At Amegy, we have a dedicated team focused on small businesses. We understand that the needs of small businesses are very different from middle to large corporate entities. Time is extremely valuable, especially when you wear many “hats.” Our priority is to allow you more time to focus on your business while we help you manage your accounts and processes and, at the same time, protect you from risk and fraud. We are committed to helping your business grow by providing efficient tools and automation to support your growth along the way.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our Business Banking Treasury Management Team: Augustin Garcia, Jr. (SVP, Manager, Treasury Management), Bonnie Reed (VP, Treasury Management), and Angela Tellez (VP, Treasury Management).

Augustin Garcia has 22 years of treasury management experience supporting small businesses, middle market, and specialized industries throughout Houston, the Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio.  His work with a variety of specialized industries includes: energy, auto dealer services, and international and domestic private banking. 

Bonnie has been with Amegy Bank for more than five years and in banking since January 1973.  Angela Tellez has been with Amegy Bank for seven years and in banking since 1991.  Both Bonnie and Angela bring great experience, knowledge, and a solution-oriented approach to our team.

Left to Right:
Angela Tellez, Augustin Garcia, Jr., Bonnie Reed


Protection from Cyber Crime – Part 3 of 3

Last year, Amegy Bank’s fraud seminar featured speakers from the FBI Cybercrime Division, the Director of Security Analytics for Zions Bancorporation, and Buddy Funderburg of Amegy Bank.  The first two Newsletter installments covered the FBI’s view of cybercrime as directed against our federal, state, and local governmental infrastructures and Zions Bancorporation’s view of cybercrime as directed against our nation’s financial infrastructure. This last installment focuses on cybercrime that is targeted at your company’s assets and what you can do to protect yourself.

Let’s begin by reviewing two charts which have updated information from the Association for Financial Professionals Payments Fraud and Control Survey for 2013.  This year’s survey canvassed more than 5,200 corporate practitioners. The survey shows 61% of companies had fraud attempts or actual fraud losses during 2012.  Even though the number is slightly less than the previous year’s 66%, it confirms the fraud business is still alive.

The second chart (below) shows the percentage of companies surveyed that experienced fraud attempts within specific payment channels.  With most types of fraud attempts on the rise, you need to have multiple layers of protection.  You’ll see that check fraud remains the dominate fraud method. It’s important to also highlight the method with the largest increase: wire fraud.  In addition, wire fraud tends to have the largest individual losses. The average loss across all fraud attempts is approximately $20,000 per attempt.

Recently an Amegy client had an email scheme leveled against it. Fraudsters stole a check from our client and posed as a company contracted by our client to study their buyers’ shopping satisfaction.  The fraudsters solicited unsuspecting individuals by email to be “mystery shoppers.”   The shoppers were mailed bogus checks, supposedly from our client, directing them to keep a certain percentage for themselves and instructing them to wire the remainder to the contracting company (the fraudsters).  Within a two week period, our client had up to 50 fraudulent checks per day being presented against their account.  Fortunately, our client had both Positive Pay and ACH Positive Pay and did not suffer any losses.  If they had not been using these fraud protection products, they probably would have had to close the account and potentially suffer financial losses.  Many times, these schemes come on very quickly and cause major disruptions to the running of a business.

Alert: We want to make you aware of an increasing trend in cyber fraud.  Fraudsters are hacking into email accounts and observing company activities, communications with partners and vendors, as well as email structure and styles.  After gathering pertinent information, the fraudsters create emails that look like they were sent from a legitimate vendor giving new payment instructions for future invoices.  Companies have followed the instructions and unknowingly wired money to fraudsters.  To avoid this situation, use caution when receiving an email request from a vendor directing you to send payments to a new bank and account number.  Always call your vendor to verify legitimacy.  Use a telephone number from your system, not one that is included in the potentially fraudulent email.

To help reduce the risk of fraud, Amegy and the banking industry have developed the following:

  • Positive Pay with Payee Verification – This service matches check number, check amount, and to whom the check is payable.
  • ACH Positive Pay – This product is also known as ACH Debit Block at some banks.
  • Token at Release for Money Transfer – This protection requires the use of an RSA Secure ID Token code at payment release (submission) as well as at login.
  • Direct Deposit and Payroll Cards Instead of Payroll Checks – Using these products reduces the number of checks.
  • Lockbox – The bank receives your clients’ checks and makes deposits on your behalf.
  • Virtual Credit Cards – This product provides single use credit card numbers.

Does your company have a plan for reducing risk of fraud?  Just as we talk about hurricane preparedness to mitigate hurricane damage, your company needs to have a fraud mitigation plan.  We encourage you to call your Treasury Management Officer or Amegy Banker to learn more about how these solutions may help detect and prevent fraud and protect your company.


Another Successful TEXPO!
Amegy Bank was proud to be a repeat sponsor at TEXPO this past April in Austin, TX. TEXPO is an annual conference hosted by The Alliance of Texas Treasury Associations (ATTA).  ATTA is dedicated to improving treasury management through education and communication.  Our Amegy bankers were honored to present in four different sessions during the conference. Amegy Bank enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones at our booth in the exhibit hall.  Our dinner and dancing event was filled with fun, good food, music, and dancing. We look forward to seeing you at TEXPO 2014 in The Woodlands, TX (April 6 – 8, 2014).

Card Solutions and Fraud Seminar – Houston, TX
In June, Amegy Bank hosted a Lunch Seminar at the Junior League of Houston. Amegy Bank’s Treasury team along with experts from Visa® and ConnectYourCare discussed current card trends. The discussion included topics such as: Credit Card Technology: changing from mag-stripe to chip-embedded technology, Commercial Card: how to increase your credit card spend and further automate your payables, and Healthcare Spending Accounts: benefits of offering your employees healthcare spending accounts with high deductible plans. The program concluded with Mary Murray providing an update along with insights on fraud.

Amegy Bank is dedicated to providing your organization with solutions that help mitigate the risk and impact of fraud. The growing threat of cybercrime and fraud is a battle we must combat together by combining effective processes and services. We encourage you to seek advice from your Amegy banker and to discuss solutions that can help protect your business.

We enjoyed seeing those of you who attended the seminar. And, according to the many feedback forms, it proved to be a productive and educational session for our attendees. We look forward to continuing our partnership with all of you and assisting with your banking needs.

Link to Seminar Presentations:
Amegy Seminar Presentation June 2013


HTMA Space City Conference | SEPTEMBER 4 | Houston, TX
Amegy is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the 2013 HTMA Space City Cash Conference. The Conference is a half-day, afternoon event with presenters discussing a variety of technical topics in the field of Treasury Management. Attendees can earn up to four CPE/CTP continuing education credits.
Location: Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, Houston, TX 77010
Time: 11 a.m. Registration Opens | Sessions 11:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Cocktail Reception 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
For more information, visit:

The Big Dallas Conference | SEPTEMBER 19 | Dallas, TX
Amegy Bank is looking forward to being a part of The “Big D” Conference as a Sponsor this September. The Dallas Association of Financial Professionals is hosting a one day conference to discuss finance and treasury topics. Financial experts will provide education and training on the latest issues our industry is facing.
Cityplace Conference Center, 2711 North Haskell Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75204
For more information, visit:

Commercial Card User Conference | OCTOBER 2 |
Houston, TX
This year will be the 2nd annual meeting. It will include networking and information to improve your card knowledge and processes. Discussion and learning will be focused on best practices, Visa® updates and improving your processes with card use. Please join us on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 for a full day on how to get the most out of your commercial card program. Contact your Treasury Management Officer or Amegy Banker to let them know you are interested in attending. More details to come.
Location: Amegy Bank, 1801 Main St., Houston, TX 77002

AFP Conference | OCTOBER 27 – 30 | Las Vegas, NV
The AFP Annual Conference brings together more than 6,000 treasury and finance professionals. Amegy Bank participates in the educational and networking events at this conference. If you plan to attend, we encourage you to let your Treasury Management Officer or Amegy Banker know so we can include you in our event communication.
Location: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
For more information, visit: