Steve Chiotakis: This week banks backed down from debit cards fees — just in time, it seems, for Bank Transfer Day. That social media-led movement
has its big day tomorrow.
Marketplace’s Eve Troeh reports.
Eve Troeh: Bank Transfer Day is led by Los Angeles activist Kristen Christian. She’s encouraged people to close their accounts for months in anticipation of the movement’s grand finale tomorrow.
Most supporters have already switched to credit unions, she says. And big banks haven’t turned over a new leaf just because they scrapped debit card fees.
Kristen Christian: Supporters of the movement have added a new hashtag to Twitter for this. That is #toolittletoolate.
Ron Shevin: If anything they may actually have created more of a problem by dropping the fees.
Ron Shevlin with bank consulting firm Aite Group says cancelling one fee so easily makes all bank fees seem arbitrary and optional.
He says credit unions can’t take the “credit” for spurring people to switch but new customers are landing in their laps young ones. The average age for credit union customers has been 40 and up.
Shevlin: I am very much willing to bet that the vast majority of new accounts has been younger folks, mostly in the Gen Y population.
The Credit Union National Association says its members have added 650,000 new customers since Bank Transfer Day started. In terms of total number of bank accounts in the U.S., that’s about 1 percent.
I’m Eve Troeh for Marketplace.
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