The following is important information to be aware of regarding the order in which transactions are posted to your account.
Transactions that are posted to your account may not be processed in the order in which they occurred. The order in which transactions are posted and paid from your account may affect the number of transactions that overdraw your account or are returned unpaid, as well as the amount of fees you may have to pay.
Pending transactions such as VISA® Check Card transactions that have been authorized but not yet paid, and holds that may be placed on deposits to your account including those due to a legal process, may reduce your available funds used to pay posted transactions.
Transactions will post to your account in the following order:
- Credits such as deposits and reversals are posted to your account first.
- Bank-initiated debits (such as bill payment inactivity fees, paper statement fees, and check-image fees) are posted in order received. Then, bank-initiated debits (such as closing withdrawals, stop payment fees, returned deposited item, dormant account fee, NSF fees), are posted in descending dollar amount order.
- All customer-initiated and externally generated debits (including Visa Check Card debits, ATM withdrawals, transfer debits, loan payment drafts, withdrawals, ACH debits, and checks) are grouped together and posted in descending dollar amount order.
- Certain bank-generated debits (such as interest withholding, and interest transfer debits) are grouped together and posted in descending dollar amount order. Next, bank-generated debits (such as monthly maintenance fees, negative balance fee, non-AmeriServ ATM fees) are calculated and posted as presented.
- Bank-generated credits (such as interest paid and ATM surcharge refunds) are posted last.
Understanding Your Account Balance for Overdrafts and the Return of Transactions Presented for Payment
Your checking account has two kinds of balances: the current balance and the available balance. AmeriServ Bank uses your available balance when determining whether a transaction will cause your account to overdraw. An overdraft occurs, and an overdraft fee may be charged to your account, when you don’t have the necessary Available Balance in your account to cover transactions you have made, but we pay a transaction on your behalf. If we choose to return any of the transactions you have made and you don’t have the necessary Available Balance in your account, a Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fee may be charged to your account.
The information below explains how your checking account balance works – including the differences between your current balance and your available balance. Examples are used to help explain when we may charge an overdraft fee (NSF fee) due to an insufficient available balance.
At the end of each business day, transactions are posted to your account during nightly processing. We start with your account’s balance as of the end of the prior business day. Your current balance will first be increased by deposits made to the account, and other credits received during the day in accordance with the processing order. Then your current balance will be reduced by “pending” withdrawals, such as VISA Check Card transactions that we have authorized but not yet paid. Finally, we subtract any holds placed on your account (for example, holds placed on a deposit or holds placed due to a legal process). The resulting balance becomes your available balance which will be used in nightly processing.
Your Current (Statement) Balance
Your current balance is the amount of money that is actually in your account at any given time. Your current balance reflects transactions that have “posted” to your account but it does not include transactions that have been authorized and are pending. The current balance is the balance you see on the statement of account that you receive in the mail or that is delivered to you electronically. You can also review your current balance at a branch or by calling 1-800-837-BANK. While it may seem that the current 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, fee, other charges, or deposits made on your account that have not yet posted and, therefore, will not appear in your current balance.
Examples of Current Balance
If you have a $100.00 current balance and you wrote a check for $60.00, then your current balance will show $100.00 because the current balance does not include the pending check transaction which has not yet posted. While your current balance is $100.00, you have already spent $60.00
Your Available Balance
Your available balance is the amount of money in your account that is available to you without incurring an overdraft fee. Your available balance takes into account holds that have been placed on deposits and pending transactions (such as pending VISA Check Card transactions) that we have authorized but that have not yet posted to your account. Additionally, linked accounts such as a Credit Line or Savings account are added to your available balance for authorizing a VISA Check Card transaction. You can review your available balance when you review your account online, at an ATM, through our 24-hour telephone banking service, by phone or at an AmeriServ office.
Deposits will increase your Available Balance as described in our Funds Availability Policy Disclosure – not all deposits are available immediately.
Example of Available Balance
If your current balance and available balance are both $100 and you present your VISA Check Card for payment at a restaurant for $35, the merchant processes an authorization request for payment. We will approve the authorization and place a “hold” on your account for $35 because you have sufficient funds available for the purchase at the time the transaction was completed. Your current balance is still $100 because the VISA Check 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), we will post the transaction to your account and your current balance will be reduced.
Example of Overdraft or NSF Fee for Insufficient Available Balance
If your current balance and available balance are both $100 and you swipe your VISA Check Card at a restaurant for $35, a hold is placed on your account and your available balance will be reduced to $65. Your current balance is still $100 because the transaction has not yet posted to your account. If a check that you had previously written for $75 is posted to your account during nightly processing and before the restaurant charge is sent to us for processing, you can incur an NSF fee or an overdraft fee. This is because your available balance was $65 when the $75 check was processed by the bank, even though your current balance is still $100. In this case, we may pay the $75 check and may charge you the applicable overdraft fee. The overdraft fee will also be deducted from your account, further reducing your balance. If we return the check to the depositor, the amount of the check will be added back to your current and available balance, and we will charge you the applicable NSF fee.
Reliability of Your Available Balance
You can review your available balances when you review your account online, through mobile banking, at an ATM, by phone or at an AmeriServ office. 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 Check Card transactions due to circumstances outside of our control.
As demonstrated by the examples below, 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.
Examples of Transactions Not Reflected in Your 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 current balance and available balance when the transactions post to your account.
VISA Check Card Holds: If a merchant obtains our authorization but does not submit a one-time VISA Check Card transaction for payment within three days of authorization, we 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 us and paid from your account.