What the Electronic Fund Transfer Act Means to You

The Electronic Fund Transfer Act is a legislation that was enacted in order to establish rules concerning the electronic fund transfer system. These rules were ultimately designed to protect the consumer. This legislation covers a number of ways that this can directly affect the consumer.


With an electronic fund transfer, money will be transferred automatically from one bank account to another. While this system is relatively safe and accurate, it can lead to mistakes. If you notice that something is wrong in your account, you need to contact your financial institution immediately. According to the rules, you have to advise your financial institution within 60 days if you want the error to be fixed. You have to give them the account number and your personal information. The bank can also request to have the details sent in writing within 10 days.

Bank Responsibility

If an error with the system is discovered, the bank is required to do few things. First, they must conduct an investigation and resolve it within 45 days. In most cases, they will be able to have a resolution much sooner. If the investigation takes longer than 10 days, they have to credit the amount that is in question back to your account. They also have the right to take back the amount, if their investigation warrants a refund. The bank has to report the findings of the investigation to you.

Theft and Loss

One of the ways for you to utilize the electronic fund transfer system is to swipe your debit card. If you lose your debit card or someone steals it from you, the act will stipulate the steps you need to take to fix the problem and how much you will be liable for,if any. If you contact your financial institution within two days of losing your card, you will only be liable for a maximum of $50. If you contact your financial institution somewhere between three and 60 days, you could be liable for up to $500. If you wait longer than that, you could be liable for all of the money in your account.

What it Does Not Cover

The Electronic Fund Transfer Act covers most electronic transactions, but it does not cover everything. For example, if you have an automatic electronic transaction taken out of your bank account such as for a utility payment or a mortgage payment, this would not be covered by the act. This act also does not cover transactions involving stored value cards such as gift cards or transit cards.

The important thing to remember is to contact your bank as quickly as possible, do not wait to try to sort everything out first. Time is an important key of reimbursement.

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