Walmart says, ‘Save Money. Bank Better.’
Walmart and Green Dot announced the nationwide launch of a new mobile checking account service available exclusively through the retailer.
The service, which is linked to Green Dot’s GoBank business, offers a variety of services linked to a MasterCard debit card. The accounts do not require a minimum balance or charge fees for direct deposits or overdrafts. There is a monthly membership of $8.95 a month, which is waved with direct deposits of at least $500 a month.
To open a GoBank account, customers need to purchase a $2.95 starter kit at Walmart that comes with a temporary debit card until a permanent one arrives via mail. Customers can withdraw money from 42,000 ATMs at no charge, but will pay $2.50 for transactions on machines that are not part of its network. GoBank customers will now have the option of depositing cash into their accounts at Walmart’s stores in addition to using their mobile devices.
"Walmart customers want easier ways to manage their everyday finances and increasingly feel they just aren’t getting value from traditional banking because of high fees," said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S., in a statement. "Adding the GoBank checking account to our shelves means our customers will have exclusive access to one of the most affordable, inclusive and easy-to-use checking accounts in the industry."
This latest move into financial services is just another of many steps taken by the retailer since it dropped its bid to open it own industrial bank in 2007. At the time, Walmart chose not to fight Congress, which backed traditional financial institutions opposed to allowing the retailer into the business. Walmart, either by itself or with a partner, now offers credit and debit card services, check cashing, money orders, money transfers, auto insurance, tax preparation services and more through its MoneyCenters.
- Green Dot’s GoBank Checking Account Launches Exclusively at Walmart – Walmart Stores
- Wal-Mart Moves Deeper Into Banking With Checking Accounts – Bloomberg News
- Retailers Pushing Financial Services – RetailWire
How is the expansion of financial services benefiting Walmart and other retailers offering them? Do you think the nation would benefit if retailers could operate their own financial institutions?