The Financial Brand Insights - Fall 2021

KeyBank introduced Key Smart Checking, an all-digital account, in August 2020. Among its features is the ability to add a “$0 Overdraft Protection Option” by linking a savings account to Smart Checking. PNC added a new feature called Low Cash Mode to its Virtual Wallet line. Accountholders can see what charges are going to hit their account and if a shortfall is indicated, they can change the order in which checks and ACH transactions are processed, in order to avoid overdrafts “rather than the common industry practice of the bank making the decision.” Customers can actually choose to return an item for later presentment. (Any penalty for that is between the merchant and the consumer.) Real-time alerts enable the customer to know when their balance is low, based on a threshold preset by the customer. If the balance is already negative, the service provides at least 24 hours of “extra time” to prevent or address overdrafts before fees are charged. The bank’s mobile app shows a countdown clock for bringing the account balance current. The customer can set up “protecting accounts,” permitting automatic transfers, or can opt for other ways to restore the balance to at least $0. This includes options to make a mobile deposit,

to transfer from another account besides the protecting accounts, to find a branch to make a physical deposit, or to reach out to friends or family for a transfer via Zelle. PNCWill See Revenue Impact: A PNC pilot among almost 20,000 customers reduced overdraft fees by more than 60%, according to the bank. The service permits at most a $36 overdraft fee per day. “PNC expects to help its customers avoid approximately $125 million to $150 million in overdraft fees annually,” the bank said in a statement. “PNC’s full year 2021 revenue outlook anticipated this fee reduction, and as a result is not impacted by this change.” In a statement the bank said it hoped this would help drive growth as PNC expands its branch network nationally. TD Bank announced plans to introduce TD Essential Banking, a low-cost checkless deposit account. The account will have no minimum daily balance requirement. There will be no overdraft fees because consumers will not be able to overdraw their accounts. In addition, TD Bank announced, when these accounts go live the bank will also implement changes in its overdraft policies. Prior to this the bank introduced new secured card products, including one with a reduced minimum requirement. n

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