Debit Card Specific Fees Proved Unsustainable

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

SunTrust was the first debit card issuer to implement a card-specific fee, and now it follows the other major issuers in the United States in backing away from the strategy. Along with Wells Fargo, who also announced the end of their $3.00 fee pilot in the past week, SunTrust made the announcement citing a response to consumer preferences.

These new fee structures have been in the market long before Bank of America decided to announce their $5.00 debit card fee. However the hysteria that followed Bank of America’s announcement was enough to put an end to speculation that any fee directly connected to the debit card with little or no waiver considerations was a non-starter.

SunTrust is the No. 1 bank in metro Atlanta by deposits. Wells Fargo, No. 2 in the metro area, backed away from a monthly debit fee last week. It tested a $3 monthly fee in Georgia and other markets. Chase and other major U.S. banks also indicated they would not pursue the fees. Bank of America, the No. 3 bank in metro Atlanta, plans to charge a $5 fee for using a debit card for purchases, but media reports over the weekend indicated the bank was tinkering with ways to narrow the number of customers to be hit by the fee.

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