This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Stay Away From Check Cashers, Go to Walmart

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wal-Mart Stores (WMT - Get Report) and American Express rolled out the radical Bluebird cash card service in October and now they have made the service so much better.

The companies on Tuesday announced that permanent Bluebird accounts would now be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., because American Express will place funds in custodial accounts with FDIC-insured institutions, including its American Express Centurion Bank subsidiary, as well as Wells Fargo Bank, NA (held by Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report)).

Having FDIC insurance means that Bluebird members can now have government payments, including Social Security payments, directly deposited into their accounts.

The Bluebird service was rolled out in October, providing a very solid alternative for "underbanked" consumers who may have been paying high fees to check-cashing services for access to their regular pay, or for money orders, bill-paying and other services.


With the addition of the FDIC insurance, Bluebird is an alternative bank account, with no balance minimum and no fees for deposits or withdrawals, unless made from an out-of-network ATM. With Bluebird, customers can also make check deposits made through smartphone applications. Electronic bill paying is also free of charge.

So a customer without a bank account can easily avoid paying fees to check cashers, while setting up a convenient account with debit, bill-paying and smartphone access. With direct deposit, customers can have instant access to their regular pay, right at a Walmart store.


Wal-Mart and American Express also on Tuesday rolled out "worry-free check writing," which makes it much easier to balance a check book. A Bluebird member can preauthorize a check, which means when the check is written, the funds are immediately set aside and the customer is given a code number. The code number can be written on the check, allowing the payee to confirm the check is covered, by calling American Express. This makes it much easier for the Bluebird member and the merchant to complete a secure check transaction.

And the "no overdraft" checks can be authorized by Bluebird members with the use of a smartphone.


With Bluebird, Wal-Mart and American Express have put themselves at the head of the curve, by providing an excellent low-cost alternative to consumers faced with increasing deposit account service charges at large banks. They have also made a solid play for potential customers who may not even have bank accounts, enabling those customers to avoid recurring fees.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AXP $77.23 -0.12%
WMT $78.14 0.33%
WFC $54.36 0.57%
AAPL $127.60 2.28%
FB $83.09 2.87%

Markets

DOW 18,034.93 +208.63 1.17%
S&P 500 2,100.40 +19.22 0.92%
NASDAQ 4,994.6020 +62.7870 1.27%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs