New checking account service could help sway shoppers back to the retail giant from dollar stores – just in time for the holiday season.
Walmart’s long-sought presence in banking took another step with its Green Dot Bank (FDIC member) relationship. Their joint launch, GoBank, is a checking account product exclusive to Walmart, which will be available nationally by the end of October.
Users can have their $8.95 monthly membership fee waived with one or more direct deposits per month adding up to $500. The account imposes no overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements. A $2.95 starter kit includes a starter debit MasterCard until the real one arrives. GoBank has 42,000 fee-free ATMs. The account does charge out-of-network ATM fees and a three percent foreign transaction fee.
The Lempert Report sees this as a well-timed move to:
Why? Because America’s economic recovery hasn’t reached everyone – and millions of households continue under financial stress. Consider these points, for example:
Moreover, GoBank could help Walmart recapture some of its former customers who’ve been shopping in dollar stores lately. NPD Group reports visits to the channel grew 14% in the May-to-July quarter vs. a brick-and-mortar market downtrend of four percent.