For at least the past 15 years I have had the full balance of our ANZ credit cards debited automatically from one of our cash accounts with ANZ. In doing so, I had to ensure that on the due date there would be sufficient funds in the cash account to cover this automatic debit. With the ANZ app on my phone I have been able to do that no matter where I might be on that day.
With net and phone banking I always checked all the account balances and transactions well before the close of business, which has always been 10.00 pm AEST, and on the day the credit card balance was due to be processed, I have always transferred cash from our Savers account to our Access account, never a problem provided this was carried out before the day’s c.o.b., i.e. 10.00 pm AEST.
On 7 November 2022 the balance of our credit card for September credit card purchases fell due, and as usual, that night, well before 10.00 pm AEST I transferred the required amount (plus some) from our Savings to Access account. The following night I noticed that no payment had occurred from our Access account, nor the following day - I thought there might have been an issue at the bank’s end. But when afer a week there was still no action by the bank I dediced to call ANZ Support.
ANZ Support is handled by an off-shore call centre somewhere in the sub-continent, and they took well over 30 minutes to answer my call. Communication was difficult to put it mildly, partly my poor hearing but also the accents of the operator, and it took 5 or 5 minutes to complete all the ID checks before I could explain my issue - the operator told me that he needed to transfer my query to another section, so I was placed on hold for 15 more minutes before someone picked up my line…only to once again go through the same ID process!
I’m a reasonably patient fellow, but I started to feel qite exasperated. After a bit over an hour all up I was finally informed that I had a problem, because when the bank swept my accounts to take payment for the credit card balance there were no funds to cover the balance, and when payment is declined the system decides that’s final, so she told me I had been hit with a late payment plus interest charge on the credit card account!
When I protested that there was in fact sufficient money in our savings account by c.o.b. she checked further and informed me that my account was swept at 7.00 am!
Ever since I have used netbanking (now also by phone) for both our small business and personal bank accounts it has always been the case that availability of sufficient funds to cover payment of credit card balances had to be concluded by the day’s c.o.b. and was not dependent of the time of day when the sweep occurred.
Not any more apparently - the aftermath was that I was refunded in full by the operator after she accepted my explanation.
It would have been nice if this change in policy terms had been made clear by ANZ to its customers, perhaps it appeared somewhere in small print when banks send out notices about change in terms of accounts, but who actually bothers to read these??
On that last point I thought that I read somewhere a long time ago that the ACCC had made a ruling that financial institutions, insurance companies etc were required to include a brief outline of all salient matters in plain English when sending out volumes of pages in legal terms of changes in conditions for consumers - if not, maybe CHOICE could work on this on behalf of its members.