DEFINITION of 'Availability'

Availability refers to funds that have been deposited by third-party check into a customer's bank account. These funds are typically not usable by the customer until the check clears, or they become "good funds."

BREAKING DOWN 'Availability'

Third-party checks are available according to a schedule that relies on the location of the bank on which the check is drawn. The maximum number of days that a check can be held is set by the Expedited Funds Availability Act, assuming the check is good. 

An Example of Availability

Examples of availability and rules of banking can be found on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board's website.  Take for instance the following: If customer James Smith deposits a $5,000 certified check to his bank teller at 9:00 a.m. on a Monday, the funds would be available on Tuesday. If he made the deposit at an ATM, the first $100 must be made available by Tuesday at the latest, and the remaining funds must be made available by Wednesday, because it is a certified check. If the customer made a deposit at a nonproprietary ATM, states the Federal Reserve Board, the funds may be held by the following Monday, the fifth business day, and the requirement to make the $100 available on the next day does not apply. 

The confusion around availability can happen when a customer makes a deposit and assumes it is available immediately upon receipt. 

RELATED TERMS
  1. Next-Day Funds

    In banking, next-day funds are money that becomes available for ...
  2. Availability Float

    Availability float refers to the time period between when a deposit ...
  3. Deposit Slip

    A deposit slip is a small written form that is sometimes used ...
  4. Certified Check

    A certified check is a type of check for which the issuing bank ...
  5. Negative Float

    Negative float is the difference between checks written against ...
  6. Bank Deposits

    Bank deposits are money placed into a deposit accounts at a banking ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    10 Bank Promotions That Pay You to Open an Account

    Find out which banks are running cash promotions and will pay you just for opening a new account.
  2. Personal Finance

    What is Fractional Reserve Banking?

    Fractional reserve banking is the banking system most countries use today.
  3. Tech

    New Bank Account? Don't Be Without These 6 Features

    Certain banking features can make managing your finances easier, so it's important to choose carefully when opening a new checking or savings account.
  4. Tech

    5 Useless Financial Products That Will Disappear Soon

    Bank deposit slip: what's that? Everyday tools of our financial life that went from indispensable to obsolete.
  5. Personal Finance

    The History of the FDIC

    Find out why this corporation was developed and how it protects depositors from bank failure.
  6. Personal Finance

    Why You Should Stick With The Big Banks

    Big doesn't always mean bad. We tell you four reasons why.
  7. Personal Finance

    5 Bank Fees You May Not Know About

    Banking regulations have recently changed and fees are following suit.
  8. Personal Finance

    Bank Account Tips For Young People

    If you’re just getting started with managing your own bank account, these tips will show you how to do it right.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How long does it take a check to clear?

    It usually takes two days for a check to clear, but in some cases it may take longer. Discover how banks treat large deposits ... Read Answer >>
  2. The Difference Between Term Deposit and Demand Deposit

    Understand the meaning of demand deposits and term deposits, and learn about the major differences between the two. Read Answer >>
  3. How must banks use the deposit multiplier when calculating their reserves?

    Explore the relationship between the deposit multiplier and the reserve requirement, and learn how this limits the extent ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center