- Banks must comply with the Final Rules as of July 1, 2010
- Banks cannot charge an overdraft fee on ATM and point-of-sale debit card (POS) transactions without the customer affirmatively opting-in to overdraft protection
- The rules apply to existing and new accounts
- Banks must offer the same account terms to customers who do not choose overdraft protection for ATM and POS transactions
Three issues remain unresolved by the Final Rules: (i) the size of overdraft fees (often $35 per transaction with no daily limit on the number of transactions charged; (ii) the batch reordering of transactions done by banks to increase the amount of fees generated on transactions by customers who do opt-in; and (iii) debit holds that trigger overdraft fees on transactions such as gasoline, hotels and restaurants. These gaps aside, the progress made by the Federal Reserve on debit cards is substantial.
Remember, banks can still charge the fees on those who have not opted-in until July 2010. So, still use your debit cards with care. As for me, I will not be opting-in, but will await the sales pitch that banks will inevitably make.