Overdraft Protection

Overdraft Protection

Understanding Your Account Balance For Overdrafts

Your checking account has two kinds of balances: the “actual” balance and the “available” balance. You can review both balances when you review your account online, at an ATM, by phone or at a branch. Robins Financial uses your available balance when determining whether a transaction will cause your account to overdraw and for charging overdraft and NSF fees.

The information below explains how your checking account balance works – including the differences between your actual balance and your available balance. Examples are used to help explain when Robins Financial may charge an overdraft fee due to an insufficient available balance.

You can Opt-Out of any or all Overdraft Protection options offered by Robins Financial by calling us at (478) 923-3773 or (800) 241-2405. 

Overdraft Transfer

Robins Financial allows you to set up your checking account with an Overdraft Transfer option from your primary savings account. This means Robins Financial will transfer available funds from your savings account to cover a transaction that exceeds your available balance in your checking account.

You can request that Robins Financial change your Overdraft Transfer option to another account, to an established line of credit or to a Robins Financial credit card. To do so, please contact us at (478) 923-3773 or (800) 241-2405.

 

Bounce Protection

Bounce Protection is a service offered to all eligible members on eligible accounts. Bounce Protection is designed to help guard you against having items submitted for payment being returned by Robins Financial when the available balance in your checking account is insufficient to cover the transaction.

If, for any reason (including a fee charged by us), you overdraw the available balance in your checking account, Robins Financial may elect to cover the overdrafts under the Bounce Protection option. For each overdraft, you will be charged a Bounce Protection Overdraft Fee of $25.00 per transaction.

The Bounce Protection option is discretionary and Robins Financial is under no obligation to pay any particular transaction. The total amount of overdrafts, including overdraft fees, Robins Financial will honor per checking account is limited to $300. You must bring your account to a positive balance within 30 calendar days to remain eligible for Bounce Protection.

Eligible members have the ability to establish Bounce Protection as a secondary option. Members who have set up an Overdraft Transfer option (such as a savings account, line of credit or credit card) will have available funds transferred from that option first prior to determining whether to cover the transaction (or additional transactions) under the Bounce Protection option.

Bounce Protection may be available for transactions conducted via:

  • Check
  • ACH (including bill pay)
  • Recurring VISA debit card (such as a gym membership or Netflix® subscription)
  • Digital Banking (including transfers between accounts)
  • ATM and one-time VISA debit card transactions (see Opt-In information below)

Bounce Protection for ATM and One-Time VISA Debit Card Transactions: Robins Financial’s Bounce Protection option does not include your ATM and one-time VISA debit card transactions unless you Opt-In. If you do not Opt-In, these transactions will be declined and you will not be charged a fee.

If you Opt-In and Robins Financial pays an ATM or one-time VISA debit card transaction when the available balance in your checking account is insufficient to cover the transaction, you will be charged a Bounce Protection Overdraft Fee of $25.00 per transaction if the negative available balance is $50.01 or greater (or $10.00 per transaction if the negative available balance is $50.00 or less).

Opt-Out of Overdraft Protection Options: You may opt-out of any or all overdraft protection options by calling (478) 923-3773 or (800) 241-2405.

If you have previously elected to Opt-In for ATM and one-time VISA debit card transactions, you may revoke your consent for these transactions by submitting a Secure Message through Digital Banking, calling (478) 923-3773 or (800) 241-2405, submitting your request in writing and delivering it to any of our branches, faxing it to us at (478) 322-7303 or mailing it to us at 803 Watson Blvd., Warner Robins, GA 31093.

Bounce Protection for ATM and One-Time VISA Debit Card Transactions

Robins Financial’s Bounce Protection option does not include your ATM and one-time VISA debit card transactions unless you Opt-In. If you do not Opt-In, these transactions will be declined and you will not be charged a fee.

If you Opt-In and Robins Financial pays an ATM or one-time VISA debit card transaction when the available balance in your checking account is insufficient to cover the transaction, you will be charged a Bounce Protection Overdraft Fee of $25.00 per transaction if the negative available balance is $50.01 or greater (or $10.00 per transaction if the negative available balance is $50.00 or less).

 

Opt-Out of Overdraft Protection Options

You may opt-out of any or all overdraft protection options by calling (478) 923-3773 or (800) 241-2405.

If you have previously elected to Opt-In for ATM and one-time VISA debit card transactions, you may revoke your consent for these transactions by submitting a Secure Message through Digital Banking, calling (478) 923-3773 or (800) 241-2405, submitting your request in writing and delivering it to any of our branches, faxing it to us at (478) 322-7303 or mailing it to us at 803 Watson Blvd., Warner Robins, GA 31093.

 

What Is Actual Balance and Available Balance

Your checking account has two kinds of balances: the “actual” balance and the “available” balance. You can review both balances when you review your account online, at an ATM, by phone or at a branch. Robins Financial uses your available balance when determining whether a transaction will cause your account to overdraw and for charging overdraft and NSF fees.

The information below explains how your checking account balance works – including the differences between your actual balance and your available balance. Examples are used to help explain when Robins Financial may charge an overdraft fee due to an insufficient available balance.

You can Opt-Out of any or all Overdraft Protection options offered by Robins Financial by calling us at (478) 923-3773 or (800) 241-2405. Select the link provided to learn more about the Robins Financial’s Overdraft Protection Options.

 

Overdraft Fee Example

If your actual balance and available balance are both $100 and you swipe your VISA debit card at a restaurant for $35, an authorization hold is placed on your account and your available balance will be reduced to $65. Your actual balance is still $100 because the transaction has not yet posted to your account. If a check that you had previously written for $75 clears through your account before the restaurant charge is sent to the Robins Financial for processing – you will incur an overdraft fee. This is because your available balance was $65 when the $75 check was paid. In this case, Robins Financial may pay the $75 check under either the Overdraft Transfer option (transfer from savings or other linked account if funds are available) or the Bounce Protection option (currently a $25 fee). The Bounce Protection fee will also be deducted from your account, further reducing your balance.

Actual Balance

Your actual balance is the amount of money that is actually in your account at any given time. Your actual balance reflects transactions that have “posted” to your account but it does not include transactions that have been authorized and are pending. While it may seem that the actual balance is the most up-to-date display of the funds that you can spend from your account, this is not always the case. Your account may have purchases, holds, fees, other charges, or deposits made on your account that have not yet posted and, therefore, will not appear in your actual balance.

Actual Balance Example

If you have a $100.00 actual balance and you wrote a check for $60.00, then your actual balance will show $100.00 because the actual balance does not include the pending check transaction which has not yet posted. While your actual balance is $100.00, you have already spent $60.00.

Available Balance

Your available balance is the amount of money in your account that is available to you without overdrawing your account. Your available balance takes into account holds that have been placed on deposits and pending transactions (such as pending VISA debit card transactions) that Robins Financial has authorized but that have not yet posted to your account.

Available Balance Example

If your actual balance and available balance are both $100 and you swipe your VISA debit card at a restaurant for $35, the merchant could ask Robins Financial to preauthorize the payment. Robins Financial would place an “authorization hold” on your account for $35. Your actual balance is still $100 because the VISA debit card transaction has not yet posted to your account; however, your available balance would be $65 because you have already authorized the $35 payment to the restaurant. When the restaurant submits the transaction for payment (which could be a few days later and could be for a different amount if you have added a tip), Robins Financial will post the transaction to your account and your actual balance will be reduced.

Available Balance Reliability

You can review both your actual and available balances when you review your account online, at an ATM, by phone or at a branch. However, it is important to understand that you may still overdraw your account even though the available balance appears to show there are sufficient funds to cover a particular transaction. This is because your available balance may not reflect all your outstanding checks and automatic bill payments that you have authorized (or other outstanding transactions) that have not yet posted to your account. Additionally, your available balance may not reflect all of your VISA debit card transactions due to circumstances outside of Robins Financial’s control.

The best way to know how much money you have available (including all prior checks and authorizations) is to record and track all of your transactions closely.

Transactions Not Reflected in Available Balance

Outstanding Checks and Bill Payments:

If you have written checks from your account or have set up automatic bill payments, those transactions will not be reflected in your available balance when authorized. Rather, these transactions will be reflected in your actual balance and available balance when the transactions post to your account.

VISA Debit Card Holds:

If a merchant obtains Robins Financial’s authorization but does not submit a one-time VISA debit card transaction for payment within three (3) business days of authorization, Robins Financial must release the authorization hold on the transaction. Since the hold has been released, your available balance would not reflect this transaction until the transaction has been received by Robins Financial and paid from your account.

Transaction Types

There are two main types of transactions in your account – credits or deposits of money into your account and debits or payments out of your account. It is important to understand how each transaction is handled so that you know how much money you have available for use in your checking account.

Robins Financial may receive multiple deposit and withdrawal transactions on your account in many different forms throughout each day. This means you may be charged more than one Bounce Protection Overdraft Fee if we pay multiple transactions when your account is overdrawn (or more than one NSF Fee if transactions are returned unpaid).

 

 

Credits

Most deposits are added to your account when we receive them. For some checks you deposit, only $200 will be made available at the time of deposit and the remainder will be available two (2) business days later. Additionally, there may be extended holds on checks over $5,000. Thus, your available balance may not reflect the most recent deposits to your account. For additional information on when your deposited funds will be available for withdrawal, see Robins Financial’s Funds Availability Policy.

 

Debits

You can make several types of debit transactions from your account. Each type of debit transaction is described generally below. Keep in mind that there are many ways transactions are presented for payment by merchants and other financial institutions and Robins Financial is not necessarily in control of when transactions are received and posted to your account.

 

Checks

When you write a check it is processed through the Federal Reserve system. Robins Financial receives data files of cashed checks from the Federal Reserve each day. The checks drawn on your account are compiled from these data files and paid each business day. Robins Financial processes the checks paid from low to high dollar value.

 

ACH Payments

Robins Financial receives multiple data files every day from the Federal Reserve with Automated Clearing House or ACH transactions. These transactions include, for example, automatic bill payments that you have authorized. For each processing time, ACH transactions for your account are processed in the order in which they are received during the day.

 

Point of Sale (POS) VISA Debit Card Transactions

A POS transaction (also referred to as a “Debit” transaction) is when you use your VISA debit card and enter your PIN at the time of the transaction. A POS transaction is similar to an ATM withdrawal because the money is usually deducted from your account immediately at the time of the transaction. However, depending on the merchant, some POS transactions are not presented for payment immediately.

 

Signature VISA Debit Card Transactions

A Signature transaction (also referred to as a “Credit” transaction) is where you make a purchase with your VISA debit card and you do not enter your PIN but you are instead asked to sign for the purchase. Signature transactions also include online transactions and transactions where you select “Credit” rather than “Debit” when using your VISA debit card. For Signature transactions, the merchant may seek prior authorization for the transaction. When this occurs, Robins Financial places a temporary hold against the available funds in your account. This temporary hold is referred to as an authorization hold and the amount of the authorization hold is subtracted from your available balance. Authorizations are deducted from your available balance but not your actual balance as they are received by Robins Financial throughout each day. Depending on the merchant and the transactions, it could take hours or days for the transaction to be processed and submitted to Robins Financial for payment. These payment requests are received throughout the day and are posted to your account as they are received. Robins Financial cannot control how much a merchant asks us to authorize or when a merchant submits a transaction for payment.

 

Authorized Amount vs Final Amount

The amount of an authorization hold may differ from the actual payment because the final transaction amount may not yet be known to the merchant when the authorization request is submitted. For example, if you use your VISA debit card at a restaurant, a hold will be place in the amount of the bill presented to you. But, when the transaction is processed and posted to your account it will include any tip that you may have added to the bill. This may also be the case when you swipe your VISA debit card at gas stations, hotels, rental car agencies and other retail establishments.

 

What is a Debit Card Authorization Hold

When you use your VISA debit card to conduct a Signature or “Credit” transaction (for example, when you do not enter your PIN), the merchant sends Robins Financial the amount, usually the purchase total, for authorization. This amount is placed on hold and removed from your available balance immediately. The hold is released after approximately 72 hours or when the transaction clears, whichever comes first. The hold helps determine the available balance on your account.

Do Debit Card Authorization Holds Apply to all Purchases

No, debit card authorization holds only apply to VISA debit card transactions when you sign your name or do not enter a PIN. For example, a VISA debit card purchase made at a restaurant or with an online merchant would be treated as a Signature/Credit transaction and would be subject to an authorization hold.

Debit purchases and ATM withdrawals made using a PIN usually subtract the funds immediately from your account (except, for example, when you use your PIN at certain gas station merchants).

 

Actual Balance vs. Available Balance

Your available balance reflects any authorization holds or deposit holds and is used by Robins Financial to determine available funds when transactions attempt to clear your account. The balance Robins Financial uses as transactions clear is called your available balance and includes all items that have cleared your account up to that point and reflects any items on hold. If your available balance is not sufficient to cover a transaction, Robins Financial may pay the item and charge you a Bounce Protection Overdraft fee (or decline to pay the transaction which may result in a NSF fee). A Bounce Protection Overdraft fee or NSF fee may be charged even though your actual balance indicates a positive amount.

LEARN MORE ABOUT AVAILABLE BALANCE

 

Why are there Debit Card Authorization Holds

Using debit card authorization holds helps you better determine the funds you have available for use. This information will help you avoid non-sufficient funds (NSF) or overdraft situations. For example, if you visit an ATM and see that your available balance is $100, you may decide to withdraw $60. Your actual balance may be $200 but $100 is on hold from a Signature/Credit transaction you made earlier in the day. If the debit card authorization hold for $100 was not on hold, your available balance would appear to be $200 and you may have withdrawn an amount (above $100) that would place the account in an overdraft situation when your earlier transaction posted to the account.

 

Does Robins Financial use Holds to Generate more Overdraft Fees

No. Debit card authorization holds are utilized so that you can check your available balance and obtain a more accurate picture of the funds that are available for you to spend. You can review your available balance when you review your account online, at an ATM, by phone or at a branch.

 

Does the Hold Amount Equal the Purchase Amount

No. Some merchants, especially gas stations, hotels and sometimes restaurants, will preauthorize an amount that is higher or lower than the actual purchase amount. For example, gas stations preauthorize transactions for amounts ranging from $1 to $100 because they do not know how much gas you will actually pump in advance of your transaction. If they preauthorize $75, Robins Financial will place a hold for $75 even if your actual transaction is only $45.

 

How to Reduce the Impact of Holds

You can use your VISA debit card and select “Debit” and enter your PIN. Or, if you are unable to conduct a PIN/Debit transaction, you can use your Robins Financial credit card to conduct the transaction and avoid the authorization holds.

 

Gas Station & Fuel Holds

For Signature/Credit transactions, a $1 authorization is processed to check your card, followed by the finalization of fuel pumped for the full amount which posts to your account. Once the finalization is posted the $1 hold drops. VISA requires the hold to be released within three (3) business days.

For PIN/Debit transactions, merchants determine the dollar amount of funds held. VISA allows up to $100, most merchants add $50 to $85, but the amount changes at the merchant’s discretion due to fuel costs and larger tanks on vehicles. Most merchants post signs at the pump stating their practice. VISA allows merchants a maximum of two (2) hours for sending the finalization of the PIN/Debit transaction. When the finalization posts, the hold is removed from your account.

 

Travel Holds

When you use your VISA debit card to make reservations in advance, hotels generally will preauthorize an amount equal to an overnight stay, or more, depending on the length of your stay. This will result in a hold on your account for up to 72 hours. When you actually arrive, the hotel will place another preauthorization, often larger than the cost of your stay to cover possible incidental expenses.

The authorized amounts will vary based on VISA maximum limits and the merchant should have a disclosure that informs you of the hold. These holds will not be removed until the finalization comes through or after a maximum of five (5) days.

One way that you can avoid these large holds is by using your Robins Financial credit card for these types of transactions. Just be sure to pay down your credit card balance using the funds from your checking account.

 

Debit Card Online & Phone Purchases

Online and telephone VISA debit card transactions are generally processed as Signature/Credit transactions because you do not have the option to enter your PIN. These types of transactions will create an authorization hold.

 

Hold Did Not Release/Charged Twice

When merchants preauthorize an amount that is different from the final transaction total, there is a chance that the hold and the transaction will not match and the hold will not release. If the transaction does not match the hold, the hold will be automatically released in 72 hours.

 

Do all Holds Clear within 72 Hours

No. Some merchants will not send the final transaction to Robins Financial within the 72 hour timeframe of the hold. In these situations, the hold will drop off and the funds will appear to be available again, however, the transaction still has to post to your account. Unfortunately, Robins Financial has no control over how quickly merchants process their transactions.

The best way to know the amount of funds you have available for use is to carefully track all of your transactions (including checks, automatic payments, deposits and VISA debit card transactions).

 

Can Holds be Removed

It is not Robins Financial’s policy to remove debit card authorization holds unless an error was made. If an erroneous hold was placed or there are extenuating circumstances that may warrant removing the hold, please contact us.

 

Overdraft Protection Options

You can set up automatic transfers from another account, a line of credit or your Robins Financial credit card if you do not have sufficient available funds in your account to cover a transaction. If your transfer account, line of credit, or credit card does not have sufficient available funds, the transaction may be covered by the Robins Financial’s Bounce Protection program.