Though most issuers have raised consumer ire by increasing pricing and adding fees ahead of restrictions that go into effect next year under a new law, Bank of America Corp. also has tried to court consumers with "simple" and "clear" products. In October, the issuer introduced the BankAmericard Basic Visa, which comes with one variable interest rate for all cardholders and all types of transactions, one flat late-payment fee of $39 and a single page of disclosures. And on Monday, BofA said it would send 40 million cardholders its one-page "Clarity Commitment," which it calls a "clear and simple" summary of BofA credit card rates and fees. (BofA will send the statement to all U.S. holders of its branded cards but not to customers of financial institutions for which it issues cards as an agent bank.) "What customers really want to understand is, what are my rates, under what conditions could my rate change, tell me about my payment," says Andy Rowe, BofA strategy executive for global card services. "This is the continued evolution of us trying to respond to our customers." The one-page summary for cardholders follows a similar effort BofA started offering its mortgage customers in April. That version of the clarity commitment offered a one-page summary of the estimated total costs of a home loan. BofA also solicited outside feedback on its new card-terms summary from other organizations, including the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the nonprofit affiliate of ShoreBank Corp. in Chicago. Kimberly Gartner, the center's associate director, said by e-mail that the commitment "provides clear, simple information that is important to help credit cardholders understand key features and fees associated with their credit card product. It is a positive step by Bank of America and one important tool for helping its consumers effectively manage their financial lives."

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