This sums it up,
“…there is no supply chain, product chain or merchandise management issue there. It is just cash and digital cash. There’s money to be made in money.”* bbcamerican.blogspot.com
Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer. It is also the largest corporation and private employer in the United States. Everyone walking into a Wal-Mart store and every shopper that buys merchandise will now be offered the store chain’s new prepaid card solution. That translates into a LOT of new potential card holders and deposits. This card is not only being heavily marketed in stores but it is also available from the Internet.
“We got these new Wal-Mart MoneyCards at our store this weekend — and they’re insidious. They parked a huge display at the main door — immediately as you enter the store by Register 1 — and small displays in front of every Customer Service register.” * bbcamerican.blogspot.com
This Card is issued by GE Money Bank, pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A., Inc. Card services provided from Green Dot Corporation.
Recently declined for a banking license in the US, Wal-Mart is looking to expand their financial operations beyond no fee ATMs and check cashing. Prepaid cards are a perfect way to capture customer and non-customer deposits. Especially the ‘low end’ of the market, the immigrants…..the unbankable crowd, better known as the Wal-Mart shopper.
Back in early 2005, Wal-Mart was cornered with an application to open a so-called ‘industrial bank’ in of all places Utah. But after much uproar the application was withdrawn. Now, here they are hammering their daily customers for pay check deposits and ATM transactions.
Loading their card can be done in stores using cash or your paycheck. The card is basically identical to the other Green Dots products you may find hanging on a rack in just about any convenient store or grocery in the States. However, considering Wal-Mart’s retail marketing advantage…..their fees are pretty hefty. Paycheck loading will cost you $3.00 per load and cash loads are $4.64 each, but that’s not the half of it, visit the ATM with this card and the card fee is $1.95 per use. You might think Wal-Mart, the largest employer in America, could shrink their card fees down to a nominal amount unlike every other prepaid card
thief issuer in the US.
With the offering and marketing of this card, there is no doubt that Wal-Mart is reaching out for customer’s non bank deposits.
“Also, and this is what customers find the most annoying – there is a prompt after cashing EVERY paycheck – “Would you like to load your check onto a Wal-Mart Moneycard?” That’s right – every cashed paycheck. Every time. All day I had to keep telling people “Do you want a MoneyCard? Then hit NO.” * bbcamerican.blogspot.com
There was a big movement 3-4 years back to get local Wal-Marts to happily accept the very Libertarian Silver Liberty Dollars but that faded after an extraordinary effort to penetrate the hard shell of the corporate giant. It is obvious now with the issuing of this card and Wal-Mart’s sneaky attempt at a US banking license the idea of providing value behind their word is already half way down that slippery slope.
Our blogger friends over at Behind The Counter say it best. ….if it looks like a bank, walks like a bank, and quacks like a bank, is it a bank? With the Wal-Mart, you never know.
(Note to readers, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, not even the ones near by in Costa Rica and Mexico.)