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Superb Fee Transparency from Bank of America

By Jim Bruene on November 15, 2012 7:39 PM | Comments

image Unless you are the low-cost provider, most businesses try to impress prospects with their wonderful features and benefits before talking price. Banks are no different, especially in the checking account arena.

imageBut for a number of reasons -- regulations, consumer backlash, competitive pressure -- relegating prices to the fine print just doesn't cut it anymore.

And Bank of America, which last fall suffered perhaps the biggest fee-based backlash in history, is now a leader in fee transparency. It has an entire website dedicated to the subject called Facts About Fees (first screenshot below). The site lists all fees, explains in detail how they are calculated, and even provides good advice on how to avoid them (see inset; note 1). Consumer and small business versions are also delineated.

The bank also includes a comprehensive fee listing in its Checking & Savings product page (second screenshot). A number of banks and credit unions have similar fee schedules posted, but it's still the exception rather than the rule.

Bottom line: By all means lead with your wonderful features, but keep a comprehensive list of prices a single click away. It's the right thing to do.

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Bank of America's "Facts About Fees" (consumer version, link, 15 Nov 2012)
Note: The first page features a Flash-based "cover flow" style presentation along with a talking lady who helps explain the finer points.

image


Fees at a Glance page within the Checking & Savings area (link)

Bank of America "fees at a glance"

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Note:
1. There is life after overdraft fee reform. See the latest Online Banking Report: Digital Overdraft Protection (published Oct 2012, subscription). 

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