I recently had to prepare a paper about the impacts of the Dodd-Frank legislation for a class. Rather randomly, I chose the Durbin Amendment, a provision that increases regulation on the debit card market. What I learned about the debit and credit card market was fascinating.
The amendment passed into law in July 2010 and the Fed is now discussing how it will be regulated, and this is where the relevant points appear. For example, the amendment requires a price cap on the fees that merchants have to pay, but it doesn't say how much. The average fee in 2010 was about 44 cents, and the Fed set the cap at 12 cents, cutting heavily into the profits of (I can safely say) your bank. As a consequence, you may pay more for checking, but is this really bad?