When using your debit card or writing a check, have you gotten used to some lag-time between the transaction and the money clearing your account? This will be going away – for example, if you pay your cable bill by telephone in the morning, the funds could be cleared from your account before 5:00 the same day.
On September 15, the Federal Reserve will start processing same-day ACH (Automated Clearing House) debits. These can originate from your credit union transactions or if you’re shopping at your local supermarket or other retailer. Whether you choose to use your debit card or a check won’t matter, as large retailers can opt to convert checks to ACH, the same system that clears your debit transactions.
3 Tips to be Prepared
- Don’t Assume Funds Will Clear the Day After Purchase: Habits can be hard to break. Get in the habit now of planning for funds to clear at the time you swipe your card.
- Check Your Share Draft Balance: Keeping a low balance can have a negative impact in the event a same-day ACH debit overdraws your account and incurs a fee. Even with member privilege or overdraft protection, keeping your account balance at a level that supports your spending is the best way to keep your account in the green.
- Ask Questions at WCFCU: We are here to help! Leading up to and after this change occurs, watch your statements for additional announcements. And as always, please contact us by phone, email, or stop into our branch to ask any questions that you may have!
More helpful tips for Debit Card holders
- The credit union has no control over when transactions clear your account. It depends on when the company you scheduled the transaction with batches their transactions for the day. We also don’t control whether your direct deposit will go into your account before any transactions are processed that day.
- When purchasing gas, if you process your card as debits, the company will often automatically hold $50-$75 even if you don’t purchase that much gas. To avoid this, run your card as credit, or pay at the register.
- Always make sure that there is money in your account to cover the transaction before making a payment so you don’t overdraw your account. (Our overdraft fee has increased to $30 as of June 1st, 2017.)
- When reviewing your account balance online or on your mobile app, please be sure to look at the “Available” amount, not the “Balance.” Debits, or transactions that you make with a debit card will “hold” the money, but not fully debit it from your account. However, the “Available” will always be the amount that you have to actually spend after the held money has been accounted for.
- For more information on Debit Card Holds, please go to https://www.wcfcu.com/debit-card-holds/