Our Customer Service team can answer all your questions about the eCentive Account! Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to get you started!
Q: DO I HAVE TO LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES TO OPEN AN ECENTIVE ACCOUNT?
|| A: At this time, we can open accounts for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens. We are not able to open accounts online for non-U.S. Persons/Non-Resident Aliens; however, we can open an account for a Non-U.S. Person/Non-Resident Alien who is able to physically come into one of our branch locations.
Q: CAN I OPEN AN ECENTIVE ACCOUNT ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES?
|| A: Yes, but the person opening the account must provide regular identification documents.
Q: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE END OF THE CALENDAR MONTH AND THE END OF THE BUSINESS MONTH?
|| A: There is a difference between the end of the calendar month and the end of the business month, and that varies by month. The business month ends on the last normal business day of each month. For instance, the last business day of June 2019 was Friday, June 28.
Q: FOR MY ECENTIVE ACCOUNT, DO I NEED TO MAKE ALL MY 10 TRANSACTIONS BEFORE THE LAST BUSINESS DAY OF THE MONTH?
|| A: A: For an eCentive account, 10 transactions a month need to be posted to your account as one of the qualifiers for the higher interest rate. Depending on where you make purchases, the vendor might batch those charges daily, or maybe weekly. The bank does not have control over that. If you wait until the last business day of the month to do one or more of your 10 transactions, they might not get posted to your account by the cutoff date.
Q: WHY DOES IT APPEAR THAT I’M EARNING A LOWER INTEREST RATE THAN YOU ADVERTISED?
|| A: When monthly qualifications are met, the rate for balances up to $25,000 is the special higher rate. No matter when the qualifications are met during the month, the interest will be recalculated and apply back to the beginning of the month at that time. More information about specific rates is available on our Interest Rates page.
Q: IS THERE A “GRACE PERIOD” THE FIRST MONTH WHERE I WILL RECEIVE THE HIGHER RATE OF INTEREST WITHOUT MEETING THE ECENTIVE ACCOUNT REQUIREMENTS?
|| A: Yes, the FIRST statement that is cut will pay the higher rate of interest, even if monthly requirements are not met.
Q: IS THERE A MINIMUM SPENDING AMOUNT REQUIRED FOR THE 10 DEBIT CARD PURCHASES?
|| A: No, but all purchases need to be processed AND posted by the last business day of the month to qualify. Purchases should be made early in the month to avoid not meeting the monthly requirement. ATM transactions do not count towards the eCentive Account requirements.
Q: FOR THE REQUIREMENT OF 10 DEBIT CARD PAYMENTS AND/OR PURCHASES PER MONTH, DO THESE NEED TO BE PIN-BASED TRANSACTIONS OR CAN THEY BE SIGNATURE BASED?
|| A: As long as the 10 debit card payments and/or purchases are not ATM withdrawals, they will count, regardless if they are PIN or signature based.
Q: IS THERE A DAILY LIMIT ON MONEY I CAN TRANSFER INTO THE ECENTIVE ACCOUNT FROM ANOTHER BANK?
|| A: Our transfer service has a $4,000 daily limit and a $10,000 monthly limit. This is explained on our website on the Bank to Bank Transfer Disclosure. If you choose to use transfer services provided by the sending bank or send a wire to us, there is not a limit. You can also mail a check for deposit but regulations require the bank to hold the check until the funds clear. The hold time and hold limits may vary depending on the amount of the check (Reg CC).
Q: HOW ARE THE TRANSFER LIMITS DETERMINED FOR BANK-TO-BANK TRANSFERS USING TRANSFER NOW?
|| A: Heritage Bank is one of the few institutions of our size to be able to offer this service. Because of the fraud we’ve experienced since rolling out bank-to-bank transfers, we’ve had to implement some tighter controls in an effort to manage the risks. Setting a $4,000/$10,000 limit is one of those changes we had to make. When you have been a customer with us for 90 days, you are welcome to apply for a higher limit.
Q: HOW LONG CAN I SEE TRANSACTIONS IN ONLINE BANKING? HOW ABOUT ESTATEMENTS?
|| A: Within online banking and/or eStatements, you can always view at least 18 months of transactions.
Q: HOW IS INTEREST CALCULATED?
|| A: Interest is calculated by using a daily periodic rate. This method applies a daily periodic rate to the principal in the account each day. When the eCentive qualifications are not met, you will receive the base rate. When qualifications are met, the rate for balances up to $25,000 is given the special higher rate. This rate will apply back to the beginning of the month at that time. More information about specific rates is available on our Interest Rates page.
Q: WILL I RECEIVE INTEREST FOR THE WHOLE MONTH ON A DEPOSIT MADE LATE IN THE MONTH IF I HAVE MET ALL THE MONTHLY REQUIREMENTS?
|| A: No, interest accrues each day on the actual balance in the account at the end of that day.
Q: CAN I HAVE MORE THAN ONE ECENTIVE ACCOUNT?
|| A: Yes, but all requirements must be met for each account monthly to earn the higher rate of interest on each account.
Q: WHAT COUNTS TOWARD AN AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWAL OR DEPOSIT FOR THE MONTHLY REQUIREMENT OF AN ECENTIVE ACCOUNT?
|| A: The requirement is an automatic withdrawal or deposit that is initiated by another institution or company. That means that bank to bank transfers and bill pay items that are initiated in Heritage Bank online banking DO NOT count because Heritage Bank is initiating those transactions. Those same items could be initiated from the customers’ online banking at another institution and count toward the requirement. Other examples would be an automatic deposit from an employer or pension plan, or an auto pay for a bill initiated by the payee company. An auto pay needs to be set up using the checking account number (not a debit card) to fulfill this requirement.
Q: WHAT IS THE STATEMENT CYCLE FOR THE ECENTIVE ACCOUNT?
|| A: Our statement cycle is monthly through the last business day of each calendar month.
Q: WHEN I OPEN AN ECENTIVE ACCOUNT, DO YOU RUN A “SOFT” PULL OR A “HARD” PULL FOR VERIFICATION PURPOSES?
|| A: We do neither a soft or a hard pull. Heritage Bank does not run a credit report for eCentive Account openings. We only do verification through public record data sources. Consumers who have placed a freeze at the credit bureaus would not need to lift those to proceed with opening an eCentive Account.
Q: DO YOU PROVIDE COUNTER CHECKS? ALSO, WHAT DOES IT MEAN IN YOUR ECENTIVE ACCOUNT DISCLOSURE THAT HERITAGE BANK RESERVES THE RIGHT TO APPROVE CHECKS?
|| A: No, we do not provide counter checks, but you may order checks directly from our website or you may use another reputable check printing service. Your checks may be declined if, for various reasons, the checks cannot be processed correctly through regular channels (ex: incorrect routing number, acct number, illegible printing). We reserve the right to ask you to discontinue the use of these checks and order corrected checks.
Q: AM I AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN ESTATEMENTS WHEN I OPEN AN ECENTIVE ACCOUNT?
|| A: Yes, with an online application, you will automatically be enrolled in eStatements. If you open your account at one of our branch locations, you will need to complete the eStatement enrollment process.
Q: I AM COMPLETING THE PRINTED ACCOUNT AGREEMENTS AND IT HAS SPACES FOR ACCOUNT NUMBERS. SINCE THE ECENTIVE ACCOUNT ISN’T OPEN YET, I DON’T KNOW THE ACCOUNT NUMBER(S) FOR MY CHECKING AND DEBIT CARD YET.
|| A: The areas requesting account numbers can be left blank and we will complete that portion when the account is processed.
Q: HOW DO I OPEN AN ECENTIVE ACCOUNT IF I AM ALREADY A CUSTOMER?
|| A: As an existing customer, the best way to open a new eCentive Account is from within your own online banking.
Q: IF I AM RETIRED FROM WORKING, WHAT SHOULD I ENTER WHEN THE ONLINE APPLICATION ASKS FOR MY EMPLOYMENT?
|| A: If you are retired, please enter the occupation that you are retired from such as “Retired Farmer.”
Q: I ACCIDENTALLY CLICKED THAT I WANTED TO ORDER CHECKS. WILL THEY BE SENT AND MY ACCOUNT CHARGED?
|| A: Not likely. You would need to complete the process and approve the checks before they would be sent out and before your account could be charged. If you’ve left that process incomplete, a form would be mailed to you to select the checks you would like.
Q: HOW LONG WILL THIS HIGH ECENTIVE ACCOUNT INTEREST RATE LAST?
|| A: The eCentive Account is a variable rate account and the interest rate could change at any time. However, this is not a promotional (or teaser) rate. Heritage Bank prides itself in offering our customers a competitive rate.
Q: CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT THE HISTORICAL RATE ON THE ECENTIVE ACCOUNT HAS BEEN?
|| A: Here are the most recent rates for our eCentive Account:
- 1.26% APY: April 1, 2013 through January 2, 2018
- 1.41% APY: January 2, 2018 through April 17, 2018
- 3.33% APY: April 17, 2018 through December 2, 2019
- 3.03% APY: December 2, 2019 to April 1, 2020
- 1.53% APY: April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020
- 1.46% APY: July 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020
- 1.39% APY: August 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020
- 1.32% APY: September 1, 2020 to Current
Q: IS IT SECURE TO EMAIL MY ECENTIVE ACCOUNT DOCUMENTS TO HERITAGE BANK?
|| A: Sending private information via regular email is not secure. If you don’t have access to a secure email service and you would like to send documents via secure email, please talk with a Heritage Bank representative.
Q: HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY ECENTIVE APPLICATION TO BE APPROVED?
|| A: As soon as Heritage Bank receives all required paperwork completed, we can begin processing your account application.
Q: CAN I ORDER CHECKS FROM A CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE?
|| A: Yes, or you can order checks from any Heritage Bank customer service representative or from our website as well.
Q: DOES INTEREST START ACCUMULATING THE DAY OF THE APPLICATION?
|| A: No, interest starts accumulating on the date that the money is deposited into the account. For instance, if you fund your eCentive Account with a personal check, the check is generally deposited the same day and interest will start to accrue. If you choose to fund via ACH, there is a delay of a couple days while the verification process happens. As soon as money is credited to the account, interest will start to accrue.
Q: IS THE CUSTOMER NOTIFIED IF A HOLD IS PLACED ON A CUSTOMER’S OPENING DEPOSIT?
|| A: Yes, that is included in the disclosures; however, we also communicate that information via email sent when the account is opened.
Q: HOW SOON ARE DEBIT CARDS BEING ORDERED FOR A NEW ECENTIVE ACCOUNT?
|| A: Debit cards are generally ordered the same day we process the account or the next day.
Q: HOW DO I MAKE THE CHECK OUT THAT I’M SENDING IN THE MAIL TO FUND MY ECENTIVE ACCOUNT?
|| A: Make the check payable to yourself and endorse the back with “For Deposit only at Heritage Bank NA.” Remember to include your signature as part of the endorsement as well.
Q: CAN CUSTOMERS FAX THEIR DOCUMENTS IN VERSUS MAILING THEM?
|| A: Not all documents are clear to read when transmitted via fax. If the fax printouts are legible, we can use them. Because fax quality cannot be assured, we do not recommend this.
Q: HOW CAN HERITAGE BANK OFFER THIS KIND OF RATE ON A CHECKING ACCOUNT, VS. A SAVINGS ACCOUNT?
|| A: The eCentive Account is a kind of hybrid account, offering a high-interest rate if you do certain things each month… use your debit card a certain number of times; have automated transactions and receive paperless eStatements.
There’s no catch! Heritage Bank is passing the savings back to you as a reward for using your eCentive Account! We save money when you choose debit cards instead of paper checks, opt for mobile banking or ATM transactions, and sign up for paperless eStatements to replace mailed paper statements.
The rate is high enough that you might not see the need to keep a separate savings account! That’s a reasonable idea to help simplify your banking and your life.
Q: WHICH BROWSER IS BEST FOR ONLINE BANKING?
|| A: While many different browsers can be used for online banking, our recommendation is to use Internet Explorer.
Q: HOW WILL I KNOW YOU’VE RECEIVED MY APPLICATION?
|| A: When we have finished processing your application, you will start to receive emails from us. These emails will tell you what your next step is in the application process.
Q: CAN I USE MOBILE DEPOSIT FOR MY OPENING DEPOSIT?
|| A: Unfortunately, mobile deposit only works after your account is open and the initial deposit made.
Q: I WANT TO ADD BENEFICIARIES/OTHER ACCOUNT OWNERS/SIGNERS. WILL I BE ABLE TO DO THAT?
|| A: Yes! Be sure to watch for the forms that need to be completed and returned for this.