Bank of America: Low-Balance Alerts Part of Overdraft Plan

Debit card purchaseIn addition to its ground-breaking plan this summer to end overdraft fees on its debit card purchases, Bank of America is also going to offer alerts to online customers if their checking account balance is too low or overdrawn.
The nation’s largest bank will end the frustrating and much-maligned practice of overdraft fees on debit cards, but customers can still be charged for being overdrawn on checking accounts by writing too many checks or having too many debits through automated bill-pay.
“Our customers have been clear that they want to know if a purchase is going to overdraw their account,” said Susan Faulkner, Deposits and Card Product executive. “Our solution is simple, clear and helps customers control their finances by reducing the possibility of over-extending themselves at the point of sale with a debit card.”
The “electronic alerts” will be set automatically for online banking customers who have a checking account, and are near-zero or overdrawn, the bank said.
Bank of America did not provide a specific date for the new overdraft policies.
On July 1, new federal rules take effect prohibiting financial institutions from charging overdraft fees for ATM and one-time debit card transactions, unless a customer consents.
When Bank of America implements its new policy, debit card customers without sufficient money in their checking accounts will be denied purchases.
The majority of customers who overdraw their account do so as a result of everyday debit card purchases, BofA said.

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