| October 27, 2011

Debit fees not expected to alter card use

Many consumers have expressed unhappiness with proposed changes to their bank accounts that would add a significant monthly fee just for using their debit cards to make purchases, but Visa executives say they don’t expect a change in spending habits.

Joseph Saunders, the chief operating officer for Visa, recently said that even if consumers to attempt to in some way try to change their spending habits as a result of the proposed debit card fee increases, the company doesn’t expect a significant decline in debit transaction volume, according to a report from the Associated Press. He also noted that this is likely because the fee being charged would be a flat rate, rather than one that is charged on a per-transaction basis.

In addition, those who do switch banks to one that does not charge for debit use will likely just begin using cards issued by the new financial institution, the report said. And those that do eschew traditional debit will likely just turn to credit or prepaid cards instead.

In Visa’s fourth-quarter statistics, it found that debit card spending expanded more slowly than that for credit, growing about 8.1 percent in value, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

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