In this morning’s CEI Podcast, my colleague John Berlau predicted that the new price cap on debit card swipe fees would lead to the end of free debit cards and free checking. He pointed out that while this is an unintended consequence, it is also entirely foreseeable.
It didn’t take long for that prediction to come true. Bank of America just announced that it will start charging its debit card users $5 per month. They are not the only ones:
JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are testing $3 fees for debit cards in select areas, and Citibank recently announced it is raising its fees for checking accounts. Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Thomas McCrohan said last week that Visa and MasterCard, the top two debit card companies, may increase drastically increase (sic) fees on small purchases to offset the losses.