Thursday, October 6, 2011

Save the world: Scrap the debit card transaction charges.

For 2 weeks, I was teaching about banking. My adult ESOL students couldn't understand why anyone would use a debit card, when they could use a ATM card. It was timely when on Tuesday, Bank of America announced the $5 charge. I see it as the big bank verses the little people. If you have the money, you can have a credit card, and you can spend and pay later. But with you can't qualify for a credit card, you have to pay $5 to spend your own money.

My students came up with different scenarios of needing a debit card if you pay online purchases and you don't have a credit card.

I quote a chapter I copied from a lesson, " What good is a bank when you are spending your own money and get charged for it."

I subscribe to Change Org, and I got this email.

Dear ann,

Whoa. ABC News heard that 135,000 members signed Molly Katchpole's petition against Bank of America's new $5 monthly fee to use a debit card. So the network tracked down CEO Brian Moynihan and forced him to respond to the petition. (Thanks, ABC News!)

The CEO was flustered and couldn't give a coherent explanation -- an embarrassing moment on national TV for the big bank (and the second night in a row that Molly's petition was a featured story on the newscast).

Bank of America is feeling the pressure from members. As more people speak out, Bank of America will be forced to cancel its new fee -- and other banks will be too scared to create their own new fees.

Add your name to Molly's petition demanding Bank of America cancel its new $5 debit card fee.

While you're signing, check out the amazing video from ABC News. It's inspiring to see one person's petition can make a bank CEO squirm on TV! Watch it here:

Thanks for being a change-maker,

- Michael and the team


Ginny Hartzler said...

Gosh, this is awful. Well, we should take our money out of there and put it elsewhere, there are other choices.

EcoGrrl said...

The irony that most don't realize is that all you have to do is use your debit card as a Credit Card on the transaction and you avoid this. In addition, by using the 'Credit' option and signing for your transaction instead of a PIN-based transaction (same card, different button), you also get more protection for your purchases. Debit transactions usually only have limited protection for the consumer, so there's a number of reasons PIN-based transactions aren't good. Just wanted to point out, debit cards are fine, just use the 'credit' button (or you hit 'cancel' on the machine at the register and it takes you to the 'credit' selection) or say 'credit' when they ask and you're good to go !

Argentum Vulgaris said...

A comment on Ginny's comment. You are so right. Next time there is a 'too-big-to-fail' situation (and there will be soon) there will be no bail out. If the govt try to do so, the Occupy Wall Street will escalate so rapidly and disastrously that it will never happen. Everybody should be looking at credit unions, because 'debit' or 'credit' won't mean a thing if BOA fails. I don't use a bank for this reason.


Green Baby DS Blog said...

(Stopping by from #CTWW at Reduce Footprints)...It's ridiculous to pay a fee to use your own money. But there are 2 sides of the coin: Banks are struggling and are looking for additional ways to earn profits. If banks continue to struggle, the economy worsens, and they continue to lose profits. It's a vicious cycle.

I'm not a proponent, I'm just saying.

It's annoying to have to pay fees to have a checking account, especially if you're not getting anything in return (like interest on your balance or anything like that).