LEXINGTON, Ky.-Regulation E may pose a threat to courtesy pay revenue, but it also had a strange side-effect at Metro Employees CU.

"Reg E forced us to turn on courtesy pay and go to real-time processing for our ATM debit card program," said Piper Graham, MECU president. That's because MECU didn't offer an ATM courtesy pay option, yet members had become accustomed to a "courtesy pay program" of their own invention. Members would withdraw the same funds twice, once at the branch and then again, minutes later, at the ATM.

The CU couldn't catch the "double-dipping" because ATM transactions were batch-processed just once daily. And MECU wasn't too worried about double-dipping because it could collect a $25 non-sufficient funds fee for each overdraft.

When Reg E popped up, compelling the CU to obtain member consent for overdraft protection, MECU decided it was time to switch to a formal courtesy pay program for ATM transactions. As a result, ATM transactions have to be processed online in real-time so that CU can accurately monitor account balances.

"Members are excited about the conversion to online as there is no longer confusion as to why their balances are different at the ATM and the credit union," Graham added.

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