Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have compiled answers to our customers’ most asked questions for your convenience.

If you don’t find your question below, please don’t hesitate, give us a call.

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What are chip cards?

A chip card – also called a smart card or an EMV card – is a debit or credit card that contains a microprocessor that enhances the security of cards during point-of-sale transactions.

These cards, already in use in much of the world, use a security standard originally developed by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) as a way to fight card fraud resulting from theft, skimming and counterfeiting.  The EMV technology has been adopted by the other major card brands and issuers.

Is a chip card more secure than magnetic stripe cards?

Yes.  Chip cards add an additional layer of security to the safeguards that already protect cards.  Each time a cardholder uses their chip card it generates a code that is unique to that transaction.  This makes it harder to counterfeit a card or to use it fraudulently for in-store purchases.

What information is on the chip?

The chip contains information about a cardholder’s account and the card expiration date.  It also generates a unique code for every transaction when used with a chip-enabled terminal at the point-of-sale.

Can a chip card be used anywhere?

Yes.  Chip cards can be used virtually anywhere this brand of card is accepted in the U.S. and around the world. ESSA Bank & Trust may have some locations disabled due to high fraud in those areas.  If a merchant has a chip-enabled card terminal, cardholders will insert their card during the transaction.  In the U.S., cardholders will still be able to “swipe” their card to make a payment if a merchant has a regular terminal.  They will need a PIN to be able to make a transaction at an ATM.

How do cardholders use a chip card?

Start the payment process by swiping your card.  If the merchant’s terminal is chip-enabled, you will be prompted to insert your card.

  1. Insert the card, face up and chip end into the chip-enabled terminal.
  2. Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign your name or enter your PIN as needed. You need to be sure to remove your card and take your receipt when the transaction is complete.

If the terminal is not chip-enabled, the transaction will process as it normally does from the initial swipe.

What if a merchant doesn't have a chip-enabled terminal?

For merchants without chip-enabled terminals, cardholders will “swipe” their card through the terminal, just as is done today.

Can a chip card be used to make purchases online or by phone?

Yes.  There is no change to that process.  Chip cards can be used to make these purchases the same way as is done today.

Can chip cards be used at an ATM?

Yes.  For ATM transactions, cardholders will insert their card into the terminal and follow the instructions on the screen.  Depending on the type of ATM, they might be prompted to re-insert their card.  They will leave the card in the ATM until the transaction is complete and the card is released.  Then they will remove their card and any money they might have withdrawn.

What is the difference between chip and signature and chip and PIN?

You may be asked to provide your signature or enter your PIN to complete a transaction when you use your card.  You will need to use your PIN at ATMs and it may be required at some unattended terminals such as fuel pumps and payment kiosks.  Please note that some merchants are now requiring you to use your PIN for debit card transactions (previously you could select “credit” to sign instead).  This change will also impact your HSA card (if you have one).  This is why it is important to select and remember your PIN.

When I used my chip card at an ATM, I was asked to select between "Debit" and "Visa Debit" [or "MasterCard" and "Maestro"]. Which one should I choose?

It is fine to select either one – your transaction will work either way.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

It’s important to report a lost or stolen card immediately.  Keep a record of the telephone number on the back of your card and call it if necessary.

Can I use my chip card with Apple Pay or Google Pay?

Apple Pay and Google Pay mobile payment and digital wallet services allow you to make payments in person in specific apps. The Apple app is supported on the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac; and for Google, Android phones, tablets and watches.

Will chip cards prevent data breaches?

While chip cards won’t prevent the types of large-scale data breaches that have hit some merchants, they do make it extremely difficult to produce counterfeit cards from that stolen data.

Can someone steal the information in my chip card remotely using radio waves or a "contactless reader"?

No. Your chip card must be inserted into a POS terminal or ATM to read the chip.  Your chip card has to be within two inches of a contactless reader in order to activate.  The information that can be read is limited and not sufficient to make a fraudulent card.

How can I get "cashback" when using my debit card?

Some merchants that allowed cashback (e.g. supermarkets) had to disable this feature when they started accepting EMV chip cards.  We expect that they will allow this feature within the next several months.  Be sure to let the merchant know that you would like the option to get cashback.

What are the benefits of using a contactless card?

You are in control because your contactless-enabled card never leaves your hand at checkout.  It’s also fast and ideal at places where speed is essential, like stadiums, fast food restaurants, gas stations, and more.

How do I pay with my contactless card?

To make a purchase, simply tap your contactless card on the payment reader at the checkout.  You may be prompted to enter your ‘PIN’ or to select ‘Credit’.  You may not have to do either and just tap and go.

How do contactless cards work?

Contactless cards have a chip inside them that emits radio waves. An antenna is built into the plastic to secure the connection with a contactless reader. This is known as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

To pay for something with a contactless card, you hold the card near a payment terminal (known as an RFID reader) and it picks up the signal, communicates with the card and processes the payment.

The payment terminal will say if the payment was successful or not. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and you’ll need to use your pin instead. An example of this could be gas stations pay at the pump. If it doesn’t take your contactless payment, please use your card as a chip-enabled card and if that option is not available, then swipe your card.

How close does the "tap" have to be to the checkout reader?

Typically, when you tap your card/device at checkout, it must be within an inch or two of the contactless symbol on the terminal at the counter.  Please note that if you have more than one contactless card in your wallet, you should remove the specific card you would like to use rather than tapping your wallet against the reader.

What is a wire transfer?

Wire transfers are a method of electronic funds transfer, from one person or entity to another.

Are there fees for domestic and foreign wire transfers?

Fees will apply.  You will be able to review any fees and limits before completing your wire.

Can someone wire funds to my account at ESSA Bank & Trust?

Yes, someone with your account information can wire funds directly to your ESSA Bank & Trust account.  You will need to provide your account number and routing number.

How do I cancel a foreign wire transfer?

You can cancel the transfer by going to the nearest branch or calling us at 855.713.8001. Foreign wire transfers may be canceled within 30 minutes of initiation.

Note:  Consumers may receive a refund within 3 business days provided the funds have not already been picked or deposited into the beneficiary’s account.

What is a SWIFT Code?

This is a unique identification code issued by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), used for foreign wires.

What do I do if there’s a problem with my Foreign Wire Transfer?

Contact us at 855.713.8001.

You can also write to us at:
ESSA Bank & Trust
ATTN: Wire Transfer Department
200 Palmer Street
Stroudsburg PA 18360

For foreign wires initiated by a consumer, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, you must contact us within 180 days of the date we indicated to you that funds would be made available to the recipient.

How do I request a domestic or foreign wire transfer?

Domestic or foreign requests are processed at any ESSA Bank & Trust branch location.

What is an IBAN number?

It is the international standard for identifying foreign bank accounts across national borders (International Bank Account Number).  At present, the United States does not participate in IBAN.  However, when sending wire transfers to countries that use IBAN numbers, we recommend including those numbers in your wire transfer documentation.  IBAN numbers are alphanumerically ranging from fifteen (15) to thirty-one (31) characters in length.

How long does a foreign wire transfer take?

The beneficiary’s bank will generally receive the funds within 1 to 2 business days and normally credit the account within 2 business days after receipt.  There are a number of factors that could delay the credit to the beneficiary (e.g. delays by an intermediary bank or other local conditions).

Note: Some countries have been designated as slow-to-pay countries.  Transfers made to or from a slow-to-pay country may experience delays in crediting the beneficiary’s account.  Therefore, we recommend allowing 10 business days for funds to be paid to a foreign recipient.

What are eStatements?

eStatements are an electronic version of your monthly account statement which are accessed through Personal Online Banking or Business Online Banking.

How do I enroll in eStatements?

Sign in to Business Online Banking, select the account number, and then Documents; or sign in to your Retail Online Banking account and click on Profile then Manage Statements. Read the eStatement Disclosure Agreement and click on the PDF document link to verify that you can view our eStatement format. Copy or write down the confirmation code that appears at the top of the sample eStatement and close the pop-up window; this will bring you back to the Disclosure Agreement page. Enter the confirmation code in the box under the Agreement and click the AGREE button. Follow the prompts to complete your enrollment.

Do I have to enroll in Online Banking to receive eStatements?

No, you can enroll in eStatements without being an Online Banking customer. Enroll Now.

Will I be able to have my eStatement notification sent to more than one email address?

For Business Online Banking: Yes, each user within Business Online Banking can get a notification.

For Retail Online Banking: Yes, the account holder must first enroll and will then have the ability to invite other parties to receive eStatement notifications.

Are eStatements safe and secure?

Yes, eStatements are accessed through a secure login with 128-bit encryption whether through Online Banking or the eStatement login.

Is there a fee for eStatements?

No, eStatements are a free service offered by ESSA Bank & Trust.

How will I know when my eStatement is available to view online?

An email notification will be sent to the email address on file.

How do I retrieve my eStatement?

When logged into Business Online Banking, select the account number, and then Documents. For Personal Online Banking, your eStatement can be retrieved once you’ve logged into your Online Banking account. Click on Profile, manage Statements, then View Statement for the account requested.

Your eStatement can be retrieved by logging into your Online account. Click on Profile, Manage Statements, then View Statement for the account requested.

What type of accounts are eligible for eStatements?

Both business and personal checking, statement savings, and most consumer loans.

What if I don’t receive my email notification that my eStatement is ready to be viewed?

If you do not receive your email notification, you may contact us by sending a message through the ‘Contact Us’ link or by sending an email to  or calling us at 855.713.8001.

Will my statement cut-off date change?

No, the date will not change.

Will I receive required notices electronically?

Yes, by signing up for eStatements you agree that we may provide you with any disclosures legally required in connection with your account electronically rather than in paper form.

Are eStatements official documents that I can use for record keeping, taxes, etc.?

Yes, an eStatement can be treated exactly the same as a paper statement.

Can I retrieve an older statement at any time or just my current eStatement?

Depending on when the account was opened, prior statements may be available to view up to a rolling 18 months by clicking on ‘View History’ for the account requested.

Will I continue to receive paper statements?

No, however, it may take up to one statement cycle to discontinue paper statements after eStatement enrollment.

What if I would like to resume receiving paper statements?

You may opt-out of electronic delivery by sending a message through Contact Us, sending an email to , or calling us at 1-855-713-8001.

What happens if I change my email address?

For Business Online Banking, select Administration, Employee Profile & Permissions, then Change Employee.

For Retail Online Banking, update your new email address within the “Profile” tab of your Online Banking account.

Do I need special software to use Online Banking?

No. You will be able to access your accounts from any computer that connects to the Internet. Simply click the “Online Banking Login” link at the top of the home page of our website.

What do I do if I forget my Password?

Click on the Online Banking Login link at the top of our website and then select Personal Banking. You will then see a link for “Forgot Your Password?” A temporary password will be sent to the e-mail we have on file.

What should I do if I can’t log in?

If you have been in the secure site before, follow the instructions above for resetting your password. Please note that the system locks access to accounts when there are three failed attempts to enter your password or failure to answer your three challenge questions. 

If you are still unable to log in, please call our Contact Center at 855.713.8001.

Does Online Banking work with Quicken®?

Yes, it works with all current versions of Quicken®. When the correct date range is chosen for the desired account, select “Download Transactions” or “Export Selected”.

Is there a charge for Online Banking?

Basic Internet Banking is free.

What is mobile banking and does ESSA offer it?

Mobile banking is the ability to perform banking transactions through a mobile device such as a mobile phone, Smartphone or Tablet. ESSA is proud to offer our mobile banking solution. Mobile Banking offers SMS (Short Message System) messages, alerts, and a downloadable App.

What are some of the features of Mobile Banking?

  1. SMS Text Banking- Send text commands to us from your SMS-enabled phone to inquire about basic account balance and transaction history information. Receive text message responses directly on your phone.
  2. Downloadable App- Get a downloadable mobile application for your Smartphone or Tablet. The App includes a Mobile Deposit feature that is not available with our other mobile services. The App offers an easy user experience which includes Bill Pay, Zelle® and locations features.
  3. Alert Banking- Through Online Banking, you can set up alerts to notify you via email, text, or secure inbox when selected activity occurs on your accounts.

How can I get Mobile Banking on my phone?

You can access Mobile Banking by logging into your online banking and selecting Profile, then Manage Devices.  You can also download the App by searching for ESSA Bank in your App or Play Store.

Do I have to be enrolled in Online Banking before enrolling in Mobile Banking?

No, enrollment may be completed directly through the App.

Is there a fee for using Mobile Banking?

Mobile Banking is a free product offered to all ESSA Bank & Trust customers. However, standard data & message charges from your carrier may apply.

What mobile phones and operating systems are compatible with Mobile Banking?

Mobile Banking SMS text messages are compatible with all phones that can send and receive text messages. However, the mobile app will only work on Smartphones. 

What mobile phone carriers support Mobile Banking?

The carriers that support our mobile banking product include (but are not limited to) Verizon®, AT&T®, T-Mobile®, Sprint®, and MetroPCS.

If I get a new phone and keep my same number, what should I do to continue using Mobile Banking?

In Online Banking, you will need to go into Profile, select “Manage Devices” and in the drop-down select “Stop using this device for Mobile Banking” and then you will need to re-register the phone with the services you intend to utilize. This will reset the device information that is held in the Mobile Banking Profile.

When using the ATM/Branch Locator, how are the results determined?

You can search for locations by current location, zip code, address, or category.  The locator will display the closest locations first and the furthest last.

How often do alerts go out when using the mobile banking product?

Alerts are sent immediately.

For how long will my mobile browser or app stay active?

The mobile app has a 5-minute inactivity timer. If the user is idle for more than the stated inactivity time, the user will time out and be disconnected from the app for security reasons.

How safe and secure is Mobile Banking?

Mobile Banking uses layered security methods, transaction encryption, and SSL encryption.  Personal and account information are protected by only being partially displayed.

Can I add more than one mobile phone to the same mobile banking account?

Yes, more than one phone can be added to the account simply by going into Profile, clicking “Manage Devices” under Mobile Banking Profile, then by clicking “Add New Device”.

If I decide to change my mobile banking services, how can I accomplish this task?

You can easily change your services by logging into your Online Banking account, selecting “Profile”, clicking “Manage Devices” under Mobile Banking Profile, then using the drop-down switch to “I want to: Change My Mobile Banking Services”. After switching the drop-down, click “Go” and you can select which services you would like to have.

How do I remove mobile banking access from my phone?

You can remove mobile banking access by logging into Online Banking, selecting Profile, “Manage Devices”, then using the drop-down switch the option to “ I want to: Stop Using This Device For Mobile Banking”. After switching the drop-down, click “Go”, this will disable mobile banking on the phone.

How do I pay a bill from my mobile device?

When using the Mobile App, choose the Transfer & Pay option from the main screen, then select Pay my Billers.

You will then be guided through a simple process of choosing the payee, the account you wish to make the payment from, the amount, and the date of payment.

Can I add a payee through my mobile device?

Yes, payees can be added through the Mobile App.  This can be done by selecting Transfer & Pay, Manage billers then Add new biller.  You will then have the option to take a photo of a bill which will automatically enter the payee information for you, or you can manually enter the information yourself.

Can I change or cancel a payment through my mobile device?

Yes, as long as the payment is in a pending status and has not been processed.

Is there a fee to use Mobile Deposit?

ESSA’s mobile check deposit is free to use.

How do I enroll in Mobile Deposit?

Mobile check deposit is available through the ESSA App. You must have an eligible ESSA checking account.

What do I do with the check(s) after I submit a Mobile Deposit?

We recommend that you retain the check for 14 days after the funds have posted to your account. You should then properly destroy the item(s).

When will my Mobile Deposit appear in my account?

If your mobile deposit is received on a business day before our 5:00 PM ET cut-off time, your funds will normally be available the next business day. If we receive your mobile deposit after our cut-off time, your funds will normally be available in two business days.

Does the check have to be endorsed for Mobile Deposit?

Yes, checks must be endorsed with your signature and the words “For Mobile Deposit Only”.

What are alerts?

Alerts deliver real-time, two-way actionable notifications from multiple systems, including account processing and online banking, based on your preferences.

How do I set up, stop/delete or manage alerts?

You can set up, stop/delete and manage alerts when signed into Personal Online Banking and/or Business Online Banking.  You must be enrolled in our online banking service first.

How do I receive alerts?

They are received via email, text, push notification or online banking alerts. *

*Standard data & message charges from your carrier may apply

What is a push notification?

A push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile device.  Push notifications can be received at any time, and users do not have to be in the app or using their device to receive them; however, you must have our Mobile App to use push notifications.  Push notifications are only available for retail customers.  Business coming soon!

What type of alerts can I set up?

We offer a wide variety of alerts that you can set up, including but not limited to:

Security i.e. Online banking password was changed

Balance i.e. Account balance below threshold

Transaction i.e. Transaction over the threshold amount

Loans i.e. Loan is past due

Other i.e. Check was returned

How quickly/often will I be notified?

Alerts are real-time, meaning they occur throughout the day for both consumers and businesses at the time the event occurs.

What are the benefits of using alerts?

Alerts are beneficial in that they enable decision-making, provide information and reduce fraud risk.

Can I specify times when I don’t want to receive alerts?

You can designate a specific time that you do not wish to receive alerts.  Once that time expires, you will receive all alerts for events that occurred during that window.

How many email addresses/phone numbers can I have my alerts sent to?

You can have an unlimited amount of email addresses and/or phone numbers.

What should I do if my email address or mobile number changes?

If your email address or mobile number changes, you may update this information under Contact Options from within your Alerts.

Is there a restriction on how many alerts I can set up?

There is no restriction on how many alerts you can set up, this is unlimited.

Do alerts expire?

Alerts do not expire and will continue until you stop/delete them.

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