Wal-Mart takes small stake in debit-card seller

Is this just the beginning for Wal-Mart?

The giant retailer has taken a minor stake in the prepaid debit-card seller Green Dot Corp. — a move that would give Wal-Mart indirect access to the U.S. financial industry, the Financial Times and Reuters are reporting.

California-based Green Dot sells prepaid debit cards and reloading services to U.S. consumers at about 50,000 retail stores including Wal-Mart, Walgreen and 7-Eleven, Reuters reports.

Wal-Mart’s stake represents less than 1 percent of the combined voting power of its outstanding common stock, Green Dot said in a government filing.

An attempt by Wal-Mart to open a U.S. bank was abandoned in 2007 after intense lobbying by the financial industry.

On Tuesday, Wal-Mart began a push into Canada’s financial industry, launching a domestic bank and a rewards credit card, Reuters reports.

Do you think Wal-Mart will try again here?

Would you sign up?

Or do you think Wal-Mart is big enough already and should stay out of banking?

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14 comments Add your comment

pookfester

June 16th, 2010
8:29 am

Gee. I don’t know. Wal-mart staying out of banking. The pookfester is going to have to think hard about that. Those cards are ok. They are fees are a tad high. I asked one of the check out girls. “Can you tell me about this card”. She looked around like there was going to be a lunar landing near the optical department. Then she said. “I don’t think Wal-mart accepts this card. So. With that said. I think the card is a great idea. Its convenient. The one thing I don’t like about it. You have to give out your ss#. The pookfester does not like being tracked on the web. When he goes to his various sites.
Thank you.

MatthewH

June 16th, 2010
8:42 am

I thought Walmart was involved in banking in a limited capacity since they have banks in their stores (Woodforest National Bank). I realize that is not Wal-Mart owned, but the fact that they are in the stores (and seemingly nowhere else), means that it is a short journey for Wal-mart to enter banking.

jw

June 16th, 2010
9:04 am

Wally seems to be slowly inching into the financial world again – they are revamping their Money Centers – the ATM only charges $1 for transaction fees – Maybe Wal Mart giving the financial industry a little shake up is a good thing – it’s the only entity that has the clout to give them a run for their money and can break up that fee monopoly that the financial world holds dear and near to their hearts. I’m in – if they offer a service that is more competitive and reliable.

Makes me think – we never seemed to be scared of Sears when they tried to be your cradle to grave service provider – remember back when? Sears was so stupid in setting it up, Wal Mart passed them by – now Wal Mart has succeeded in doing what Sears couldn’t do and the world is scared to death of the results – I don’t get it. Anything that will benefit consumers should be embraced – it’s the only way the suits in the glass towers will ever listen to you and I – Joe Consumer!

Good Luck Wal Mart!

Unicorn

June 16th, 2010
9:08 am

There is no question that Wal Mart will make a bid again to enter into retail banking. Frankly, it make perfect sense for them to do so. Conversely, it makes sence that the banks and payment processors who are making billions of dollars supporting Wal Mart’s business operations are not happy about the prospect of all that revenue going down the drain.

pookfester

June 16th, 2010
9:34 am

I have had one of these pre-paid cards before. They work pretty good. However I did have one place that would not accept the card. I went to a World Wrestling Federation match. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brokeback Zac were in a SmackDown match. I missed this event. Due to recognition of my card. I will always carry cash from then.

TnGelding

June 16th, 2010
9:51 am

I think they are thinking of trying again. I’m wondering why they haven’t been prosecuted under the RICO laws. Not only do its employees qualify for governmemt health care for their children but they qualify for food stamps as well. And no telling wht else. Cheaper is not always better as millions of unemployed are finding out the hard way.

The Dogfighter Returns

June 16th, 2010
9:52 am

Banking died about ten years ago, all that is left are loansharks. Who needs the mob when banks charge double digit interest rates? :)

Loansharking is the best business in America, create money out of thin air (lending 5x what you have in deposits) and laugh all the way to the bank.

There is no risk whatsoever, the dumb federal government always has your back.

I can’t wait to become a banker, I mean a loanshark.

Professor Goober

June 16th, 2010
10:26 am

Appears to be a foot in the door for the Walmart World Bank. Does seem like strange timing even for a monopoly to get in the banking business. Maybe they’ll consider the housing market too.

Michael Moore

June 16th, 2010
10:38 am

Wal-Mart can enter the financial sector by contracting foreign banks in their stores (maybe Spain or Italy). They borrow US money anyway, we can at least have some of those funds mix back into our economy. Besides that, everything else in there is from overseas!

David S

June 16th, 2010
10:39 am

There is no possible way they could be any more corrupt or criminal than the Federal Reserve or the big commercial banks in this country. But of course they are just taking advantage of the government created criminal monopoly on money making and fraudulent fractional reserve banking that the federal government has created and maintains with brute force.

pookfester

June 16th, 2010
10:46 am

I like Wal-mart. However there is a lot of quality at that Dollar Store. I find everyday household items. Candy for the kids. (My children love that candy korn). They should get their own charge card. I like it that much.

Mike

June 16th, 2010
11:16 am

Pookfester, Wal-Mart has had their own credit card for years. It’s managed by GE, which also handled the Wal-Mart Green Dot prepaid debit card.

Bob

June 16th, 2010
1:18 pm

WalMart was blocked from buying an industrial bank in Utah. The Banking industry does not want real competition.

In the short term WalMart will end up with say a 49% interest in GreenDot and it’ll be arranged so that 49% is a controlling interest but not ‘ownership’. WalMart will buy a processor, an ATM network and open GreenDot banking branches in their stores offering everything a bank does plus check cashing and prepaid accounts linked to savings accounts.

pookfester

June 16th, 2010
1:36 pm

That card was actually the idea. Of one of the sons of the principles of Wal-Mart. His idea was to give cards to people that could not get bank accounts. I believe he is out of NY somewhere on the Hudson. He is a very nice young man from what I understand. He has several programs like this to help the less fortunate.