When I use online banking to instruct Very Major National Bank #1 to send a payment to my credit card run by Very Major National Bank #2 at a future date, the website at VMNB#1 tells me it will be sent by “electronic payment”. Yet it takes two days for the e-payment to show up as received at the credit card account run by VMNB#2.1 This is not much of an advance over writing a paper check.
Can inter-bank electronic payment really be that slothful? VMNB#2 says I should ask VMBN#1 why it takes so long. And indeed, VMNB#1’s web site does say, in a well-buried FAQ, that
If the payment is electronic, you should allow at least 2 business days for it to be received and processed.
So this is a feature, not a bug. VMNB#1 debits my account the day after I instruct it to send the payment — that is, one day before VMBN#2 credits it. Are they just splitting the float?
Update: Just to clarify–On Day one I instruct VMNB#1 to send a payment to VMNB#2 on Day 10. On Day 11 VMNB#1 debits my account. On Day 12 VMNB#2 shows a payment to my credit card account. The point of mentioning the advance directive is that there’s nothing last-minute or surprising about the payment instruction that could explain the delay. ↩