Recently, Wal-Mart Inc. launched a prepaid and reloadable Visa debit card in conjunction with the expansion of its Money Centers.
Customers will now pay $3 to purchase and activate the card, $3 to reload it at a Wal-Mart store and $3 a month.
“The Wal-Mart Money Card and which won’t require a bank account or a credit check, can be loaded with paychecks, direct deposit or cash. They will be immediately accessible and can be used at all locations where Visa is accepted and at automated teller machines.”
An added benefit for Wal-Mart Inc. is the ability to track the purchasing trend of a rarely trackable segment of the market; Cash Spenders. Wal-Mart Inc. will now have primary statistical data about a major segment of its once anonymous customers.
Currently, many Wal-Mart customers go to the largest retailer in the world for all of their shopping needs, soon they will go to them for all of their banking needs as well.
Has the increasing popularity of direct-deposit and debit cards decreased the need for paper money?