Minster Bank Community Voices: Beth Wente

Community voices with Beth Wente, assistant branch manager at Minster Bank Wagner’s IGA location.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minster Bank with our new audio series, Minster Bank Community Voices.
This week’s guest is Beth Wente, assistant branch manager at our Wagner’s IGA location.

Q: What Do You Do at Minster Bank?

I’m the assistant branch manager at the Wagner’s IGA branch. I’m really dealing with the customer on a day-to-day basis – not only doing the transaction side of someone making a deposit, or someone wanting to come in and cash a check, but opening new accounts. I’m making sure that our customers are aware of the things that are happening with their accounts.

Q: How Does Minster Bank Help Protect Customers’ Accounts?

There’s a couple of ways – from a frontline perspective, it’s just really knowing our customers. When we talk about fraud we’re talking about a transaction the customer is seeing on their account, and they’re not aware that they made that. Just being aware of our customers is a big deterrent to fraud.

From a back-office perspective, we have a third-party fraud department that actually monitors all the account activity and debit cards. If they’re seeing something suspicious, the customer is automatically getting a call.

Q: What are Ways Customers Can Keep Their Accounts Safe?

First, regularly checking your account. You should be looking at the account every day, mobile or online, and making sure the balances are looking like what they seem to be.

Knowing that the holidays are coming up, it’s really about being aware of your surroundings when you’re out shopping or online. A lot of people don’t like to carry cash with them, so if you’re using a card or a PIN number, make sure that you are aware of who might be standing around you, that someone’s not watching over your shoulder.

If you’re doing online purchases, we ask that you check the website out and make sure it’s secure.
I think that’s the big thing: awareness. I think that’s the big thing – you say, oh, that’s not going to happen to me, but it can and it does.

Related: How to spot a scam – four warning signs >>

Q: What Should Someone Do If They Think Their Account Has Been Compromised?

The first thing they should do is call us. There are two phone numbers – you can call the bank or you can call the number on your card. You’ll get a rep to walk you through the process of looking at the transaction.

If it is something you did not authorize, you can file a dispute. It’s a small amount of paperwork involved, and once that happens, we will do our due diligence on our end and provide the customer with a provisional credit so they’re not out that money while we’re investigating.

Q: What Should People Look For To Protect Their Accounts?

There are different types of fraud – there’s the fraud that you see on your debit cards. And there’s also fraud where someone gets a check in the mail that they’re not expecting. People are bringing it into the bank, like, ‘Wow, I got this check.’

So it really goes back to knowing our customers and talking with that person. The first question that I’m asking is, ‘Were you expecting this?’ And if not, we’re taking a look at the circumstances behind the check.

We had one recently where somebody came in with a rather large check, and they wanted to open up a new savings account. In the process of talking about it, we found out it was fraud.

Did we send the customer away that day knowing that it was? Maybe not, but we told them that we wanted to do some due diligence, did some phone calls after they left, and did found out that, yes, it was from an account that had gotten compromised and was trying to get someone else’s identity by issuing a check.

Customers can also set up text or email alerts that will notify them when their balance falls below a certain amount or a certain amount of money is withdrawn.

It’s really knowing our customers and talking through the process with them. That’s part of the beauty of a community bank.

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