Bank of America customers who might have overdrawn their checking accounts when using their debit cards will now face having their debit card transactions declined rather than overdrawn.
The bank said it was reversing its previous policy "to provide more control, choice and clarity for its customers," adding that "this change will help customers by reducing the likelihood they may inadvertently overdraw their account and thus eliminate unexpected overdraft fees on these transactions." Customers who choose to can link their accounts to an overdraft protection account which would allow them to continue to overdraft their debit cards when they need to, the bank explained.
"Our customers have been clear that they want to know if a purchase is going to overdraw their account," said Susan Faulkner, deposits and card product executive. "Our solution is simple, clear and helps customers control their finances by reducing the possibility of over-extending themselves at the point of sale with a debit card."
The practice of allowing overdrafts by debit cards and the resulting fees have drawn intense consumer criticism and regulation.