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Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about online bill payments, mobile banking, debit chip cards and more.

If you don’t find the answer to your question, feel free to call us or send us an email - getintouch@alterna.ca a representative would be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Interest is calculated daily on the closing balance and paid monthly. Interest rate is annualized and subject to change without notice.

Although there is a maximum account limit any interest owed is always paid, regardless if it brings you above your account limit.

If your account balance exceeds the account limit you will be contacted by an Alterna Bank representative who will review your options for moving your excess funds from your account. 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are two options to view cheques online, you can view a single cheque or you can choose to view multiple cheques at once.

  1. Click on the account link within the ‘My Accounts’ section or click on the ‘View Account Activity’ link under the ‘My Accounts’ dropdown in the orange box on the upper left of your screen.
  2. Select the account that you want to view the cheque image from by using the dropdown box
  3. Choose your search parameters. For example, show 50 most recent transactions, date range or use the advanced search options and select ‘cheques only’ from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click the ‘Search’ button
  5. Click on the ‘Cheque Clearing’ link that is displayed within the ‘Account Activity’ breakdown.

The cheque number, clearing date and account from which the cheque was written are displayed within the ‘Account Activity’ screen of online banking.

When you click on the ‘Cheque Clearing’ link you will see a picture of the front of your cheque and you will also have the option to click on the ‘Show Back’ button which will display the back of the cheque.

  1. Click on the ‘View Cheque Images’ link under the ‘My Accounts’ dropdown in the orange box on the upper left of your screen.
  2. Select the account that you want to view the cheque image from by using the dropdown box
  3. Select your date range
  4. Indicate if you want to see the front only of the cheque or if you want to see the front and back of the cheque by selecting the corresponding radio button
  5. Click the ‘Search’ button

The cheque images from your search criteria will be presented and you will see either the front or the front and back of the cheques depending on your search criteria selection.

The cheque number, clearing date and account from which the cheque was written are displayed within the ‘Account Activity’ section of online banking.

If you click on the ‘Cheque Clearing’ link you will see a picture of the front of your cheque and you will also have the option to click on the ‘Show Back’ button which will display the back of the cheque.

Yes, if you have searched for a single cheque and clicked on the ‘Cheque Clearing’ link you will automatically be displayed the front of the cheque. You have the option to see the back of the cheque by clicking on the ‘Show Back’ button. For multiple cheques you have the option to view the front and back by selecting this in your search criteria or you can follow the ‘Cheque Clearing’ link and utilize the ‘Show Back’ button.

Yes, you can right click your cheque image and select ‘Save As’. This action needs to be performed when viewing the front of the cheque image and when viewing the back of the cheque image if you wish to save the front and back of the cheque image to your computer.

Cheque image history is on a rolling 24 months.

If you’re currently or in the past were using old style cheques which do not include your account suffix within the MICR (number coding on the bottom of your cheque) you will be unable to view the cheque images online.

To view a copy of one of these cheques please contact your branch and they will retrieve a copy internally for you.

No, this is a free service available to all our clients that use online banking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Alterna’s debit cards have been called “Alterna Access Card” for some years. We simply carried the name over from the last version that was issued.

This new Access Card is your new debit card for accessing your accounts through ATMs or using for Interac Debit purchases. It replaces any old Alterna member or debit cards you may have, and should be activated immediately (your old Alterna debit cards will no longer work after December 31, 2012).

There are a couple of reasons why you need to start using your new Access card with chip as soon as you get it. One, chip technology is more secure against skimming and duplication than the outdated magnetic stripe cards. That said, it’s still up to you to be vigilant about protecting your PIN every time and everywhere you use your debit card, and don’t share your PIN with anyone. Two, it’s mandated by the Interac Association that Canadian financial institutions and ABMs will no longer accept magnetic stripe cards for transactions.

Simply lift or remove the card from the letter you received – the number is printed beneath it. You’ll then be able to compare it against what’s embossed on the card.

In most cases, your PIN has been transferred over to your new debit chip card. If the letter accompanying your card indicates that your PIN was sent separately, then you’ll receive your PIN in the mail. When you receive your PIN, simply call us to activate your new card.

Debit chip cards are being sent over a period of several weeks. If you haven’t received your debit chip card by October 26, please contact us or visit your local branch.

In most cases, your PIN has been transferred over to your new debit chip card, so you’ll be able to use the PIN you did previously. If the letter accompanying your card indicates that your PIN was sent separately, then you’ll receive your PIN in the mail. When you receive your PIN, simply call us to activate your new card.

For security purposes, most financial institutions no longer print names on debit cards.

Yes – the new debit chip cards are valid for 3-7 years.

Debit cards with chip technology have an extra level of encryption security built in, making them more difficult to skim or duplicate. Debit chip cards work together with chip-enabled ATMs and point-of-sale terminals to validate both the card and the cardholder, providing you with increased protection against fraud. Always remember to be vigilant about protecting your PIN each and every time you use your card.

As microchip technology improves, the chips get smaller. Your new Alterna card with chip has state-of-the-art technology packed into a smaller microchip.

Chip cards will continue to have a magnetic stripe to facilitate the chip transition period, plus the magnetic stripe will allow you to conduct business in other countries that don’t currently use chip technology.

Absolutely nothing, other than perhaps inserting your card at a POS terminal rather than swiping it. Everything else about conducting transactions remains the same.

Yes, the PIN remains an important security element of any transaction you conduct.

The information stored on your new chip card is the same information that’s currently stored in the magnetic stripe in the card you use now. The only information that merchants are allowed to store is the basic transaction data, such as the time, date, purchase amount and debit card number. This basic information is necessary in the event that a cardholder requests a trace.

The only information stored from the debit card itself is the debit card number, which alone is not sufficient enough to create a counterfeit card.

If the spouse/joint party has a card that was set up under their own client number to access your account, they will receive a new card in the mail under their name. If the card was set up under your client account number, then the card will be mailed to you and not your spouse/joint party. The card number on the face of the card will match the number that they are presently using.

In some cases, joint accounts were setup as a main account, with the secondary account holder listed as a sub-account. Therefore, only the main account holder would receive the new cards. To determine which card is yours, simply match the old card number to the new card number. You’ll be able to use the same PIN for your new card.

In some cases, our banking system has two cards assigned to you because the old card was never cancelled when a new card was issued at some point in the past.

We’ve purposely staggered the expiry dates on the new debit chip cards, which will help us avoid large volumes in our Contact Centre when cards expire.

Chances are, you mistakenly entered the wrong PIN. Because of the anti-fraud technology built into chip cards, if an incorrect PIN is entered when you’re trying to activate or use your card for the first time, a hold is automatically placed on the card. If you re-enter the PIN correctly at an Alterna ATM (or one in THE EXCHANGE® Network), then deposit or withdraw funds, the hold will be removed. If you don’t remember your PIN or continue to have problems, please visit your branch to verify your identity and reset your PIN.

We’ve been notified that our chip cards won’t activate at Manulife ATMs, however, once the card has been activated/used at other ATMs or point-of-sale devices, they are accepted at the Manulife machines. Please activate your card by using it at any Alterna ATM, another ATM that's part of THE EXCHANGE® or Interac® networks, or use it at any point-of-sale terminal to make a purchase.

When we ordered your new debit chip card, we used the language preference that was attached to your old magnetic stripe debit card (either English or French). If you’d like to change the language of your new debit chip card, we’ll replace the card you received with a new card in your preferred language (English or French), and you’ll receive the correct language for items in the future. Please contact us to request a replacement card.

There have been numerous news articles and television features about this form of fraud, where a security expert is able to get people's card information simply by walking by them on the street with a handheld card reader. This type of technology, largely used in the U.S., is called RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, and is different from the microchip technology used on bank debit cards.

In Canada, RFID technology is used primarily by MasterCard and VISA, commonly known as PayPass and payWave, and is sometimes referred to as “contactless” payment.

The new Alterna Access Card with chip technology does NOT use RFID technology, and is not susceptible to this type of fraud.

We do not currently offer protector sleeves.

​If you have any trouble understanding the instructions sent to you, please call us – a knowledgeable Contact Centre representative would be pleased to help.Need more information? Please visit Interac.ca to read more about debit chip cards and chip technology.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Tax slips will be mailed out to clients by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) deadline.

If you have not received your tax slip(s) within 2 weeks of that mailing date, please call us at 1.866.560.0120. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit Term Deposit / GIC ​for more details.

Funds cannot be withdrawn and re-deposited nor can they be transferred from an existing deposit account to another. Only new deposits that raise a member’s overall deposit balance with Alterna from what it was on the Promotional Start Date will be considered for promotional rates.

For funds to qualify as new money and be considered for promotional rates, the funds need to be deposited between the promotion period. 

Yes, if you’re depositing funds with Alterna for the purpose of investing but for whatever reason you’re unavailable to meet right away, these funds would be eligible. Again, as long as the funds are deposited on or after the Promotional Start Date. On a best effort you should be making an appointment with one of our bankers at the time of the deposit to indicate that the deposit was for investment purposes.

There is no specific number of days; it is dependent on the Promotional Start Date. If a member has deposited money for the purpose of purchasing an investment with Alterna, then those funds would be considered new as long as the deposit was made on or after the corresponding promotional start date.

    • Deposit such as cash, cheque, PAD, Interac e-Transfer etc.
    • Payroll
    • Pension
    • Severance funds
    • Funds from another FI

Yes, funds advanced from an Alterna loan or line of credit for the purpose of investing are eligible for the new money promotional term deposits. 

No, money withdrawn and re-deposited will not count as a new deposit. Only new deposits that raise your overall deposit balance with Alterna above what it was on the Promotional Start Date will be eligible to receive the promotional interest rates.

Promotional rates are subject to change without notice and are valid for the campaign period only and are only guaranteed for a period of 30 days for investments transferred to Alterna (T2033).

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