Payments and purchases made by you for more than the available balance in your Provident checking account can result in the transactions being declined, paid by us and causing your account to become overdrawn, or returned unpaid to the financial institution who first accepted the item. If we decide to pay the transaction and your account becomes overdrawn, we may charge you an overdraft fee. If we decide to return the transaction unpaid, we will not charge you a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee, however, the merchant and/or others to whom the item was presented for payment may charge you a returned check or other fee.
Accordingly, it’s important to understand the distinction between overdraft fees and NSF fees. In general, overdraft fees occur when a financial institutions pays an item even though the customer’s account does not have enough funds available to cover the transaction. Alternatively, NSF fees occur when the customer’s account does not have enough funds available to cover the transaction and the financial institution returns an item unpaid.
Overdraft fees can add up quickly and we want to provide information to help you avoid them.
But first it is important to understand how and when your checking account transactions are processed and fees are assessed, as the type of payment or purchase method you use determines the time it takes for the transaction to be deducted/paid from your account.
Transactions that can be posted and cleared through your checking account vary based on the types of transactions you authorize and/or conduct, as well as the services that you have signed up for. Regardless of the type of checking account you have, all accounts receive deposits or electronic credits; these transactions are processed by us each day.
Following the processing of your deposited items and electronic credits received, we process the payments that you have made (such as checks that you write or issue, ATM withdrawals/transfers) or authorized (such as point of sale debit card purchases, preauthorized automatic debits, and online bill payments).
It is important to understand that the exact amount of some payment types you authorize or make, such as point of sale debit card purchases, are unknown to us until the merchant actually settles the final purchase amount with their bank, the final purchase amount is sent to us, and the funds are withdrawn from your account. For many point of sale transactions (such as gas purchases, hotel stays, and car rentals), merchants will request authorization for the point of sale purchase that may not be the exact final purchase amount, and in many cases, is less than the final purchase amount. This will affect the amount of money available for other payments that you make or have authorized, including those payments that you have preauthorized, scheduled in advance, or conduct in person. It can also give the appearance that your available balance (the amount of money actually available to you for withdrawals and other purchases) is greater than it actually is, which can lead to overdrafts and related fees.
The following table is a general guide to understanding transaction processing activities, transaction amounts, and impacts on overdraft fees.
|PAYMENT TRANSACTION TYPE:||WHEN THE AMOUNT IS KNOWN BY US:||WHEN THE AMOUNT IS DEDUCTED:||WHEN THE TRANSACTION IS PROCESSED:||CAN AN OD FEE BE CHARGED:|
|CHECKS||When the check is presented to us for payment||At the time the check is posted to your account||The day the item is received by us; can occur throughout the business day||Yes; an OD fee can be charged|
|ATM WITHDRAWAL OR TRANSFER||At the time the withdrawal or transfer is made||At the time the withdrawal or transfer is made||While you are at the ATM||Yes; an OD fee can be charged|
|ONE TIME POINT OF SALE/DEBIT CARD||At the time the transaction is authorized or when the merchant processes the transaction||At the time the transaction is settled and posted to your account||Up to three business days after the transaction is authorized||Possibly; an OD fee will not be charged if the transaction was previously authorized on your available balance; an OD fee will be charged if the transaction is paid using your ODP limit|
|PREAUTHORIZED REOCCURING AUTOMATIC DEBITS||When the transaction is presented to us for payment||At the time the transaction is settled and posted to your account||Upon presentment by the merchant||Yes; an OD fee can be charged if funds are not available upon settlement|
|ONLINE BILL PAYMENT||At the time the payment is scheduled by you||Electronic payment-when the item is scheduled for payment; check payment- when it’s posted to your account||Electronic payment-when the item is scheduled for payment; check payment- when it’s posted to your account||Yes; an OD fee can be charged if the payee is paid by check|
A more detailed explanation as to how we process transactions can be found HERE.
CONSIDER THESE TIPS TO HELP PREVENT OVERDRAFTS
Here are some tips to help avoid overdrawing your checking account and avoid overdraft fees:
Questions? Call us at 800.448.7768 or visit your local branch.