Wal-Mart stores is taking another leap into the banking world, announcing on Monday a prepaid card and debit account with American Express that will give low-income consumers access to features like smartphone deposits.
It is a surprising alliance between the discounter Wal-Mart and American Express, which until recently has been focused on high-end consumers.
The move is intended to strengthen both companies’ position in the prepaid card market - which, unlike credit and debit cards, is largely unregulated and has far fewer consumer protections.
The account, called Bluebird, will be available next week. The companies are positioning it as an option for people turned off by bank fees.
“The only fees consumers will ever pay are clear, transparent and within their control,” such as out-of-network ATM fees, the companies said.
Wal-Mart and American Express declined to give details of the financial relationship between them, but indicated both would profit from the card.
The fees disclosed by firms were generallylower than those Wal-Mart charges for its prepaid MoneyCard. NYT