Last year, federal banking regulations required customers to choose whether their financial institution should decline any debit card purchases that would overdraw their account or if the purchase should be authorized along with an overdraft fee. While many people had the choice of opting in or out of the program, Bank of America eliminated it completely and rejected all transactions attempting to overdraft, but it recently introduced a new option for its members.
According to The Associated Press, BOA has announced a new pilot program that would send text messages to consumers authorizing purchases that would overdraft their accounts. While the default setting would decline these transactions, the text would offer the customer a one-time choice to allow that particular purchase with a $35 overdraft fee.
However, the news source reports that if BOA members replace the overdrawn funds in the same business day, the fee will be waived.
The program will reportedly be available for enrollment in early 2012.
While it seems to be a good way to alert customers of their account activity, the program can also instill irresponsible spending habits, which can translate to dangerous credit card habits. It is important to pay off your debt right away – not doing so could damage your credit score, leading to difficulty securing a car loan, mortgage and other lines of credit.