New electronic alerts from your bank
Since June 30, 2022, banks are required to send new electronic alerts to their customers.
The alerts are part of the new and enhanced measures to protect consumers in Canada’s Financial Consumer Protection Framework. They are intended to help you manage your day-to-day finances and avoid fees.
Remember, your bank will never ask for personal or account information by email or text message. Any message that requests this type of information could be fraud.
How the new alerts work
Your bank must send you an electronic alert in 2 situations:
- when the balance of your chequing or savings account (also referred to as personal deposit accounts) falls below $100 or an amount you’ve set
- when the credit available on your credit card or personal line of credit falls below $100 or an amount you’ve set
Your bank will automatically set the electronic alerts to $100. You may ask your bank to set them to a different amount.
The alerts must tell you what charges or penalties may apply to current or future transactions. This includes when you don’t have enough money to cover a payment. The alerts must also inform you of the steps you may take to avoid charges or penalties.
Your bank will send the new alerts to you automatically. You don’t have to sign up, but you may opt out at any time by informing your bank in writing. This could be done by email.
The alerts don’t apply to accounts opened for business purposes.
Benefits to consumers
Alerts for personal deposit accounts
Your bank will send you an alert when your chequing or savings account is low on funds.
This will help you:
- make sure you have enough money in your personal account to cover withdrawals, purchases or pre-authorized payments such as bills
- make timely decisions to avoid fees, including late payment charges or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees
Alerts for credit cards and lines of credit
Your bank will send you an alert when you’re approaching your credit limit. This will apply to your personal credit card or line of credit.
This will help you avoid spending over your limit.
If you borrow more than the authorized limit on your credit card or line of credit, you may have to pay a fee. This may also have a negative impact on your credit history and your ability to borrow money in the future.
How you’ll receive the new electronic alerts
Your bank will send the alerts via push notifications, text messages or emails. It will depend on your contact information with the bank, the preferences you have set up and the systems your bank has in place.
You won’t receive the new alerts if you didn’t provide your bank with the necessary contact information. For example, you didn’t provide your mobile phone number or email address.
For more information on electronic alerts, contact your bank or visit their website.
Advice on fraudulent messages
Your bank will never ask for personal information, login credentials or account information by email or text message. Any message that requests this type of information could be fraud.
Contact your bank if you’re suspicious about any information or requests. To contact your bank, use a phone number or website that you know. This can be the contact information on the back of your debit or credit card. Don’t click on links or attachments in messages.
Canada’s new Financial Consumer Protection Framework
The electronic alerts are part of the new and enhanced protections in Canada’s Financial Consumer Protection Framework. These protections aim to further advance the rights and interests of consumers in their dealings with banks. They came into effect on June 30, 2022.
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