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    RILA Applauds BofA’s Abandonment of Debit Fee Charge

    Bank’s decision follows similar moves by competitors

    The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) expressed its approval of Bank of America’s (BofA) decision to not to charge debit card users a $5 fee.

    “Today’s news is proof-positive that consumers remain swipe fee reforms biggest winners,” noted Katherine Lugar, EVP of public affairs of the Arlington, Va.-based trade organization. “Bank of America and its big-bank peers are no longer free to fleece merchants and consumers at will. This outcome is just what consumers deserve, what reform advocates predicted and what we will fight to extend to the credit card market,”

    BofA’s action comes on the heels of decisions by competitors to discontinue customer trials of the new fees. SunTrust Banks Inc. and Regions Financial Corp. have also said they would no longer charge customers for debit card transactions.

    RILA has long pushed for debit card swipe fee reform, which was signed into law in July 2010, to control the fees imposed on merchants and customers by Visa, MasterCard and the big banks. These fees, which are centrally set by Visa and MasterCard, have risen precipitously in recent years, costing retailers almost $20 billion annually and leading to higher prices for shoppers.
     

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