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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Warning: Merchants turning up the heat on interchange

News

Industry Update

Wal-Mart banks on the underbanked

MasterCard wins injunction against Visa

A new, happy tune for GS Online

Features

GS Advisory Board:
Value-adds: Recipe for success? Part I

Coinstar and the unbanked

Marvin Lazaro
Kiosk Marketplace and Self-Service World

The symmetry of sponsorship

Industry Leader

John McCormick –
Sharing many kinds of riches

Views

PayPal: 21st century cash

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Spot-on sales savvy

Steve Schwimmer
Renaissance Merchant Services

Kicking the horse we all rode in on

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Veritably valuable added services

Dee Karawadra
Impact PaySystem

The lowdown on locked documents

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Shape up those level 4 merchants - now

Ken Musante
Humboldt Merchant Services

10 keys to unlocking your million-dollar portfolio

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services Inc.

What do your customers say about you?

Joel and Rachael Rydbeck
Nubrek Inc.

Company Profile

Central Point Resources Inc.

New Products

POS equipment fit for royalty

EZPROX, Vega9300 and Vega7000
Castles Technology Co. Ltd.

A gift-bearing kiosk

Reward and Gift Card Kiosk
Pay By Touch

Inspiration

Are you living in current reality?

Departments

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 25, 2007  •  Issue 07:06:02

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Wal-Mart banks on the underbanked

Federal regulators recently slapped down Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s efforts to obtain an industrial loan charter, which would have given the retailing giant authority to perform certain banking functions. Now the company is ramping up a new card product aimed at the millions of Americans who prefer not to put their money in banks.

According to media reports in early June, the new Wal-Mart MoneyCard is being issued through GE Money Bank, General Electric Co.'s consumer finance unit.

Monrovia, Calif.-based Green Dot Corp., which sells prepaid cards and top-ups (or reloads) through retailers nationwide, is providing reloading services for the MoneyCard.

A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart declined to provide details, although she said the company would have something to say about a new card product "in a couple of weeks."

The MoneyCard Web site describes the new product as a next generation Wal-Mart Prepaid Visa Card: "You can continue using your existing Wal-Mart Prepaid Visa Card. Any new benefits that we introduce are for both the Wal-Mart MoneyCard and the Wal-Mart Prepaid Visa Card."

Wal-Mart has made no secret of its efforts to enter the financial services arena, with an eye toward attracting the estimated 73 million American adults who are considered "unbanked" or "underbanked."

Wal-Mart's MoneyCard carries a one-time activation fee of $8.94 and a reload fee of $4.64. But the reload fee is waived for customers who add funds to their cards through direct deposit or by cashing payroll or government checks.

Wal-Mart also charges a monthly account maintenance fee but waives that fee for those customers who add at least $1,000 to their cards during the preceding month.

There are fees for ATM transactions; however, POS transactions are free, according to the cardholder agreement published on the MoneyCard Web site.

Prepaid cards are a burgeoning market. The consultancy Mercator Advisory Group has estimated that consumer spending using prepaid cards will top $236 billion by 2009, up from $165 billion in 2005.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | USAePay | Super G Capital LLC | Humboldt Merchant Services | Impact Paysystems | Electronic Merchant Systems