It is an article of faith among American bankers and their regulators that some daylight overdrafts are necessary to the efficient functioning of large-dollar wire transfer systems. But the Swiss have injected an element of doubt by developing a system that does away with daylight overdrafts. Their new system processes a payment only if sufficient clearing funds are on deposit in the sending bank's reserve account. If sufficient funds are not available, the payment is held in a queue until covering funds have arrived. Vital and Mengle describe the first eighteen months of the system's operation.
Amanda L. Kramer