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DEBIT CARD CONTROLS

Best of friends: Your debit card and mobile app.

Just tap the app. Then you can turn your debit card on or off if lost or stolen. Lock in geographic boundaries and even set what types of items you usually buy and how much you can spend. Working together, your app and debit card offer total flexibility and security.

It’s a shield. It’s an app. Easily protect your debit card with our mobile app.


With debit card controls* available in your mobile banking app, you can:

  • Turn your debit card on/off if lost or stolen.
  • Set locations to prevent purchases outside your geographic area.
  • Set limits on transactions, including dollar amounts/merchant categories.
  • Set push notification alerts for all transactions or specific uses based on merchant or transaction types.
  • Set alerts for exceeding threshold amounts.

Plus, you don’t need to download any additional apps. The First Merchants mobile app is the perfect companion for protecting your debit card.

DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APP TODAY!

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*Merchant restrictions on customer-placed transactions may be subject to MasterCard® definitions and limitations. Any questions should be directed to First Merchants Customer Service at 1-800-205-3464.

Debit Card Controls and Alerts Guide and FAQs

Debit Card Controls

Set Transaction Type Controls for your Debit Card

With Transaction Type controls, you can decide what types of purchases you want your First Merchants debit card to be capable of; for example, if you don't want to allow online purchases using your debit card, simply turn them off! You can enable or disable six different types of transactions on any debit card that you control. Transaction types include:

  • In-Store Purchases
  • eCommerce Online Purchases
  • Mail or Phone Order Purchases
  • Auto Pay Purchases
  • ATM Transactions
  • "Other" Transactions not matching the above noted categories

Set Spending Limits for your Debit Card

Turn on the Threshold Amount feature to set a monetary threshold for purchases. Any time a purchase exceeds that amount, it will be declined. This is useful for:

  • Helping Prevent Overspending
  • Protecting Your Account From Large Fraudulent Purchases

Control Where Your Debit Card is Used

With Location & Merchant Controls, you'll be able to block international purchases, map out and create specific "regions" where your card purchases will be accepted, or even block specific types of merchant transactions from your card. 

Regions allows you to define up to three (3) geographical areas in which transactions are permitted.

Merchant Types allows you to disable transactions at specific merchant types, such as Department Stores or Gas Stations.

Know When Your Card Is Used

In the Alerts Menu, you'll be able to turn on alerts for each of your cards to notify you when a purchase is made. You can be alerted to all transactions or specific transactions or amounts, such as:

  • Specific Merchant Type Alerts (e.g. Gas Stations, Restaurants, etc)
  • Transaction Type Alerts (e.g. In-Store, eCommerce, ATM, etc)
  • International Transaction Alerts
  • Transactions that exceed a minimum threshold amount

DEBIT CARD CONTROL GUIDE

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FAQs

What is a Threshold Amount Alert?
  • A threshold amount alert is the dollar amount that, if exceeded, will trigger an alert. If a transaction exceeds your defined amount, an alert will be delivered to your mobile device.

Who should I contact if I have questions regarding Card Controls or to Report Fraud?
  • Contact Customer Service at 1.800.205.3464.

How are Transaction Types Used?
  • Use transaction types to control which types of transactions are permitted. For example, if you do not often travel internationally, you can disable international transactions until required.

If I have multiple cards, can I pick and choose which ones I would like to control?
  • Yes, just swipe the button next to each debit card to select your card.

What is the International Alert?
  • The international alert is similar to the transaction type alerts, but is a category of its own. It can be set to on or off. If International is enabled, an alert will be delivered any time the card is used in a transaction outside of the registered country.

If I disable my card, are all transactions stopped?
  • Most transactions will be denied while your card is disabled, however, any recurring payments that you have established using your debit card number will be allowed through for processing (e.g. Netflix, etc).

How do I create a region?
  • Create a region by zooming in and out on the map or by entering search criteria. Although the visible area on your map is square, the region is contained within a circle. The areas within the corners of your map are included as part of the region.

How are Transaction Types Alerts Used?
  • Use transaction type alerts to control which types of transactions trigger an alert. For example, if you do not often make online purchases, you could enable eCommerce to receive an alert when an enrolled debit card is used in an online transaction.

How are Merchant Types used?
  • Use merchant types to permit or restrict your debit card from being used with specific categories of merchants, such as restaurants and department stores. For example, you can enable the merchant types for groceries and fuel for everyday purchases, but disable entertainment and travel until required.*

    *When you place a merchant type control or alert, it is subject to MasterCard definitions and limitations. If you have questions, please contact Customer Service at 1.800.205.3464.

How do I block international transactions?
  • You can block your debit card from being used internationally by enabling the Block International option on the Location Controls screen. Blocking international transactions will disable all set regions.

How are businesses assigned a merchant category?
  • A merchant category is assigned based on the merchant’s primary line of business by the card processor.*

    *When you place a merchant type control or alert, it is subject to MasterCard definitions and limitations. If you have questions, please contact Customer Service at 1.800.205.3464.
What is a threshold amount?
  • A threshold amount is the maximum dollar amount for a point-of-sale transaction. If a transaction exceeds your defined amount, the transaction is declined.

How are Merchant Types Alerts Used?
  • Use merchant type alerts to receive an alert whenever the enrolled card is used with specific categories of merchants, such as restaurants and department stores. For example, you can disable the merchant type alerts for groceries and fuel for everyday purchases, but enable alerts for entertainment and travel.

If I temporarily lose my card, can I turn it off until it is located?
  • Yes, you simply access Debit Card Controls through the First Merchants Mobile App and disable the card. Once the card has been found, you can enable it again.

What are Debit Card Alerts?
  • Debit Card Alerts enable you to receive notifications of recent debit card transactions. You can activate or deactivate debit card alerts, set debit card alerts for specific types of merchants and/or transaction types, and select a threshold transaction amount for receiving a debit card alert.

How do I access Debit Card Controls?
  • Debit Card Controls are accessible in the First Merchants Mobile App:

    1. Log in to the First Merchants Mobile App
    2. Select “More” and choose “Debit Card Controls” (if you do not see this option, make sure that you have downloaded the latest update for the First Merchants Mobile App)
    3. Select your debit card
If I turn a Debit Card Control option on or off, how long will it take to update?
  • Your debit card settings will be updated immediately.

Who can use Debit Card Controls?
Can I update a joint account owners Debit Card Controls?
  • No, you will only have access to update controls for your own debit card.

What are regions?
  • Regions allow you to assign each eligible debit card to a geographical area. When a point-of-sale transaction is initiated, we compare the merchant’s location with your defined regions. Your device does not have to be physically within a defined region for the transaction to be approved. If the transaction occurs outside of your region(s), it is denied.

What features are available using Debit Card Controls?
  • Card Controls includes several options to manage and monitor your payment activity:

    • Lock or unlock your debit card if you misplace or lose it
    • Location Controls enables you to designate areas where your card can be used or block international transactions
    • Transaction Types enables you to block certain transaction types like ATM or online transactions
    • Merchant Types enables you to block certain types of merchants such as restaurants or department stores.
    • Threshold Amounts allows you to set a specific limit (lower than the default amount) for debit card transactions. Any transactions over this threshold will be declined.
How do I know a control is enabled?
  • The toggle will appear green.

What are Debit Card Controls?
  • Debit Card Controls is a function within the First Merchants Mobile App that allows you to control how, when and where your debit card is used, keeping your card safe and providing instant notifications whenever your card is used. You can activate or deactivate cards, restrict card usage to specific types of merchants and/or transaction types, establish threshold amounts and allow cards to only be used in specific geographical regions.

If I turn a feature off using Debit Card Controls, will it affect any other cards accessing the same account?
  •  No, if you turn a feature off through Debit Card Controls, it will only apply to your debit card.

What should I do if my settings do not update immediately?
  • Normally, your debit card settings will be updated immediately. However, Debit Card Controls is reliant on computer and telecommunication systems. Disruptions to these systems may result in delays in updates to Debit Card Control settings from time to time. Your settings will be updated as soon as the disruption is resolved.