Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)


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We’ve expanded your online banking security.

The security of your account information is very important to us, therefore we are constantly updating our methods to keep current and better protect you from unauthorized access and fraud.

We have partnered with a nationally recognized protection software provider to make the log in process even more secure. To do this, we are expanding our Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) process. MFA ensures the highest level of security for your Online Banking session and also protects against online fraud by providing a second “factor”, an additional verification step beyond entering only your User ID and Password.

This second "factor" is triggered whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity. If MFA is triggered, we will generate an access code and send it to you. You can choose to have an access code sent to you by email, text, or automated phone call. Once you receive it, you will need to log in with not only the code, but also your User ID and your Password.

Why is MFA so important? Having MFA will reassure us that it is you logging in and will reassure you that we are monitoring your account.

To further help you understand the details of how MFA works, please review this list of frequently asked questions posed by other members.

Frequently asked questions about Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

In order to increase online security, Patelco uses a feature called Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Multi-Factor Authentication is a security system in which more than one form of authentication is used to verify your identity when logging in to Online Banking. Patelco uses two factors, your User ID and Password (which you create), and an access code which we generate and give to you via email, text, or telephone.

When do I need to use MFA?

This second "factor" is triggered whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity. If MFA is triggered, we will generate an access code and send it to you. You can choose to have an access code sent to you by email, text, or automated phone call.

What else can trigger MFA? I am using the same computer from the same location, but I am still being asked for MFA.

MFA can also be triggered if certain behavior has been detected, for example a recent change to your mailing address.

I am not an Internet expert. How easy is MFA to use?

MFA is simple to use and you don't need to memorize a new log in or password. Log in to Online Banking as usual and if you are prompted for MFA, simply follow the onscreen instructions.

You must have a valid email address or a mobile or home phone number on file to use MFA. If you need to add or update your email or phone number, please call us at 800.358.8228. You can also update your email or phone number securely through Online Banking under the My Profile tab then selecting either Change Address/Phone or Change Email from the sub-menu.

How do I get an access code?

You must have a valid email address or a mobile or home phone number on file to get an access code. If you need to add or update your email or phone number, please call us at 800.358.8228. You can also update your email or phone number securely through Online Banking under the My Profile tab then selecting either Change Address/Phone or Change Email from the sub-menu. You only need an access code if Online Banking prompts you to enter one when you try to log in.

If you are prompted to use an access code, you can choose how you would like to receive it. You can choose to have it sent to you by email, automated phone call, or text message.

Once you select your method, click "Send Access Code" and your access code will arrive within seconds of your selection.

If you selected for the code to arrive via email, and you don't receive it, be sure to check your junk mail. To ensure email delivery, add membercare@patelco.org to your contact list. If you selected for the code to arrive via text message, the receiver's name will display as "243-41" and charges may apply.

Enter the code in the appropriate box, and then click "Log in to Online Banking." If you never actually requested an access code, but receive notification of one please notify us at 800.358.8228 between the hours of Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 7:00pm PST and Saturday: 9:00am - 2:00pm PST.

What if I use the same device all the time? Do I have to enter an access code each time I want to log in to Online Banking?

No, you will only need it if we are unable to authenticate you. MFA is triggered whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity and you will be prompted to request an access code with MFA. Once you receive your access code and log in to Online Banking, your identity will be remembered until the next time something changes.

What is a cookie and Private Browsing?

A cookie is a piece of information sent to a browser by a web server. The browser then returns that information to the web server. This is how some web pages "remember" your previous visits. For example, an e-commerce site might use a cookie to remember which items you've placed in your shopping cart. Cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users. They do not collect information from the user's computer but rather store information in the form of a session identification that does not personally identify the user. Private Browsing enables you to surf the web without leaving a trail on your browser. This helps prevent anyone else who might be using your computer from seeing what sites you visited and what you looked at on the web, but also disables/clears your cookies when you browse the internet.

How should I set my cookies and browsing options for Online Banking?

If cookies are disabled/deleted and you use Private Browsing, you can still access Online Banking, however you will be asked for an access code (in addition to your User ID and Password) each time you log in to Online Banking. If you choose not to be asked for an access code each time you log in to Online Banking, make sure to enable cookies and turn off Private Browsing in your browser.

What if I do not receive my access code?

You can elect to have your access code sent to you via email, text, or an automated phone call. Patelco must have your current email address or phone numbers on file. You can verify or update your email address and phone numbers in Online Banking in the My Profile tab.

Once in the tab, then select either Change Address/Phone or Change Email from the sub-menu. If you do not receive your access code even after updating your information, please give us a call at 800.358.8228.

What is the difference between an access code and an Online Banking password?

A password is created by you and is required to access Online Banking. An access code is a random code created by us that is sent to you via email, automated phone call, or text message whenever login activity is considered a high risk compared to usual account activity.

Why add an additional layer of security?

As a leading financial institution, we take your online security seriously. We want to take whatever steps we can to protect your account against unauthorized access and fraud.

How does this additional layer of security protect me?

A User ID and Password are a good start to online security, but they simply aren't enough because you create them and they do not change unless you change them. However, a randomly generated MFA access code is sent to you where only you can get it - your email account or phone. This ensures that you are the person entitled to log in to that account. Plus, the MFA code is only good for two hours after it is generated so it cannot be used after it expires. For MFA to remain efficient, it is important that you keep your email and phone numbers current in Online Banking.

I already have anti-virus software and a personal firewall. Why do I need this security feature?

Anti-virus software and personal firewalls provide great protection against viruses and hackers and should be kept up to date. MFA adds another layer of security and protects against threats that anti-virus software and a personal firewall do not, such as stolen User ID and Passwords. MFA supplements, but does not replace, your other personal security software.

Is my personal information still secure?

Yes. In fact, we feel your personal information is more safe with MFA. We are helping to ensure that only you can access your personal information through Patelco's Online Banking. In addition, Online Banking is protected by iron-clad Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. It encrypts all account information transmitted through Online Banking, making it nearly impossible for anyone other than you and Patelco to access it.

Will Patelco send me an email or link to a website for account maintenance or other updates?

No. Patelco will never attempt to reach out to you to verify your personal or account information by any means including over the phone, via email, or through text messaging. If you do receive a request from someone claiming to represent Patelco, it's fraudulent, and you should notify us immediately. You can report fraud by calling us at 800.358.8228 or by sending us an email at abuse@patelco.org.

What should I do if I cannot access my Online Banking or obtain my access code?

If you have difficulty accessing Online Banking or do not receive your access code, please call us at 800.358.8228 or send us a secure email at patelco.org/contact.