Wells Fargo, the fourth-biggest bank in the US by assets, is the
latest American lender to back away from charging debit card
Wells Fargo has dropped a five-state pilot
plan in which customers who used the debit cards for purchases
would have been charged $3 a month.
The $3 charges were slated to start appearing on customer
statements beginning 15 November, but Wells Fargo has withdrawn
from charging customers debit card fees.
JP Morgan Chase last week decided against
charging monthly debit-card fees, following an eight-month-long
trial in two states.
US Bancorp, Citigroup, PNC Financial Services
Group and TD – a unit of Canada’s Toronto-Dominion Bank, are among
the other banks in the US that have deciding to steer clear of the
debit card fees.
Bank of America (BofA) is still planning to
charge $5 a month from customers who use the debit cards to make
purchases. However, reportedly, not all customers are expected to
be charged and BofA is developing a number of service packages for
customers, some of which will not include a debit card fee.
SunTrust Banks have already started levying
monthly debit-card fees on some customers.
The Durbin Amendment that took effect on 1
October reduced the amount banks are permitted to charge merchants
for accepting debit-card transactions by half.
Most banks in the US have already eliminated
free current accounts. Customers now must meet certain criteria,
such as keeping a minimum balance in the account, in order to
qualify for free current accounts.