Banking in a COVID-19 World
It’s no secret that our world has drastically changed in the past few months. Our new normal will take some adjusting to get used to, and we are preparing for that in our branches now.
While we are currently operating through the drive thru and in branch, by appointment only, we will eventually be reopening our doors when it is safe to do so. Please remember that we are following all guidelines set by the CDC, PA Department of Health and the governor to keep our members, employees and vendors safe.
We currently have a dedicated page on our website to keep members informed about AmeriChoice’s response and actions related to COVID-19. We are updating the page when new information is available regarding the pandemic and our response.
Like many businesses, our branches will have some noticeable changes when we reopen to aid in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Our employees will be wearing masks, and we ask that members who enter the building also wear a mask. If you don’t have one, we can provide one. We will have social distancing markers on the floor and ask that you follow the markers to keep everyone safe. And our tellers and financial service representatives will have Plexiglas barriers for added protection. We are also diligently making sure to disinfect those high touch surface areas frequently, along with increased cleanings in our buildings.
In the event that you are not comfortable coming into the branch, we are able to do curbside service for many transactions (not including cash transactions). Please remember to wear a mask and have all of your documents ready so our employees are able to assist you in the most efficient way possible. It is a good idea to call and speak with a representative at a branch to set a time to come and let them know directly when you arrive.
Convenience and Digital Services
For member convenience now and going forward, we have implemented electronic closings for many loan types, which allow members to review and sign loan documents from the safety and comfort of their own homes. Our Financial Service Representatives and Loan Officers are happy to assist you with questions. If you are not able to sign these documents electronically, please make an appointment with one of our branches to sign these documents.
Our digital services provide members the opportunity to deposit, transfer funds, pay bills, and review account history on a computer or mobile phone. First, you’ll want to sign up for Online Banking, which is the service that allows you to access the majority of our eServices. Online Banking allows you to check your balance, transfer funds and go over your account history from the safety and comfort of your home. Online Banking also offers electronic bill payments and account to account (A2A) transfers. These services are able to not only save you time, but will keep you safe at home. Beyond doing normal transactions, our FOCUS personal financial management tool allows you the opportunity to set and track financial goals, set alerts, manage cashflow, and aggregate your accounts at AmeriChoice and elsewhere for a robust overall view of your finances.
AmeriChoice also has a mobile app, available for iPhones, iPads and Droid devices. The app allows members to access their accounts from their mobile devices and do many of the same things that Online Banking does in the palm of their hand. Mobile Banking also gives members the option to remotely deposit checks into their accounts from anywhere. Simply follow the directions in the app and you’re good to go.
All members have access to our Audio Response Banking system as well. Simply call our main AmeriChoice number (717) 697-3474 and follow the prompts to get you to Audio Response. This system allows you to call in to learn about your account balances and complete some transactions such as transfers.
Protecting Members and Avoiding Scams
While we have all been social distancing, scammers have been hard at work trying to trick you into giving out your personal information. Please remember, AmeriChoice (or the Federal Government) will never contact you and ask for your personal or account information over the phone. If you feel like you may have been a victim of a Coronavirus scam, please contact us immediately. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Many Americans who were still waiting for their stimulus checks have been surprised to discover that they received a debit card rather than a check. These debit cards have been arriving in unmarked white envelopes, so be on the lookout if you have not yet received it. Members can bring the debit cards to a branch and complete a cash advance through the drive thru to access funds. Ask a representative or refer to the information provided in the mail with the stimulus debit card for more information and details.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, many people in Pennsylvania have received PA Unemployment payments that they did not apply or qualify for. Please be aware, if you received a payment to not cash the checks or use the funds, as that is considered fraud. Please refer to the PA Department of Labor website for instructions on how to return funds.
If you have not taken advantage of Benefits Plus Ultimate ID, ask a representative how you can add the service to your checking account to help monitor and protect against ID theft and fraud. With tools like a monthly score tracker, constant tri-bureau credit monitoring, and dark web monitoring, this is an added peace of mind that many AmeriChoice members enjoy.
Getting Members Back on Their Feet
If you have been affected financially by COVID-19, we have a number of solutions to help. If you currently have an AmeriChoice loan, speak with a representative about how we can help put your in the best possible financial situation. Available options include no cost Skip-a-Pays for members with qualifying loans, and our new Supplemental Income Loan. This new and limited time loan sweeps the difference between your monthly income and any unemployment compensation you have been provided in to your account so you can continue to live comfortably.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to seeing you in the branches when it becomes safe to do so!