NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Bank of America is considering softening its controversial policy of charging some customers for making purchases with their debit cards, according to a person familiar with the bank's plans.
In September, the bank announced that it would begin charging most customers $5 a month if they used their debit cards to make purchases.
The fee, which would begin in January, set off a barrage of public outrage at the bank.
Now, under proposals being considered by the bank, Bank of America would offer customers new ways to avoid having to pay the fee.
Currently, only customers with certain premium accounts would be exempt from the fee.
Under the new plan, customers would be able to exempt themselves by having their paychecks deposited directly with Bank of America, maintaining minimum balances or by using Bank of America credit cards.
Word of Bank of America's retrenchment comes the same day as news that its chief rival, JPMorgan Chase, has decided not to impose similar fees.
Bank of America is not alone in announcing a charge for debit card purchases. Sun Trust, Regions Banks and Wells Fargo have all imposed similar monthly charges, though Wells Fargo's fee only applies in five states.
The banks' decision to impose debit card fees is widely viewed as a response to the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Enacted in July, the provision reduces the fees banks can charge merchants for debit card purchases to 21 cents from 44 cents.
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