Consumers are already paying for the Durbin Amendment, a measure which capped the debit card interchange merchants pay to card issuers, with fees for debit card usage, higher fees on checking accounts and fewer free checking accounts and loss of debit reward programs, according to the CEO of a consumer website.
Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com, a website that helps consumers choose low cost credit cards, regularly surveys and analyzes the debit and credit card market.
"While retailers celebrate the arrival of interchange fee regulations that they fought hard for, banks are forcing consumers to help make up the lost revenue," said Hardekopf, "It would be nice if retailers lowered prices to pass some of their savings on to consumers."
Hardekopf observed that some banks have begun to charge fees for debit card use, but noted that not all banks have done so. More widespread has been the decline in the availability of free or low cost checking accounts.
“Many banks advertise free checking, but the fine print may contain stipulations. The most common are the offer to waive monthly fees as long as your balance is above a designated amount, or for you to deposit a specific amount each month. The fee could also be waived if you have multiple accounts,” Hardekopf said.