Banks falsely claim interchange swipe fee reforms will only lead to increasing costs for consumers. If these claims held any validity, then when interchange fees tripled over the past decade, bank fees would have fallen by a corresponding amount. Instead, bank fees, too, have exploded during the same time period. Banks have cried wolf on the death of free checking many times before, but the announcements by TCF Financial Corporation (Wayzata, MN) and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) that they are reinstating or continuing free checking indicate that transparency and price competition will drive bank fees, not a loss of debit card swipe fee revenue.
The financial industry claims that there were no Congressional hearings or informed consideration of interchange reform. To the contrary, there have been eight hearings over the past five years and three separate GAO reports conducted on credit and debit card interchange fees.