Economic Impact Payments - updated May 28, 2020
On May 27th, the Internal Revenue Service announced potentially confusing information about recently delivered stimulus payments. Rather than being made in the expected check format, the payments were made via prepaid debit cards. The cards are arriving in plain white envelopes. The envelopes might have the words 'Money Network Cardholder Services' printed on them, although some Abilene residents have received white envelopes without that wording.
This situation has all the marks of a scam but it is legitimate. The card inside the envelope has a dark blue background with white and copper stars. In the upper right hand corner it contains the words 'VISA DEBIT'.
The cards are accompanied by the informational insert shown below.
The Internal Revenue Service began releasing the Economic Impact Payments on April 10. Payments will be made via direct deposit or check. Here is information we've compiled to explain the process.
When will I Get My Payment?
- The Federal Reserve has advised us that direct deposits will come in waves. 80 million payments were deposited nationwide on April 15 and the rest are expected to follow relatively soon. We have not been advised of the timing of the waves nor which members are included in any particular wave. The Get my Payment website tool from the IRS allows you to input your Social Security number along with other identifying information and see the approximate date of your payment.
- The first paper checks will be mailed on May 1 and will continue through the summer. The final batch of checks will be mailed on September 4.
How will I get my payment?
- If you used direct deposit to receive a tax refund in 2018 or 2019, the IRS will direct deposit your check into the account you specified at that time.
- If you did not use direct deposit for your refund in 2018 or 2019, your payment check will arrive by mail. Mail is a slower delivery method and to speed up that process, the IRS has built a website tool named Get My Payment. Using this tool, consumers who are scheduled to receive a paper check can enter their banking information to receive the payment via direct deposit. Instructions further down this page will illustrate the information you will need to input.
- If you are not required to file a tax return because you are a senior citizen, a Social Security recipient or a railroad retiree, you do not need to do anything. The IRS will use the information contained on your 1099 forms to determine where to send your payment.
- If you are don't normally file a tax return (usually, but not always, due to low income level), the IRS has developed a non-filer tool that allows you to enter your identifying information, contact details, and (if applicable) banking information.
Stimulus Payment Advisory
Economic stimulus payments are expected to begin April 10 and will be delivered by direct deposit or check. Please be careful and protect yourself from scammers during this time by being aware of the following:
- The IRS will not contact you by phone, text or email.
- You will not be asked to pay a fee or confirm any personal information prior to receiving these funds
- Do not give out your personal financial or account information to anyone unless you have initiated the transaction
- If you received your stimulus funds by check, compare it to this sample below, taken from the US Treasury Department's website. You may also click here to verify a check with the Treasury Department.
We encourage you to use digital banking to verify the receipt of directly deposited funds. Checks may be deposited using the mobile check deposit feature in our app or at any of our drive through locations.
We are working throughout the credit union to lessen the economic impact of the coronavirus shutdown. Many members are now eligible to skip a couple of payments on vehicle, personal, and line of credit loans. (This is in addition to our traditional holiday Skip-A-Payment program.) If you use mobile banking, tap the More icon and look for the Skip-A-Payment menu option. Eligible loans will be shown there. In online banking, you'll find the information on the main landing page.
If you are wishing to skip a credit card payment on your ATFCU credit card, please contact a representative in our Cards Department.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 677-2274 or 800-677-6770 to discuss other financial difficulties.
Expanded Drive Thru Services
To assist members to maintain social distancing expanded services will be available in the drive-thru lanes at 349 N. Mockingbird, 2555 Buffalo Gap Road and 3849 Antilley Road. At those locations you can now request the following:
- Money Orders & Cashiers Checks
- Account Print Outs & Statement Copies
- Gift Cards & Theme Park Tickets
- Temporary Checks & Check Copies
- IRA & HSA Contributions
- Cash Advances
- Rolled Coin & Stamps
We expect long lines, particularly around the lunch hour(s). Please arrange your visit for a different time and be cautious and alert while waiting.
On the other hand, you may have a Need for Speed and don't need the extra services. In those situations, please visit our TellerConnect machines at 1181 E.N. 10th Street. Using those machines you can make deposits, withdraw cash and have a teller assist your with transactions (such as transfers) that don't require a drive-thru cannister.
Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union is Open
All credit unions and banks are required to adhere to the same business schedule as the Federal Reserve. The means that we must be open on the same days as the Federal Reserve and will not close our credit union business as we work through the management of the coronavirus. You will always have access to your accounts and your cash.
Safe Banking Tips
In uncertain times, a natural reaction may be to withdraw your cash and secure it somewhere else in fear that you won't be able to access your money. We cannot emphasize enough how dangerous it is to withdraw large amounts of cash to store in your home or elsewhere. The safest way for you to protect yourself and your money is to leave it securely deposited at the credit union, where your funds are federally insured.
If you don't already use a debit card, now would be an excellent time to start. It can be used nearly everywhere instead of carrying cash or writing checks. ATFCU is equipped to instantly issue debit cards so you won't have to wait 10 days for a card to arrive in the mail. Many members use their check register to keep track of debit card transactions, so you'll always be aware of your balance. Additional information is found on the debit card page of this website.
Scam artists take advantages of times like these to gain access to bank accounts. Protect yourself by being aware of suspicious emails and text messages. Keep your eyes open for medical supply scams, fraudulent charitable sites, or anything else that seems fishy. If it seems like it could be fraud, it probably is. Don't provide any sensitive personal information (passwords, user names, Social Security number) unless you are 100% certain you are dealing with a legitimate organization - one with who you made the initial contact. Do not click on links or download attachments in any emails unless you have contacted the sender to verify that he or she actually sent the message. Do not make purchases or donations on unknown sites.
Put Technology to Work
Limiting in-person social interaction is the key to reducing potential spread of the virus. We encourage you to rely on our digital and technology services for your basic banking needs until the threat has passed.
- Online Banking is designed for desktop and laptop computers. You can use it to review accounts, transfer funds, make payments, apply for a loan and much more. To get started, take a look at this step by step guide.
- Mobile Banking allows you to use your smart phone or tablet to handle your banking needs. Our easy to understand guide will walk you through getting started.
- Mobile Check Deposit - This is a feature of Mobile Banking that allows you to deposit checks with you phone or tablet by using the camera built into those devices. Find more information on our Mobile Check Deposit page.
- Loan Application - All stages of the loan process, from application to signature, can now be handled electronically. Our standard application covers personal loans, vehicle loans and other consumer lending.
- ATM Access - With an ATFCU debit card, it is easy to get cash in the Abilene area and around the nation. In addition to the ATM's found at each branch, the ATM's in 7-Elevens do not charge a surcharge when an ATFCU debit card is used. Additional locations can be found with our ATM Locator feature.
- Merchant Cash Back - Many retailers offer cash back from your account when you use your debit card to make a purchase. This is a quick and easy way to get cash from your account.