Safe Checking in the Electronic Age

Safe Checking in the Electronic Age



Pew's Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project raises awareness, builds partnerships with industry, and advocates for policies that reduce risks and allow Americans to responsibly manage their checking accounts. It provides the public with information about policies that promote a competitive marketplace in the age of electronic banking and foster a level playing field among financial institutions.


Why Safe Checking Matters

Nine out of 10 Americans have a checking account, making it the most widely used financial services product in the United States. These accounts provide a secure way for consumers to collect earnings and make payments, and for many, they serve as the entry point to the financial mainstream.


How We Conduct Our Work

The initiative educates the public and policy makers by analyzing current overdraft and deposit practices and disclosure provisions, as well as uncovering the hidden costs associated with many checking accounts. The project supports solutions that require depository institutions to:

  • provide customers information about checking account terms, conditions, and fees in a concise, easy-to-read, one-page format;
  • provide accountholders with clear, comprehensive pricing information for all available overdraft options;
  • make overdraft penalty fees reasonable and proportional to the bank’s costs in providing the overdraft loan; and
  • post deposits and withdrawals in a fully disclosed, objective, and neutral manner that does not maximize overdraft fees.


April 9, 2014

Checks and Balances: 2014 Update

A new report indicates that even though disclosure policies have improved for bank customers in 2014, more banks are charging extended overdraft fees and limiting options for dispute resolution. More
September 26, 2013

Take Action: Protect Checking Accounts

Ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make your checking account safer. More
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