Debit Card Authorization Q & A
- What is the difference between using my debit card as debit or credit?
- Debit cards can be used two different ways: debit or credit.
- Using the card as a debit means you are entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete the transaction.
- Using the card as credit means you do not enter your PIN. Most times when running it as a credit you are asked to sign for the transaction, but not always.
- Both types of transactions clear through your checking account.
- Do debit (entering a PIN) card transactions clear my account right away?
- A debit transaction in which you have entered your PIN will typically clear the account once the transaction is complete.
- A card transaction that is run through as a credit (you did not enter your PIN) may take from a few hours to several days or more to post to your account. The amount authorized is placed on hold and removed from your available balance immediately. The hold is released after approximately 72 hours or when the transaction clears, whichever come first.
- Can I always run my card as debit (entering my PIN)?
No. Not all merchants are able to run a card as debit. Some places have to run it as credit and will
typically have you sign for your purchase.
- Why is there a difference in my account balance and my available balance?
- You may notice a difference in your account balance and your available balance.
- The most common reason for this difference is outstanding purchase (when you did not enter a PIN) authorizations due to using the card for credit purchases.
- Though these transactions may not yet be visible on your account history they have been authorized and have therefore decreased your account balance to reflect your available balance.
- Why did my account get charged an overdraft fee when my balance wasn’t negative?
- The account history reflects the account balance, not the available balance. Fees are charged when there are not available funds in the account.
- If there are not adequate available funds to pay a transaction, overdraft fees or overdraft transfers will occur.
- Transactions that are authorized and then cancelled by the merchant may continue to hold against the available balance for up to 72 hours.
- If you used your debit card to reserve a hotel room or rental car, additional authorizations may be requested by the merchant and hold against the available balance for up to 72 hours.
Will a hold release prior to the purchase clearing the account?
- If the transaction has not posted to the account within 72 hours, the system will automatically remove the hold.
- Even though the funds are not being held, a charge may still post to the account. To avoid possible overdrafts it is vital to keep a running register that reflects all purchases/debits and review your register against what has cleared to see if there are any pending transactions.
- Can I set up overdraft protection to help avoid fees?
- It is always a good idea to have overdraft protection set up on your account. This can help you avoid overdraft fees.
- Overdraft protection is offered in various forms.
- Savings and money market accounts can be set up to cover your checking if the need arises.
- We also offer personal lines of credit and home equity lines of credit. Both of these credit lines
can be attached to your checking to protect against overdrafts.
- Can authorizations on my debit card be removed?
- Authorizations on the debit card cannot be manually removed.
- A purchase made as credit will hold for approximately 72 hours or until the purchase posts to the account, whichever happens first.
- The transaction will normally post to your account within 72 hours.
- If the authorization was more than your actual transaction the additional authorized amount will return to your available balance once the transaction clears or after 72 hours. This is often the case for car rental and hotel transactions.
- If the transaction was cancelled by the merchant after authorization then the authorization will expire from the account within 72 hours, making the amount available.
- How do I avoid unnecessary authorizations on my account?
- You can avoid unnecessary authorizations by running your card as debit (entering your PIN).
- Where else should I use caution in order to keep my unused funds available?
Some transactions that may authorize additional funds include but are not limited to:
- car rentals
- any type of rental