BENTONVILLE, Ark. ( TheStreet) -- Wal-Mart ( WMT) plans to increase the number of its stores offering bank-like services by 50% this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The retail giant has been trying to obtain a bank charter for several years, but in vain.

The expansion would push the number of Wal-Marts with "Money Centers" to 1,500, or a little less than one for every two Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. Wal-Mart plans to open its 1,000th money center Tuesday, the newspaper says.

The money centers cater to millions of Wal-Mart's lower-income customers who don't have a bank account or significant relationships with a bank.

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