Retail giant Walmart is teaming up with prepaid payment card merchant Green Dot to sell low-cost, easy-approval checking accounts.
The accounts will carry the name GoBank and will include a MasterCard debit card. The checking account will bear no minimum balance fees, overdraft charges or monthly fees as long as they have $500 placed in the account via direct deposit. If a customer does not meet the minimum deposit monthly, a fee of $8.95 will be charged.
Daniel Eckert, senior vice president at Walmart, said the accounts will be rolled out nationwide by the end of October and starter kits will be available at Walmart stores for $2.95.
Millions of Americans still do not have bank accounts due to approval process obstacles and the high cost of maintaining one.
"Their core consumer, the lower-end consumer, is faring disproportionately poorly in the overall economy," Faye Landes, retail analyst at investment management group Cowen, old the New York Times. "So anything they can do to get them back from the dollar stores and back in their own stores makes total sense."
Walmart has been trying to get approval to open financial services since 2005, but was repeatedly stonewalled by the banking industry.