. This is a great tool to send a check to your landlord for rent, pay your electricity bill, or transfer money to another financial institution for a loan payment.
Sometimes you just need to talk to a real person. You can always call your Financial Institution with questions or send a secure message through your online banking account. Please be careful about the information you are sending – unless you are logged into online banking or talking to a bank representative on the phone, you should not send certain information, like your social security number, debit card number, or bank account number.
Not everything can be done online. Cash deposits will need to be made at the drive-up window, an ATM, or a night depository drop box at your credit union or bank. If you need cash, you can withdraw funds at an ATM or drive-thru window.
If you haven’t tried using online and mobile banking, we encourage you to do so. It’s designed to make your life more convenient and, in these times, safer. To get started, visit your credit union or bank’s website or download their mobile banking app. Instructions for your first login should be on the screen, but if you have questions, call their customer service number for help.
Jen Smith is Senior Branch Manager and Honorine Uwishema is a Branch Supervisor at cPort Credit Union’s Forest Avenue location in Portland, Maine. Together they represent over 18 years of experience in the financial services sector. For financial questions Call 1-800-464-0253.