Using your First Sentinel Bank Visa Debit Card

EMV "Chip Cards" are Here!

We are now issuing debit cards with built-in chip technology! These cards are more secure than standard magstripe cards and provide greater fraud protection. Don't worry, all functionality will still be the same. 

What does a chip card look like? A chip card will have a small rectangular chip embedded on the front left side of the card. 

What is changing? You will simply insert the card in chip enabled terminals instead of swiping. It will take longer for the chip transaction to process, so be sure to remove the card after it has completed. If a terminal is not chip activated, you will still have the ability to swipe the card like usual. The card will still be accepted the same way over the phone and online. 

If you are wondering what the "chip" does, when inserted into a chip enabled terminal, it generates a one-time use code for the purchase. This technology is nearly impossible for fraudsters to replicate creating greater protection for users.

ATM functionality will still be the same, just be sure the card is inserted with the chip facing up. There are no additional fees when using a chip card, however, the standard fees for use at non-First Sentinel Bank ATM's will still apply.

When will I receive my card? You will receive a chip card when your current card expires. If you would like to go ahead and replace your magstripe card with a chip card, please contact your local branch for information. 

When you receive you card, simply activate it the same way you normall would:

  • By calling our E-Z access line at 276-963-3400
  • By completing a PIN transaction
  • By logging in to your online banking account
  • Or by calling us at (276) 963-3000 option 6

Feel free to contact us at (276) 963-1555 with any questions or concerns regarding your new card.

Debit or Credit?

Some confusion surrounds the terms “debit” and “credit” when it comes to using your card. Although it is considered a debit card, the payment can be made as either a debit, meaning you would input your pin number to complete the transaction, or as a credit, meaning you would sign to complete the transaction. Both come directly out of your checking account with the difference being that the credit transaction goes through Visa’s network.

When using the card at the ATM or to receive cash back, it must be used as a debit to complete the transaction. The card may be used as a credit in all other instances. There is a difference in the two when it comes to daily limits. The limit is higher as a credit and lower as a debit due to the ability to get cash from the account.


International Transactions

We at First Sentinel Bank know that you want to be able to use your debit card when and where you want, but we also know you want to keep it safe. To help keep your card secure, the majority of international transactions are now being blocked on all First Sentinel Bank Visa debit cards. Canadian transactions are not currently being denied. If you will be traveling or placing an order internationally please contact us at (276) 963-1555 in order to allow transactions on your card. Feel free to call us at the number above with any additional questions.


Fraudulent Transactions

From a fraud standpoint it is best practice to use the card as a credit. Visa offers a zero liability fraud policy for unauthorized transactions.

If you notice a fraudulent transaction on your account, please contact us immediately. If it is after business hours, please call 1-866-546-8273 in order to cancel your card. With our online banking service you have the ability to access your account 24/7. Please review your account regularly in order to verify all transactions. You can also report your card lost or stolen through your online banking account by selecting the options tab. If you are not already, please sign up for online banking by selecting the enroll tab on our homepage.


Falcon Fraud Center

We are committed to keeping your information safe and have a fraud center that monitors all debit card transactions to quickly notify you of any suspicious activity. Our fraud center is upgrading to a new platform called Falcon. When potential fraud is detected, they will first send you a text message (if the phone number we have on file accepts text messages) asking you to verify the transaction. If no response is received from the text, you will receive an automated phone call asking you to verify the transaction. There will be an option for you to be transferred to a representative at the fraud center if you would rather speak to someone instead of using the automated option. The phone number the call will come from is 1-800-417-4592. The voice on the auto-dialer is female and will ask you to verify your zip code for security, they will not ask for any personal information.

The fraud center may also pick up transactions coming from a non-local area as fraudulent. If you are planning on being out of the area and using the debit card (ex. vacation) please inform us of the location and dates of travel so that we may place a note on your account.

If you have any questions regarding the fraud center please give us a call at (276) 963-1555.



ExtraAwards is our debit card rewards program. Whenever you use your First Sentinel Bank Visa debit card as a credit (meaning you sign for the purchase instead of using your PIN) you will receive 1 point for every $2 dollars spent. You will need to create an account to register the card on the ExtraAwards website. Here you will find information regarding redemptions as well as the points needed for a redemption. Use your card frequently and start earning rewards today! If you do not have a First Sentinel Bank debit card please contact your local branch to apply!