man sitting at a desk using his credit card and tablet

ATM & Card Security


Please remember: Hawthorn Bank will not contact you requesting your debit card number, PIN or any Online Banking access information. If this information is requested from you, please report it to Hawthorn Bank immediately at


Cardholder Protection - smsGuardian®

Hawthorn Bank is always looking for the best possible protections for our customers and their money. This is a service that will alert you to transactions being conducted using your Hawthorn Bank MasterCard® debit card(s). These alerts are based on rules created by the Bank for your protection. These alerts are provided by smsGuardian®.

Features and Benefits

For the Cardholder

  • One-year enrollment period
  • Two-way text communication
  • Can enroll up to ten devices per web account
  • Do-Not-Disturb window capability
  • All major phone carriers supported

Enroll today by logging in to your online banking and clicking on the Card Alerts tab.

How do cardholders sign up for Mobile Card Alerts (smsGuardian®)?
Log in to your online banking and click the Card Alerts tab.

Are there security features in place to protect cardholder information?
Yes. We do not provide full cardholder information in any of the communications, and we will not ask for your PIN. Only the last 4-digits of the card number will be provided.

What happens if the cardholder doesn't reply to a text?
Nothing. If no confirmed fraud response is received from a cardholder in 12 hours, the text message times out. If the cardholder does not respond to non-fraud texts, it will be considered a good transaction.

Can a cardholder receive a text alert and a call from a Risk Management/Fraud Center Analyst?
Yes. These are two different products and it is possible for a cardholder to receive a text message and a call. The call may come from Fraud Center analyst. Fraud Center analysts will also have the ability to know when a cardholder has received a text alert on a transaction. Analysts will work the fraud case as a result of the text and hard block the card. An analyst that works the case will be able to review the card and see that the card has been blocked due to fraud and work accordingly.

Will the text appear to be from smsGuardian® or Hawthorn Bank?
The text will reference HWBK followed by Guardian alert.

If a cardholder responds with the "NO" code to a text, how long will it take to block?
The text response is placed in the highest priority to the Risk Management/Fraud Department. The next available analyst will hard block the card. The analyst will go through the appropriate channels to begin working the case.

Do cardholders receive renewal notifications?
Yes. A renewal notification will be sent to the device (i.e. cell phone) six days prior to the expiration. Three renewal text message attempts will be made before the device is set to expire. If the cardholder does not respond, the device will be removed from smsGuardian upon expiration. If a cardholder renews the device multiple times, it will extend an additional year for each extra click. So if a cardholder wants to renew for 5 years, the cardholder will click the renewal button 5 times.

Are cardholders charged when a cardholder renews their enrollment?
No. Hawthorn Bank is assuming this cost for first time enrollments, editing devices or preferences, and re-enrolling in the service.

If a cardholder has his or her do-not-disturb window setup and an alert occurs, does smsGuardian send a text when the do-not-disturb window is off?
Yes. A message will be sent once the do-not-disturb window is off. If a cardholder has the do-not-disturb set from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am and one or more alerts are created during this time frame, the alert messages will be sent to the cardholder starting at 6:00 am, when the cardholder is accepting text alerts.

Can I transfer funds or view my balance using smsGuardian®?
No. smsGuardian® is used to alert cardholders about their cardholder activity and possible fraud. Hawthorn Bank's mobile banking product offers this service.


Text Alerts

All alert messages will contain:

  • HWBK (representing Hawthorn Bank)
  • The last 4-digits of the card number
  • The merchant name or ATM location
  • Most transactions will provide the transaction number
  • All will provide an alphanumeric code that the cardholder will text if the transaction is fraudulent

If a single transaction sets off multiple rules in smsGuardian®, the first rule triggered will be sent to the cardholder as a text alert. We do not send multiple text messages on the same transaction.

We respect the cardholder's wish not to be bothered, so we will store all alerts until the "Do Not Disturb" window is closed, at which point we will send all earlier alerts. This will allow the cardholder the ability to review the transaction and respond/ignore accordingly. Since the alerts time out after 12 hours, the "Do Not Disturb" window cannot exceed 12 hours.

Other messages sent by the smsGuardian® service include reminder messages to the cardholder for subscription expiration; Help messages sent to devices when an inbound HELP request is sent; STOP (OPT-OUT) confirmation message when the cardholder texts that he/she wishes to opt out of the service.


Protecting your Hawthorn Card
  • Be CAUTIOUS about giving any card information over the phone; Hawthorn will NEVER ask for your full card number, CVV (3-digit code on back), account number or PIN.
  • Always protect your card and keep it in a safe place.
  • Minimize the number of cards you use and carry.
  • Do not leave your card lying around the house or on your desk at work.
  • Report a lost or stolen DEBIT card immediately to Hawthorn Bank either via your online banking options, mobile banking or call 1-888-297-3416.
  • Report a lost or stolen CREDIT card immediately to Hawthorn Bank or call 1-866-604-0381.
  • Contact the bank immediately if you detect any suspicious or unauthorized activity on your statement or online banking.
  • Sign up to receive mobile card alerts to notify you of suspicious activity on your card.
  • Enroll in credit and fraud monitoring services to alert you of attempts to alter or acquire new accounts.


Tips for Any Cards, ATMs or Point-of-Sale (POS) devices
  • Never toss receipts into a public trash container. Always shred them at home.
  • Each month carefully review your financial statements and bank statements for unauthorized transactions.
  • Report any unauthorized transactions to the issuing bank immediately.
  • Never allow anyone to enter your PIN for you, even if they are helping you with the transaction.
  • Block the view of others when using your PIN.
  • Make sure you complete the transaction and review the receipt before leaving.
  • If you receive cash back from a transaction, always secure it before leaving the area.
  • If anyone appears to be following you after using an ATM or POS device, drive immediately to a well lit, crowded area and call the police.
  • Observe the area of an ATM location or POS device before rolling down your window or getting out of your vehicle.
  • Always leave plenty of room between vehicles at a drive-up ATM to allow for a quick exit should it become necessary.