Customers deal with canceled cards
No more quick swipes. No more thin wallet. No machine spitting out cash. Nicole Eidsness hardly knows what to do. She's addicted to her debit card. But the 23-year-old was among millions nationwide affected by last week's security breach at an Ar...
No more quick swipes. No more thin wallet. No machine spitting out cash.
Nicole Eidsness hardly knows what to do. She's addicted to her debit card.
But the 23-year-old was among millions nationwide affected by last week's security breach at an Arizona company that processes credit cards and payments for banks and businesses.
Western State Bank in Fargo and West Fargo canceled her debit card. Her new one won't arrive for about a week.
"It's just crazy," Eidsness said. "Yesterday I wrote out a check and had to think about how to spell 'four.' "
For consumers hooked on convenience, last week's security violation of names, banks and account numbers hit hard.
Some local banks like State Bank and Trust canceled all debit cards at the first hint of fraud.
The bank sent letters to customers and ordered new cards immediately, said Jim Martin, the bank's security officer. It affected between 15 percent and 20 percent of the bank's debit card users, he said. He wouldn't release exact numbers.
State Bank and Trust represents about 29 percent of the local market.
"A few people complained they were being inconvenienced and we tried to explain we're actually protecting them," Martin said.
At Gate City in Fargo, customers were alerted by letter and could opt to cancel their cards, said Al Erickson, chief financial officer.
The bank also reassured customers they wouldn't be at risk for losses, but they should monitor their accounts.
Scott Staiger, 35, who banks at Fargo's State Bank, appreciates the fact his bank canceled cards.
He uses his instant cash card 20 to 30 times a month. It's easier than lugging a checkbook and less worrisome than carrying wads of cash, he said.
But after his card was canceled, Staiger started writing checks again.
"I'd rather be safe than sorry," he said. "The inconvenience isn't that big of a deal, even if I prefer the card."
He was just thankful the card wasn't canceled while he was on a recent trip to Chicago.
BNC National Bank in Stanley, N.D., alerted Chad Lystad, 25, his account number was among those stolen.
The Fargo man uses his check card for gas and groceries.
So far, he hasn't used a checkbook because cash from his bartending job covers most expenses.
Not everybody minds getting along without a debit card.
Ted Veen, owner of Ted's Northport Conoco in Fargo, said his business's credit card volume has been consistent since news of the security breach.
It hasn't affected him personally, either.
"I have one, but I haven't tried to use it," the 65-year-old said. "I stick mostly to the checkbook. I'm old-fashioned."
As for Eidsness, she's making do. For cash, she writes checks $20 over the cost of her purchase if she can. She uses a second credit card for things like gas.
And she keeps telling herself, it's for only a few more days.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Erin Hemme Froslie at (701) 241-5534