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Major Banks Now Shying Away From Adding Debit Card Fee

". . .  'are you kidding me'?"

Despite saying they would, several banks are now rethinking earlier proposals to implement a Bank of America-style debit card fee, reports the Wall Street Journal.

After Bank of America received bad press (including two senators suggesting customers take their business elsewhere), banks including JP Morgan Chase, US Bancorp, Citigroup, PNC Financial Services Group, and KeyCorp have now publicly stated that they are dropping the idea of adding a similar fee.

"We looked at all options and quickly decided it didn't fit with our overall strategy," says a spokesman for KeyCorp in a recent Newser article.

"It's not about the money. It's about 'are you kidding me?'" says one US Bancorp customer who said she would have "immediately" left the bank if it instituted a fee.

Although Chase tested a $3 monthly fee in Wisconsin and Georgia, it came to the conclusion that pursuing that strategy wouldn't do them much good.

Citigroup came to a similar conclusion.

"Our customers said that would be a massive source of irritation for them," said Stephen Troutner, Citigroup's head of consumer and small business banking, in the journal report.

"Any time you hear that kind of emphatic feedback from customers, you've got to listen to them," he added.

Todd Barnhart, head of retail products at Pittsburgh-based PNC, agreed: "I generally think customers don't want to be nickled and dimed," he said.

However, not all of the banks are dropping the strategy. There are still some that are going to pursue the idea of implementing the debit card fee.

Wells Fargo, for example, is testing the fee in five states and has yet to announce if it will go nationwide with it.

And despite the public backlash, SunTrust and Regions Financial are sticking with their earlier announcements and are implementing the monthly fee, according Newser.

One last thing…
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