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I have been working on the upcoming NGPF Webinar “Updating Your Checking Unit to the 21st Century.” In doing so, I jotted down a list of common checking account features available today. I realized the importance of setting up account alerts given the increase in the ways that consumers access their accounts (ATM, debit card, automatic payments, online bill pay and yes, even checks) along with the frequency of identity theft.

I created this mini-module to address this issue and take it a step further by having students devise a list of alerts that they should set-up to protect their accounts. Here’s the concept:

  1. Have a class discussion about the purpose of setting up checking account text alerts. Some segment of students should be able to speak from their personal experiences.
  2. Watch this video (1:31) describing on how to set up text alerts on your checking account. Ask students to: a) Name the three ways that alerts can be delivered to them b) Jot down the types of alerts that can be set up (stop the video at the 0:30 mark to allow students to write down the alerts) and c) Reasons why each specific type of alert might be useful.
  3. From the list created in 2b) above, ask the students to select the alerts that would be most useful to them and if they bank online, ask them to actually set them up on their accounts.
  4. Check back in a week to see a) Did the students set the alerts up and b) How these alerts have helped them manage their accounts more effectively (e.g., did getting a text every time you used your debit card encourage you to think more about how you are spending your money?)