On Your Side Alert: App lets users lock debit card

On Your Side Alert: App lets users lock debit card

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Just how safe is your money in the bank? Consumers now have a new tool to protect their cash. Right now, some banks are offering an App that allows you to switch your debit card on or off -- with the push of a button.

Taking cash out of the ATM is quick, convenient and easy but if your card is lost, stolen or your account is hacked, crooks can get their hands on your money. It's a scary thought but a new banking app offers piece of mind.

"I think everybody is security conscious today, if you have a debit card, you've heard of all of the stories of people's debit cards being taken," Jim Cherry, CEO of Park Sterling Bank said.

Cherry's bank is among the growing number of financial institutions offering the on-off feature. This all happens in real time. With a simple download on your smart phone -- you will have complete control of your debit card. Just the push of a button and you can turn your card on and off anytime and anywhere.

"If you lose your debit card or you've lost your purse or wallet, just turn it off and you don't need to worry about it. You can call and get a replacement card," Cherry explained.

It's really just that simple but the goal is huge. The purpose is to give you a leg up over the crooks and fight back against the stealing and hacking of card numbers. Cherry says it's a hit with his customers.

"They like it and some of the funnier responses are from those who ask, can I turn my children's on or off or my spouses on or off," Cherry said.

Not all banks offer the App but Cherry believes it will soon be the norm in mobile banking security. If you are wondering what happens if you lose your phone, Cherry says you can use a computer or even a friend's phone to download the App and lock or unlock it. Banking experts say even if you have the App, you still should check your account on a regular basis for suspicious activity.

You can always check with your bank to see if they offer the on-off debit App. Park Sterling Bank also offers an App called Picture Pay. Just take a photo of any bill or invoice with your phone and submit it for payment .




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