Rewards Checking: First Arkansas Bank & Trust

A New Rewards Checking Account

First Arkansas Bank and Trust Logo.
Since Coulee Bank dropped their rewards checking rate from 5% to 4% I have been looking for another bank. There are several banks that still offer 5% on their rewards checking accounts but there is one difficulty — they all take local customers only. This didn’t used to be but gradually many banks have withdrawn from the national market. Hence I decided on a bank that is still recruiting customers nationwide (except California). However, see Updates below.

Now First Arkansas Bank & Trust offers only 4.4% (since reduced) but with one redeeming quality — the rate applies up to $50,000. For this you only need to complete the usual ten point of sale debit card transactions per month. Also the one direct deposit, ACH debit, or online bill payment per month. You have to agree to receive E-statements and sign into your online banking account once a month.

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Problems with Checking Finder Identity Check

My guest writer today is Anonymous who identifies a problem with Checking Finder that I have also experienced. My situation was resolved eventually by the bank to which I was applying when they contacted me directly. Read on to learn how to avoid the potential pitfalls during sign up.

Avoid the Mistakes

I had an interesting experience in trying to sign up with one of the banks on your list. I would like to somehow convey this information (without revealing my identity) to readers out there so that they can avoid some common mistakes that many people (including me) could make when going through the on-line application process.

Checking Finder Logo

Beware because not all identity checks are created equal.

The Problem

Many banks and credit unions use an outside service provided by Checking Finder which goes through a three step process of:

  1. Taking your application information.
  2. Verifying your personal identity.
  3. Passing this information back to the bank or credit union.

Step (2), the identity verification process, has major problems in it that could result in your disqualification at one or more banks.

The Culprit

Checking Finder contracts out to a third party who, based on the social security number and valid drivers license number you provide, looks at your credit report and develops a series of security questions about your financial history. This is done in real-time and appears on your computer screen as you are filling out the application on Checking Finder. If you get any of the questions wrong, Checking Finder notifies the bank or credit union that you are applying to stating that you were unable to answer all the questions accurately.

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