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Personal Banking Tips

We are here to help you with all your banking needs, including helping you avoid any costly fees. There are several tools and behaviors that will help you avoid unnecessary fees:

Direct Deposit - We encourage customers to take advantage of Direct Deposit at any opportunity. It's safe and fast. Ask your employer how to set up direct deposit of your payroll check. You can designate all or a portion of your payroll check to be direct deposited. Receiving government checks in the mail Call your provider and set up direct deposit. All you need is the Watertown Savings Bank routing number and your account number.

WSB Routing Number: 2113 7017 6

If you are registered for WSB Online, you can arrange to have an alert sent to you that lets you know your deposit was received. Click the "message" link within WSB Online.

Lost or stolen ATM or debit card Call 800-554-8969 immediately to report a lost or stolen ATM or debit card.

Seven Steps to Safer Mobile Banking
1. Create a device password
2. Look for 'https' in browser
3. Download bank apps from reputable sources
4. Be cautious on Wi-Fi networks
5. Change banking passwords regularly
6. Report a lost phone to your phone company and bank
7. Add your bank to your contact list
*boston.com 1/10/11

Non-sufficient Funds Fees (aka NSF or overdraft fees) - Everyone makes mistakes. And these days many people are using checks, debit cards, online bill pay, preauthorized payments, etc. so making a mistake is easier than ever. That is why we strongly recommend all checking account customers set up transfer overdraft protection, or TOPS. With the TOPS you designate a companion savings account that can be accessed if you inadvertently overdraw your account.

ATM Surcharges - The proprietors of most ATMs throughout the country issue a surcharge to non-customers who use their machines. You can avoid those surcharges by looking for the SUM logo before you use an ATM. Watertown Savings Bank customers can use any machine advertising SUM with no surcharge. Currently there are over 6,000 SUM machines throughout the country. Most within the six New England states. To locate an SUM machine visit www.sum-atm.com.

Late Payment Fees - Making a loan payment after the due date can be costly and can hurt your credit rating. Setting up auto payment is one of the most surefire ways to be confident your payments arrive on time. You can call the Lending Department at 617-928-9000 to set up auto payments.

You can also schedule payments through our internet banking system or online bill pay. Both of these systems have alerts and reminders available to use as well.

Fraudulent Checks - There are hundreds of scams going on at any one time and your best protection against losing money to one of these schemes is to know the company or person who gives you a check. There are many variations of check fraud. They often occur when someone:

  • Buys something you advertised for sale
  • Pays you to work at home
  • Gives you an advance on a sweepstakes win
  • Gives you the first installment if you agree to transfer money to a foreign country.

If you are concerned about a check, contact the National Fraud Information Center at www.fraud.org or 800-876-7060. Remember, you are responsible for the checks you deposit.

Has My Check Cleared Every day millions of checks are cashed or deposited in banks and credit unions across America. Every bank and credit union must provide its customers with its "Funds Availability Policy" that describes its practices for making funds available for withdrawal after deposit.

BUT- and this is a big "but,"- when a bank or credit union tells you that your funds are "available for withdrawal," it is NOT telling you that your check has "cleared" or that your check will be paid by the bank on which it is drawn.

What's the difference "Available for withdrawal" is a legal term defined by federal law and regulations designed to provide customers with quick access to their funds. It is based on the premise that the vast majority of checks are processed quickly through the payments systems and are drawn on legitimate accounts that have sufficient balances to pay the check.

Unfortunately, some checks are fraudulent or are drawn on accounts with insufficient funds or that have been closed. This is a real concern for consumers and financial institutions, as fraudulent checks are always circulating.

A common example is what's known as the "cashier's check scam." In this scam, a consumer advertising an item for sale receives what looks to be a legitimate cashier's check for more than the sales price from a buyer, and is asked to deposit the check into the seller's account, then wire some of the "excess" to a third party the seller does not know.

It may take weeks or even months for the counterfeit cashier's check to come back to the customer's bank unpaid, especially if the check is drawn on a bank outside the U.S. These scams are also run with counterfeit money orders and treasury checks.

Technically, there is no simple way for your bank to declare with certainty that a check you have deposited to your account is "good" or will clear, unless the check is drawn on another account at your bank.

Just because the funds are "available for withdrawal" doesn't mean that the check you have deposited will be paid by the bank or credit union on which it is drawn. Some checks can take many days or even weeks to be paid, depending on several factors, including the bank's location. And because of privacy and security concerns, many banks will not confirm- even for another bank- whether a check has been paid.

Tips for Consumers

  • Never accept a check or money order under any condition that requires you to deposit the item, then wire a portion of the amount to a third party you do not know. This is almost always a SCAM!!
  • Understand that while most checks are "available for withdrawal" quickly, as a depositor, you are responsible for checks and money orders you deposit. If a check you have deposited is returned to your bank unpaid (it "bounces"), and you have already withdrawn the funds, your bank has the right to obtain reimbursement from you. You are responsible for any loss.
  • The best thing that you can do to protect yourself is to accept checks only from people or entities that you know.

To take advantage of any of these services or for further information, call Customer Support at 617-928-9000.

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©2014 Watertown Savings Bank. All Rights Reserved. | Headquarters: 60 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472 | tel: 800.207.2525