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Walmart and American Express will be rocking the foundation of the banking sector with the new Bluebird banking service, scheduled to begin next week. They are promising not to charge overdraft fees, a minimum balance will not be required and an array of other services will be offered, according to Credit Union Times.

The collaborators said in a statement that the product – which will be available at some 4,000 Walmart stores and also online – is aimed at “tens of millions of consumers” who want advanced banking services but do not want to pay high fees.

“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. Bluebird solves this problem,” said Daniel Eckert, vice president of financial services for Walmart U.S., in a prepared statement.

Dan Schulman, a group president at American Express, added in the same statement, “The financial services landscape is changing. Technological advances, regulatory changes, and evolving consumer needs are redefining payments ranging from prepaid, to checking and debit.  Bluebird is our solution to help consumers who currently may be poorly served by traditional banking products. It allows them to easily and safely move, manage, and spend their money.  In an era where it is increasingly ‘expensive to be poor,’ we have worked with Walmart to create a financial services product that rights many of the wrongs that plague the market today.”

I hope this will be the beginning of a new era in commercial banking where the focus will be on saving. Banks have become service providers and fee collectors using accounts to upsell a number of pricey services with the sole purpose of skimming as much of your hard earned money as they can. For the privilege of being fleeced, they demand that you pay them a monthly fee while they earn a cut of every debit and credit card transaction you make on your account.

I recently opened a bank account and I had to endure an hour of rigorous upselling for an array of expensive add on service to my account, from credit monitoring to overdraft protection among others. The goal was clearly to get some type of monthly fee added to my 'free checking'. I will be one of the first in line to check out Bluebird banking because my bank is way behind the times in responding to real world needs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It looks like another prepaid debit card (0+ / 0-)

    It has better terms than many but it's an AMEX and not so many places accept AMEX.

  •  Want good banking? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54, Reetz, Lilith, terabytes

    Keep it local. Use a Credit Union.

    Paul Ryan "...the stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." --Laura Clawson

    by JoeEngineer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:20:32 AM PDT

    •  That's what I've heard from everyone I know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who knows what they're talking about.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:25:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and (0+ / 0-)

      A truly local bank or S&L does as well.  Our local 2-county S&L has the best local record of charitable contributions.  Our local credit union has stopped paying interest on deposits (I know, they're all too low to notice) because they don't have enough interest-earning loans out to match the deposits in all the new accounts.

  •  Interesting. (4+ / 0-)

    I detest Walmart because of their practice of hiring part-time workers at crappy wages. I won't step foot in a WalMart store.

    BUT, poorer Americans are being completely abandoned by the banking industry who are now requiring credit checks before opening bank accounts - forcing people with dinged credit history to pay out MORE in check cashing fees at Payday loan type places, so I am glad that someone is stepping in to fill this void even if it is WalMart.

    It's brilliant in a way. WalMart is one of the largest employers in the nation. I think they are doing their part to actually CREATE poverty while their owners are among the very richest in the world. But, now that they have created poor people, how great is it to be the company store that provides all their goods and now their financial services too! Talk about a vertical integrated strategy!

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:21:45 AM PDT

    •  They don't create poverty (0+ / 0-)

      They pay low wages, but they offer low prices. If prices fall for stuff you buy, you are richer. Price drops for items people buy a lot is the same as a raise.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:03:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Walmart takes over the banking industry (0+ / 0-)

    What is it about "too big to fail" that Walmart (and the gov.) doesn't understand.
    I like the "no fee" idea, but Walmart should be broken up.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:27:09 AM PDT

  •  Walmart is trying to create (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lilith, terabytes, Calfacon

    a Comapny Store situation where they control how much money you make and where you spend it.  You can bet that most of it stays in the Walmart system.  Work at Walmart, shop at Walmart, buy gas at Walmart, bank at Walmart, slowly but surely the amount you spend outside the WM sphere dwindles.  They control you and your finances by determining how many hours you work and what your pay rate is.  No thanks

    My Brothers Keeper

    by Reetz on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:50:25 AM PDT

  •  Gott'a charge interest (0+ / 0-)

    No overdraft fees must mean interest charged on overdrawn accounts if the depositor has the credit rating to qualify.

    All in all, a good way to bring even more customers into the Walmart stores even more often.  If small account customers are offered a fair deal, good.

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