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What is an Act Now Alert?

Act Now Alerts can help you stay in control and minimise or even avoid fees for unarranged overdrafts and returned items. They specify the time by which you should pay money into your account which is immediately available to use by the specified time to cover all payments and/or to bring your account back into credit or within any arranged overdraft limit.

Act Now Alerts are sent from 8am on business days (Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays).

If you sign-up for Act Now Alerts we will send you a text, email or both, to warn you if:

  • You don't have enough money in your account to cover a payment you have requested (e.g. direct debit) and we're going to return it unpaid and charge you a fee - unless you pay money into your account which is immediately available to use by the specified time
  • You don't have enough money in your account to cover a payment you have requested or falls due, and we're going to pay it, creating an unarranged overdraft and charge you a fee - unless you pay money into your account which is immediately available to use by the time specified in your Act Now Alert
  • You're already using an unarranged overdraft and we were not able to send you an alert in advance (e.g. if you make a payment with your debit card on a train or plane where it is not possible to check that there is enough money in your account. In these circumstances, you may have already incurred an unarranged overdraft fee before we are able to send you an alert)
  • You have been using an unarranged overdraft for five or more consecutive days

We will usually only send you one alert per registered account on any given day. For example, if we pay an item (e.g. a direct debit) which creates an unarranged overdraft, we will send you an alert to inform you that an unarranged overdraft will be created on your account and that a fee will be charged unless you pay money into your account which is immediately available to use. If, on the same day, we receive a request to pay another item and we decide not to pay it, that item will be returned unpaid. However, you will not receive a second alert informing you of this.

If you receive an Act Now Alert, there are some easy ways for you to pay money in to your account which is immediately available to use (once you've checked your balance).

  • Transfer money from another NatWest account, for example via Online Banking or telephone banking
  • Pay in cash over the counter at any NatWest branch

If you need to pay money into your account following an alert here are the cut off times.