Bank of America is introducing a new checking account that requires no minimum balance and is free - as long as customers don't want paper statements or much face time with tellers.
The new eBanking account, announced Wednesday night, is a signal of how the Charlotte bank could come up with cheaper ways to offer checking accounts rather than getting rid of free checking altogether.
Analysts have speculated that banks would dump free checking as a means of dealing with expected new regulations that will limit many of the fees they have been charging. Bank of America got rid of overdraft fees recently in response to the tougher regulatory environment, and had hinted that it would have to replace the lost income.
David Owen, the bank's payments product executive, said eBanking is a response to what customers are saying they want. "How they're thinking about banking has evolved and changed through the economic cycle - how, when, where, why," Owen said. "One segment of customers is telling us (to) let them bank on their terms. They're very comfortable with the ATM, with text banking, with mobile banking."
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