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Important Changes to Your Debit Card

Effective July 1, 2015, your debit card will be useable for signature based (Credit) transactions only in the states of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia which, given our locations, will meet the needs of most of our customers, most of the time.  However, outside of these 3 states, your debit card will be useable for signature based (Credit) transactions at gas stations for transactions under $76.00 and at ‘big box’ stores (examples: Wal-Mart, Publix, Home Dept. ) for transactions over $51.00.  PIN BASED (DEBIT)TRANSACTIONS WILL CONTINUE TO BE HONORED WHEREVER YOU MAY BE IN THE NATION, as the likelihood of ID theft is greatly reduced when the transaction is strictly electronic.  Blocking some SIGNATURE BASED (Credit) transactions beyond our primary three-state area will reduce the ability of ID thieves to steal funds as they will automatically be “blocked” before your account is affected. 

For our customers who travel, or, if you plan to be outside the three-state area detailed above, you should contact the bank by any of the three means listed below to notify us of where you would like to have your card activated for SIGNATURE BASED (Credit) transactions. If, for example, you plan a trip to Texas and will be passing through Mississippi and Louisiana, you may request that your debit card be exempt from blocked SIGNATURE BASED (Credit) transactions in those states through a specific date. Or, you might consider using a credit card for signature based purchases when traveling. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT ALL PIN BASED (DEBIT) TRANSACTIONS, WHETHER FOR ATM ACCESS OR FOR PURCHASES, WILL NOT BE BLOCKED.

If you have any SIGNATURE BASED (Credit) transactions that are recurring monthly charges to your account, we can customize your debit card to allow these transactions to pass through.  You may contact us by phone at (256) 437-2171, by e-mail at:, or by contacting us in person at your local branch.


First Southern State Bank has recently introduced another safeguard in the fight against identity theft: smsGuardian®. This technology alerts you by text message whenever your debit card:

  • Is used for a purchase greater than $100
  • Is used out of state
  • Is used at a gas station
  • Is used but not swiped (online)
  • Is used more than 4 times in a 24-hour period

You may learn more about smsGuardian® and enroll for this FREE new service online at our website, (Please note that data and/or message rates may apply. Please check with your carrier.)

Thank you for making note of these changes to your debit card use. Remember that the only limitation is being placed on SIGNATURE BASED (Credit) transactions. Perhaps, if we all work together, this crime will cease being the fastest-rising crime in the United States.

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