Here comes the Bank of Walmart

Walmart is teaming up with Green Dot to establish a new financial service. Walmart is planning to supply checking accounts to valid customer by collaborating with Green Dot, known for its prepaid payment cards. Walmart is positioning the service as a low cost alternative to traditional banking.

Walmart intends not to charge fees for overdrafts and bounced checks and remove the requirement of any minimum balance. The accounts, branded as GoBank, will cost a user around $8.95 per month if the direct deposits amount to less than $500 on a monthly basis. Walmart is seeking an opportunity out of the fact that many banks have reduced services to those with weak credit.

An estimated 10mn households in U.S. do not use a bank. They restrain from traditional banks charging heavy fees even for basic transactions. Walmart has been looking forward to providing financial services for long. Two years ago, the company had announced partnership with american express to offer prepaid card and debit accounts.

As per an official press release on Walmart’s website, the features and benefits of GoBank include:

Quick Account Set-Up: Setting up a GoBank account can take just minutes after purchasing a starter kit for $2.95. After set-up, customers can immediately use their starter debit MasterCard for purchases until their personalized card arrives in the mail.

Transparent Fee Structure: GoBank’s $8.95 monthly cost is waived in any month with qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more. Other fees include a 3 percent foreign transaction fee and out-of-network ATM fees (typically $2.50 for an out-of-network ATM plus any fee the ATM owner may assess).

Early Paycheck Availability: GoBank also offers early payroll direct deposit so customers can get their paycheck deposited earlier than their normal payday if their employer notifies GoBank of a deposit in advance.

Advice on Spending from Fortune Teller feature: Fortune Teller crosschecks the price of an item with a customer’s planned income and expenses, and if they can’t afford it, they’ll be advised in real-time to pass on the purchase.

Send Money Instantly: Customers can instantly send money to each other at no charge via email or text message.

Money Vault: The Money Vault is an integrated bank account, with deposits insured by the FDIC, where customers can easily put money away. In real time, they can move money into the vault for safekeeping or out of the vault to be accessed with their debit MasterCard.

Walmart intends to start the availability of accounts in U.S. by the end of October.