Price Break on Debit Card Usage

It’s always irked me that our bank does this, but… Ever since we opened an account with them, they’ve charged $0.25 for PIN-based debit card purchases. Granted, we don’t end up having to do this all that often (maybe two or three times in the past few years), but still… How can they reasonably justify charging customers to use a technology that actually saves them money (as compared to either processing a paper check or running the charge through the Visa network)? Actually, this is much like the tendency of most banks to charge a monthly fee for online bill pay when that feature first came out. Well, I’m pleased to say that this is now a thing of the past… We got a letter from the bank the other day saying that they would no longer be charging for PIN-based transactions (they gave up on charging for online bill pay a few years ago).

12 Responses to “Price Break on Debit Card Usage”

  1. Anonymous

    This was one of the reasons (along with a host of others) that kept me from using a debit card. Even with the reduced/eliminated fees, I prefer credit cards (and I pay off the balance each month) for their other benefits – interest free float, purchase protection, security, etc…

  2. Anonymous

    Wachovia does not charge fees for using the visa check/debit card. Thanks for the great information about the carnival of personal finance. Your blog is very well written keep up the good work. I’ve added your site to my blog.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m a US ex-pat living in Australia. We’ve been here for 10 years now, and I find it interesting to see how the payments system differs down here. Most transactions here are done by debit card — you use your ATM card everywhere, with a pin. This type of payment was just starting to happen in the states when we left in 1995. In the US, I made most of my payments by paper check, and carried my checkbook with me everywhere. In Australia, few places accept checks. EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) is the preferred method of payment in the shops. There are generally no fees for EFTPOS. I haven’t written a check in over a year.

    Online bill paying was initially free here. A few months ago my bank started charging if you had more than 3 scheduled payments or direct transfers to other customers accounts per month. After less than six months they backed down on that.

  4. Anonymous

    Wow…guess I have been spolied by Citibank. I would be in big trouble if they ever started to charge for pin-based transactions. I use CVS and Stop N SHop’s cashback feature at least once a week as there is no convenient Citibank in my nabe.

  5. Anonymous

    Oh good. Maybe US Bank will follow suit. At least the “cash rewards” I get from using it like a Visa net me about $10 a year and it covers any PIN charges I get (usually at Costco – I don’t carry an Amex).

  6. Anonymous

    You say “How can they reasonably justify charging customers to use a technology that actually saves them money (as compared to either processing a paper check or running the charge through the Visa network)?”

    Actually, as far as I know, the issuing bank receives the lionshare of the fees used when using an “offline network” such as Visa or Mastercard. Therefore, using the PIN code gives the bank less money than using it as a credit card. The following link contains similar information, though we both may be mistaken: http://www.pirg.org/consumer/banks/debit/fact.htm

  7. Anonymous

    Thats good news. My old local bank (Astoria Federal Savingss) used to charge for me to use my debit card, but i think they charged $1.00 for each debit transaction.

    I ended up leaving for a nationwide bank, Bank of America.

  8. Nope, they just said “We have good news for you!” and went on from there. I don’t think they really felt the need to explain themselves, as nobody will complain about them dropping a fee.

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