Wells Fargo, card issuers to charge $3 debit card fee - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Wells Fargo, card issuers to charge $3 debit card fee

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Are you a Wells Fargo customer? Soon, Wells Fargo and other banks will be responding to a federal cap on debit card transaction fees.

Beginning October 1, 2011, banks will only be allowed to charge about 21 cents per swipe to merchants whose customers make debit card transactions.

That fee is commonly referred to as an interchange fee. They are normally 1 to 2 percent of a purchase amount or 44 cents on the average debit card purchase.

To make up for the loss, Wells Fargo, Chase and other card issuers will be testing activity fees.

The new fees will help banks and card issuers make up for the revenue that will be lost every time a debit card is swiped.

"We are joining other debit card insurers in testing a monthly debit activity fee ($3) on a subset of checking products for customers that prefer to use their debit card," Lisa Westermann, Wells Fargo's assistant vice president of public relations for card services and consumer lending, said in an e-mailed statement to CreditCards.com.

"Customers will not be charged a fee if they do not use their debit or ATM card to make purchases or payments," she added.

Bankers say the new swipe fee cap will cause a 45% drop in revenues.

It's predicted that lenders will charge higher fees for basic banking services.

On October 14, two weeks after the new swipe cap takes effect, Wells Fargo debit card customers in Oregon, New Mexico, Georgia, Washington and Nevada will be charged a "debit card activity fee" if they use their cards to make purchases.

[WEB EXTRA: Wells Fargo Customer Account Fee and Information Schedule Addenda]

The $3 fee will appear on monthly statements beginning November 14, 2011.  

Banks with no debit card fees:

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Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved. Creditcards.com contributed to this report.

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