Viewing posts in series: Bank Transparency

When You Need $128 to Have No Money

“Wow, the consumer knows about that?”

This was essentially how a banker responded when I told him the story of a woman I interviewed for the US Financial Diaries study. The participant – we’ll call her Jenna – was charged four $32 overdraft fees in the same day ($128 total, if you’re counting).  Jenna explained to me that if her bank had processed her transactions in the order she had made them, there would only have been one charge. Instead, the bank posted her largest purchase first, which was enough to take her account balance below $0. That triggered the initial $32 fee, and then three smaller debit card swipes she’d made earlier in the day each prompted fees as well . . . 

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