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Wal-Mart offers money transfers

By Allison Ross · Bankrate.com
Friday, April 18, 2014
Posted: 10 am ET

register-check-out-courtesy-walmartMega-retailer Wal-Mart is looking to take away a chunk of the money-transfer sector dominated by Western Union and MoneyGram.

The company has launched a new program called Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service that allows customers to transfer money to and from the more than 4,000 Wal-Mart stores in the U.S.

The company says its fees for the transfer will be "up to 50 percent less than similar offerings on the market."

"After listening to our customers complain about the high fees and confusion associated with transferring money, we knew there had to be a solution," Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart U.S., says in a statement.

The company will allow domestic money transfers only. It allows for transfers of up to $900. It will charge a $4.50 fee for transfers of $50 or less and a $9.50 fee for transfers that are more than $50.

Wal-Mart says it is targeting the underbanked and unbanked, many of whom are probably Wal-Mart shoppers.

Shares of Western Union and MoneyGram International both fell in early morning trading Thursday on Wal-Mart's news.

Other companies getting into the finance sector

Wal-Mart isn't the only nonbank company working to push its way into the financial services and payments industry.

For instance, Facebook is reportedly close to gaining regulatory approval in Ireland for an online payment service, according to the Financial Times.

And cellphone carrier T-Mobile earlier this year got into the checking business by offering a prepaid Visa card, access to 42,000 ATMs and an app that customers can use to deposit checks.

Wal-Mart has had its eye on the payments industry for a while. It already has the Bluebird prepaid card and "offers other everyday money services such as check cashing, bill pay, money orders and tax preparation services," the company said in its press release.

What do you think of Wal-Mart's decision to offer money transfers? Will you use it?

Follow me on Twitter: @allisonsross.

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1 Comment
Michael Landis
July 02, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Has this service been put in place Walmart system-wide? If so, in order to send money, does the money have to be presented in cash? Or do you take credit/debit cards too? Please advise. Thanks.

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