Personal Overdraft Information
Personal Overdraft Information

Overdraft Information

1. How does an overdraft occur? 

When you make a transaction and your account contains a sufficient balance to pay the item when it is presented for payment, then the item will be paid. However, when you make a transaction, but do not have enough money in your account to pay the item when it is presented for payment, one of two things may occur:

  1. West Bank may return (unpaid) the item (“return item”) to the person or business that you attempted to pay because of “non-sufficient funds” (also called “NSF”); or
  2. West Bank may, at its sole discretion, elect to pay the item by overdrawing your account. This will cause an “overdraft” (i.e. negative account balance).

Whether West Bank decides to return the NSF item unpaid, or to pay the item, you may be charged a fee. Service charge and fee schedules are provided before a deposit account is opened. Those schedules are subject to change, and are available on request, or here: Service Fee Schedule.

2. When would West Bank pay an overdraft? 

In certain circumstances, in West Bank’s sole discretion, West Bank may pay an item that overdraws your account. Whether West Bank allows you to overdraw your account will depend on multiple factors, including but not limited to, whether your account is established, well-maintained and/or regularly funded. For certain accounts and transactions, whether WEST BANK pays an item that overdraws your account may also depend on whether you have opted-in for that service. You agree to repay West Bank the full amount of any overdraft item immediately after it occurs, and that the negative balance may be collected from your deposit account. You have no right to defer payment of this liability. We may charge a fee for each overdraft, up to a daily maximum amount*.

As a courtesy, for these circumstances only, West Bank will not exercise our usual discretion, will not impose fee(s) and will pay items even if they overdraw your account if your daily ending balance is - $0.01 to -$10.00. For example, if your balance is $100 and a check is presented for $103.00. The check will be paid and no fee will be assessed to your account because the account is only negative $3.00.

3. What is a Returned Item?

When West Bank does not pay an item presented because the account has insufficient funds, the check or ACH transaction becomes a “returned item.” This means that the transaction is returned unpaid to the person or business you attempted to pay. The Bank charges a Returned Item fee, up to a daily maximum amount*. The fee is disclosed in our Service Fee Schedule. You may also be charged a fee by the person or business that was expecting payment and they may re-submit the item in an attempt to collect the funds due them, which may create multiple Returned Item and/or Overdraft fee(s) for the same item. Each time an item is presented for payment, you may be charged an overdraft or a return item fee if there are insufficient funds in your account, including each time an item is resubmitted for payment.

4. When would West Bank pay an overdraft for ATM withdrawals and one-time (everyday) debit card transactions?

You must specifically request overdraft coverage for ATM and one-time (everyday) debit card transactions. Upon qualification, you can “opt-in” to this coverage by completing the form provided at account opening and deliver the form to one of our West Bank locations, or, you may call your personal banker or our customer service center at 1-855-464-5407. You can also call this number to “opt-out” of this service at any time.

Overdrafts incurred for ATM or one-time (everyday) debit card use, when authorized, are subject to the following limits:

  • Essential Checking: $200
  • Loyalty & Reward Me Checking: $500

If you do not opt-in for overdraft services for your debit card, attempted ATM withdrawals and one-time debit card transactions will be rejected when there are not sufficient funds in your account to withdraw the money or make the payment.

5. Are there alternatives to standard overdraft coverage?

West Bank offers Overdraft Protection, which simply links your West Bank savings, money market, or alternative checking account to your checking account to prevent you from overdrawing your account.

There is no charge to set up Overdraft Protection. You simply pay a transfer fee when a transfer is made (as disclosed in our Service Fee Schedule). This fee is less than the Overdraft or Returned Item Fees and/or a Merchant Return Fee.

6. How does Overdraft Protection work?

If there are not sufficient funds available in your checking account, Overdraft Protection will automatically transfer funds in $100 increments from your linked account.

If the linked account balance is less than the amount needed to cover the full transfer, then the balance in the account will be transferred and you may be charged an overdraft fee, as well as the transfer fee. The transfer fee will be debited from the account receiving the funds at the time of the automatic transfer. Transfers initiated by the Overdraft Protection service are included in the limit of six (6) transfers per statement cycle for savings and money market accounts. Please see the Truth in Savings Act disclosure for more information on Transaction Limitations.

7. How and when are transactions deducted from your account? 

West Bank may pay items used to withdraw funds from your deposit account in any order determined by West Bank, even if paying a particular item results in an insufficient balance in your deposit account to pay other items that otherwise could have been paid out of your deposit account. The order in which you make withdrawal requests from your account may not be the same as the order in which we process and post such withdrawal requests to your account.

Once withdrawal requests are presented for payment evaluation, transactions are processed during the next batch processing session. Batch processing typically occurs overnight after each business day. During batch processing, transactions are posted for payment in the order described below:

Deposits are credited to your account balance before any withdrawals are considered. Withdrawals are then evaluated in the following order:

(i) Internal transactions;
(ii) One-time debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals;
(iii) Recurring debit card transactions;
(iv) Automated Clearing House (ACH) withdrawals;
(v) Checks and other withdrawal requests.

NOTE: Items are paid in the order of smallest to largest amounts within each category.

Some internal transactions, such as in-person cash withdrawals, telephone transfers, legal orders, and wire transfers result in “holds” being placed on your account when you complete the transaction(s). If a hold is created, it makes an amount of money in the account unavailable for subsequent transactions. It is similar to the money being immediately withdrawn from the account. Batch processing removes the hold(s) because the money is then withdrawn from the account (also called “posting”).

Holds may also be created by other transactions, including, but not limited to, one-time debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals. One-time (everyday) debit card transactions are those that are unscheduled in nature when you use a debit card at a point-of-sale (for example, at the grocery store). Recurring debit card transactions are scheduled in advance with the merchant, or any other card processors, on a recurring basis (for example, your utility bill or gym membership).

8. Do debit card transactions clear my account immediately?

No. Debit card transactions made using your personal identification number (PIN) typically, but not always, clear your account during the next batch processing, which may be the same day as the transaction. These PIN-based debit card transactions will typically appear on your statement as “POS Withdrawal”. Signature-based transactions (transactions made without providing your PIN) will usually clear within a few days, depending on the merchant’s procedures. These signature-based transactions will typically appear on your statement as “POS Purchase”. In this way, signature-based debit card transactions are similar to checks, which usually are presented for payment some time after you make a payment. Therefore, even though at the time of the signature-based debit card transaction there were sufficient funds in your account, and the transaction was authorized by West Bank, if you later cause other items to be presented for payment before the signature-based debit card transaction, a NSF situation may occur. You usually cannot control when a signature-based debit card transaction is presented for payment. You usually cannot control how a merchant processes a debit card transaction. For example, you may make a transaction as a signature-based debit, but the merchant may change it to a PIN-based debit. Once a debit card transaction has been authorized, it cannot be returned (this is known as a “force-pay” transaction). We do not charge a fee for “force-pay” overdrafts on one-time (everyday) transactions if you have not opted in.

A debit card transaction may be preauthorized for an amount different than the final settlement amount. For example, pay-at-the-pump gas purchase transactions that preauthorize for $1 and later clear for the full purchase amount.

9. How does West Bank determine whether a one-time debit card transaction or ATM withdrawal will be authorized?  

A determination whether a one-time debit card transaction or ATM withdrawal will be authorized (and the corresponding temporary merchant hold placed on the account) will be made at the time the transaction is attempted. The determination is based upon the amount of funds in your account, which is calculated by:

  • Determining the amount of funds in your account from the most recent batch processing session;
  • Less any holds placed on a deposit to your account pursuant to the Funds Availability Notice;
  • Less any pending withdrawals that have created a hold on your account including, but not limited to, checks presented, but not yet posted;
  • Plus pending deposits that are immediately available for your use. These include, but are not limited to, cash deposits, in-person check deposits, and electronic deposits.

You see this amount as the “current balance” in Electronic Banking (including Online and Mobile Banking).

10. How can I avoid overdrafts and returned items?

The best way to avoid overdrafts and returned items is to manage your West Bank account carefully.

  • Keep your check register up to date.
    • Record all transactions when you make them. And don't forget to subtract any fees.
    • If you use an ATM to withdraw cash or your debit card to make a purchase or get cash back, be sure to record the transaction in your register.
    • If you have automatic payments, such as your mortgage payment or health club fee, remember to set aside money for them and to record them in your register.
  • Review your account activity and statements carefully.
    • With Online Banking or the West Bank mobile app, you can view transactions and monitor account activity, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • When reviewing your West Bank account activity, remember that some checks and payments may not have cleared or posted to your account yet.
  • Consider Direct Deposit.
    • Many of the checks that now come to you in paper form - including your payroll checks - can be deposited directly into your West Bank account. That means you won't have to wait in line to make the deposit yourself, and you won't have to wait for checks to clear.
  • Set up Online Banking alerts.
    • You will receive an automatic email alert to notify you if your account balance goes below a threshold that you set.
  • Consider Overdraft Protection.

11. Where can I get information on budgeting, financial education or credit counseling?

Consumer Credit of Des Moines                    
6129 S.W. 63rd Street                                     
Des Moines, IA  50321                                     
(800) 955-5765                                                
www.consumercredit-dm.com/

Consumer Federation of America
1620 I St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, D.C.  20006
(202) 387-6121
www.consumerfed.org/consumer-information/ 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau         
P.O. Box 2900                                                 
Clinton, IA 52733-2900                                   
(855)411-2372                                                
www.consumerfinance.gov/                    

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Consumer Assistance & Information 
1100 Walnut St., Box #11           
Kansas City, MO  64106
(877) 275-3342 ( or 877-ASK-FDIC)
www.fdic.gov/consumers/assistance/

Federal Reserve Board
Federal Reserve Consumer Help
P.O. Box 1200
Minneapolis, MN  55480
(888) 851-1920
www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov/

Questions/Information? Visit us in person, call us at (800) 810-2301, or email us at info@westbankstrong.com.

* Daily maximum amount applies to Consumer Accounts only.

This document is intended for informational purposes only.  Please refer to your Account Agreement Terms and Conditions and West Bank Online and Mobile Banking Agreement (if applicable) for full details about your account.

09/01/2020 Version