Bank drops proposed fee on debit cards

Bank of America customers, take a sigh of relief. The bank recently took back its plan to implement a new debit card fee.

The policy, which would have gone into effect Jan. 2012, would have charged customers $5 per month to use their debit cards for purchases.

The fee would have been enacted regardless of how often customers used their cards. The bank proposed the fee to combat a decrease in its revenue due to increased government regulation.

The bank resorted to the debit card fee because of the recent Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which states that banks cannot charge more than 21 cents per transaction in swipe fees. Swipe fees are the fees that banks charge merchants when customers use a debit card.

Bank of America spokesperson Anne Pace told the Associated Press that the bank decided to revoke the fee due to a “changing competitive marketplace.”

Chase and Wells Fargo announced last week that they, too, abandoned plans to implement similar fees.

Some students are happy that the fee was dropped.

“They have every right to charge, but I was seriously considering trying to switch banks,” junior Joseph Kleiman said. “Since they decided not to pose the fee, I’m not going to worry about switching banks now.”

Other students were not against the proposed fee.

“I’m glad that they removed the fee,” junior Richard Chan said. “However, I have other accounts with other banks, so the debit card fee wouldn’t really have affected me.”

Though the bank will not look into other fees on debit cards, it has already started to look at alternatives to regain lost revenue. Bank of America raised the monthly fee on its basic checking account from $8.95 to $12, according to the Associated Press.

“We’re going to have to pay more to use [other services], but I’d rather do that,” senior Michael Acosta said.