Currently, consumers who are not eager to deal with credit card debt still turn to their debit cards to complete many transactions. However, that could change if banks start charging consumers a monthly fee for keeping their debit cards.
Two-thirds of consumers use debit more often than credit, but 61 percent would switch if banks imposed a $3 per month fee for keeping a debit account open, according to a new poll from the Associated Press and GfK Custom Research. If that fee were raised to $5 per month, 66 percent would find another way to pay, and a $7 charge would force 81 percent to reconsider their options.
But now several banks are testing exactly that type of fee in response to heavier federal regulation of the financial industry that banks claim will cost them billions, the report said.
One of the most notable of these changes is a reduction in what banks can charge businesses for processing debit card purchases. Currently, banks receive an average of 44 cents per transaction, but that will drop to a hard cap of 21 cents on October 21.