With some studies estimating that U.S. consumers pay about $17 billion each year in overdraft fees, PNC Bank has announced a unique solution that could save customers a lot of cash. This summer, PNC plans to launch Low Cash Mode, a digital solution that officials said will help customers avoid overdraft charges, to its Virtual Wallet users nationwide.
Some customers have already been provided access, depending on their account and they can now control when certain debits from their accounts are processed. Banks and other financial institutions usually control the process. With PNC’s Low Cash Mode, consumers will receive low-balance and negative-balance alerts while allowing 24 hours to correct the matter.
PNC says it expects this will translate into helping its customers avoid as much as $150 million each year in overdraft fees.
“This is really about giving customers the control,” said Laura Gamble, the Regional President of Greater Maryland for PNC Bank. “We know that every customer has an item that they are most concerned about. It could be their mortgage, their car payment. Before [Low Cash Mode], the control was really based on what hit first.
In some cases, it might be the largest item. Now, that control can go back to the customer, and they can decide whether the car payment goes through or that that check to the [family member] can wait.”
Low Cash Mode provides a new patent-pending technology that shows customers in advance, which eligible transactions could result in an overdraft and gives consumers the power to choose which to pay and which to return. It also provides them 24 hours to bring their account to at least a $0 balance before an overdraft fee is charged, and customers receive real-time and low or negative balance alerts.
Officially, Low Cash Mode launches nationwide to PNC Virtual Wallet customers in June and July through the PNC Mobile Banking App on Apple and Android phones.
The feature is already available to Virtual Wallet Checking Pro users and Virtual Wallet Student users.
“I don’t know everything that’s offered everywhere around the country, but from what I’ve heard, no other service provides the level of information and the opportunity to correct a situation in time to avoid overdrafts,” Gamble said. “The one thing that I do know because we piloted here in greater Maryland— some of our customers, about 20,000 got a chance to test drive this. It helped reduce the number of overdrafts by about 60 percent.”
Gamble also offered a plug for PNC Women in Business Week, which kicks off on Monday, May 10, 2021. Each year, PNC celebrates women leaders, and this year the banking giant plans to host an all-virtual line-up of inspirational stories and insights from customers, colleagues, and friends.
“Women in Business Week is really about the group of people we call our female financial decision-makers. They can be a female owner of a business, a chief financial officer of a business, or the woman who is managing her personal accounts or budget,” Gamble said.
“Any woman who is making decisions about finances. So, with Women in Business Week, we have a great set of virtual programs where you can register and watch a lot of great programming, including from a woman inventor and founder, and CEO of her own business. There will also be interviews with the women who wrote the book called ‘The Notorious RBG’ about Justice Ruth, Bader Ginsburg.
“It’s a wide array of programming really geared towards our female financial decision-makers that hopefully will enlighten them and entertain them and show them PNC’s commitment to helping our female financial decision-
makers manage their finances and their life.”
To learn more about Low Cash Mode and Women in Business Week, visit: www.PNC.com.