Swiping to save - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Swiping to save

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WAUSAU (WAOW) --  Swiping your credit card is easy and convenient.  But, after a new law made by the Federal Reserve, pulling out the plastic may cost you more at the bank.

In the past, stores paid banks 44 cents every time a customer used a credit or debit card.  Now, a new law requires stores to hand over only 21 cents.

Dawn Casper, an employee at Sweet Lola's, says a majority of their transactions are done with credit and debit purchases.

"A lot of people use their debit card anyways, and to know it won't cost a business more they don't have to feel bad about it," Casper said.

She says the lower fees will help keep their prices down and their business up.

"Annually it could be 3 or 4 thousand dollars to further our business and grow," Casper explains.

Sounds like everyone is saving money, right?  Well that depends on who you talk with.  Nora Spatz, Vice President of Marathon Savings Bank says the decrease in fees might hurt the average consumer.

"If we start charging fees you're going to see that before you see a retailer cutting prices," Spatz said.

But they have to make up the costs somewhere.  Additional feels could be placed on checking accounts or online banking and bill payments.

"We don't want to charge our consumers. We are a small bank, these people are our neighbors, our friends and we don't want to have to charge more," Spatz said.

In a newly released study, 45 percent of checking accounts are free this year. That is down drastically from 65 percent last year and 76 percent just two years ago.

"With the rising cost of eggs and butter, to have a break somewhere else will definitely make it a lot easier to keep our prices at a set level," Casper said.

Moving money from one place, could mean saving it in another.

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