Banks are now responding cautiously to the Durbin Amendment and the new economics of debit cards. With interchange revenue streams cut 50%, many banks are tempted to start charging fees and dropping rewards on debit cards, but-warns Auriemma Consulting- new this new pricing will encourage consumer to spend much more. Less than 10% of debit card holders in the June 2011 survey currently pay a fee for their debit/checking, although another 22% have a minimum balance requirement. The Debit Report survey illustrated how participants are vehement and consistent in their dislike of any fees, with most preferring to eliminate reward programs instead. Over one-third of respondents report that their debit card has rewards for usage, and they spend $551 per month on them, compared to $370 for non-reward cardholders. “Correlation is not causation and higher-spending customers are more likely to acquire a rewards card. Nonetheless, it raises the question of where that incremental spend will go if debit rewards are eliminated,” says Dr. Patricia Sahm, Managing Director at ACG.