Citibank Pledges To Pay Small Checks First, Minimizing Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees may be devious mechanisms that suck funds out of the customers who can least afford them, but their administration doesn’t have to be downright evil.

CNNMoney reports Citibank offered up a bit of sunshine for beleaguered customers by announcing it will process checks in order from smallest to largest, rather than the standard practice of largest to smallest.

This will save bankers from being stuck with as many overdraft fees in several cases. For instance, if you’ve got $100 in your account and have an $80 check as well as three $25 checks outstanding, you’d only get dinged for one overdraft charge under the new system, whereas you would have been stuck with three charges under the usual policy.

The CEO of consumer advocacy group Cambridge Credit Counseling approves of the new policy, which will take effect July 25:

“It’s a very consumer friendly policy. With things being so tough for consumers out there and people living paycheck to paycheck you have to imagine this is going to be helpful for a large number of consumers.”

Good news on overdrafts! Citi will pay small checks first [CNNMoney]