1. Does Westerra offer Courtesy Pay?
Westerra no longer offers Courtesy Pay which was a service to cover transactions when consumers do not have sufficient funds in their checking account, for a fee.
2. How does this work at Westerra without Courtesy Pay?
If there are not sufficient funds in your checking account when a transaction is presented for payment, it may be paid using funds in this order:
- Through transfers from your Westerra savings or Money Market Account (if applicable).
- Through the available balance in your overdraft line of credit (if applicable).
After the above options are accessed, if available, and there are still insufficient funds in the account to cover the transaction, the transaction will be declined, without a fee. There may be fees assessed from the company you intended to pay.
3. What is the difference between actual balance and available balance?
Your checking account has two kinds of balances: the actual balance and the available balance. Both can be checked by reviewing your account online, at an ATM, by phone or at a branch. It is important to understand how the two balances work so that you know how much money is in your account at any given time.
- Your actual balance is the amount of money that is actually in your account at any given time. It reflects transactions that have “posted” to your account, but not transactions that have been authorized and are pending. While the term “actual” may sound as though the number you see is an up-to-date display of what is in your account that you can spend, that is not always the case. Any purchases, holds, fees, other charges or deposits made on your account that have not yet posted will not appear in your actual balance. For example: If you have a $50 actual balance, but you just wrote a check for $40, then your actual balance is $50 but it does not reflect the pending check transaction. So at that point, you actually have $50, but you have already spent $40.
- Your available balance is the amount of money in your account that is available to you to use without causing an item to be declined. The available balance takes into account things like holds placed on deposits and pending transactions (such as pending debit card purchases) that Westerra has authorized but that have not yet posted to your account. For example: Assume you have an actual balance of $50 and an available balance of $50. If you were to use your debit card at a restaurant to buy lunch for $20, then that merchant could ask us to pre-authorize the payment. In that case, we will put a “hold” on your account for $20. Your actual balance would still be $50 because this transaction has not yet posted, but your available balance would be $30 because you have committed to pay the restaurant $20. When the restaurant submits its bill for payment (which could be a few days later), we will post the transaction to your account and your actual balance will be reduced by $20.
- Available balance is used to determine when your account is overdrawn. The following example illustrates how this works: Assume your actual and available balances are both $50, and you swipe your debit card at a restaurant for $20. A hold is placed on your account, so your available balance is only $30. Your actual balance is still $50. Before the restaurant charge is sent to us for processing, a check that you wrote for $40 clears. Because you have only $30 available (you have committed to pay the restaurant $20), your account will be overdrawn by $10, even though your actual balance is $50. In this case, we may pay the $40 check, but you will be charged a Courtesy Pay fee. That fee will be deducted from your account, further reducing the balance.
It is very important to understand that you may still overdraw your account even though the available balance appears to show there are sufficient funds to cover a transaction that you want to make. This is because your available balance may not reflect all your outstanding checks and automatic bill payments that you have authorized, or other outstanding transactions that have not been paid from your account. In the example above, the outstanding check will not be reflected in your available balance until it is presented to us and paid from your account.
In addition, your available balance may not reflect all of your debit card transactions. For example, if a merchant obtains our prior authorization but does not submit a one-time debit card transaction for payment within two (2) calendar days of authorization, we must release the authorization hold on the transaction. The available balance will not reflect this transaction once the hold has been released until the transaction has been received by us and paid from your account.
4. If Westerra receives several items on the same day for payment from my checking account, in what order are the transactions paid?
Transactions are paid in the chronological order they are received, regardless of the dollar amount or method of presentment for payment on the account. When checks are received in the same day, they are processed in check number order. When automated (ACH) transactions are received in the same day, deposits to your account are posted first, followed by payments. If the balance in your account is exceeded, all subsequent items will be declined to the merchant or returned unpaid without a fee.
5. What happens with my transactions if I do not have enough money in my account?
If there are not sufficient funds in your account to cover a debit card or ATM transaction, the transaction is simply denied without a fee. If a check or ACH transaction is submitted and there are insufficient funds in your account, the transaction will be declined and returned to the payee. A Returned Item notice will be sent to notify you of our actions. Westerra does not charge a fee. The company you intended to pay may charge a fee.
6. How do I set up transfers from savings or an overdraft line of credit to prevent items from being declined on my checking account?
To set up transfers from savings or an overdraft line of credit, please inquire at any Westerrra branch or call us at 303-321-4209.