Bank Transaction Posting Order

How deposits and withdrawals impact your account balance

Understand how and when your account balance is updated

Make sure you have enough money in your account to cover checks or scheduled payments. By understanding when deposits and withdrawals are processed, you can see how much money is available and avoid fees.

Available balance

Your available balance is how much money you have immediately available to make payments or withdraw money. It's based on what you have in your account plus or minus any pending deposits or withdrawals made that day, which are typically processed after banking hours. If you have multiple deposits and withdrawals, the posting order described in the Deposit Account Agreement will be used.

Deposits and withdrawals

Deposits include cash or check deposits made at a bank or electronically through direct payroll, Zelle® payments or online money transfers. Withdrawals include checks you wrote, cash taken from an ATM and purchases made with your debit card.

Non-sufficient funds (NSF) items

If an item presented for payment is larger than the available balance in your checking account, the item is considered a non-sufficient funds, or NSF, item. If you don't have overdraft protection, such as a linked savings account or Checkline Reserve (line of credit) account, we'll decide whether to pay the NSF item or return it unpaid. When we pay an item for which there are insufficient funds, it results in an overdraft and you may incur an overdraft fee. Avoid fees by checking your available balance to make sure you have enough money before writing a check or initiating an electronic transaction.


People often ask us

Credits are deposits or transfers of money into your account. Credits include cash or check deposits you make at the branch or ATM, automated clearing house, or ACH, credits such as automated payroll deposits, mobile check deposits and online banking or mobile transfers you make from another account.

Debits are withdrawals or transfers of money out of your account. Some examples of debits are writing a check, using your debit card to withdraw funds or make a purchase, or initiating an outgoing online transfer from your account.

Debits and credits, which are collectively known as items, officially post to your account during evening processing. As a result, items don't always post in the order in which the transactions occurred. Items post by transaction type or category. Within each transaction type, items post in sequential order (for example, check number) or dollar amount order (lowest to highest).

Posting order is the order in which transactions (debits and credits) are applied to your account during processing at the end of a business day.

Your account's current balance is the beginning-of-the-day balance after the prior evening's posting. The available balance is the amount you have in your account that's available for immediate withdrawal or to cover debit items. The available balance represents the difference between the current balance and pending items (those items we have received but haven't posted).

Available Balance = Current Balance + Pending Credits - Pending Debits

The best way to prevent overdraft fees is to keep an accurate record of all your account activities. This helps you ensure you have enough funds available in your account to cover all of your debit transactions.

Posting order allows you to make internal credit transfers from one account to another (through ATM, Digital Banking, Commercial Advantage or our automated phone service). These credit transfers will be applied before all other transactions posting that day.

Here's an example:

On Monday morning, Sally's checking account has an available balance of $75. It's the 15th of the month, and Sally knows there's an automatic $125 bill payment made from her checking account every month on the 15th. Sally logs in to Digital Banking and sees that her available balance won't be enough to cover that bill payment, so while still logged in to Digital Banking she transfers $100 from her savings account to her checking account.

At the end of the business day, Sally's internal credit transfer ($100 to her checking account) posts first, raising her balance to $175. Her bill payment of $125 is processed next, and Sally avoids overdrawing her account. There are no other transactions posted that day, and the next morning her available balance will be $50.

Assuming that all example transactions below are made and received by us within the same business day, they'll post to your account in the following order:

  1. Internal credit transfers: Credit transfers you make, either online, by ATM or by our automated telephone service, from one of your accounts to another one of your accounts at First Citizens.
    For example: A transfer from your savings account to your checking account performed in Digital Banking is an internal credit transfer to your checking account.
  2. Priority debit transactions with available funds: Transactions you initiate with your ATM or debit card that First Citizens authorizes at the time of the transaction, based on your account having sufficient available funds to cover the transaction.
    For example: A department store purchase made with your debit card when adequate funds are available in your account or in your Premium Overdraft Service.
  3. Priority debit transactions without available funds: Transactions you initiate with your ATM or debit card that First Citizens authorizes at the time of the transaction, even though your account doesn't have sufficient available funds to cover the transaction.
    For example: A department store purchase made with your debit card when adequate funds aren't available in your account and the transaction is authorized using your Basic Overdraft Service. (Please note that this only applies to you if you have enrolled in our Basic Overdraft Service).
  4. Deposits and other credits: Your deposits, other credit transactions (such as ACH and wire credit transfers, teller-credited items, and ATM deposits) and credit transfers made by First Citizens (such as corrections and fee reversals).
    For example: A check or cash you deposit at the branch.
  5. Teller-cashed checks and charge-backs: Teller-cashed checks are checks you write that the payee cashes with a First Citizens associate. Charge-backs are items you deposit to your account that are subsequently returned by the paying bank and charged-back to your account.
    For example: A check written to your friend that they cash. Or a check you previously deposited that was returned by the paying bank—we must retrieve the funds from your account by way of a charge-back to your account.
  6. Debit transactions resulting from credit reversals made by First Citizens.
    For example: Double posting of a deposit. Your employer accidentally sent the ACH file for your direct deposit to First Citizens twice. As a result, you received your payroll amount as two separate credits to your account. Your employer realized the mistake and requested that First Citizens reverse the second credit to your account.
  7. Internal debit transfers: Debit transfers you make, either online, by ATM or by telephone, from one of your First Citizens accounts to another.
    For example: A transfer from your checking account to your money market account performed from an ATM. This is a debit transfer to your checking account.
  8. All other debits: Checks and other debits you initiate including ACH debits and debit card transactions that First Citizens preauthorizes for an amount not specific to your purchase. These are sometimes called pay-at-the-pump transactions.
    For example: A check written to your friend that they brought to their bank to cash. Or a gas station purchase you make at the pump using your debit card.
  9. Bank debits for fees, services and other account charges.
  10. Cash management sweeps: For select business accounts only.

Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

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