Overdraft Protection  Services FAQ:

Contents

  1. What is an overdraft?
  2. What is the bank’s Standard Overdraft Coverage?
  3. What is the difference between my available balance and my ledger balance?
  4. What is the bank's Posting Order of transactions?
  5. What balance does the bank use to authorize my ATM and Debit Card transactions?
  6. How long does an Authorization Hold remain on my account?
  7. How does my available balance and authorization holds affect checks and ACH items posting to my account?
  8. How do I opt in/out for Standard Overdraft Coverage on my ATM and everyday debit card transactions?
  9. What is the difference between a “recurring” versus an “everyday” debit card transaction?
  10. Is it possible for an ATM or one-time debit card transaction to incur an Overdraft Fee even though it was authorized against sufficient available funds?
  11. What are the bank’s Overdraft Protection Plans?
  12. How do the different Overdraft Protection Plans work?
  13. What are the fees associated with Overdraft Protection Plans?
  14. Can I have both Standard Overdraft Services and an Overdraft Protection Plan?
  15. Are business accounts eligible for Standard Overdraft Coverage and Overdraft Protection Plans?
  16. What are the bank’s overdraft fees?
  17. What is the Sustained Overdraft Fee?
  18. What other services does the bank offer to help me avoid overdrafts and fees?
  19. How can I find more details on the bank’s Overdraft Services and Overdraft Protection Plans?

More questions? Contact us.

Return to Top

 

Contents

Q: What is an overdraft?
A: An overdraft occurs when you don't have the necessary available balance in your account to cover transactions you have made, but we pay it on your behalf. Transactions can include withdrawals made at an ATM or teller window, debit card purchases, checks, automated payments or other electronic transactions using your checking account number.
Q: What is the bank’s Standard Overdraft Coverage?
A:

With our Standard Overdraft Coverage, we may authorize and pay items into overdraft such as checks and other transactions made using your checking account number, automatic bill payments, and recurring transactions set up using your debit card. Our Standard Overdraft Coverage is automatically applied to these transactions and overdraft fees may be assessed on each item paid into overdraft.

We do not authorize and pay ATM and everyday debit card (point of sale) transactions into overdraft unless you ask us to by opting-in to this coverage on these transactions. If you opt-in and we authorize and pay these items into overdraft, an overdraft fee may be assessed on each item. Please note that even if you do not opt-in, we may pay these items into overdraft if sufficient funds were available at the time of authorization, but not available at the time of settlement; however we will not charge you an overdraft fee.

We pay overdrafts at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction. Even if we pay your account into overdraft, we maintain the right not to do so at any other time. If we do not authorize your transactions, it will be declined and it will not be paid into overdraft.

Q: What is the difference between my available balance and my ledger balance?
A:

The available balance in your account is the ending balance on the previous banking day after we have posted transactions, plus or minus pending transactions (such as deposits, debit card transactions or ATM withdrawals) that have not yet been posted to your account, and minus any holds that we have placed on your account. The available balance does not include (i) transactions that have not been presented for payment, such as checks that you have issued or debit card transactions that you have made that were not authorized by us for the merchant, or (ii) holds for debit card transactions that we authorized for a merchant but were released. Your available balance and your ledger balance are not the same.

Your ledger balance is the balance of funds in your account based solely on deposits and withdrawals posted during nightly processing. Your ledger balance does not include amounts subject to a hold. Your ledger balance may be more than the amount of your available balance and may not be available for withdrawal or immediate use. For example, the balance reflected on your account statement for any given date is your ledger balance on that date.

Q: What is the bank's Posting Order of transactions?
A:

We use the available balance in your account to (i) pay an ATM or debit card transaction, or (ii) pay or return a check, ACH debit or other item. The Available Balance and Ledger Balance section of the Deposit Agreement explains the difference between your available balance and your ledger balance. Your available balance may be reduced by pending transactions as described below.

We post transactions to your available balance in a particular order.  Generally, we post deposits and other credits received by us before the deposit cut-off time first, and then we post withdrawals and debits (such as checks and electronic debits) by categories and priorities within the category. The withdrawals are placed in categories defined by us based on the type of withdrawal. The following are examples of the types of withdrawals in the sequence in which the categories are posted:

  • Debits we are obligated to pay or, that we want to ensure are paid ahead of other debits;
  • Debit we are obligated to pay (such as debit card transactions and settlement for fund transfers that we have accepted or executed);
  • Cash withdrawals and certain electronic transfers (such as teller paid checks, ATM debits);
  • Other electronic debits (e-Banking, ACH debits, and recurring debit card transactions);
  • Checks issued by you and certain internal debits;
  • Bank fees (service charge, stop payment fees, wire transfer fees, etc.)*

*The list above includes examples of withdrawals or debits from your account but does not include every type of withdrawal or debit that may be posted to your account.

The priorities of posting debits within the categories listed above are based on the type of withdrawal and whether the withdrawal contains a check or serial number or whether we can determine the date and time of the authorization or initiation of an electronic debit. For example, debits, such as checks that you issue, are posted in check number sequence and certain electronic debits are posted based on the date and time they are authorized or initiated. Also note, the date and time of authorization or initiation of an electronic debit we receive for processing may differ from the date and time they are authorized or initiated by you due to many factors outside of our control, including the merchant’s processes. If we cannot determine this information, we will generally post the debits each day in ascending order from the lowest amount to the highest amount. We reserve the right to change the categories, the posting order sequence, and the sequence of posting transactions within these categories at any time without notice to you.

Q: What balance does the bank use to authorize my ATM and Debit Card transactions?
A:

We use your available balance to determine whether to authorize transactions for payment. If you have a line of credit linked to your account for overdraft protection, we add the amount of funds available under the line of credit to your available balance. If we authorize the transaction, we then place an Authorization Hold on your account in the amount of the authorization request which immediately reduces your available balance by the amount of the request.

For example, assume that on Monday you have a ledger balance of $50 and an available balance of $50. If you were to use your debit card at a merchant on Tuesday to buy groceries for $20, then that merchant could ask us to immediately authorize the payment. If we do so, then we will reduce your available balance by the amount authorized, which is $20. Your ledger balance would still be $50 because this transaction has not yet posted to your account, but your available balance would be $30 because you have a pending commitment to pay the merchant $20. When the merchant presents the transaction for payment, your ledger balance will be reduced by the amount of the posted transaction (in this example, $20) and both your ledger balance and available balance will be $30 (assuming no other intervening transactions occurred).

Q: How long does an Authorization Hold remain on my account?
A:

Outstanding Authorization Holds will generally expire after (a) three (3) business days or (b) the business day that the debit card and ATM transaction is presented for payment and is paid by us, whichever occurs first. Sometimes the amount of Authorization Hold differs from the final charge presented by a merchant for payment (e.g., the addition of a tip, gas station authorizations). If any of the information provided to us for the authorization does not match the information provided to us for the final charge presented by the merchant, (such as Debit Card number, merchant number, authorization key number or transaction amount), our computer system may not be able to match the authorization with the final charge, and the Authorization Hold may remain on your account for up to three (3) business days, even if the amount presented for payment has already posted to your account. This means that the amount of the Authorization Hold will not be available for withdrawal, transfer or payment of your checks, ACH, and other debit items.

During nightly processing, the amount of the Authorization Holds for the one-time debit card or ATM transactions that have not yet been presented for payment are temporarily added back to your available balance. This returns those funds to your available balance and allows only debit items that we are obligated to pay to post to your account. The amount of funds returned to the available balance are only available to pay debit items we are obligated to pay and are not available for debits we are not obligated to pay. After the debit items we are obligated to pay are posted to your account, the outstanding Authorization Holds are reapplied, reducing your account’s available balance.

Q: How does my available balance and authorization holds affect checks and ACH items posting to my account?
A:

The available balance in your account can be used to decide whether to return a check or other item for insufficient funds. For example, using the same example in one of the previous Q&A’s, assume a check that you had previously written for $40 that we are not obligated to pay posts to your account between the time when the $20 debit card transaction at the grocery store is authorized and when it is presented for payment. Even though we authorized the $20 debit card transaction, you may be assessed an overdraft fee because the check for $40 exceeds your available balance of $30 at the time the check is actually presented for payment and posts to your account. Further, when the $20 debit card transaction is presented for payment, assuming you do not make any other intervening deposits, the available balance in your account will not be sufficient to pay the $20 debit card transaction and (assuming you opted in for the authorization and payment of such NSF items as described more fully below) you would be assessed an overdraft fee.

 

Q: How do I opt in/out for Standard Overdraft Coverage on my ATM and everyday debit card transactions?
A:

You can make or change this election at any time by calling us at 1-800-448-8812 or by visiting your local branch. It may take up to 72 hours to process your request. For joint accounts, any opt in or opt out request by one of the joint accountholders is considered to be instruction to us by all joint accountholders.

Generally speaking, if you do not opt in and if there are insufficient available funds in your account and you do not have adequate coverage under an overdraft protection service, we will decline your ATM and everyday debit card transactions.

Q: What is the difference between a “recurring” versus an “everyday” debit card transaction?
A:

Everyday debit card transactions include purchases you make on any given day such as at a store, a gas station, a restaurant or online.

Recurring debit card transactions include the ongoing preauthorized purchases you’ve established such as a monthly gym membership.

Q: Is it possible for an ATM or one-time debit card transaction to incur an Overdraft Fee even though it was authorized against sufficient available funds?
A:

Yes, these transactions may be subject to an overdraft fee even when there were sufficient available funds in your account at the time of authorization, but insufficient available funds when the debit card transaction posts to your account, due to other intervening activity occurring in your account. For this reason, you should always ensure there are sufficient available funds in your account to cover all transactions whenever they may post to your account in order to avoid such fees. 

Q: What are the bank’s Overdraft Protection Plans?
A:

We offer a variety of Overdraft Protection Plans, which allow you to have funds automatically transferred to your checking account from another Hancock Whitney account such as another checking or savings account, our HandyLine product, a Preferred Line of Credit or a Home Equity Line of Credit. Only one Overdraft Protection product can be linked to your checking account.

Home Equity Line of Credit cannot be used as overdraft protection in Texas.

Overdraft Protection Plans cannot be linked to a New Horizons checking account.

 

Q: How do the different Overdraft Protection Plans work?
A:

For coverage from a Handyline, if your checking account balance will be overdrawn after processing at the end of the banking day, we will systematically transfer funds in $100 increments from the Handyline to cover the overdraft up to the available balance in the Handyline.

For coverage from another checking or savings account, or from a Preferred Line of Credit or Home Equity Line of Credit, if your checking account balance will be overdrawn after processing at the end of the banking day, we will systematically transfer funds in the exact amount needed from the linked account to cover the overdraft up to the available balance in the linked checking or savings, or the available limit in the line of credit.

Please note that you can also proactively transfer funds from the linked account to your covered checking account. 

These overdraft protection plans may also vary in the type coverage they provide. Please ask us about these plans for more details.  

Q: What are the fees associated with Overdraft Protection Plans?
A:

Transfers systematically made from another checking or savings account, as well as from the HandyLine product are $10 per transfer per day. There are no transfer fees to proactively transfer funds to your checking account in anticipation of an overdraft situation.

There are no transfer fees on transfers made from the Preferred Line of Credit or Home Equity Line of Credit, whether systematically made or proactively transferred by you.

Interest may accrue on outstanding balances maintained in the HandyLine, Preferred Line of Credit and Home Equity Line of Credit.

Q: Can I have both Standard Overdraft Services and an Overdraft Protection Plan?
A: Yes. Customers who have coverage from an Overdraft Protection Plan may also be covered by our Standard Overdraft Service in the event the linked account funds are unavailable.
Q: Are business accounts eligible for Standard Overdraft Coverage and Overdraft Protection Plans?
A:

Business accounts automatically receive Standard Overdraft Coverage on all transactions, including ATM and everyday debit card (point of sale) transactions.

Business accounts are also eligible to receive coverage from an Overdraft Protection Plan, such as from another business checking or savings account, or a business line of credit product.

Q: What are the bank’s overdraft fees?
A:

We charge $36 for each item paid into overdraft and $36 for each item returned for Insufficient Funds (NSF). We will assess no more than five (5) Overdraft and/or Insufficient Funds  fees (collectively or individually) per account per day. Please note that the Sustained Overdraft Fee referenced below does not count toward this daily limit of 5 fees and may be assessed in addition to those fees.

No overdraft fee is charged when your account is overdrawn $5 or less after all items have posted. Additionally, we waive the overdraft fee and NSF fee on all individual transactions of $5 or less.

Q: What is the Sustained Overdraft Fee?
A:

For each time your account remains overdrawn at least nine (9) calendar days, we will assess one Sustained Overdraft Fee of $36. Please note that we count as the first day of the nine consecutive calendar days the day on which we post the items which created the overdraft in your account, regardless of whether we have provided you with notice of the overdraft(s). This fee is separate from and may be charged in addition to the Daily Limit of 5 overdraft and/or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. We will not charge this fee if you pay us the total amount of the overdrawn balance on the ninth (9th) calendar day or the next banking day, if the 9th calendar day falls on a weekend or federal holiday that is not a banking day. We will also not charge this fee if:

Your account is overdrawn by $5.00 or less on the day on which we would otherwise charge it, or

You have not opted-in to the payment of ATM and everyday debit card (point of sale) transactions and the amount overdrawn only includes amounts from ATM and point of sale transactions presented and paid against insufficient funds, or

The amount overdrawn only includes bank fees and/or service charges as described in the Service Charges and Fees section of the Deposit Agreement or as set forth in the Deposit Account Information – Truth-in-Savings.

Q: What other services does the bank offer to help me avoid overdrafts and fees?
A:

Banking services that can assist you in avoiding fees, and unauthorized or returned items include direct deposit, online banking, including activating the receipt of balance alerts, and mobile banking via tablet, smartphone or similar device

Q: How can I find more details on the bank’s Overdraft Services and Overdraft Protection Plans?
A:

You can call us at 1-800-448-8812, visit your local branch or refer to the Deposit Agreement that came with your checking account.