The Durbin Amendment “swipe fee” cap has been in effect for two weeks, and the new debit card use and checking account fees many big banks are levying against their customers are starting to kick in.
The L.A. Times cites one Bank of America spokesperson as saying the industry is, “adjusting our pricing to reflect today`s economics.”
The paper also reported that a survey conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research revealed that some 60% of consumers intend to pay using alternate means, should their bank begin charging them debit card fees.
Frustrated consumers who want to avoid such fees have several different options.
Consumers who are outraged by the audacity of the big banks` efforts to charge them for the privilege of using their own money may find themselves much happier at a smaller bank or a credit union. Credit unions are going beyond remaining merely free of debit card fees, and bucking the trend of much of the retail banking industry, which is piling additional charges on debit card use. Some credit unions are going so far as to up their debit card rewards programs.
City National Bank, a community bank in the Los Angeles area, is one of the many regional banks across the country that is making a no-debit card fee pledge to customers. “Given the state of the economy and the political environment, we think it’s the wrong time to pass that cost on to our clients,” City National Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith said in an interview, according to the L.A. Times.
Opening a bank account online is another option for people looking to bail on their big bank. For customers willing to give up their dependence on brick-and-mortar branches, internet banking provides customers with the ease and convenience of on-line bill payments, plus no-fee debit and checking options.
The simplest way to prevent a monthly fee for any debit card use above and beyond transactions at the ATM is to find a new way to pay for goods and services at the point of sale.
It is very likely that there will be a resurgence in cash, check and credit card transactions as new debit card fees begin being implemented.