Electronic banking, also known as electronic funds transfer (EFT), uses computer and electronic technology in place of checks and other paper transactions. EFTs are initiated through devices like cards or codes that give you, or those you authorize, access your account. Many financial institutions use ATM or debit cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for this purpose. Some use other types of debit cards that require your signature or a scan. For example, some use radio frequency identification (RFID) or other forms of “contactless” technology that scan your information without direct contact with you. The federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFT Act) covers some electronic consumer transactions.
To understand your rights and responsibilities for your EFTs, read the documents you get from the financial institution that issued your "access device" – the card, code or other way you access your account to transfer money electronically. Although the method varies by institution, it often involves a card and/or a PIN. No one should know your PIN but you (and select employees at your financial institution). You also should read the documents you receive from your bank, which may contain more information about EFTs.
Before you contract for EFT services or make your first electronic transfer, please keep the following information for your records.
You're also entitled to a periodic statement for each statement cycle in which an electronic transfer is made.
You have 60 days from the date a periodic statement containing a problem or error was sent to you to notify your financial institution. The best way to protect yourself if an error occurs is to notify the financial institution by certified letter. Ask for a return receipt so you can prove the institution received your letter. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.
Under federal law, the institution has no obligation to conduct an investigation if you miss the 60-day deadline.
Once you've notified the financial institution about an error on your statement, it has 10 business days to investigate. The institution must tell you the results of its investigation within three business days after completing it, and must correct an error within one business day after determining the error has occurred. An institution is usually permitted to take more time — up to 45 days — to complete the investigation, but only if the money in dispute is returned to your account and you're notified promptly of the credit. At the end of the investigation, if no error has been found, the institution may take the money back if it sends you a written explanation.
When you use an electronic funds transfer, the EFT Act does not give you the right to stop payment. If your purchase is defective or your order isn't delivered, it's as if you paid cash. It's up to you to resolve the problem with the seller and get your money back.
One exception: If you arranged for recurring payments out of your account to third parties, such as insurance companies or utilities, you can stop payment if you notify your institution at least three business days before the scheduled transfer. The notice may be written or oral, but the institution may require a written follow-up within 14 days of your oral notice. If you don’t follow-up in writing, the institution's responsibility to stop payment ends.
Although federal law provides limited rights to stop payment, financial institutions may offer more rights or state laws may require them. If this feature is important to you, shop around to be sure you're getting the best "stop-payment" terms available.
If you would like to have your monthly premium payment automatically withdrawn from your credit or debit account, download the Direct Debit/Credit form and return it with your initial payment to:
ATTN: Premium Billing
PO BOX 3620
Akron, OH 44309-3620