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Debit Card Fraud Protection

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Keeping your account safe and secure is our highest priority. At Northwest Bank we are committed to providing our customers with the latest and most secure technology available.  


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Image of mobile phone iconAUTOMATED TEXT MESSAGES & PHONE CALLS

You may receive fraud alerts as part of our debit card protection program 24/7 when suspicious activity is detected on your Northwest Bank debit card. This allows for faster communication in detecting potential fraudulent activity. 

TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS FROM: 37-268
AUTOMATED PHONE CALLS FROM: 800-279-2674

Make sure to save these numbers to your contacts so you don't miss any alerts. This added protection to your debit card is automatic and text message alerts are free. Please make sure Northwest Bank always has your current contact information so we can ensure you are properly reached if fraudulent activity is suspected.

Contact a Northwest Bank Representative.

  • Contact a Northwest Bank Representative M-F from 7:00 am - 7:00 pm or Saturday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at 1-800-678-4105
  • During after hours, please contact the Card Processing Center at 1-800-472-3272

Always let Northwest Bank know when you plan to travel out of state and out of the country. This can help avoid potential blocks on your debit card allowing you to use it more freely.
In case your debit card is blocked from fraudulent transactions, we recommend always carrying multiple forms of payment with you.

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Northwest Bank Card Secure (CardValet®)

Our Northwest Bank Card Secure App (CardValet®) lets you control all of your debit cards. Save time and gain peace of mind knowing you can control the cards in your wallet with the phone in your pocket

Just download the Northwest Bank Card Secure app to your smartphone from the App Store or Google Play and register. Then, customize your usage settings and alert preferences to manage your cards.

click to download card secure from the app store     click to download from the google play store

  • Real-time alerts keep you informed when your cards are used
  • Transaction controls allow your cards to work only in specific locations or geographic areas
  • When your cards are "off," no withdrawals or purchases will be approved

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Image of money FRAUD MANAGER

Enfact is fraud prevention software from our debit card provider, that helps identify and reduce fraud risk by detecting potentially fraudulent PIN-based and signature-based debit transactions. It has a proven reputation of helping minimize payment card fraud losses.

How does it work?

Enfact reviews how and where your card is being used and scores transactions based on transaction data and cardholder profile factors. Each transaction is given a score from one to 999, and the higher the score, the greater the likelihood that the transaction is fraudulent.

What happens if fraudulent activity is detected on my debit card?

A Fraud Specialist will call you if any suspicious activity is detected on your account. If they are unable to reach you, they will leave a message with their contact information.

On high risk activity scenarios they will suspend activity immediately on your debit card until they can talk to you to determine if the risk is fraudulent activity or not. This process has saved our customers thousands of dollars in potential loss. 

What information will I be asked for?

They will ask you to verify your address. Once your address has been verified, they will then ask you to confirm your purchase activity. They will never ask for your personal information, such as the last four digits of your Social Security number, security codes, etc. 

What if my debit card is declined at a merchant location?

One of the reasons may be that it was flagged as highly likely to be fraud, based on the way you typically use your card. If your transaction is declined for that reason, you will receive a phone call from a Fraud Specialist to verify the transaction. If it was a legitimate transaction, the details will be made part of your card profile so that these types of transactions have a greater chance of being approved in the future.

 Tips for preventing card fraud on your account...

  • Memorize your PIN. Don ‘t write it on your card or anything you carry near your card.
  • Don’t tell anyone your PIN or account number.
  • Don’t loan anyone your card.
  • Report lost or stolen cards immediately. You may be liable for activity on your card if you do not report it as lost or stolen.
  • NEVER give your PIN over the phone, especially cellular phones.
  • NEVER respond to a link or phone number in an e-mail message requesting personal information. Phishers often use this scam to trick you into divulging personal data


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image of clock  REAL TIME TRANSACTION PROCESSING

With real-time processing, your account will automatically be updated whenever a transaction is processed with your Northwest Bank debit card. Whether you use your debit card every two minutes or two hours, you’ll appreciate having the most up-to-date account information available — immediately. 

How it Works.
When you swipe your card at a business, an authorization will take place immediately. This initial authorization will appear right away on your account and be visible to you through internet banking. Once the business ends their business day and sends their debit card transactions for processing, the actual transaction will post to your account. This will help you understand why a transaction could be pending for 1 day or 3 days, it’s all dependent on the business and when they send their transactions for processing.

Authorization Vs. Posted Transaction.
The initial authorization and the actual posted transaction may differ in amounts, dependent on the type of business you use your card at. The following are a few examples of when the authorization and actual transaction may be different:

  • Pay at the pump gas station authorizations will always be different than the actual amount that posts to your account. Gas stations won’t know how much your total fuel purchase is until the end, so the authorization amount will verify the validity of the card and the actual transaction that’s posted to your account will be for the amount of your fuel purchase. Gas stations authorize anywhere from $1.00 to $75.00.
  • Restaurants often authorize the transaction for 20% more than your bill. They will then adjust your transaction to correctly reflect the tip amount and this will be the amount that posts to your account.
  • Hotels usually authorize for amount greater than the agreed upon to possibly cover any incidentals or extra charges. At the end of your stay, only the amount that you are responsible for will be processed and charged to your account.

Enhanced Security.
Real-time processing will also help further protect your account from potential fraud. With automatic updates to your account balance, you’ll be able to view all your account transactions right away. If you notice any suspicious activity on your account, report it immediately to Northwest Bank.


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image of back and front of debit card   CHIP CARD TECHNOLOGY

A chip card, also known as an EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) card is equipped with a small metal square "chip", which adds an extra layer of security when you make purchases at chip-enabled terminals. The chip within the card stores account information more securely and the technology provides protection against fraudsters creating a replica of your card. 

EMV / Chip Card FAQs   

The purchasing process will be the same as it is now, except your card is inserted and will remain in the terminal during the entire transaction process, rather than being swiped through the card reader. If you swipe your chip card at a chip-enabled terminal, the terminal will prompt you to insert the card if it’s capable of supporting a chip transaction. If the terminal is not chip-enabled you will swipe your card to complete the transaction.

How Does EMV Work

EMV What's the DifferenceEMV / Chip Cards are becoming the global standard for credit and debit card payments. EMV technology is a micro computer chip embedded in standard bank cards. These chips store and help protect your cardholder data. EMV / Chip Card technology has already been adopted Internationally with proven success in the reduction of card-present fraud.

Chip technology adds an additional layer of security to each of your card transactions. Each transaction is approved using a unique encrypted authentication code, making it far more difficult to copy or access your personal information. That unique one-time transaction information also prevents a thief from making any additional purchases with stolen card data. It’s important to remember that chip card safety measures only apply to in-person or card-present transactions.

A chip card is the same size, shape, and weight as your current Northwest Bank Debit Card. Chip Cards will have a chip on the front and a magnetic stripe on the back. You may need to use one or the other, depending on whether the merchant offers a chip-enabled terminal. It’s important to know that your card will work when used correctly.

What does a Chip Card look like

*Standard text messaging fees may apply. Contact your mobile service provider for more details.

Keep Tabs on Your Debit Card!

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Get on-the-go debit card alerts.
Get the Card Secure app today!

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