Do Business Accounts Have To Opt In To Reg E?
Over the years Strunk has been asked a number of times, “do business accounts that have overdraft privilege have to opt into Reg. E to have their debit card point of sale and ATM transactions covered in the program?” To understand this you must first understand that most consumer protection rules do not apply to deposit accounts held by a business. It is also important to understand that a business-purpose account can be held by a legal entity, such as an LLC or a corporation, or by individuals operating a business themselves as a sole proprietorship.
We need to take a look at Regulation E and break it down regarding this topic. The coverage of Reg. E is stated in section 1005.3(a). It applies to “electronic fund transfers” that debit or credit a “consumer’s account.” Paragraph 1005.2(b) (1) defines an “account” as a consumer asset account established primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. Paragraph 1005.2(e) defines a “consumer” as a natural person. The result is if an individual is using their deposit account for the purposes of operation a sole proprietorship or an account is held by a legal entity, it would not be covered by Reg. E either.
Reg. E coverage means that the “opt-in” for overdraft coverage of debit card point of sale and ATM transactions only applies to consumer accounts. Any application of the concept to other accounts (such as business accounts) is a matter of bank policy and should be addressed in the bank’s deposit account agreement for such accounts.