Consumers desire Overdraft Privilege as a financial product due to the wide array of choices available to them. In a Morning Consult survey, it was found that 9 out of 10 consumers consider their bank’s overdraft privilege valuable. So, what makes this product so valuable to consumers?
- Consumer’s payment will clear instead of being returned, which can be less expensive. Sometimes consumers make mistakes when paying bills and accidentally overdraw their account. Because the consumer has overdraft privilege, the bills are paid instead of returned and it prevents late fees, NSF fees, and re-presentment fees. Overdraft privilege provides relief to consumers by ensuring their bills are paid, even if they miscalculated their bank account balance or forgot about a pending payment that hasn’t cleared yet. This feature significantly reduces their worries and potential financial stress.
- Consumers will have funds available if they need them. Although it is generally not advisable, there may be situations where overdrawing your bank account is necessary. For example, let’s say it’s the weekend and the banks are closed, and you have an emergency that requires a visit to the hospital. However, the emergency room won’t provide treatment until you pay a $100 co-payment. Unfortunately, you only have $10 in your checking account. Fortunately, you have overdraft privilege, which means you can make the payment even if it incurs a fee.
- Not being embarrassed because of returned payments. When you use overdraft privilege, the recipient of your payment won’t know that your bank account has insufficient funds. Instead, they will see that your payment has been credited as expected.
Despite Congress trying to modify overdraft services, we recognize the importance and necessity for consumers to have access to such programs. Overdraft services provide a significant source of liquidity for many Americans. By having access to overdraft privileges, consumers can be assured that they can make timely payments for their rent or utility bills, thus preventing any late fees, utility shut-offs, or even eviction