Well, by banning such fees you would incentive lower income folks either heading to payday lenders (or the like) or to the shadow banking sector. Neither of those appear to be good options. This is particularly problematic for those individuals who do not have a banking account. Where does your paycheck go? How do you keep track of funds? We do not want to push these folks to even less desirable alternatives. The operative framework should be easily discloseable fees and transparency. I think there's an opportunity for gov't involvement here. Just like we have a credit score, have a card score, so on every application a customer sees that this card is a 45, and can compare that to a 55. Such a system would make it easy for even non-sophisticated users to understand costs of a product. Keep in mind the cost of financial services is not free, particularly when the business involves labor and land costs (bank branches?).