Magazine article American Banker

Wal-Mart Launches Money Transfer Service

Magazine article American Banker

Wal-Mart Launches Money Transfer Service

Article excerpt

Byline: John Adams

Wal-Mart's new "Wal-Mart-2-Wal-Mart" transfer service will enable consumers to send money to each other by using the retail chain's store network.

The retailer on April 24 will introduce this service in partnership with Euronet Worldwide's subsidiary Ria Money Transfer. Wal-Mart-2-Wal-Mart will support domestic cash and PIN debit transfers at Wal-Mart's 4,000 U.S. locations. Consumers can send up to $50 for a fee of $4.50, and up to $900 for a fee of $9.50.

"The service leverages our footprint and large scale to enable a low-cost service," said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart U.S. on an April 17 conference call. "There is a large underbanked population in the U.S. that uses money transfer as a primary method."

The program is a potential competitor to Western Union, though the Wal-Mart program is limited. It does not allow transfers outside the U.S and has no online component. It also prohibits transfers larger than $900.

The Wal-Mart service will not change the retailer's relationship with MoneyGram, which enables a full range of transfer services from Wal-Mart's stores, Eckert said. MoneyGram was told of Wal-Mart's interest in a money transfer service during Wal-Mart's most recent contract extension negotiation about a year ago, Eckert said. He did not elaborate on the details of those discussions and MoneyGram did not immediately return a request for comment.

"MoneyGram continues to be a very valuable partner for us. …

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