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Despite regulations, debit cards still a major profit center for providers

November 8, 2011

While financial institutions were recently faced with caps to the fees they charge on debit cards, according to many industry insiders the payment method is still incredibly important to profit margins.

While financial institutions were recently faced with caps to the fees they charge on debit cards, according to many industry insiders the payment method is still incredibly important to profit margins.

The merchant services issue was one of the main points of discussion during the ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum on November 3. ISO and Agent reports one of the speakers at the event, Whitney Stewart, senior vice president of SunTrust Banks, discussed how the changing marketplace would affect financial institutions, consumers and merchant service providers.

“I don’t think the value proposition (for debit) has changed for the client,” Stewart said while engaged in a round-table discussion on the subject, according to the source. “We have clients that are fanatical debit users and will continue to be.”

The caps, which were mandated as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, limited banks to charging 24 cents per transaction. To combat this, many banks including Bank of America sought to pass on added card fees to consumers, but ultimately reneged based on public outrage. 

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