NEW YORK - Walmart and American Express announced Monday they are joining together to enter the booming prepaid card market with a low-fee card aimed at consumers who are disillusioned or excluded by the rising costs of banking services.
The card named Bluebird will be positioned as an alternative to debit and checking accounts.
The card will have no monthly, annual, activation or overdraft fees and will not require a minimum balance. The companies said Bluebird has the same fraud protections as other traditional card products. Money can be placed onto the card at no charge with cash at any Walmart register, through direct deposit, by remote check capture with a mobile application or by linking to a bank account.
Cash withdrawals can be made at no charge from any MoneyPass ATM machines if the cardholder is part of a direct deposit program. If not, withdrawals are $2. Withdrawals at out-of-network ATMs are also $2. It would cost cardholders $2 to add money from a debit card.
Bluebird has been in test market since March but will be available at https://bluebirdmoney.com/ next week and in the 4,000 Walmart stores.
Consumers loaded approximately $57 billion onto prepaid cards in 2011, and loads are projected to reach approximately $82 billion in 2012, $117 billion in 2013, and $167 billion in 2014, according to the Mercator Advisory Group.
For more news, please refer to http://www.kalb.com, on Facebook at KALBTV and on Twitter at @kalbtv5. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #kalb5.