Brief Fact Summary. Bank One, (Appellant), appeals from a jury verdict for Trustmark Insurance Company, (Appellee), on Appellee’s claim under Article 4A of the U.C.C. Appellee brought suit against Appellant after Appellant failed to transfer funds pursuant to a Appellee’s letter of instructions allegedly costing Appellee $500,000 in lost interest.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An instruction of a sender to a receiving bank is not a payment order if it states a condition to payment to the beneficiary other than the time of payment.
Issue. Whether a letter of instructions from an account holder to its bank, requesting automatic wire transfers of funds in excess of a minimum balance whenever the total balance equals or exceeds a specified amount, constitutes a “payment order” governed by U.C.C. Article 4A.
Held. No. Such a letter is not a payment order because it subjects the bank to a condition to payment other than the time of payment.
Discussion. These were not conditions merely regarding time of payment. They required Appellant to continuously monitor the account’s balance to determine whether sufficient deposits had been made to enable the bank to make a transfer that satisfied both the deposit and balance conditions. There is a qualitative difference between a condition requiring daily monitoring of the account balance and an instruction to wire funds on a specific day. The fact that these conditions were permissible conditions observed by Appellant in the past does not alter this analysis and is irrelevant to whether the letter of instructions falls within the definition of a “payment order.”