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Frequently Asked Questions

Online Banking: 
Q: What can I do with Online Banking?  
A: With Online Banking, you have control over nearly every aspect of managing you accounts. You can: 
  • View transaction history on your Online Banking accounts.
  • Transfer funds between your authorized Online Banking accounts.
  • Pay one-time, occasional, and recurring payments online.
  • Download account information into Quicken® or Microsoft® Money.
    Q: What do I need to enroll for Online Banking?  
    A: You must have an account with us, access codes, and you must have a secure Internet connection.  
    Q: How do I know if my browser is secure enough to use the Online Banking system?  
    A: Online Banking requires that your Internet browser be SSL compliant. Our Online Banking system currently works with Netscape 4.5 and higher and with Internet Explorer 4.0 and higher. We strongly recommend you download the latest versions of your preferred browser software with 128-bit support. 
    Click on one of the icons below to download a browser that is SSL compliant: 
    Internet Explorer 
    Q: Can I view transactions in all accounts through Online Banking? How far back?  
    A: Our Online Banking system stores up-to-date history on all of your authorized Online Banking accounts. The amount of history available may vary depending on the type of account.  
    Q: What customer service options are available through Online Banking?  
    A: As always, you can telephone us during business hours for questions regarding your accounts. However, our Online Banking system allows you to request transfers, set up bill payments, retrieve previous account statements, etc.  
    Signing Up for Online Banking 
    Q: How do I know if my browser is secure enough to use the Online Banking system?  
    A: Online Banking requires that your Internet browser be SSL compliant. Our Online Banking system currently works with Netscape 4.5 and higher and with Internet Explorer 4.0 and higher. We strongly recommend you download the latest versions of your preferred browser software with 128-bit support. 
    Click on one of the icons below to download a browser that is SSL compliant: 
    Internet Explorer 
    Q: How do I sign up? 
    A: If you already have Access ID codes, you are ready to go! If you do not have Access ID codes, please contact the Electronic Banking Administrator at (712)546-2345 or (712)786-1153 for more information to get signed up.  
    Q: How long will it take to get registered for the Online Bill Payment service?  
    A: If you are already enrolled in Online Banking you are ready to go. 
    Q: How do I set up Bill Payment?  
    A: To set up bill payment, click on the checking account you want the bill payments to come out of, then click on the payments button, select the New scheduled Payment option. Next fill in the required information, including amount, date, and frequency. Your bills should now be ready to pay. 
    Q: How do I cancel a bill payment?  
    A: To cancel a bill payment, select the payment to cancel and click on the Delete Button, then click on the submit button. 
    Q: How do I download to Quicken or MS Money?  
    A: To download your account information, click on the Transactions tab, then select the Transaction Menu. Under the Transaction Search field fill in the information and select the correct export format. Click on the export button and it will ask you to save a file. Chose a location on your computer where you will remember (e.g. your Desktop). Once the file is finished downloading, go into Quicken or MS Money and import the file you just saved. 
    Q: How far back can I see check images?  
    A: Specific check images can be seen on the previous and current statements. To see images before that, you'll need to retrieve prior statements. 
    Q: How do I find prior statements?  
    A: To see prior statements, click on the documents tab and select DDA or SAV statements. 
    Q: Can I stop or modify my request to transfer funds?  
    A: Yes. Any time before you reach the "Scheduled Transfer Confirmation" screen you can modify or cancel your funds transfer request. However, after you complete a funds transfer and receive a confirmation number, you cannot stop the transfer from completing. At that point if you change your mind about the transfer, just make a new transfer to move the funds back to the right accounts. 
    Q: When are transfers posted to my account?  
    A: Express Transfers are posted to your account immediately. 
    Q: When I attempt to sign on to Online Banking, I receive an error message informing me that my access ID is incorrect. What should I do?  
    A: You could have inadvertently entered the Access ID incorrectly. Check your Access ID and try again. If you are certain that you entered the correct Access ID, contact us. 
    Q: When I attempt to sign on to Online Banking, I receive an error message informing me that my password is incorrect. What should I do?  
    A: Make sure that you are typing your password as you did when it was created, making sure to use upper and lower case letters and a number. You may also want to make sure your CAPS LOCK is off. Make sure you are using the correct password and try it again. If you can't remember your password, contact us. 
    Q: When does the money to pay the bills come out of my account?  
    A: The money will come out of your account on the day you specify the bill payment to be made. 
    Q: How much does bill payment cost?  
    A: The bill payment service is FREE. 
    Q: Is there a charge for using Online Banking?  
    A: No. There is no charge for using Online Banking. However there is a charge for using Online Bill Payment. 
    Q: Can I pay my bills out of a savings account?  
    A: No. Bill payments can only be taken out of a checking account. 
    Q: How do I search for a particular check?  
    A: To search for a particular check, click on the Transactions tab, then select the Transaction Menu. Under the Image Search field fill in the required information and click on the Display button. 
    Enhanced Security for Online Banking: 
    Q1. Why is American Bank using Enhanced Security technology?  
    A1. We are committed to proactively protecting you, our customer, from fraud and identity theft. Enhanced Security helps protect you in two ways. First, it helps you recognize that you are conducting business on American Bank's Online Banking website. When you see your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase, you can be confident that you are at the legitimate website, not an imposter site. Make sure you see your Authentication Image before you enter your password! Secondly, the bank is also able to recognize you as the true owner of your account. If we do not recognize your computer, we will ask you one of your challenge questions as an additional line of defense against unauthorized access. 
    Q2. What does Enhanced Security consist of?  
    A2. Enhanced Security consists of an Authentication Image, a Pass Phrase and three challenge questions. This information is known only to you and protects you whether you are logging in to your accounts from your own computer or from somewhere else. 
    Q3. How does Enhanced Security work?  
    A3. When you are at your own computer, enter your username and click on the login button. We will show you your private Authentication Image and Pass Phrase which verifies that you are at the official American Bank site. When you see your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase, it is safe to enter your password. When you log in from a different computer, we will ask one of your challenge questions to verify your identity. When you answer correctly, the Authentication Image and Pass Phrase appears. 
    Q4. Where is my password?  
    A4. We no longer prompt you for your username and password on the same page. To enhance the security of Online Banking, you are prompted for your password after you have identified yourself by your username and we have identified the device from which you are logging in. If you are enrolled in Enhanced Security, we retrieve your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase and present this on the password page. This allows you to be sure that you are connecting to a American Bank's Online Banking site before entering your password.  
    If you are not yet enrolled in Enhanced Security, which we determine once you have identified yourself by your username, you will be prompted for your password before enrolling in Enhanced Security. 
    In addition, if we detect any security concerns as we validate your username and device, we may challenge you with a question before presenting the password page. 
    Q5. How will I know that I am not at a fraudulent site?  
    A5. Previously, you logged into Online Banking using your username and password. Now, you will also use an Authentication Image and a Pass Phrase. Your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase help you to identify that you are on our website, not a fraudulent look-alike site. Here is how it works: 
    First, you will enter your username and click the login button. If we recognize the computer you are using, your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase will be presented to you on the next page. Once you confirm your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase, you will know you can safely enter your password. If you do not recognize your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase, do not enter your password. 
    Q6. Will I need to change my password?  
    A6. Not during enrollment. The Authentication Image, Pass Phrase and your challenge questions and answers are separate from your Online Banking password. In the future, you will be required to change your password every three months. 
    Q7. How is this product more secure?  
    A7. Enhanced Security helps you know that you are at the official American Bank site before you enter your password. In addition, we know it is really you signing in because we recognize your computer or we ask you a challenge question to verify your identity. 
    Q8. Why do I need to set up challenge questions?  
    A8. Challenge questions help prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to your accounts. If someone signs in from a computer that we do not recognize, we will ask them a challenge question to verify that it is really you. That way, even if they have stolen your username and password, they will not know the answer to the challenge question. 
    Q9. When will I establish my challenge questions?  
    A9. After implementing Enhanced Security, the first time you log in, you will enter your username and click the Submit button. You will then enter your password and click submit. At that time you will be asked to verify your email address, create a Pass Phrase, select and answer your challenge questions and register your computer for future logins. (To simplify the registration process, American Bank will automatically assign your first Authentication Image. After you are enrolled, you will be able to change your Authentication Image by clicking on Options - Change Security Data after you have successfully logged on to Online Banking.) 
    Q10. What happens if someone steals my password? How will Enhanced Security keep them from accessing my account?  
    A10. When someone tries to log in using your stolen username and password, we will recognize that they are logging in from a different computer and ask them one of your challenge questions. Since only you know the answers to your challenge questions, they will not be able to give a correct answer. They will not be able to log in. 
    Q11. What keeps someone from stealing my Authentication Image and Pass Phrase?  
    A11. We only show you your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase if you log in from your registered computer or after you have correctly answered a challenge question. So it is not possible for an unauthorized person to get access to your Authentication Image and Pass Phrase. 
    Q12. How do you know I am logging in from my own computer?  
    A12. When you log in for the first time from a new computer, we put a secure (encrypted) cookie on your computer. This cookie contains a randomly generated unique number that identifies your computer. The cookie is visible only to the bank web site and does not contain any of your personal information. When you log in after that, your web browser sends us this cookie. This lets us know that this is your computer. If you have Macromedia Flash® installed on your computer, we will also use Macromedia Flash® objects to identify your computer in the event that we can not identify your cookies. By using flash objects as a backup method for recognizing you as a valid user, we ensure that your sign-in is as quick and convenient as possible. 
    Q13. When I enter my username, it asks me a question instead of showing my Authentication Image. Why?  
    A13. This is to help verify that it is really you signing in. These challenge questions are meant to keep imposters out because only you know the answers to these questions. There are several reasons why you might be challenged. 
    Some reasons might be:  
  • You are logging in from a different computer
  • You are logging in using a different browser
  • You cleared all the cookies on your computer
  • You incorrectly typed your User ID on the first attempt
  • If you are challenged, answer the question with the correct answer and you will be shown your Authentication Image.
    Q14. Can I access my account from multiple computers?  
    A14. Yes, you can access Online Banking from any number of computers and have the same Enhanced Security protections. If you log in from a new computer or a public terminal, you will just need to go through one extra step of answering a challenge question. Once you answer the question correctly, we will ask you if you would like us to recognize that computer in the future. If you answer yes, you will not need to answer a challenge question the next time you use that computer. This helps protect you by keeping unauthorized people from accessing your valuable information. There is no limit on how many different computers you can use to log in to Online Banking. 
    Q15. I share my computer with someone who also uses Online Banking. Can both of us still sign in from this computer?  
    A15. Yes. You can use the same computer to log in to your individual accounts safely; you will not see the other user's information. There is no limit to how many people can log in to Online Banking from the same computer. Just remember not to share your username, password or answers to your challenge questions. 
    Q16. What should I do if I register a computer I do not want registered?  
    A16. Call the Online Banking Administrator at (712)546-2345 or (712)786-1153. We will delete your security profile. This will require you to set a new profile. You will have to set up new challenge questions and re-register each computer you want to use to access Online Banking. 
    Q17. What should I do if my Authentication Image and/or Pass Phrase are incorrect?  
    A17. Do not enter your password! Immediately call the Online Banking Administrator at (712)546-2345 or (712)786-1153.  
    Online Bill Pay Service: 
    Q: How does the Online Bill Payments service work?  
    A: Our Online Bill Payment service offered through Online Banking allows you to set up payments to just about anyone. You tell us the person or company you want to make a payment to, and we will withdraw the money from your account and send the payment to the payee. You may schedule one-time, occasional, or recurring payments to be paid right away or a date in the future.  
    Q: Who can use the Online Bill Payment service?  
    A: Anyone who has access to a checking account in Online Banking is eligible to use the Online Bill Payment service. To sign up for Online Banking service, select the "First Time User" option at the Access Your Account screen.  
    Q: How long will it take to get registered for Online Bill Payment?  
    A: If you are already enrolled in online banking you are all ready to go. For a new online banking applicant email our Electronic Banking Administrator or call 712-546-2345 for more information or the opportunity to get signed up.  
    Q: How are payments made?  
    A: When scheduling your payment, you tell us the payment amount and when to issue the payment. On the scheduled payment date, the payment amount is automatically deducted from your account and the payment is sent to the payee either by check through the U.S. Postal Service, or is sent to the payee electronically.  
    Q: Who can I pay with this service?  
    A: You can pay virtually anyone you want using our Online Bill Payment service. As long as they have a valid U.S. mailing address we can pay them for you. However, due to liability issues, we will not accept payments to federal, state or local tax agencies.  
    Q: When I add a new payee, do I have to wait before I can make the first payment?  
    A: No. When you add a payee to the Online Banking payee database, you may immediately schedule a payment to be paid on the next payment processing day.  
    Q: How far in advance should I schedule payments?  
    A: You should allow seven days for the payment to arrive and be credited to your account with the payee.  
    Q: When are payments processed?  
    A: Payments are processed each business day. Any payments scheduled on a non-business day (Saturday, Sunday, and federal holidays) will be issued the following business day.  
    Q: What if I have insufficient funds in my account on the scheduled payment date?  
    A: The payment will not be made. We will mail or email you notifying you that the payment cannot be made due to insufficient funds. Our system will attempt to make the payment for three business days or until you delete the payment.  
    Q: What if the payee does not receive my payment? Who pays any late fees?  
    A: If the payee does not receive a payment, contact our financial institution's Electronic Banking Administrator representative immediately. If our research finds that a late fee incurred was due to an error with the Online Bill Payment system, we will take responsibility for any late fees resulting from such error and will work to resolve the issue with the payee on your behalf.  
    Q: What type of security do you offer?  
    A: Our Online Banking system uses many lines of defense to protect your account information. From authentication (Your login and password), SSL, exclusive encryption software, high-end firewalls, and automatic sign-off, you’re information is always safe -- it’s like having a bank vault online.  
    Q: What is encryption and how does it work?  
    A: Encryption turns meaningful words and phrases into coded language. Everything that you do during your Online Banking session becomes a string of unrecognizable numbers before entering the Internet. Your account information will read as gibberish to everyone but you and our financial institution. All of your Online Banking sessions will be encrypted. We employ the strongest forms of cryptography that are commercially available for use over the Internet.  
    Q: What is 128-bit encryption?  
    A: A 128-bit encryption means there are 2128 possible keys that could fit into the lock that holds your account information, but only one that works for each Online Banking session. (Try that on your calculator!) This level of encryption is so powerful that the U.S. government lists this encryption as a federal munition - meaning browsers that offer it can only be used and downloaded by citizens and permanent resident of the United States and Canada.  
    Q: What does SSL mean?  
    A: SSL stands for "Secure Socket Layer." This technology allows users to establish sessions with secure Internet sites - meaning they have minimal risk of external violation. Once inside the Online Banking site, our use of SSL technology keeps you and your account information secure.  
    Q: What types of security measures are taken to prevent sensitive information from being intercepted online?  
    A: From the moment account information leaves your computer to the time it enters the Online Banking system, we take numerous steps to ensure your information is secure in cyberspace. We make sure only authorized people with secure browsers can access our system. 
  • You must enter your password, and we must verify it before you are allowed to access your accounts.
  • Only browsers supporting the SSL security protocol can be used to log on to our system.
  • Once online, we make sure only you can view any information about your accounts.
  • SSL uses a digital signature to make sure that no one can send you false information; your browser will only accept information from the Online Banking system.
  • SSL also uses the highest level of encryption supported by your browser to encrypt all information before it is sent. This ensures that only the browser that logged on can read any information the system supplies
    Q: What can I do to protect my account information while I’m online?  
    A: We take numerous steps to keep your account information secure. However, you must take precautions as well. 
  • Choose a good password - Your online password, along with your access ID, authenticate you when you begin an Online Banking session. You should carefully select a password that is hard to guess, but is easy for you to remember.
  • Keep your password safe - Even the best password is worthless if it’s written on a note attached to your computer or in your checkbook. Memorize your password and never tell it to anyone. We do not need your password to help you, so we will never ask you for it.
  • You will be required to change your password every 90-days.
  • Remember to sign-off properly - You may not always be at your own computer when your bank online. Therefore, it’s important to sign off when you’re finished banking. If you forget to do so, the system automatically signs you off after 15 minutes of inactivity. This will prevent anyone else from accessing your account.
    Q: What happens if an unauthorized person uses my access ID and password?  
    A: You must notify us immediately if you believe your access ID or password has been compromised or if an unauthorized transaction has occurred. If you tell us within two banking days after you learn of a loss or theft, you can lose no more than $50.00.  
    E-Z Paper Free: 
    Q: What is E-Z Paper Free? 
    A: E-Z Paper Free is a service that will allow you to access from a computer 24x7 much of the correspondence you currently receive by regular mail from the bank in a convenient, safe and secure manor. 
    Q: What accounts can I sign up for? 
    A: Any type of bank account is eligible. This includes checking, savings, and time certificate of deposit accounts, as well as loans.  
    Q: What type of communication will I get with this service? 
    A: That is up to you. Almost any computer generated bank account information is available. Below is a sample of some of the E-Z Paper Free notices that are available:  
  • Checking Account Notices:
  • Statements
  • NSF Notices
  • Savings Account Notices:
  • Statements
  • Certificate of Deposit Notices:
  • Notice of interest paid
  • Notice of approaching maturity, and
  • Notice of a change in interest
  • Loan Notices
  • Notice of a loan advance
  • Notice of a payment due
    Q: Can I pick and choose the accounts or reports that I want E-Z Paper Free? 
    A: Absolutely, with a few limited exceptions. If you want to receive only your checking account statement through E-Z Paper Free you may. If you have more than one checking account you may choose which ones you wish to receive E-Z Paper Free. 
    Q: What will this service cost me? 
    A: Nothing.  
    Q: After I have signed up can I change what accounts receive this service? 
    A: Yes. We ask that you complete a revised E-Z Paper Free Exhibit A form and submit it to the Electronic Banking Administrator (EBA) prior to the change going into effect. 
    Q: What if I want the bank to provide me a paper copy of my statement or other correspondence? 
    A: We request you contact the Electronic Banking Administrator and identify the account or paper document. The bank archives all computer-generated correspondence including checking and savings account statements. If it is properly identified, the bank will produce it. The bank may assess a fee for this research based on the current Service Fee brochure. 
    Q: What if I change my email address? 
    A: We ask that you contact the Electronic Banking Administrator and advise them of your new address as soon as possible. Email notifications that are returned to us undeliverable will be sent to you by regular first class mail. Three consecutive failed email attempts is considered grounds to terminate the agreement, at the Bank's discretion.  
    Q: How do I get started? 
    A: You are asked to complete and sign the E-Z Paper Free Agreement selecting which accounts you would like Paper Free. Remember, you can always change your election at no cost.   
  • We will send you an email as a test with a sample statement attached.  
  • Open the document with the password we supply you.
  • Reply to our email with the balance on the attached sample statement.  
  • In doing this you are demonstrating to us that your hardware and software are capable of receiving our email, and that you can read the documents we send.
  • After a successful test drive E-Z Paper Free will be activated.
    Q: How do I contact the Electronic Banking Administrator? 
    A: Write to: 
    American Bank, Attn: Electronic Banking Administrator   
    P.O. Box 310 
    Le Mars, IA 51031-0310 
    Phone: (712)546-2345      
    P.O. Box 559 
    Remsen, IA 51050 
    Phone: (712)786-1153  
    or email at ebadmin@am-bank.com 
    Q: What about privacy? 
    A: The American Bank web site is secure. When information is provided to your computer, it will be as secure as your personal computer or as the parties that have access to your personal computer. You may also download this information to a file with the security you desire. Remember your personal user code and password limit access to your bank information.  

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