Huntington Bank logo
Huntington Bank logo - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: You can call it the $35 cup of coffee. This is what can happen if you buy a latte without enough money in your bank account and your bank hits you with an overdraft charge.

Well now, Marketplace's Eve Troeh tells us about a Columbus, Ohio, bank that says it wants to help customers avoid that extra fee.


EVE TROEH: With Huntington Bank's new "24 Grace" program, if you overdraw funds, you get a text message that basically says "You have 24 hours to give us our money."

That is, if you've signed up for bank emails or text messages. Only 5 percent of Huntington's customers have so far. Most customers have to check online or by phone to know if they've overdrawn.

But Huntington's CEO Steve Steinhauer says the new policy will change that.

STEVE STEINHAUER: We intend to promote alerts, mobile and text, that will help them manage their money better.

He also says customers who constantly check their balance right before payday can relax a little.

STEINHAUER: It will accelerate their cash flow by a day.

But if customers don't cover overdrafts by the next day, they get charged $23.

Ben Popken at Consumerist.com says that's the catch.

BEN POPKEN: A fee is a fee, even if it's delayed, it's still gonna hurt. Before we punch you, we'll give you a 24-hour chance.

He says it's better for most customers if the bank declines a charge or a check when there isn't enough money in their account.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a non-profit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions, or just encouraged you to think differently – we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today - in whatever amount is right for you - and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Eve Troeh at @evetroeh