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Walmart Uses Money Card To Promote Customer Savings.

Walmart wants customers to save money through a revamped program that loads a direct deposit check onto a Walmart card.

The mega-retailer revamped the program that allows customers to load money onto a "(https://www.walmartmoneycard.com/) MoneyCard " and spend it in the store. Walmart allowed customers to get cash back on purchases and print checks.

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A spokeswoman for Walmart said the retailer added a "savings account like" feature that will make patrons eligible to participate in a contest for each dollar saved.

Walmart cited that the revamped card allowed customers to "reload" money onto their cards. On the retailer's (https://www.walmartmoneycard.com/account/ach-bank-account) website , it stated customers could take advantage of "convenient, no reload fees."

"With this reload option you can: Save money 6 enjoy no reload fee, reload anywhere 6 make a transfer from any computer," the site read. "Reload anytime 6 reload anytime that is convenient for you 24/7."

"With an electronic funds transfer, you can add money to your Card from the website of many banks, credit unions and financial institutions," the website read.

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Lots of banks close around five or six in the evening. Now, patrons can head to Walmart if they wanted to deposit checks. One customer talked about how difficult it was to locate a bank in the evening.

"Whenever the bank shuts down at 5 or 6 o clock or on the weekend, you can be like 'oh, wait I'll still go to Walmart and handle my finances," Joshua Gonzalez told 10 News Thursday.

Like most banks, Walmart enlisted some fees for managing money. Walmart charges $5 a month for anyone who carried less than $1,000 in their account. That's less than most major banks like Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo charged patrons.

Walmart also charged patrons if they deposited cash into an account at registers. The retailer charged $2.50 if patrons wanted to retrieve money from a non-Walmart atm.

Walmart developed their "MoneyCard" program last year under Walmart executive Daniel Eckert. The program allowed customers to win money as they saved money, NPR's Salley Helm reported during an interview in (http://www.npr.org/2016/11/25/503316517/wal-marts-unconventional-approach-to-get-people-to-save-prizes) 2016.

Eckert reportedly helped create the program with Green Dot and with a group called Commonwealth. "Eckert says research shows that if people have the chance to win money for saving, they'll save more," according to NPR.

She added, "So the program works like this - if you keep money in the vault, you get entered into a sweepstakes. Every month, one person wins a thousand bucks, and hundreds of other people win $25 each. If the research is right, that should make people save more."

When asked if the program was successful, Eckert confirmed that it works. He cited a 45 percent increase in users of the "MoneyCard" and the prize savings vault.

"We're pretty excited about it. It's still early days, and we're seeing some really great results so far," he said. "You know, we saw immediately a 45-percent increase in users of the prize savings vault.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Jul 28, 2017
Words:554
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