Consumer Comeback Blog

Fed Approves Penny Debit Card Transaction Fee

Sure, consumers want greater protection against debit fraud and identity theft, but are they willing to pay for it?

A penny here, a penny there may seem insignificant, but frequent debit card users may notice fewer pennies in their bank accounts as recently approved debit transaction fees start to add up.

The Federal Reserve approved debit card issuers to charge up to 1 cent per transaction to fraudulent electronic debit transaction protection. The Fed gave final approval to the interim rules that have been in place since last July. The transaction fee now partly transfers the financial responsibility of transaction safety from the card issuers to the consumer, Courthouse News reported.

The Fed action makes final interim rules adopted last July and put into action amendments to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Consumers should be aware that businesses that accept debit cards can now rout transactions over any network, compared to the previous practice of card issuers routing transactions through their own system or a preferred vendor. Card issuers were also approved to receive up to “21 cents per transactions with up to a 5 basis point addition based on the value of the transaction,” but they are required to prove their fees are sufficient to improve transaction security, Courthouse News reported.