Walmart is teaming up with Green Dot, known primarily for their prepaid cards, to launch a checking account product available only on the retailer’s shelves.
The checking account from Green Dot Bank, which is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), doesn’t charge overdraft fees, minimum balance fees or monthly fees with qualifying direct deposits, Walmart said.
A monthly fee of $8.95 is waived if a direct deposit of $500 is made each month.
GoBank is a “full-featured checking account,” the retailer said. The product will be available nationwide by the end of October.
Apparently targeting consumers unable or unwilling to adopt mainstream checking account services, Walmart said that credit bureau scores typically used to determine eligibility for such services are not part of the GoBank process.
“Many so-called ‘free’ checking accounts aren’t really free because they have high overdraft fees,” said Steve Streit, founder and CEO of Green Dot and chairman of Green Dot Bank.
An independent study by Bretton Woods estimates that consumers pay about $218 to $314 per year for a basic checking account, Streit added.
“Walmart customers want easier ways to manage their everyday finances and increasingly feel they just aren’t getting value from traditional banking because of high fees,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S.
Setting up a GoBank account starts with the purchase of a starter kit for $2.95. After set-up, customers can immediately use their starter debit MasterCard for purchases until their personalized card arrives in the mail, Walmart said.
Click here for more details on GoBank’s fees and limits.