HOUSTON – The Pulse EFT association, a Houston-based network owned by both banks and credit unions, has announced that it is taking the fee for transactions from $.15 to $.18 beginning October 1. As an EFT Network, all of Pulse's transactions rely on the cardholder authenticating the transaction with a personal identification number. Cindy Ballard, executive vice president for Pulse said the rate hike had not been because of VISA and MasterCard's recent settlement with large retailers over their rates of interchange on their debit products. Rather, she explained, the cost hikes had been the result of cost surveys the association performed among its members and was not the result of any rise in switching fees. "We don't get any of this money," Ballard said. "It all goes to the issuers." "If you think about it, the cost of technology has never gone down, and financial institutions just keep on adding new services to their repertoire. Nothing ever gets dropped," she added. The Pulse move followed similar hikes from other EFT providers.

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