I got a kick out of this headline on the Globe/boston.com site:
The reason it made me laugh was because I had the exact opposite reaction to this news when I read it when I logged in to Online Banking earlier this week.
To someone like me, who always teeters on the edge (and often goes right over) of keeping my account balance positive, one of the BEST features of online banking (and previously Homelink) was that the minute the bank sent out the money, it was gone from my account. I never had to think about bouncing checks or waiting on someone to cash a check, or hell, forgetting about a check I had sent out. It was a wonderful thing. The reason? I knew how much money was in my account. It basically made it so that I never had to keep a checkbook again, just keep up to date on online banking. Helped me a ton.
Now, they are going and changing this. In the article, it even says it will be possible to bounce an electronic payment. THAT SUCKS. This means that someone like me has to go BACK to keeping a checkbook register updated even though I NEVER write checks because, due to this change, all my outgoing online bill payments will now act like checks.
The worst case scenario is you send someone an online bill payment and it goes out like a check and they go and HOLD IT for 30 days or 60 days and then SUDDENLY decide to cash it, if I don't have an updated checkbook and am low on funds, I am screwed.
This change really does not make sense to me either. How much interest are people REALLY losing on 2 days or 4 days of money? Unless they have thousands of dollars in the bank and are sending out thousands of dollars in bill payments, this change is hardly going to affect them. And on the opposite side, folks like me who don't have thousands of dollars in their account are going to get screwed regularly becuase they forgot to write something down. This sure smells like a change for the rich.
Also, I can't understand why ANYONE would want to take a steps backwards in to having to keep a checkbook again, once they had gotten used to the instant gratification of Online Banking.
Since the Fleet to Bank of America changeover, Bank of America has done NOTHING but attempt to lose me as a customer. I am done with them and I would love to change banks. Sadly, I have yet to find any sort of viable alternative.