Oct. 9, 2012
According to an article on WSJ.com, Walmart and American Express are launching a prepaid card that they say offers unique services designed to help shoppers manage and control their everyday finances.
The card, named Bluebird, began during a pilot program late last year and acts like a checking account minus the fees that have increasingly frustrated shoppers. It will have no minimum balance and no monthly, annual or overdraft fees, the article reported.
Instead, Bluebird reportedly comes with a number of features, including the ability to deposit a check to one's Bluebird account by taking a picture with a smartphone, as well as the same fraud protections in the event the card is stolen or lost as other standard cards.
Both companies said Bluebird was improved since the pilot test, based on feedback from consumers who said they were bothered by rising fees related to checking accounts and debit services.
"We are recreating and reimagining what checking and banking services might look like in the 21st century," said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth at American Express in an interview with The Associated Press, in the article. He said the partnership with Walmart aims to set up a "moral equivalent of a bank branch at retail."
"Our customers tell us that they're tired of navigating a complex maze of do's and don'ts to avoid the ever growing list of fees found on checking products," Daniel Eckert, vice president of financial services for Walmart U.S., said in a statement.
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