Birmingham expert predicts big banks will boost debit card fees

By Roy L. Williams, The Birmingham News 

A Birmingham credit card expert says bank customers should brace for new fees on debit cards as financial institutions seek ways to cope with new rules that will lower fees they charge merchants for debit-card transactions.

Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of, said some banks have already begun boosting fees for debit cards in advance of regulations that go into effect Oct. 1 and cap so-called “interchange” or “swipe” fees at 25 cents per debit-card transaction, down from the current average of 44 cents.


Debit card fees could signal trend

From: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By J. Scott Trubey 

Not happy about bank fees? Better get used to it.

Some of the nation’s largest banks have launched or are considering charging fees when consumers make purchases with their debit cards — that popular plastic link to checking accounts.

Wells Fargo, Atlanta’s second-largest bank in terms of deposits, announced this week it will test a $3 monthly fee for debit card use for customers this fall in Georgia and four other states.

Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks, the city’s largest bank, launched new account offerings in June, including Everyday Checking that charges customers $5 per month for debit card use.


Banks add new $3 fee for accessing your own money with debit card

Wells Fargo, Chase testing activity fees to make up for lost ‘swipe fee’ revenue

By Connie Prater

In one of the first tangible fallouts from new federal restrictions on debit card “swipe fees,” Wells Fargo bank and other card issuers are launching test programs to charge some debit card users $3 a month if they use their cards.

“We are joining other debit card insurers in testing a monthly debit activity fee ($3) on a subset of checking products for customers that prefer to use their debit card,” Lisa Westermann, Wells Fargo’s assistant vice president of public relations for card services and consumer lending, said in an e-mailed statement.


Shoppers to feel effects of Fed ruling on debit fees

From: Lansing State Journal

Perks might disappear as banks lose revenue


You might not have paid attention to the fierce yearlong battle between merchants and banks over debit cards, but you’ll likely notice the outcome in your wallet.

The dispute was over the debit card interchange fee – the payment merchants make to banks to process customer transactions.

Last year’s Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act law required that the Federal Reserve ensure the fee was “reasonable.”

At the end of June, the Fed said it was cutting the fee – but not by nearly as much as merchants wanted.


How Will Banks Adapt to Lower Interchange Fees?


A recent Senate vote all but confirmed that the Durbin Amendment would be implemented as planned. As the Federal Reserve scrambles to issue final regulations on interchange fees and debit card issuers scramble to comply, banks look for creative ways to make up for the loss of an estimated $14 billion in revenue.

Many banks have already adapted to less lucrative checking accounts and changed their fee structures accordingly. Still others are focusing on long-term reactions to interchange regulation, from court challenges to innovative revenue models. Here are five ways we’ve seen banks try to compensate for a 12-cent interchange fee limit: