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Ally Bank Is Now Limiting the Number of ACH Links


Ally Bank is now limiting the number of links that you can use to transfer money to and from your other bank accounts. I just confirmed this with an Ally CSR via online chat. The frustrating thing is that the CSR stated she had not been notified of what the limit is. I first learned of the issue at this FW thread, and the FW members are reporting the same response from Ally. They found out about this limit when they tried to add an external link and received the message "maximum number of external accounts exceeded". If you run into this problem, you'll need to delete old links before you add a new one. Based on this procedure, FW members are reporting a limit of around 10 to 20.

This is disappointing on three levels: 1) there's now a limit on the ACH links, 2) no apparent notification of this change, 3) no info on what the limit is. If Ally believes it needs to limit the number of links from a security point-of-view, it should still notify customers with the exact limit number and ensure this information is known by the CSRs.

This link limit reminds me of that Ally commercial in which the banker prevents the girl from riding her bike outside a small square unless she pays a fee. This new link limit is like having a square that's invisible. You don't know how far you can ride until you hit the invisible wall.

Some may think that there's no reason to have more than one or two dozen links. However, for those who are trying to get a decent return on their money, it can require opening many deposit accounts. In today's record low interest rate environment, savers are having to work much harder. So banks should not be suspicious of those with many ACH links.

Overview of ACH Links

For those not familiar with ACH links, these are links that are used when you want to electronically transfer money to and from your accounts at different banks. Many online banks have this feature. You first establish the link by entering the routing and account number of your other bank account. You will then be required to verify that you own that account. This is often done by trial deposits in which the bank will make two small deposits into your external account. You will then have to log into that account and record the amount of the trial deposits. With this information, you can finish the verification process, and the link is established. You can then initiate deposits and withdrawals via that link.

Related Pages: Ally Bank, savings account
Previous Comments
  |     |   Comment #1
Ally bank is not alone.

I had the same bad experience with Etrade and Wamu when I had accounts with them.
  |     |   Comment #2
Talking about ACH setup, some banks want ONLY A VOIDED check and you are out of luck if you do not have a check printed with your current address.
no stocks 5 me
  |     |   Comment #4
  |     |   Comment #5
As long as the 60 days penalty stands thaey are good. if they change that then it is over.

Hopefully, changes such as penalties can not be retroactively changed but who knows?
  |     |   Comment #6
Had a little chat with Rachelle @ Ally. Here's the transcript re. the limit issue:


darkdreamer4u: I heard you limit the number of external accounts linked to Ally accts.

 What's the limit now?

Rachelle: There is no limit to the number of external accounts you can have linked. However, you may only view and access 10 online. After the first 10 you  would need to call or chat to process the transfer.

darkdreamer4u: I currently have 12 and all are showing... will that remain this way?

Rachelle: That is great! We have made some updates recently and this may now allow for more external accounts to be listed. Just one moment and I will see if this is the case.

darkdreamer4u: Ok

Rachelle: You may now see all external accounts you  have online.

darkdreamer4u: Well, customers have reported: They found out about this limit when they tried to add an external link and received the message "maximum number of external accounts exceeded".

darkdreamer4u: But they were not told what the maximum is...

darkdreamer4u: Do you know?

Rachelle: I know that we are currently are working to fix an issue with adding the external accounts. This seems to be happening when customers have 40 and 50 linked accounts.

darkdreamer4u: Ah, ok - thank you very much.
  |     |   Comment #7
Be aware that if you remove an external account from your list, you won't be able to add it again later without a special dispensation from Ally.
  |     |   Comment #9
hay 8 leave ken alone he is the best
  |     |   Comment #10
Ally the worst bank I have ever done buisness with.  I have had nothing but bad experiences with them and their customer service is terrible.
  |     |   Comment #11
Ally the best bank I have ever done buisness with.  I have had nothing but good experiences with them and their customer service is wonderful.
Across the pond
  |     |   Comment #12
i beleive that 10 and 11 are the same person albeit a bit confused
  |     |   Comment #13
DollarSavingsDirect bank does not use the trial deposit method to determine if you have valid access to an external checking/savings account.  Thye require you to fill out a form and mail to them and then they forward it to the external bank for them to approve it.  I tried to set up a new external bank account a month ago and am still waiting for it to be approved.  I complained and they said this is for my safety.  After indicating that virtually all other banks use the trial deposit method, they gave me the same song and dance.  As a result, I am transferring all my funds from this bank.  What a hassle!!
  |     |   Comment #14
If people want to move funds from bank to bank, they should be complaining to their other financial institutions where they're transfering money from and to. To use Ally as the hub to transfer funds and then complain when Ally wants to limit that so that they aren't used simply as the hub is too greedy. I think Ally is fully within their rights to limit the number of banks to 6 or so. 10-20 is outrageous.
  |     |   Comment #17
I also have the unannounced ACH problem with Ally.  I setup a new ACH account and Ally made the two small deposits, but I was unable to complete the verify - "Maximum accounts exceeded". 

I tried deleting one existing ACH account to make room for the new one, but this did not work.  Still get "Maximum accounts exceeded".

I emailed twice and called 4 times on 4 different days and each time was told I would receive a phone call with the answer.  Never happened.

The 4th support rep said I would never again be able to add any ACH account, even if I deleted every existing ACH account.

I sent a follow-up bank mail yesterday to find out if this bizarre answer is really true, and this time was told to wait 5-8 days for an answer.

The problem is in the new software they installed the weekend prior to the ACH breakdown. 
  |     |   Comment #18
I agree with # 16.  Two thumbs down.
  |     |   Comment #19
I'm wondering how much it costs a bank for ACH transfers. Do they have to pay the Automated Clearinghouse a fee for each link setup or for each transfer ... or maybe just an annual all-inclusive fee?

This could be a factor in banks limiting the number of ACH links. Anybody know how this works?
  |     |   Comment #20
Same thing happen with E*Trade, they lost me as a customer.
  |     |   Comment #21
To number 19, ACH cost is based on speed, amount, hold time and affiliations. It can range from 15 cent per transfer to over a $5 depending on the factors listed above.
  |     |   Comment #22
An Ally rep told me that next-day transfers will be ending shortly.  Whether this is accurate or not, I have no idea.
  |     |   Comment #23
I'm with #16 as well.  Ken, why don't you take this blog back to being a blog?
  |     |   Comment #24
does anyone know a bank that does not do the trial deposit stuff in adding your primary exernal account ?apart from ally ?
  |     |   Comment #25
i was told via tel call it was 20

anybody heard otherwise?
  |     |   Comment #26
Ken, why don't you take this blog back to being a blog?

Yes, please.  Consider requiring registration to post comments, or some form of comment moderation.
  |     |   Comment #27
Look at #3.  Ken doesn't read these comments.
lady marmalade
  |     |   Comment #28
hay 27 cannot find  3what does it say 5 stars
  |     |   Comment #29
Suspicious that #3 and #4 are gone....

I'm not sure what #3 said, but one of them said that he had posted about this situation on June 6.  And if you go to the June 5 weekly summary, you may still see a post there asking about this new limit.

Right now, there are only three comments on that post, and that one is #1 (although currently showing a -1 vote).  If Ken or someone else with the site read these comments, he would have known to look into the sitution.  A week and a half later, he notices posting on the situation on another site... but, not his own.

Let's just say that timeliness is not one of the goals of this site.
  |     |   Comment #32
I think that they may have increased the number to 20.


Dale: Thank you for chatting with me today. How can I help?

William: I'm thinking about opening an account, but I heard that you are now limiting the number of linked external accounts, is that true?

Dale: William yes we have been informed that as a result of new procedures and to increase our fraud prevention measure we are limiting the number of external account to 20.

William: Thanks!
  |     |   Comment #33
Yes it seems the limit is now 20 external accounts. I had a chat with them today and confirmed it...

 Welcome to Ally's Live Chat. Thanks for joining us!

You are now chatting with 'James'

James: Thank you for chatting with me today. How can I help?

Me: I am wondering how I can add a new external account. I tried and get a message "maximum number of accounts exceeded"

James: It does appear that there is a limit now to 20 external accounts. You do have 23 currently, however, your external accounts were in placed before a limit was set. In order to add a new external account, you would need to remove enough external accounts to reach 19, then add the new  account. There is currently no way around this method of resolution. I do apologize.


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