Recent Trends in Consumer Retail Payment Services Delivered by Depository Institutions [January 16, 2014]   [open pdf - 324KB]

"Congressional interest in the performance of the credit and debit card (checking account services) markets and how recent developments are affecting customers is growing. This report discusses these developments and examines the costs and availability of consumer retail payments services, particularly those provided by depository institutions, since the recent recession and subsequent legislative actions. […] Depository institutions reduced credit card loan limits during the recent recession, but those limits have since been rising. Customers with impaired credit, however, have seen increases in credit card rates and reduced access to this product. Many large depository institutions have also discontinued debit card rewards programs and 'free' checking. Many small financial institutions have not increased checking account fees as aggressively, but many have increased fees on less frequently used financial services and are considering further fee increases to cover anticipated higher costs. The consumer retail payment services market may also be growing more bifurcated. For example, customers more likely to repay obligations or maintain high checking account balances may experience few changes in costs or availability of traditional payments services. At the same time, customers likely to face higher costs to use or limited access to traditional payment services may increase their usage of direct deposit cash advances and prepayment cards, as depository institutions make these options increasingly available to this market segment."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43364
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
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