Help Desk FAQ

Debit Cards


What are the federal standards that protect my debit card?

Unauthorized transactions

Federal Regulation E governs lost or stolen funds when you use a debit card. To fully protect yourself, you must report a lost or stolen debit card to your bank within two days of the time you become aware that it's missing. You then will be liable only for $50 of your losses.

If you notice any electronic transactions you did not make on your monthly bank statement, notify the bank in writing immediately. If you bring the unauthorized transactions to the bank's notice within 60 days of the statement date, your losses will be limited to $500, no matter how much money was stolen.

If you notify the bank only after the 60-day deadline, you may not get any refund for your losses.

If you report your card missing before it’s used, the card issuer can’t hold you responsible for any unauthorized transactions.

If you follow the reporting guidelines, your bank must give you provisional credit for disputed amounts.

Overdraft protections

Since 2010, a bank must get your permission before it can charge you an overdraft fee for making a purchase with your debit card when you don't have enough money in your bank account to cover the transaction. If you don't "opt in," any debit card purchases that would cause you to overdraw your account would be declined.

The bank does not need your "opt-in" to pay your overdraft checks and charge you a fee. Likewise, recurring debits, such as automatic bill payments, do not require your opt-in, so you may encounter overdraft fees if your bank clears those transactions.

Read the Federal Reserve guide to protecting yourself from overdraft and bounced-check fees.



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