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Welcome to Money Essentials!

Money Essentials provides you with valuable, easy-to-understand information about financial services. The information below will provide you with basic financial knowledge, including how to use an ATM, conduct basic financial transactions, and manage your account responsibly. Please read through this information, as we hope it gives you some realistic choices in how to conduct your financial affairs.


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How do I use checks?

You will be given a small packet of temporary checks upon opening your account. Most stores will not accept temporary checks as a form of payment. If you wish to write checks as a form of payment, you will need to order a book of checks from Peoples Bank. You can do this at account opening or at any time in the future.

  • Blank checks do not mean money to spend
  • Begin a credit history by writing checks
  • Mail checks, not cash
  • Keep cancelled checks as proof of payment
  • Always write checks in ink
  • Have your name, address and phone number printed on your checks
  • Never have your social security number printed on your checks
  • Always sign your checks the exact way that you signed your signature card when opening your account
  • Be sure and record each check written in your registry with the check number, payee, and amount

Numbers on the bottom of your check

There's a long list of numbers printed at the bottom of your check. These numbers are used by electronic processing systems.

  • The first group of numbers — routing numbers — identify your bank as Peoples Bank. They are used to process your check.
  • The second set of numbers contains your checking account number. You'll find this number printed on your deposit slips too (located at the back of your packet of checks). You should memorize this number.
  • The third set of numbers is the number of the check you just wrote.

Steps for writing a check

  1. Start by writing in the date using any format, as long as it’s legible. Use the current date.
  2. Write the name of the person or company receiving your check on the line that starts with “Pay to the Order of”.
  3. Write the numerical dollar amount of the check in the small space that starts with a dollar sign ($) so that it reads like this: $36.78.
  4. Write the same amount using words for whole dollars, a fractional figure for the amounts less than a dollar, and a straight line to fill up the remaining space on the line ending with the word “Dollars,” like this: Thirty-six and 78/100 -----------------------------Dollars.
  5. Sign the signature line at the lower right.
  6. Note the check number, date, payee and amount in the check registry at the front of your checkbook.
  7. Subtract the amount of the check so that you will know how much you have left in your account.

Record Transactions in your register

Many banks offer duplicate checks, which means that after you tear out the check you've just written, a sort of tissue paper copy of the check remains in your checkbook. This is the duplicate check. Duplicate checks give you a record of all the checks you write. They can act as a handy record.

But whether or not you use duplicate checks, you should keep an up to date record of all the checks you have written in your check register. That way you always know how much money you have in your checking account.

How to use your debit MasterCard at an ATM

An ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is a machine you can use 24 hours a day to withdraw cash and check your balance. Below are simple steps to withdraw cash at an ATM.

  1. Insert your Peoples Bank debit MasterCard in the ATM.
  2. Enter your 4 digit PIN number and press the enter button.
  3. Press the button for “Withdrawal”
  4. Fee Notice Screen – If you get this screen, it means that the owner of the ATM assesses a surcharge for processing the transaction at that machine. If you do not agree to pay the fee, select "No" and the transaction will cancel. Either go to the nearest surcharge free ATM or use the “cash back” feature at a merchant when making a purchase with your card.
  5. Press the button “From Checking”
  6. Enter the amount you wish to withdraw and press the correct button.
  7. You will be asked if you would like to complete another transaction. Press either “Yes” or “No”
  8. Take your cash and your card.
  9. Retain your receipt.
  10. Record the amount of the transaction in your check registry with date and any fees.
  11. Subtract the amount of the withdrawal so you will know how much money you have left.

Tips for safety when using the ATM at night

As with all financial transactions, please exercise discretion when using an ATM or night Deposit facility. For your own safety, be careful. The following suggestions may be helpful:


  1. Prepare for your transactions at home (for instance, by filling out a deposit slip) to minimize your time at the ATM or night deposit facility.
  2. Mark each transaction in your account record, but not while at the ATM or night deposit facility. Always save your ATM receipts. Don't leave them at the ATM or night deposit facility because they may contain important account information.
  3. Compare your records with the account statements you receive.
  4. Don't lend your ATM/Debit card to anyone.
  5. Remember; do not leave your card at the ATM. Do not leave any documents at a night deposit facility.
  6. Protect the secrecy of your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Protect your ATM/Debit card as though it were cash. Don't tell anyone your PIN. Don't give anyone information regarding your ATM/Debit card or PIN over the telephone. Don't write your PIN where it can be discovered. For example, don't keep a note of your PIN in your wallet or purse.
  7. Prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN by using your body to shield their view.
  8. If you lose your ATM/Debit card or if it is stolen, promptly notify us. You should consult the other disclosures you have received about electronic fund transfers for additional information about what to do if your card is lost or stolen.
  9. When you make a transaction, be aware of your surroundings. Look out for suspicious activity near the ATM or night deposit facility, particularly if it is after sunset. At night, be sure that the facility (including the parking area and walkways) is well lighted. Consider having someone accompany you when you use the facility, especially after sunset. If you observe any problem, go to another ATM or night deposit facility.
  10. Don't accept assistance from anyone you don't know when using an ATM or night deposit facility.
  11. If you notice anything suspicious or if any other problem arises after you have begun an ATM transaction, you may want to cancel the transaction, pocket your card and leave. You might consider using another ATM or coming back later.
  12. Don't display your cash; pocket it as soon as the ATM transaction is completed and count the cash later when you are in the safety of your own car, home, or other secure surrounding.
  13. At a drive-up facility, make sure all the car doors are locked and all of the windows are rolled up, except the driver's window. Keep the engine running and remain alert to your surroundings.
  14. We want the ATM and night deposit facility to be safe and convenient for you. Therefore, please tell us if you know of any problem with a facility. For instance, let us know if a light is not working or there is any damage to a facility. Please report any suspicious activity or crimes to both the operator of the facility and the local law enforcement officials immediately.

How to use your debit MasterCard at retailers, stores, restaurants, & gas stations

A merchant may ask you “Credit” or “Debit”. The easiest and most convenient way to use your card is to select “Credit” and simply sign your receipt. You can also use your card when you make a purchase and select “Debit”. A PIN number is required and this allows you to request to get cash back, if you wish. Cash back is when you make a purchase and ask for more money back on a purchase.

How to use your debit MasterCard to pay bills like rent, utility bills, cell phone, cable, etc..

The debit MasterCard can be used for making payments with companies who accept MasterCard®. Simply call the company and provide your 16 digit card number and the amount you wish to pay.

How can my account be used to pay bills when they do not accept debit MasterCard?

Your account is an FDIC-Insured bank account and you may establish recurring monthly payments (rent, insurance or any payment in a fixed amount) to companies by providing them with your account number and the bank’s routing number found at the bottom of your checks.

How to use your account to pay bills online with Peoples EZ bill pay

You can go to www.pbparis.com and sign up for our internet banking. You may schedule payments to be made to companies and individuals one-time or on a recurring basis by logging into Peoples EZ Pay. Simply follow the instructions.

What to do if your card is lost or stolen

If you believe that your card has been lost, stolen or used by an unauthorized person, or your PIN is discovered by an unauthorized person call Customer Service immediately at 1-903-783-3800 or toll free at 1-800-454-5688. You may also come to any of our three locations listed at the end of this document. Lost/Stolen reporting by phone is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will cancel your card and a new card will be ordered at your request.

Which should you choose "debit" or "credit" when using your card?

Your Peoples Bank debit MasterCard transaction can be processed in two different ways – depending on how you use the card: “Debit” with a PIN-number entered or by selecting “Credit” and the transaction is then processed by MasterCard.

Press “Debit” … and enter your PIN when you want to get cash back on a transaction. Press Credit… 1. It’s the easy and convenient way to check out - simply swipe, sign, and go! 2. When you select “Credit” your debit MasterCard has additional protection under MasterCard’s Zero-Liability Policy from fraud and unauthorized charges. Other forms of payment, such as transactions using a PIN (Debit transactions), are not processed by MasterCard and the additional protection does not apply.

What does available balance mean?

Your available balance is the amount of money in your account that is currently available to you under our funds availability policy. Your available balance reflects all posted transactions, electronic transactions (ATM) performed, and any pending credits, holds or point-of–sale purchases of which we have been notified. The available balance does not include any checks you may have written that have not cleared your account.

What are "pending transactions" & "authorization holds"?

Pending transactions refer to credits, debits and holds that have not yet posted to your account. Transactions made with your card using a PIN typically are posted to your account on the same day the transaction is made or on the next business day. Transactions made with your card, without your PIN, may take several business days to post to your account. In some cases, the amount of the pending transaction may not match the actual amount of the transaction. This is common. Some merchants, including restaurants and gas stations, will place an initial hold (known as an “authorization” hold) on the account for a higher or lower dollar amount. This initial hold is placed to ensure that sufficient funds are available in your account. This type of hold is credited back to your account once the transaction has been completely processed, which may take several days. Only the actual amount of your transaction will be posted to your account.

How to Reconcile your account

Each month, the bank will send you a checking account statement. This statement shows your account activity for the past month like fees, ATM withdrawals, deposits and checks that have been cashed. You will usually find that the bank statement balance is different from the balance in your checking account register. This is because you may have written checks or used your ATM or debit card after the closing date of your monthly statement. Tracking and find this difference is called reconciling your checking account.

Common Definitions & Terminology

ATM (Automated Teller Machine) – An ATM is a machine you can use 24 hours a day to: deposit; withdraw; and transfer money. Use of an ATM requires a card issued by the bank and a personal identification number (PIN). You can use the ATM for many services, but there might be a fee involved. Most people use the ATM to get cash from their account. If you use another bank’s ATM, you might be charged an additional fee.

Available Balance – Your available balance is the amount of money in your account that is currently available to you under our funds availability policy. Your available balance reflects all posted transactions, electronic transactions (ATM) performed, and any pending credits, holds or point-of–sale purchases of which we have been notified.

Automated Telephone Banking – allows you to:

  • Check your account
  • Transfer money
  • Obtain account history
  • Change your PIN
  • Report a lost, stolen or damaged card

Debit Card – is a plastic card that:

  • Is used to pay for goods or services; and
  • has a MasterCard or Visa logo and a magnetic strip on the back that allows you to pay for goods and services at stores and other businesses that accept MasterCard or Visa credit cards. When you use a debit card, the money comes out of your bank account immediately. The debit card also functions as an ATM card.

Deposit – a deposit is money you add to your account.

Direct Deposit – is one way of getting your paycheck or benefit check electronically.

Fees – is when banks take money out of your account for services.

Overdrafts – Overdrafts are also called insufficient funds, non-sufficient funds, or NSF. You are charged an overdraft fee when you don’t have enough money in your account to pay for the transaction. To avoid these fees, remember to keep good records and know how much money you have in your checking account.

Pending Transactions and Authorization Holds – Pending transactions refer to credits, debits and holds that have not yet posted to your account. Transactions made with your card using a PIN typically are posted to your account on the same day the transaction is made or on the next business day. Transactions made with your card, without your PIN, may take several business days to post to your account. In some cases, the amount of the pending transaction may not match the actual amount of the transaction. This is common. Some merchants, including restaurants and gas stations, will place an initial hold (known as an “authorization” hold) on the account for a higher or lower dollar amount. This initial hold is placed to ensure that sufficient funds are available in your account. This type of hold is credited back to your account once the transaction has been completely processed, which may take several days. Only the actual amount of your transaction will be posted to your account.

PIN (Personal Identification Number) – A PIN is a special password or set of numbers to use your debit or ATM card. The PIN is used for security purposes, so no one else can access your account.

Withdrawal – is the process of taking money from your account using: Checks; ATMs; and Purchases at Merchants

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