Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Bank of America: Please Don’t Use Our Debit Card to Buy Stuff

Bank of America

No one should ever use a Bank of America debit card to buy anything.

The bank is basically begging customers not to use their cards for purchases by saying it is going to attach a $5 monthly usage fee for customers who buy things with their debit card.

The bank says it is implementing the fee in order to recoup revenue it lost due to regulations that limit other fees. In particular, the so-called Durbin Amendment that severely restricted what banks can charge merchants who allow customers to use debit cards, has challenged banks to think of new ways to make money on debit cards.

"The economics of offering a debit card have changed," said Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace.

But the move really shouldn’t produce much revenue at all—the $5 fee is just too much for the “convenience” of using a debit card when making purchases. Informed customers should immediately stop using their cards, or switch banks.

Some people, however, might not have a choice. I’m told that many people use debit cards to make purchases because they are maxed out on their credit cards.

Which means that if this really does make a lot of money for Bank of America , the bank is just profiting from the ignorance or desperation of its customers.

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