A new study shows that one out of four U.S. financial institutions impose a transaction fee on all or part of their debit cardholders. Roughly half of these institutions impose a transaction fee on all debit cardholders when they make an online, or PIN-based, purchase instead of signing for the transaction. The research showed that debit card transaction fees range from 25 cents to one dollar, with the average being 50 cents. The study by Boston-based Dove Consulting and commissioned by PULSE EFT Association, also found that the imposition of a debit card charge effectively reduces transaction activity by 40%. The survey, which involved a representative group of large banks, community banks and credit unions that combined have issued more than 80 million debit cards, did not find any card issuers which imposed fees for offline, or signature-based, debit purchases. Dove says its research found that, among all cardholders (active and inactive), consumers perform an average of 2.2 online and 3.6 offline debit transactions per month. Online debit transactions grew by 25% last year while offline debit transactions rose by 22%. Dove noted that several issuers have recently discontinued the practice of imposing fees on PIN-based debit card transactions.