| August 12, 2010

Overdraft programs may allow banks to retain revenue from fees

Starting August 15, overdraft fees can become a thing of the past for Americans with bank accounts. New regulations will sweep the nation, giving customers the choice to opt-in to overdraft fee programs at their banks. For financial institutions, this means less revenue and more of a reason to advertise in favor of overdraft programs.

Transactions that go over the amount of money in an account often result in penalty fees of more than $30 for bank customers. The new legislation is aimed toward providing protection for consumers against these type of terms and conditions.

“If you don’t do anything you won’t pay anything. That’s what all banks fail to say,” staff attorney at Consumers Union Lauren Bowne told MSNBC. “Who knows what people are being told and why they are opting in?”

Before the August deadline, banks are expected to aggressively market to customers about opting in to continue to gain revenue from the fees. Consumers can avoid paying debit card transaction fees by steering clear of signing up for overdraft fee programs.

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