How to Close a Checking Account With Automatic Payment

One of the most convenient services offered to banking customers and their vendors is automatic payment or pre-authorized transactions using a checking account. The service allows customers to arrange with their vendors for periodic payments, using an automatic bank draft, which is drawn from their checking accounts, usually on a monthly basis. The automatic payment is established with you and your merchants, vendors and service providers such as insurance, utilities, auto and telephone companies and fitness clubs.

Using automatic payments provide some benefits to the customer, including having the convenience of paying recurrent bills and avoiding late or missed payments. It also frees you from manually making these payments and helps you to reduce your check writing and saves on postage and time.

If you decide to close a checking account with an automatic payment, there are some steps you should follow in order to have a smooth and successful transition. However, you should plan for this, giving yourself a couple weeks, as it may take some time for the process to be completed.

•Make certain that your outstanding checks have been cleared on your current checking account. You should contact your bank to find out the status of the checks.

•If you have outstanding automatic payments, leave sufficient funds in your checking account so that they can be cleared.

•Transfer all deductions for pre-authorized payments to the new account if you plan to open another checking account.

•When closing your old checking account, you should either send a written notice or visit the local branch of your current bank to present your request. Most banks may already have a form for you to complete with this request and you should include instructions on how you want the remaining funds to be disbursed. Be sure that all signatories on the account sign the request form.

•Sending a written notice to each of your vendors who receive automatic payments from your current account is required. This will notify them of the change in bank and account information such as account number and the routing number for the new bank. Many banks may have forms or letters for automatic payment transfer, which you may complete and send to your vendors. However, if you are not opening a new bank account, you should make other arrangements to pay your recurring bills.

•Keep copies of all the documents for account closing request and automatic payment transfer for your records. Contact information of banking personnel who assisted you should also be kept in the event you may need additional information later.

Most banks provide services to help with the transfer process including the Royal Bank of Canada with its SwitchAssist program. This is a kit that includes a checklist and sample request forms to make the process of closing a checking account with automatic payment simple and easy for its customers. Scotiabank in Canada also offers a free program called Scotia Simple Switch and you may order your package by visiting your local Scotiabank branch.