Bank account issues are never fun, especially when you count on the money stored inside of them.
For a small percentage of Chime® account holders, a recent issue affected access. This has caused some serious frustration from formerly satisfied customers.
Luckily, if you’re one of those account holders, there’s a quick way to resolve the problem.
Keep reading to find out what you can do if you can’t log into your Chime® account.
Whose Chime accounts were closed?
Past round of account closures affected only a small percentage of accounts. So, if you have money with Chime, chances are, everything is fine.
Account holders whose accounts were to be affected were notified by email prior to the closure, but you could have missed that message.
If it’s an account you don’t check often, like a savings account, you might want to give logging in a try to make sure that your account is in good standing.
Why did Chime close accounts?
Whether your account was affected or not, you may wonder why accounts were closed in the first place.
Many of the closures were due to suspected fraudulent activity. When this happens, it is the standard operating procedure for most lenders to cancel accounts, but due to government relief payments, it has happened in larger numbers recently.
“The past year has seen an extraordinary surge in activity by those seeking to illicitly obtain pandemic-related government funds and defraud US taxpayers,” Chime said in an official statement. “By some credible estimates, $400 billion worth of unemployment fraud alone may have transpired. We are proud of Chime’s robust anti-fraud efforts, which have returned hundreds of millions of dollars to state and federal agencies during the pandemic. While it’s important for us to fight fraud, our top focus will always be to take care of our members.”
That said, Chime admits in their official statement that some closures happened in error; they have apologized and “made efforts to make things right with these members.”
How Chime’s fraud protection works
When a neobank like Chime detects fraud, it’s required to report the activity to federal authorities.
This is only one in a series of steps Chime takes, which includes:
- Searching for evidence of fraud once suspicious activity is detected.
- If fraud is found, Chime closes the account and the fraudulently deposited funds are returned to the government.
- If no conclusive evidence can be found, the account may still be terminated, but the funds in the account will go back to the account holder.
- If the investigation finds that the account activity was legitimate, the account will be unfrozen.
Chances are, your account still may fall in the final two of those four scenarios. But, as you can see, the investigation could take a little time, which explains any delay you might be experiencing.
How to handle a closed Chime account
If you’ve established you can’t access your Chime account, reach out to Chime’s customer support team.
Before you do, make sure you have information on any recent transactions that you have made, including ones that may look suspicious.
Chime representatives may also ask you to prove your residency by scanning a utility bill or other verifying document.
To get in touch with Chime support, use one of the following methods of contact:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Phone: 844-244-6363.
- Chime’s mobile app.
Chime’s member services department is open Monday through Sunday, from 3 am to 11 pm CST.
Getting your funds
If your account was closed, you might not have access to your funds right away. This is merely a security measure while they review everything and make sure the account is completely clear of fraudulent activity.
What should you do in the meantime?
In the meantime, you’ll want to contact creditors and make other arrangements to pay your bills.
Ideally, one phone call or message will straighten things out, but as with any banking solution, if Chime needs some time to look into matters, there might be a delay in getting access to your money.
Preventing future Chime account closures
No matter where you bank, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of future closures. Here are some tips that can help.
1. Respond to notices immediately
If you ever receive an email stating that your account will soon be closed, take action immediately.
Whether it’s a traditional lender or a neobank, it can save everyone time if you straighten things out before official action has been taken.
2. Set up notifications
Second, it’s important to keep a close watch on your account. If you see suspicious activity, get in touch with Chime immediately.
Go to “Settings” and then “Notifications” to make sure you’re set up to get alerts whenever there’s a transaction on your debit card.
3. Keep your business separate
Chime is pretty clear that it’s designed solely for personal use. In fact, in the Deposit Account Agreement, Chime specifically states:
“The Spending Account is not designed for business use, and we may close the Spending Account if we determine it is being used for business purposes.”
Yes, even if you’re a freelancer, those business transactions can cause your account to be shut down.
4. Check your contact information
Most banks will get in touch with consumers about account issues and they’ll use the contact information you’ve provided. If your email address or phone number changes, make sure you update your account profile.
Also, make a point to check your email and spam folders on a regular basis.
5. Have a backup
No matter where you park your money, it’s important to have a backup option. Whether it’s a credit card or a secondary bank account, at least you’ll be able to continue to pay bills and make purchases if you ever have a banking issue that needs to be straightened out.
There are plenty of fee-free online checking accounts to consider as a second account.
Neobanks and fraud risk
Chime is one of many platforms known as a neobank. The platform itself is not a bank.
Unlike local banks, neobanks operate solely online, which means there’s never the in-person element that brick-and-mortar branches have.
As such, neobanks can be prime targets for fraudsters. Blocking access to accounts is Chime’s way of protecting both you and its banking partners against someone coming in and wiping out your account.
If you do all your banking online, make sure you know how to contact customer service if there’s an issue. And keep a copy of your account number in case you ever have issues and can’t get in through the app or website.
Chime account closures have mostly been a security measure affecting a small percentage of customers. Those who were affected should reach out to customer service immediately to straighten things out.
Even if there’s a delay in getting funds, you’ll once again have access once your account is reinstated.