Earlier this year, Congress passed the Durbin Amendment, which regulates and restricts the charges related to debit card transactions. The effects of the Durbin Amendment are now starting to be felt by banks.
The new legislation places caps on income that financial institutions can receive from their card network each time a consumer uses their debit card. In the coming months, it is likely consumers will hear about banks raising fees across many categories as they seek to recoup profits for their shareholders. Carefully watch the following areas for increased fees and requirements in the coming months:
Free Checking: Fee free checking will likely be altered by many banks. Banks may move to have minimum balance requirements or monthly fees for consumers to maintain a checking account. Conversely, many credit unions will continue to offer some form of free checking to its members.
Debit Cards: Bank of America announced they would impose debit card fees, but pulled back from their threat at the last minute. This does not mean that Bank of America or other banks won’t attempt to introduce fees at another point in the near future. Many credit unions, including Community Choice Credit Union, are committed to fee free debit cards.
ATM Fees: Expect banks to increase fees on both ATM transactions and purchases made on out-of-network ATMs. Many credit unions are part of the CO-OP Network. This means that if you’re a member at a credit union on the CO-OP Network, you have access to over 28,000 surcharge free ATMs.
Minimum Balances: Banks continue to escalate their requirements on minimum balances for checking accounts. Credit unions understand that members will have fluctuating balances and you’ll find that many credit unions require either no minimum balance or extremely low minimum balances.
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