Walmart and Ria are launching the Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service allowing users to transfer money to and from more than 4,000 Walmart stores nationwide. Walmart-2-Walmart offers a clear fee structure with just two pricing tiers: customers can transfer up to $50 for $4.50 and up to $900 for $9.50. Competitive offerings often include 10 or more fee tiers and charge up to $70 for transferring less than $1,000. Money transfers above $50 make up the majority of transactions in the U.S. Walmart-2-Walmart will bring dramatic savings to these customers. Walmart also offers other everyday money services such as check cashing, bill pay, money orders and tax preparation services, as well as industry-leading pre-paid card programs though the Walmart MoneyCard, and Bluebird, a checking and debit alternative.
American Express and Walmart announced expanded security and funding capabilities to Bluebird, a debit and checking alternative that provides Americans with a better way to manage and control their everyday spending. Bluebird “Accountsi” will now be eligible for FDIC insurance, providing an extra layer of security. As a result, permanent Bluebird Accounts will now have the ability to receive direct deposit of government payments, such as social security payments, military pay, and tax refunds. Customers can also balance their Bluebird checkbook in real-time with pre-authorized check writing, add checks to their Bluebird Account by mail and add funds up to $100,000 annually. Bluebird is built on American Express’ “Serve” platform and is in addition to existing premium features such as the ability to add checks via smartphones, family sub-accounts and no fee access to cash at 22,000 ATMs for Bluebird members who have enrolled in direct deposit. To preauthorize a Bluebird check, users simply obtain a unique authorization code online or through the Bluebird mobile app. The payee can confirm that sufficient funds are available by calling American Express.
Walmart launched a new app for the iPhone and iPad to give users tools to plan weekly shopping both in-store and online. The new apps offer enhanced, seamless shopping experience across Walmart’s 3,800 U.S. stores and Walmart.com through mobile devices. The two free applications are the first of several mobile products to be rolled out from the recently formed @WalmartLabs group under Walmart’s Global eCommerce unit. Walmart’s new app features touch-optimized shopping, the “Browse My Store” options, letting users Select any local Walmart store to see product availability and detailed information specific to that store and extended inventory for access to merchandise in addition to viewing local store inventory.
Green Dot prepaid financial services with GE Capital Retail Bank and Walmart has expanded the “Walmart MoneyCard” prepaid card product line sold at Walmart stores nationwide and online at walmartmoneycard.com. The “Walmart MoneyCard” is issued by GE Capital Retail Bank and has added three new products to the current suite of offerings, including a Visa Gold MoneyCard, a MasterCard Family Edition MoneyCard and a MasterCard Bill Pay MoneyCard. This is in conjunction with the “Do More With a MoneyCard Card” campaign, updated permanent signage in the Money Center featuring the full product line and seasonal signage for both the Money Center and Customer Service Center.
Walmart expanded check cashing and card cashing services at stores nationwide, including the ability to cash payroll and eligible government benefits cards to the penny. The expansion includes cashing most types of pre-printed checks up to $5,000 and accepting more forms of ID for check cashing, as well as establishing Express Check Cashing check-out lanes at selected stores during peak hours. Walmart will now cash Rebate; Student loan; 401k; Retirement; Loan; IRA; Pension; Expense; and Insurance checks, along with MoneyGram money orders. Walmart cashes checks and cards up to $1,000 for $3, and cashes checks up to $5,000 for $6, offering significant savings over many other check cashers.
Walmart has taken on Western Union full-force with a new rate of $7 to transfer up to $200 to more than 190 countries. In partnership with MoneyGram, Walmart is offering the discounted rate at more than 3,500 stores across the U.S. effective today. The companies say the new rate is 40% off the going rates charged by competitors. Walmart has entered the financial services market in a big way over the past two years, offering check cashing starting at $3; three-day, next-day and same-day bill payment delivery options, with prices starting at 88 cents and the “Walmart MoneyCard” a reloadable, pre-paid Visa debit card, available for $3. MoneyGram has 186,000 agent locations in 190 countries and territories. WalMart says the holiday season is one of the busiest times of year to send money. According to Walmart’s internal research, during the month of December the number of transfers typically increases by 14% over the previous 11 month average.
Walmart this month is launching an electronic pay program that includes the “Money Network MasterCard Paycard” and electronic pay stubs. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates may receive their pay either by direct deposit or through the “First Data Money Network” program and may access their wages through the “Money Network MasterCard Paycard” or “Money Network Checks.” First Data will provide the processing and reload network for the program as part of First Data’s “Money Network Payroll Distribution Service.” MasterCard will be the exclusive brand for the card, which can be used anywhere “Debit MasterCard” is accepted, including ATMs.
Walmart moves deeper into financial services by offering consumers low priced bill-paying services via its 3,755 domestic locations, including Walmart SuperCenters and Neighborhood Markets.
The retailing behemoth succeeded in driving down prepaid card prices to $3 and now offers next day “CheckFreePay” service from Fiserv for less than $2. Walmart already caps the check cashing fee at $3 for payroll and government checks. The “Walk-in Bill Payment and Same Day Bill Payment” services includes “Standard Delivery Bill Pay” by “CheckFreePay” (delivered within three business days) for $0.88; “Next-Day Delivery Bill Pay” by “CheckFreePay” for $1.88; “Same Day” by MoneyGram starting at $4.50; and “Money Orders” for $0.60 Walmart also offers the “Walmart MoneyCard,” a reloadable, pre-paid Visa debit card, for $3. The “CheckFreePay” service from Fiserv gives customers the ability to pay bills from more than 2,500 companies. The new Walmart service enables consumers to pay utility, landline phone, cable/satellite, credit card bills, auto and wireless phone at their local store.