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Walmart cuts its prepaid MoneyCard fees

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In a move to capture a larger share of the prepaid card market, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced  it is cutting the price of its MoneyCard.

“Customers who use the Wal-Mart MoneyCard tell us that we’re making a difference in their lives and helping them get their finances under control. The reduced fees on the Wal-Mart MoneyCard will save our customers millions of dollars,” says Jane Thompson, president, Wal-Mart Financial Services. “We will continue to lower prices on the money services that we know our customers need.”

The cost-cutting retailer, which has enjoyed growth in the struggling economy, announced it would reduce the fees to set up, reload and maintain the card to $3 each. Previously, the MoneyCard setup fee was $8.94, the reloading fee $4.64, and the monthly maintenance fee $4.94.Plus, if a MoneyCard user loads the card with more than $1,000 via direct deposit or by cashing their paychecks at Wal-Mart, and gets cash back at the register versus using an ATM, then the card is virtually fee-free except for the one-time $3 setup fee.

The MoneyCard is issued by GE Money Bank. Wal-Mart had attempted to create its own bank, but failed in the face of protests from existing banks. The Arkansas-based retailer then began rolling out other financial services, of which the low-cost MoneyCard is the latest example.

Wal-Mart’s 1.4 million U.S. sales “associates” will be offered the cards at essentially no cost. They will receive a credit of the initial $3 purchase fee for the Walmart MoneyCard, no monthly fee, and their reloads of the cards will be free if they sign up for Wal-Mart direct deposit.  

See related:9 ways to budget with a prepaid card

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Published: February 23, 2009

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