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San Diego City: Safeguards For Electronic Banking – Electronic Fund Transfer Act

In San Diego City, there are many banks including Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Union Bank and others which use electronic fund transfers. Our firm of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, LLP does not endorse any of these banks and they are used for illustrative purposes only. Please call our office if you need legal assistance or e mail our firm.

The methods for electronic fund transfers (EFTs) are already commonplace for many bank customers. They include ATMs, debit or check cards, preauthorized deposits and withdrawals, and telephone transfers. The federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act answers some basic questions about using EFT services. The Act is especially important when things go wrong, providing rules for the correction of errors and dealing with loss or theft.

Financial institutions must provide documentation of EFTs in two forms: terminal receipts and periodic statements. Among other pieces of information, both documents must include the type of transfer, the amount and date of the transaction, and the location of the terminal. For preauthorized transfers that occur at regular intervals, the institution must provide a notice that the transfer occurred as scheduled.

As with credit cards, financial institutions must investigate and promptly correct any EFT errors reported by the consumer, but there are some differences in the details. For errors like unauthorized or incorrect EFTs, or omission of an EFT from a statement, a consumer should contact the institution as soon as possible, and no later than 60 days after receiving the statement showing the error. As a general rule, the institution must promptly investigate and resolve the matter within 45 days. If more than 10 days pass, it must make the correction, subject to the results of the investigation. Such a recredit is made final if the institution finds an error; if it does not, it must explain the outcome of its investigation in writing to the consumer.

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