Monthly Debit Card Fees Tested by Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo, who was recently named “Best Consumer Internet Bank” by Global Finance magazine, announced its plans to impose a $3 monthly debit card fee for customers in five states.

The monthly fee, which is set to take effect on October 14th in Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, comes as a result of the Federal Reserve’s decision to implement a cap on the amount banks can charge customers on individual debit card purchases.

“We regularly review our pricing and take into account the needs of our customers, industry trends, the market competition, and our cost of doing business,” a Wells Fargo spokeswoman said, adding “customers who don’t use their card during the month won’t be charged the fee and the fee will be waived for select accounts.”

Since the announcement of the Fed’s new “swipe fee” rules, which will take debit card interchange charges from 44 cents per transaction down to 21 to 24 cents beginning October 1, banks have been examining ways to replace the revenue, and JPMorgan Chase recently began testing a $3 debit card fee in northern Wisconsin.

If enacted in all states, the new monthly debit card fees would impact over 40 million customers at Wells Fargo, the second largest issuer of debit cards in the United States according to an April 2011 Nilson Report.

via Washington Biz Journal