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The Unspoken Holiday Problem (and How to Help Your Account Holders Address It)



Somewhere along the way (perhaps, not-so-coincidentally, as we each made the transition from child to adult) the holiday season became one big ball of pressure—with financial worry at its core. Statistics seem to support that spending (and, often, overspending) plays a significant role in our lives at this time of year:

  • Holiday shoppers plan to spend $1,047 this year—4% more than last year (National Retail Federation)
  • 9% of Americans are still paying off their holiday expenses from 2018 (YouGov)
  • 51% of Americans feel pressure to spend more than they’re comfortable with on holiday gifts (Bankrate)
  • 49% of Americans have no holiday spending budget (YouGov)

And yet, it’s not something that our society talks about much; the spending just continues while many panic in silence. While it’s certainly up to each individual how they want to approach the financial aspects of the holidays—gift giving, charitable donations, social events, travel—it’s comforting to know that their bank or credit union is on their side.

Offering a transparent overdraft protection service is one way to help account holders meet their needs during the holiday season and beyond without causing additional stress or mounting debt. Doing so can mean the difference between an empowered, informed account holder and one who ends up feeling confused, frustrated and even more stressed out during the holidays.

A responsible overdraft program offers:

  • Total transparency and fixed limits. With opt-in information, fees and limits discussed beforehand, account holders know exactly what to expect when it comes to their overdraft protection. This can help them consider the necessity of their purchase, and then decide whether it is worth using an overdraft for. Everyone’s situation is different, but the overdraft terms will always be the same.
  • 100% consumer-focused. Following regulatory rules and guidance isn’t just good from a best practices perspective—it also keeps your account holders’ best interests at the forefront of your overdraft service. When account holders feel that you’re running a fair program they can rely on in times of need, trust and loyalty naturally follow.
  • Account oversight and support. With advanced software capabilities, a responsible overdraft solution can track individual account usage and notify you when an account holder may be relying too heavily on the service. This allows your bank or credit union to reach out and offer credit counseling—something many individuals will be receptive to.
  • While holiday spending is a trend that’s sure to continue, you can at least be a part of the solution to the overspending by offering a service that puts account holders’ best interests first.
  • Get in touch with JMFA for a free analysis of how your bank or credit union could benefit from our overdraft consulting services.



As an Engagement Consultant, Maggie Thompson helps nurture the client relationship and solve problems with income, compliance, and process efficiency at JMFA. She also assesses how the system is running and provide support as needed.

Her extensive experience in banking management has provided key insight in exceptional customer service and coaching. Prior joining JMFA, she achieved at least 95% on all BAT Audits at PNC and has booked over $9 million in Home Equity products in less than a year.


JMFA is one of the most trusted names in the industry. Whether it’s recovering lost revenue, uncovering new savings with vendor contract negotiations, creating more value, serving account holders better or delivering a 100% compliant overdraft service—JMFA can help you deliver measurable results with proven solutions. To learn more, please contact your local representative or call us at (800) 809-2307.


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