Helpful Tips on Recovering From Being Scammed

You might associate scams with far-fetched ruses about foreign “princes” or emails, full of misspellings, that claim to be from your bank. And you might think you would never fall for those ploys. Scams, however, have grown more convincing over time, as evidenced by a growing amount of consumer dollars lost to fraud each year. And no, internet-savvy younger folk aren’t immune. In fact, according to data collated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), those between the ages of 30 and 39 were the most likely to get scammed in 2023.

Fortunately, there are ways to recover from the financially and emotionally draining experience of being scammed — and to avoid falling victim to scams in the first place. Read on for wise advice on how to rebound from being scammed, plus what to look out for so you don’t become a future scam statistic.

Key Points

•   Immediately inform your bank if you suspect a scam to protect your accounts.

•   Replace compromised debit or credit cards to prevent further unauthorized transactions.

•   Document all details of the scam to aid in any investigations.

•   File a complaint with the FTC to help track and stop scammers.

•   Use two-factor authentication and regularly update passwords to enhance security.

How Many People Are Scammed Every Year?

The short answer: Lots. The FTC states they received fraud reports from 2.4 million consumers in 2022 — and chances are not everyone who was scammed followed through on filing a report about it. (If you have been scammed, though, you should; the FTC’s data can help law enforcement build cases against scammers and stop the problem from happening to others.)

Recommended: Different Types of Bank Account Fraud to Look Out For

Common Scams in the United States

Scams come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, but here are some of the most common scams reported in the US.

Imposter Scams

In imposter scams, the fraudster acts as if they’re a person or business entity you already know and trust to swindle you out of your money. This is by far the most common type of scam in the US, and it can be perpetrated in a variety of different ways.

•   You might get an email that looks like it’s from your bank (but is not) and prompts you to enter your login information. This however allows the fraudster to get access to your login credentials, which they can then use to drain your checking account.

•   Imposter scams also include romance scams, wherein someone often woos you online from afar and asks you to wire them money to help them through some emergency.

•   Scammers might even impersonate someone you already know, like a friend or relative. They could hack someone’s online accounts and then send messages that they need money for an emergency, help buying gift cards or some other scam.

Prize and Sweepstakes Scams

As their name implies, prize and sweepstake scams trick consumers into believing they’ve won something. They take a person’s sensitive information under the pretense of giving them the prize, only to wrest away their hard-earned money.

Job Opportunity Scams

It’s pretty cruel to target people who are looking for job opportunities, but scammers can do just that. You might find their ads in the exact same places you’d find legitimate employment opportunities, but instead of offering a position, they’re really in the business of getting your private information — and using it to steal from you.

Many people have fallen victim to overpayment scams this way, in which a person is told they are hired and is sent money to buy home officer equipment. However, the check was for a higher amount than needed, and the unwitting scam victim sends back the overage. By then, the funds they received from their supposed new employer? That check bounces ultimately, and they are out of cash and still without a job.

Investment-Related Scams

A smart investment can be a great way to make money… but when scammers use the guise of an investment opportunity to get your cash up front, the return never comes. According to the FTC, among the most common investment scams are those related to financial markets, real estate, or precious metals and coins.

Be extremely careful about individuals or companies you invest with. Some fraudsters create very official-looking websites that can fool people out of a lot of their money. These ”get rich quick” schemes can sound very believable.

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What Can You Do if You Have Been Scammed?

If you’ve been scammed, don’t panic: You have options. And in many cases, you may be able to recoup some or all of your lost funds. Here’s advice on how to recover from being scammed.

Tell Your Bank That You Have Been Scammed

Here’s what to do after being scammed: If a fraudster got hold of your bank account information, let your bank know ASAP. After all, the sooner they can change your checking and savings account numbers, the sooner you can stop any theft. While FDIC insurance does not cover money lost due to theft, fraud, or scams, many banks will reimburse you money you’ve lost in a fraudulent transaction. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Request a New Debit or Credit Card

If a scammer got hold of your debit card or credit card information, immediately call the issuer to report that the card was stolen so they can hook you up with a brand new card and account number. Again, many credit card issuers will refund you for charges that were unauthorized or fraudulent transactions, so it’s critical to reach out to them pronto.

Remember the Details

If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a scam, you should immediately write down everything you can remember about the interaction: the details of how the scam was carried out, how much money or which pieces of information were stolen, the time of day, the payment and communication methods, and where you were. All of these details could help law enforcement catch the perpetrator and ensure your case is solid if it gets taken to court.

File a Complaint With the FTC

As discussed above, another step to take after being scammed is filing a complaint with the FTC. This can help track down and stop fraudsters. The FTC can also provide you with valuable information to help you protect yourself from future scams, too.

Tips on Protecting Yourself From Being Scammed Again

There are steps you can take to help ensure you don’t become victimized by a scam for a second time. These can also be good moves to make to avoid being scammed in the first place.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Chances are, you’re already familiar with two-factor authentication: It’s the process where a website or platform verifies your identity with both a password and a second form of authentication, like a code texted to your cell phone or using facial recognition. Use these tools to secure as many of your accounts as you can.

Reset Your Passwords

Whether or not you’ve been scammed in the recent past, it’s always worthwhile to reset your passwords regularly.

•   Use strong, distinct passwords for each account you have. No reusing!

•   To keep all your accounts straight, you may want to consider utilizing a password manager, which can also help you generate stronger passwords and remind you to change your passwords from time to time.

Be Wary of Suspicious Emails and Phone Numbers

If you get an email or phone call that promises you a lot of money very quickly — or says there’s a problem you have to pay to fix very quickly — be suspicious. If you’re not totally sure you’re dealing with the person or entity who says they’re on the other side of the interaction, hang up or click delete and reach out yourself (say, directly to your bank, Apple, or whatever company is allegedly contacting you).

It’s also worth looking for tiny typos in email addresses or slightly “off” logos. In all cases, be very wary before you offer sensitive information over email or the phone. It’s highly unlikely you will be asked to “verify your account immediately” by text message, for instance.

Recognize Sometimes Things May Be Too Good to Be True

If someone calls you promising you a prize of thousands of dollars as soon as you provide your Social Security number or says they have the investment of a lifetime if you just cough up $1,000 to start, think twice. If something sounds too good to be true, there’s a good chance it’s just that.

Order Credit Reports

Keeping an eye on your credit report is one of the best ways to stay ahead of any fraud you may fall victim to without otherwise knowing. You’re entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the big three credit bureaus via annualcreditreport.com.

You can also sign up for ongoing credit monitoring with a variety of service providers, though this may be a paid service. You can also consider whether you want to activate a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit files with the credit bureaus. This can help prevent new accounts from being opened without your permission.

The Takeaway

Scams are getting more sophisticated these days, which can mean they can be harder to detect and avoid. Popular ploys are romance and job opportunity scams. Staying vigilant and immediately reporting any fraudulent transactions can help minimize your losses — and possibly recoup lost funds.

Check with your financial institution to see what tools they offer to help you monitor and protect your accounts.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

How do I report a fraud to the FTC?

The FTC makes it easy to file a fraud report online. Just navigate to the FTC’s website at reportfraud.ftc.gov, and hit “Report Now,” and follow the online prompts. While the FTC can’t help investigate or solve your individual fraud case, your report can be used to help track down fraudsters at large and stop future fraud from happening to others.

What do I do if I do not remember all details of the scam?

If you don’t remember all the details of a scam, be sure to write down the details you do remember and file them in your report or claim. Writing down information can help you remember it for longer.

Will I get any money back if I get scammed?

Many banks are willing to reimburse some or all of the money you transferred in a fraudulent transaction, depending on the circumstances. Credit card companies, too, may cover you for unauthorized charges. It’s worthwhile to ask for details.


Photo credit: iStock/Delmaine Donson

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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How Long Does ACH Transfer Take? Complete Guide

ACH transfers typically take between one and three days, but that’s only part of the story. The Automated Clearing House (ACH) is a network of interconnected banks that allow for transfers between customers with accounts at different banks. You can send money to another person, as well as receive funds from them, even if you don’t share a bank.

ACH transfers usually take up to two business days to happen, although it’s possible that it can take a longer or shorter time. Financial institutions can pay for same-day transfer, although not all banks may offer this service to their customers. Because ACH transfers generally take a few days to transfer, if you need to transfer money sooner, you may want to explore other options.

Read on to learn more about ACH transfers.

Key Points

•   ACH transfers typically process within one to three days through the Automated Clearing House network.

•   These transactions are batch-processed, which contributes to the non-instantaneous transfer times.

•   Financial institutions can opt for same-day ACH transfers by paying additional fees.

•   The availability of same-day processing depends on the bank’s offerings and may involve a surcharge.

•   For urgent transfers, exploring alternatives to ACH might be necessary due to the standard processing time.

What Is an ACH Transfer?

An ACH transfer is a way to electronically transfer money to or from another person who may have a checking or savings account at a different bank from you. One way to think about the ACH transfer system is that it’s the electronic version of writing a paper check.

When you send an ACH transfer, the money will generally be debited from your account when you make the transfer. The money may take one to three business days to go to the recipient’s bank account. The ACH transfer time is often quoted as taking two days; the transactions are processed in batches, which can help explain why they are not instantaneous.

💡 Quick Tip: Help your money earn more money! Opening a bank account online often gets you higher-than-average rates.

Types of ACH Transfers

The ACH system classifies a few different internal routing and transaction codes, but most customers can think of two distinct types of ACH transfers: ACH debits (money coming out of your account) and ACH credits (money going into your account, or an ACH payment). Here’s a look at those two types of ACH transfers:

ACH Debit Transactions

An ACH debit transaction is where money is taken from your account and sent to an account at another bank. Common examples of ACH debit transactions might be recurring payments, online subscriptions or mortgage payments. When your account receives an ACH debit, your savings or checking account balance will decrease.

ACH Credit Transactions

An ACH credit transaction is the opposite of an ACH debit transaction. An ACH credit transaction is when another person or company sends money to your account. There are a variety of different scenarios where you might receive an ACH payment or credit.

•   You might get an ACH credit when you receive your direct deposit from your employer.

•   Social Security and certain other government payments can be ACH credits to your account.

•   An ACH credit will increase your bank account balance when you receive one.

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How Long Does an ACH Transfer Take?

The ACH network processes ACH transfers several times a day, but it’s common that ACH transfers take one to two business days, or sometimes three. If you are scheduling an ACH debit to make an online bill payment, you’ll want to make sure to allow enough time before your bill is due.

You’ll also want to be aware of this processing time when receiving an ACH credit. Knowing that the credit will take that amount of time to clear can help you manage your account balance. It’s wise to be aware that ACH transfer time isn’t instantaneous, so you don’t risk drawing on funds that aren’t yet available. Otherwise, you could end up overdrafting your account.

Recommended: Guide to ACH Routing Numbers

Expediting ACH Transfers: Same-Day ACH Transactions

While most ACH transfers take a few business days, it is possible to expedite the process. Banks can pay an additional fee to process an ACH transaction on the same day. Your bank may or may not support a same-day ACH transaction. Additionally, it will depend on the financial institution and whether or not they pass that banking fee on to you.

Ask your bank’s customer service rep or check their details online or in their app to see what’s possible and if you need to pay a surcharge for this service.

Recommended: How to Stop or Reverse ACH Payments

The Takeaway

How long does an ACH transfer take? These electronic transfers, which allow money to be sent and received between customers at different banks, typically take around two days. ACH transfers make for a convenient way to send and receive money as compared to sending paper checks. It may be possible to pay for an expedited ACH transfer if you don’t want to wait a couple of days.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

What are the restrictions to external funds transfers?

Restrictions on external funds transfers may vary depending on your bank. Some banks may limit external transactions to $5,000 per transaction, $10,000 per day, and $50,000 per month, as one example. Check with your bank to see what restrictions might be in place for you.

What does ACH transfer cost?

Every financial institution that sends or receives ACH transfers must pay a fee to the National Automated Clearing House Association, which is the organization that governs and manages the ACH system. Depending on the bank, they may or may not pass these fees on to the customers who receive or send ACH transfers. Check with your bank to see how much an ACH transfer might cost you, especially same-day transactions.

Why is an ACH transfer not an instant transfer of funds?

Although it may be possible to pay for an expedited (same-day) ACH transfer, transfers do not happen instantaneously. The answer to “How long do ACH transfers take?” is usually a couple of days. Typically, ACH transactions are processed in batches vs. right away, which can explain the timing.


Photo credit: iStock/MStudioImages

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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What Happens to Your Bank Account When You Die?

What happens to your bank account when you die will depend on what type of bank account it is, how you set up the account, and whether you have a will.

When the owner of a bank account dies, the transfer process is fairly straightforward if the account has a joint owner or named beneficiary. Otherwise, the account becomes part of the deceased owner’s estate and is settled during probate.

Understanding what happens to your money after you die can help you manage a bank account after losing a loved one, and also prompt you to set up your accounts in a way that minimizes complications for your survivors down the line.

Read on for key things to know about what happens to a bank account when someone dies.

Key Points

•   When someone dies, the fate of their bank account depends on its setup and whether a will exists.

•   Joint bank accounts typically pass directly to the surviving owner without legal hurdles.

•   Sole ownership accounts may transfer directly to a named payable-on-death beneficiary, bypassing probate.

•   If no beneficiary is designated, the account enters probate, becoming part of the estate to be distributed as per the will or state law.

•   Proactive measures like naming beneficiaries or joint account holders simplify access to funds after death.

How Do Banks Discover When Someone Died?

There are two main ways a bank discovers when an account holder has died:

•   Family member or beneficiary Commonly, a family member will let the bank know when one of their bank account holders has died. To inform a bank about the death of a loved one, you’ll need to present a copy of the death certificate, the deceased person’s Social Security number, and proof that you can act on behalf of the estate (such as ID showing you are the account’s joint owner or beneficiary or Letter of Testamentary to show your executor status).

•   Social Security Administration Funeral directors usually report the death of a person to the Social Security Administration to ensure no more Social Security checks are issued to that individual. If any checks were sent after the person’s death, Social Security will contact the bank to get the payment returned. This is another way a bank may learn about the death of an account holder.

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Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


Sole Owner Bank Account Rules on Death

What happens to a deceased person’s bank account if they were the sole owner of the account will depend on whether or not the account has a payable on death (POD) beneficiary.

If there is a beneficiary named, the money in the account goes to the beneficiary after the sole account owner dies. Regardless of whether there’s a will and what’s in the will, the beneficiary automatically inherits the designated account’s funds upon the account owner’s death.

A beneficiary can claim bank account funds by contacting the bank and providing valid ID and a death certificate. The bank will typically then release the funds to that person and close the account. If the beneficiary is a minor when the account owner dies, someone must be appointed to manage the money on the minor’s behalf.

What happens if no beneficiary is named on a bank account? If the sole owner of a bank account dies and no beneficiary was named, the account becomes part of the deceased person’s estate (which is the sum total of the assets the person left behind). The money is then settled during probate.

Probate is the legal process for distributing a dead person’s assets, often as outlined in their will, as well as settling their remaining debts.

Joint Bank Account Rules on Death

In most cases, the surviving joint owner of a joint bank account will have automatic rights of survivorship, which grants them ownership of the entire account balance. That person can typically continue to use the checking or savings account without any interruptions.

However, the surviving account holder will still need to contact the bank and provide a death certificate or other documentation to confirm the death and update account records. Banks generally have a process you need to follow upon an account owner’s death. The surviving joint account holder may be able to remove the deceased from the account or open a new individual account.

Recommended: 11 Financial Planning Steps to Take After a Spouse’s Death

What Happens if No Beneficiary Is Named on a Bank Account?

If the deceased person is the sole owner of the bank account and did not name a beneficiary, the executor of the deceased’s will is typically responsible for handling any assets in their estate (including money in bank accounts).

The executor will typically transfer funds contained in the bank account into an account in the name of the decedent’s estate, and they may be able to access those funds to satisfy the decedent’s debts and pay probate costs. They will then distribute any remaining funds to those named in the will.

If there is no will to name an executor, the state appoints one based on local law. After paying off any debts, the named executor will distribute the money according to local inheritance laws.

Recommended: Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Tips to Avoiding Complications Upon Death

There are some simple steps you can take now to make it easier for your loved ones to sort out your affairs and access your bank accounts after you die. Here are some to consider.

•   Add a joint owner. Naming a spouse or other family member as a joint account holder is a simple way to ensure someone has access to the money when you die. In most cases, the joint account holder can simply take over the funds.

•   Set up beneficiary designations. Most financial institutions make it easy to name a POD beneficiary on your bank accounts. Taking a few minutes to name one can mean less headaches for your loved ones down the road. Unlike a joint owner, a beneficiary cannot access the account while you’re alive.

•   Write a will. Having a will still means your assets will need to go through the probate process before they can be distributed to your loved ones. But at least it ensures that the money will go to the intended person.

•   Set up a living trust. A well-set-up trust can mean that your assets don’t have to go through probate. Instead, the money can go to your heirs in a more timely manner. However, trusts can be costly to set up and maintain, and may not be worth it if you have a simple estate with few assets and potential heirs.

•   Consolidate bank accounts. To make it easier for your loved ones to sort through your finances, consider streamlining your accounts. Too many checking and savings accounts, especially if the accounts are held at different banks, can make settling your affairs complicated and time consuming. Consolidating your accounts also helps ensure that no account gets forgotten.

The Takeaway

The easiest way to pass the money in your bank account to your loved ones is to name them as joint account holders or POD beneficiaries. Setting up a will is also an essential step in estate planning, but it may not guarantee that your loved ones will be able to access your bank accounts quickly.

Regardless of your choice, it’s a good idea to make some smart money moves now to make life easier for your loved ones while they are grieving.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Can you withdraw money from a deceased person’s account?

You can withdraw money from a deceased person’s account if you’re a joint owner of the account. Otherwise, you need to present documents to the bank to show you have a legal right to access the money in the account. For example, if you’re named as a beneficiary on the bank account, you will be required to show government-issued ID and a death certificate. If you’re the executor of the deceased’s will, you will need to present a Letter of Testamentary and a death certificate, among other documents.

How do I get money from my deceased parents’ bank account?

If you are named as the account’s beneficiary, you’ll be able to get the money from your deceased parent’s bank account by presenting certain documents to the bank, such as a government-issued ID and a death certificate. If no beneficiary is named on the account, you’ll likely need to wait until your parent’s estate is settled during probate. This is a legal process during which assets are distributed according to the deceased’s will or special laws in the absence of a will.

What happens to the bank account of a dead person?

It depends on how the account was set up. If there is a joint owner, the surviving owner will typically become the sole owner of the account.

If there are no surviving owners and a named beneficiary on the account, the funds will go to the beneficiary. If no beneficiary is listed, the account will become part of the deceased owner’s estate and settled during probate. This is a legal process during which a deceased person’s assets are distributed according to their will or special laws in the absence of a will.


Photo credit: iStock/nortonrsx

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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15 Things to Stop Buying When Trying to Save Money

Short of getting a raise, the only way to save more money is to spend less. While that may sound like a bitter pill to swallow, tightening your budget could be a lot easier than you think.

Thanks to the constant allure of consumerism, many of us mindlessly overspend on small recurring expenses that can seriously add up over time. We often don’t realize how much we waste on things we don’t need or, in truth, really care all that much about.

By becoming more intentional in your spending, and cutting out unnecessary costs, you could potentially save hundreds per month with much sacrifice. That’s money you can then put towards things that are important to you, like going on a great vacation, buying a car, or putting a downpayment on a home.

While everyone’s spending habits are different, we’ve got 15 ideas for how to spend less and save more starting today.

Key Points

•   Cutting out unnecessary purchases can significantly boost savings, such as opting for fewer streaming services.

•   Unused gym memberships are a common area where money can be saved by switching to free workout alternatives.

•   Premium cable packages often include unwatched channels; consider cheaper alternatives or cutting the cord.

•   Daily coffee purchases add up; brewing at home can reduce monthly expenses significantly.

•   Opting for generic brands over name brands can offer similar quality for a fraction of the cost.

Tips For Saving Money

One of the best ways to save money is to take a close look at where your money is currently going each month. You can track your spending by scanning your credit card statements and receipts over the last few months. But a simpler way is to use a budgeting app that syncs with your accounts and keeps track of what you spend in different categories in real time.

Once you have a bird’s eye view of your cash flow, you may realize that you’re spending more than you thought (or want to) in certain categories. You may also find some easy places to cut back — such as getting rid of a monthly subscription you rarely use or switching to a cheaper cell phone plan.

If you want to get started saving right away, we’ve got some simple suggestions for things you can stop buying right now. Eliminating even small recurring expenses can add up dramatically by the end of a year.

💡 Quick Tip: Help your money earn more money! Opening a bank account online often gets you higher-than-average rates.

15 Things to Stop Buying If You Are Trying to Save Money

To start saving money right away, stop buying these 15 things.

1. Multiple Streaming Services

With the proliferation of streaming services now available, it can be easy to sign up for more platforms than you can possibly watch. Consider picking one or two services that you actually watch consistently and getting rid of the rest. Or, stagger your streaming services so that you have each one for a few months out of the year. That can give you access to all the shows you want but keeps the price down.

2. Unused Gym Membership

A gym membership can be worth the cost if you’re actively using it. But if you rarely see the inside of your gym these days, it might make sense to cancel your membership and find lower-cost fitness alternatives, such as running/walking outside, lifting weights at home, or following free workout videos on YouTube.

Recommended: 27 Fun Things to Do for Free

3. Premium Cable

Premium cable subscriptions come with a high monthly price tag and often include tons of channels you never watch. To save money fast, think about cutting back to basic cable or negotiating for a cheaper rate with your provider. Or, cut the cord entirely and just use a few streaming services. If you still want live TV channels, consider options like Sling TV or YouTube TV.

4. The Daily Coffee

You may really enjoy your morning (or afternoon) takeaway coffee, but if you add up how much you’re actually shelling out on coffee drinks each month — and year — you might decide that there are better uses for this money. Consider buying a quality coffee maker or French press and (if you don’t have one) a portable coffee mug, so you can make your delicious brew to go at home.

5. Name Brand Items

Generic brands typically have the same ingredients and offer comparable quality to name brands but for a fraction of the price. Whether you’re shopping in the supermarket or a drug store, opt for the generic option whenever it’s offered. This small change can lead to significant savings without compromising your needs or lifestyle.

Recommended: How Much Should I Spend on Groceries a Month?

6. Extended Warranties

These days, you can get extended warranties on practically everything — appliances, cars, electronics, and even homes. While having that extra protection may sound like a good idea, it typically comes at a hefty cost. And, the odds of you using an extended warranty is low. Companies have done the math and generally offer warranties that end before the usual problems crop up — otherwise they would lose money. A better bet: Skip the extended warranty and put that money into your emergency fund.

7. Greeting Cards

Surprising but true: A greeting card can set you back as much as $10. Rather than a canned card from a greeting company, most people would likely rather you share your own words and thoughts. Consider stocking up on a box of pretty cards that are blank inside. You can then personalize and customize each one for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, baby shower, or wedding.

8. Bottled Water

While keeping bottled water on hand is convenient, the cost can add up, especially if you have a family. A simple way to spend less at the grocery store each week is to give each person in your household their own reusable water bottle to fill with tap or filtered water. You can then take bottled water (and if you really want to save, all store-bought drinks) off your shopping list. This will not only save money but also reduce plastic waste.

9. Impulse Purchases

Those little purchases you make here and there without thinking can add up. Consider setting a 24 hour (or longer) waiting period for any item you have a sudden urge to buy but really don’t need. You may find that the urge passes. Or, try a “no-spend” week or month where you pause all unnecessary spending for a set time period. This can not only save cash but shed light on things you’re buying but can easily do without.

10. Pre-Cut Fruits And Vegetables

Pre-washed and cut produce (and bagged salads) are certainly convenient, but generally cost a lot more than whole fruits and veggies. This is an easy thing to stop buying — prepping produce at home doesn’t take that much time and you may find that your fruits and veggies actually taste fresher.

11. Books

Instead of paying for books, consider getting a (free) library card. This will give you access to countless print, digital, and audiobooks, both at your local library and through partnerships they might have with other libraries and streaming services. This is one of the easiest ways to cut back on spending.

12. Disposable Products

Buying disposable items — like paper plates, plastic cups, napkins, and paper towels — adds up and all of it an unnecessary expense. Consider using real dishware, cloth napkins, and washable cleaning cloths. Your weekly grocery bill (and bags) will get instantly lighter. Avoiding disposable items is also kinder to the environment.

13. Takeout/Delivery

It’s fine to get takeout every once in a while, but if you’re looking to save cash quickly, consider writing off all takeout/delivery for a month (or maybe two). Instead, plan and shop for your meals and do some meal-prepping on the weekend. That way, cooking won’t feel like a chore at the end of a long work day. You’ll end up saving money on food while still eating well.

14. Bank Fees

If your bank charges you monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees, consider switching to a bank that offers free checking and savings accounts. To avoid getting hit with hefty overdraft fees, keep tabs on your balance to ensure you can cover your checks and debits. To avoid ATM fees, plan ahead and stop at an in-network machine before you go out.

💡 Quick Tip: Bank fees eat away at your hard-earned money. To protect your cash, open a checking account with no account fees online — and earn up to 0.50% APY, too.

15. Fancy Cleaning Supplies

Nowadays stores carry a different cleaning product for every spot in your home. There’s tile cleaner, sink cleaner, floor cleaner, window cleaner, you name it. Rather than purchase a dozen different specialized cleaning products, you can simply make your own all-purpose cleaner: Mix one cup of distilled water, one cup of white vinegar, the juice of half a lemon and about 15 drops of essential oil and put it in a spray bottle.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


The Takeaway

Everyday items that drain your budget include expensive daily coffee, unnecessary subscription services, takeout/delivery, brand name products, and daily impulse shopping. Once you stop spending money on these things, you should start to see extra money in your checking account that you can now transfer to your savings account — cha-ching!

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


Photo credit: iStock/pixdeluxe

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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All You Need to Know About ACH Positive Pay

The Automated Clearing House (ACH) system is a quick, simple, and secure way to transfer money between banks. However, online identity theft can still happen.

One way to mitigate the possibility of unauthorized electronic payments is to use an ACH positive pay service. Offered by banks and credit unions typically to businesses, ACH positive pay is a tool that allows you to manage and monitor transactions to ensure that only authorized payments will be paid from your accounts.

Read on to learn more about what ACH positive pay is, how it works, and its benefits.

Key Points

•   ACH Positive Pay is a fraud prevention service that allows businesses to control which ACH transactions post to their accounts.

•   Businesses can set up a list of approved vendors for automatic payments and add transaction filters.

•   Any transaction that does not meet set parameters triggers an alert, allowing businesses to approve or deny the payment.

•   This service is typically offered by banks and credit unions, sometimes for a fee, though some institutions may offer it for free.

•   The service enhances security by allowing businesses to manage and monitor transactions, preventing unauthorized payments before they occur.

What Is ACH Positive Pay?

ACH positive pay is a fraud prevention service offered by many banks and credit unions that allows businesses to control which ACH transactions are allowed to post to their accounts.

Also known as positive pay for ACH, the service typically allows you to set up a list of approved vendors that are paid automatically, along with the option to add filters, such as expiration dates and caps on the amount of money that can be paid to a particular company. You can add vendors to your approved list before an initial transaction to make sure the payment goes through.

Any transaction that fails to meet your parameters for payment will trigger an alert. You can then decide if you want to approve or deny the payment. This can go a long way toward preventing fraudulent transactions before they happen.

While banks typically charge for positive pay services, some institutions now offer it for free.

💡 Quick Tip: Tired of paying pointless bank fees? When you open a bank account online you often avoid excess charges.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


How Does ACH Positive Pay Work?

The exact way that an ACH positive pay service works will vary depending on your financial institution. Generally, there are four key steps in the positive pay process.

1.    Authorization: A business provides its bank with a list of authorized ACH transactions, including details such as the transaction amount, originator ID, and effective date.

2.    Incoming transactions: When an ACH transaction is initiated, the bank checks the transaction details against the authorized list provided by the business.

3.    Decision: If the transaction details match an authorized transaction, the bank allows the transaction to proceed. If there is no match, the bank rejects the transaction and notifies the business.

4.    Notification: The business receives a notification of the rejected transaction and can review the details to determine if it is fraudulent. If it is legitimate, the business can authorize the transaction for future processing.

Recommended: ACH Transfer Limits: All You Need to Know

What Is Positive Pay For Checks?

Just like a positive pay for ACH system, many banks and credit unions offer businesses positive pay services for checks. The service works in a similar way but, rather than protect against fraudulent electronic transactions, it seeks to prevent check fraud.

With positive pay for checks, businesses provide their bank with a list of issued checks. The bank’s positive pay system then matches the date, check number, dollar amount, and account number of each check presented against that list to protect against forged, altered, and counterfeit checks. Checks that are considered suspicious are sent back to the issuer (you) for examination. This gives you the chance to examine and approve any questionable checks, reducing the chances that any fraudulent checks are processed.

Recommended: ACH vs Check: What Are the Differences?

What Is Reverse Positive Pay?

Reverse positive pay is a variation on the concept of check positive pay that gives the job of filtering check transactions to the business rather than bank.

With the reverse positive pay system, the bank provides the company with daily notifications about all presented checks and clears only those that are approved by the company.

If the company does not respond within a set period of time, the bank will typically go ahead and cash the check(s) in question. The reverse positive method is not as reliable and effective as positive pay, but generally costs less.

Recommended: Guide to Check Verification

Features and Benefits of ACH Positive Pay

Here’s a look at some of the benefits of setting up ACH positive pay for your business.

Security and Fraud Control

One of the biggest perks of ACH positive pay is increased security and fraud detection. You can set up several different blocks, filters, and alerts, such as:

•   ACH block This blocks all ACH transactions except for accounts that you specifically authorize.

•   ACH fraud filter This allows you to set up filters to control what activity is and is not automatically processed.

•   Activity alerts This allows you to monitor all activity or only receive alerts for potentially fraudulent transactions.

Flexible Notifications

While the details of ACH positive pay systems vary by financial institution, businesses can typically choose to receive notifications via email, SMS, or through their banking portal. This allows you to choose the communication method that works best for your business. Notifications can typically also be customized based on the type of transaction or alert.

Recommended: How Often Should You Monitor Your Checking Account?

Internal Control Support

Positive pay systems help businesses maintain internal controls by providing a clear audit trail of authorized transactions. This allows businesses to easily reconcile their accounts by comparing authorized transactions with their bank statements.

The Takeaway

Offered by many banks and credit unions, ACH positive pay can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to enhance their security and control over ACH transactions. By implementing ACH positive pay, you’ll be able to make decisions on unusual ACH transactions before the money is removed from your account.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Can I reverse an ACH payment?

While ACH payments are generally non-reversible, there are a few exceptions. You may be able to reverse an ACH payment in one of these scenarios: the payment was for the wrong dollar amount, the account number provided was incorrect, the payment due date was incorrect, or there was a duplicate payment.

To reverse an ACH payment, you typically need to contact your bank or financial institution within 24 hours of the transaction and provide them with the necessary information, such as the transaction details and the reason for the reversal. You typically need to pay a fee to have an ACH payment reversed.

Is positive pay only for checks?

No, positive pay is not only for checks. While positive pay is commonly associated with check fraud prevention, there are positive pay services available for other types of transactions, including ACH transactions.

ACH positive pay allows businesses to control which ACH transactions are allowed to post to their accounts, similar to how positive pay works for checks. With ACH positive pay, businesses can provide their bank with a list of authorized ACH transactions, and the bank only processes transactions that match the list.

What is an ACH block?

An ACH block is a security feature offered by banks that allows businesses to block all ACH transactions from posting to their accounts, except for those explicitly authorized. With an ACH block in place, any ACH transaction that does not match the list of authorized transactions will be rejected by the bank.


Photo credit: iStock/nortonrsx

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


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