Customer Corner


Welcome to The Hamilton Bank’s CUSTOMER CORNER!  We hope you will check in here often for great information and news.


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While store credit cards might seem like a safe option compared to general-use credit cards, the truth is they can get cardholders into serious debt if not used responsibly. However, if used correctly, they can save money on both big-ticket items and smaller everyday things.

If you’re thinking about opening a store credit card, below are some perks and pitfalls to consider when deciding if it’s the right decision for you and your finances.

Perk: Store Credit Card Qualification is Easier

The application requirements, such as your credit score, are less strict with store credit cards compared to regular credit cards so there is a better chance you’ll be approved.

Pitfall: High Interest Rates

The counter side of store credit cards being easier to get is that they carry higher interest rates. It is especially important to spend responsibly so you can pay off your full balance every month before interest kicks in. Also, retail cards generally carry a lower credit limit.

Perk: Help Build Credit

If you’re young and haven’t had a chance to build a credit history, or if you’re trying to repair past poor credit, a store credit card can be helpful. Again, you can usually qualify for a store credit card with a lack of credit history or lower credit score. Once you get the card, experts recommend you make a purchase or two a month—keeping the total below 10 percent of your credit limit—that you pay off on time and in full every month to build your credit history and boost your credit score.

Pitfall: Applying for Credit Impacts Your Credit Score

Every time you apply for credit, regardless of what type it is, your credit score takes a small hit. For most people, that’s fine as you’ll build it back quickly, especially if you’re using the card responsibly. But you don’t want to open numerous retail credit cards over a short period. Also, if you’re planning to refinance or apply for a mortgage, hold off on opening any new lines of credit.

Perk: They Provide Discounts and Incentives

The reason most consumers get store credit cards is for the discounts and other store perks.

The smart thing to do is wait to open a store card until you make a large purchase, on furniture or electronics for example, which can lead to hundreds of dollars in savings. Alternatively, it makes sense to get a card from a retailer you regularly purchase from to benefit from ongoing smaller perks like discounts and in-store rewards.

Pitfall: Temptation is Tough

The hardest part of having a retail card for a store you frequent is the temptation that comes with the special discounts and incentives. Experts advise to throw out coupons unless you were already planning to go to the store for a specific reason. If you wouldn’t buy it without the coupon, you probably don’t need it with the coupon.

At the end of the day, a credit card is a credit card. If you’re borrowing money, which is what credit is, you need a budget and a plan to repay it in full every month. This is even more true with retail cards and their high interest rates. Think about it this way: If you get a 20 percent discount for using a store credit card but the monthly interest rate is 25 percent and you don’t pay it in full monthly, you’re losing money.

However, there are times when opening a store credit card makes financial sense, but ensure you evaluate whether it’s worth it before you’re tempted at the register by a salesperson’s hard sell.




Stay Up to Date

Stay up-to-date with Inside Origination, published twice a year by EPCOR (Electronic Payments Core of Knowledge). This newsletter contains valuable information specific to ACH Originators as well as all business customers. If you are looking for an easy method to stay informed of payments changes, this is it! To register for your own subscription to this newsletter and other communications by EPCOR, visit

New ACH Security Framework Rule

On September 20, 2013, a new ACH Security Framework Rule took effect. Learn about these changes by reviewing EPCOR’s short, on-demand course. Click Here to download the course.

This amendment to the ACH Operating Rules establishes the minimum data obligations for ACH Originators to maintain for protecting ACH data. The key elements of this rule are: 1) Protect Sensitive Data & Access Controls; 2) Verification of Third-Party Senders and Originators; 3) Self-Assessment. A free copy of the updated rules are provided to you annually by Nodaway Valley Bank. If you have not received your copy, please contact us today. You may also view or purchase a copy of the updated NACHA Operating Rules at .

Requirements of this change:

  • Non-consumer Originators, Participating Depository Financial Institutions (DFI),  and Third-Party Service Providers/Senders must establish, implement, and update (as appropriate) data security policies, procedures, and systems with respect to the initiation, processing, and storage of Entries and resulting Protected Information
  • Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFI) must utilize a commercially reasonable method to verify the identity of an Originator or Third-Party Sender when entering into an Origination Agreement
  • Self-Assessment does not directly apply to ACH Originators who are bound through ACH Agreements. Participating DFIs and Third-Party Service Providers/Senders must verify through a self-assessment and audit that it has established, implemented, and updated the data security policies, procedures, and systems as required.

Learn About Data Security

Compliance to the new ACH Security Framework Rule can be daunting…but it doesn’t have to be! The Better Business Bureau ( ) offers training specifically for small businesses on how to simplify the requirements of ACH data security. Visit to get started!

You’ll learn how to:

  • Properly handle & dispose of sensitive data securely
  • Become PCI Compliant
  • Respond when customer data is stolen
  • Respond when a third party requests customer information
  • and more!