12 CFR 205.3 - Coverage.

§ 205.3 Coverage.
(a) General. This part applies to any electronic fund transfer that authorizes a financial institution to debit or credit a consumer's account. Generally, this part applies to financial institutions. For purposes of §§ 205.3(b)(2) and (b)(3), 205.10(b), (d), and (e), 205.13, and 205.20, this part applies to any person.
(b) Electronic fund transfer—
(1) Definition. The term electronic fund transfer means any transfer of funds that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer, or magnetic tape for the purpose of ordering, instructing, or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit a consumer's account. The term includes, but is not limited to—
(i) Point-of-sale transfers;
(ii) Automated teller machine transfers;
(iii) Direct deposits or withdrawals of funds;
(iv) Transfers initiated by telephone; and
(v) Transfers resulting from debit card transactions, whether or not initiated through an electronic terminal.
(2) Electronic fund transfer using information from a check.
(i) This part applies where a check, draft, or similar paper instrument is used as a source of information to initiate a one-time electronic fund transfer from a consumer's account. The consumer must authorize the transfer.
(ii) The person initiating an electronic fund transfer using the consumer's check as a source of information for the transfer must provide a notice that the transaction will or may be processed as an EFT, and obtain a consumer's authorization for each transfer. A consumer authorizes a one-time electronic fund transfer (in providing a check to a merchant or other payee for the MICR encoding, that is, the routing number of the financial institution, the consumer's account number and the serial number) when the consumer receives notice and goes forward with the underlying transaction. For point-of-sale transfers, the notice must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous location, and a copy thereof, or a substantially similar notice, must be provided to the consumer at the time of the transaction.
(iii) The person that initiates an electronic fund transfer using the consumer's check as a source of information for the transfer shall also provide a notice to the consumer at the same time it provides the notice required under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) that when a check is used to initiate an electronic fund transfer, funds may be debited from the consumer's account as soon as the same day payment is received, and, as applicable, that the consumer's check will not be returned by the financial institution holding the consumer's account. For point-of-sale transfers, the person initiating the transfer may post the notice required in this paragraph (b)(2)(iii) in a prominent and conspicuous location and need not include this notice on the copy of the notice given to the consumer under paragraph (b)(2)(ii). The requirements in this paragraph (b)(2)(iii) shall remain in effect until December 31, 2009.
(iv) A person may provide notices that are substantially similar to those set forth in appendix A-6 to comply with the requirements of this paragraph (b)(2).
(3) Collection of returned item fees via electronic fund transfer—
(i) General. The person initiating an electronic fund transfer to collect a fee for the return of an electronic fund transfer or a check that is unpaid, including due to insufficient or uncollected funds in the consumer's account, must obtain the consumer's authorization for each transfer. A consumer authorizes a one-time electronic fund transfer from his or her account to pay the fee for the returned item or transfer if the person collecting the fee provides notice to the consumer stating that the person may electronically collect the fee, and the consumer goes forward with the underlying transaction. The notice must state that the fee will be collected by means of an electronic fund transfer from the consumer's account if the payment is returned unpaid and must disclose the dollar amount of the fee. If the fee may vary due to the amount of the transaction or due to other factors, then, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, the person collecting the fee may disclose, in place of the dollar amount of the fee, an explanation of how the fee will be determined.
(ii) Point-of-sale transactions. If a fee for an electronic fund transfer or check returned unpaid may be collected electronically in connection with a point-of-sale transaction, the person initiating an electronic fund transfer to collect the fee must post the notice described in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section in a prominent and conspicuous location. The person also must either provide the consumer with a copy of the posted notice (or a substantially similar notice) at the time of the transaction, or mail the copy (or a substantially similar notice) to the consumer's address as soon as reasonably practicable after the person initiates the electronic fund transfer to collect the fee. If the amount of the fee may vary due to the amount of the transaction or due to other factors, the posted notice may explain how the fee will be determined, but the notice provided to the consumer must state the dollar amount of the fee if the amount can be calculated at the time the notice is provided or mailed to the consumer.
(iii) Delayed compliance date for fee disclosure. Through December 31, 2007, the notice required to be provided to consumers under paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section in connection with a point-of-sale transaction, whether given to the consumer at the time of the transaction or subsequently mailed to the consumer, need not include either the dollar amount of any fee collected electronically for a check or electronic fund transfer returned unpaid or an explanation of how the amount of the fee will be determined.
(c) Exclusions from coverage. The term electronic fund transfer does not include:
(1) Checks. Any transfer of funds originated by check, draft, or similar paper instrument; or any payment made by check, draft, or similar paper instrument at an electronic terminal.
(2) Check guarantee or authorization. Any transfer of funds that guarantees payment or authorizes acceptance of a check, draft, or similar paper instrument but that does not directly result in a debit or credit to a consumer's account.
(3) Wire or other similar transfers. Any transfer of funds through Fedwire or through a similar wire transfer system that is used primarily for transfers between financial institutions or between businesses.
(4) Securities and commodities transfers. Any transfer of funds the primary purpose of which is the purchase or sale of a security or commodity, if the security or commodity is:
(i) Regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission;
(ii) Purchased or sold through a broker-dealer regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or through a futures commission merchant regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; or
(iii) Held in book-entry form by a Federal Reserve Bank or federal agency.
(5) Automatic transfers by account-holding institution. Any transfer of funds under an agreement between a consumer and a financial institution which provides that the institution will initiate individual transfers without a specific request from the consumer:
(i) Between a consumer's accounts within the financial institution;
(ii) From a consumer's account to an account of a member of the consumer's family held in the same financial institution; or
(iii) Between a consumer's account and an account of the financial institution, except that these transfers remain subject to § 205.10(e) regarding compulsory use and sections 915 and 916 of the act regarding civil and criminal liability.
(6) Telephone-initiated transfers. Any transfer of funds that:
(i) Is initiated by a telephone communication between a consumer and a financial institution making the transfer; and
(ii) Does not take place under a telephone bill-payment or other written plan in which periodic or recurring transfers are contemplated.
(7) Small institutions. Any preauthorized transfer to or from an account if the assets of the account-holding financial institution were $100 million or less on the preceding December 31. If assets of the account-holding institution subsequently exceed $100 million, the institution's exemption for preauthorized transfers terminates one year from the end of the calendar year in which the assets exceed $100 million. Preauthorized transfers exempt under this paragraph (c)(7) remain subject to § 205.10(e) regarding compulsory use and sections 915 and 916 of the act regarding civil and criminal liability.
[Reg. E, 61 FR 19669, May 2, 1996, as amended at 71 FR 1659, Jan. 10, 2006; 71 FR 51456, Aug. 30, 2006; 75 FR 16613, Apr. 1, 2010]

Title 12 published on 2014-01-01

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U.S. Code: Title 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE