Walmart Bank: Next Generation of Banking

Walmart seems to sell everything . Some of the bigger Walmarts have restaurants, pharmacies and tire dealers. Now Wal-Mart is trying to get into the banking business.

A WalMart Bank? Many fear this. Yet, many think this is a good idea.

Actually, many Walmarts all ready have banks located within them. But these are branch offices of other banks, not a Walmart bank, itself.

Walmart does offer its customers some banking features convenience for what some call the un-banked of America. They all ready cash checks for their customers, government and regular pay checks for a nominal fee. They also sell money orders.

In April 2006, Walmart filed an application with the federal banking regulators asking them to allow them permission to process their own credit card transaction. If they are allowed to do this, they will be cutting out the middle man (VISA, MASTERCARD, etc) and thus saving millions of dollars. Walmart claim it will then pass this savings on to their customers.

If passed this would make them an industrial loan corporation. This means they would be a financial institution that could lend money. In this case, they would be cutting out the middle company Discover.

Would this mean that Walmart was a real bank. No. But many fear that this expansion could open more doors to expansion in the future. Although Walmart says it has no plans to open any branch bank offices.

Many banks, especially the smaller ones fear Walmart. They are such a huge company and they are known for being aggressive. They are afraid that if a small crack in the banking door is opened to them, Walmart will eventually push that door further open.

Walmart is all ready doing quite well with its current credit card. You see them pushing it in their stores every day, trying to get people to apply for it. They are making money.

It’s competition doesn’t want a Walmart Bank. It’s stockholders does want a Walmart Bank? But what does Walmart customers want?

Many Walmart customers may like the added convenience. That is the greatest appeal about Walmart, one stop shopping. But a downside of the big size is that for some people it is hard to get around such a big area and the lines gets longer and longer. Walmart is also known for never having enough employees and laying off their employees. Don’t look at their numbers. Talk to the people who shop or better yet talk to the workers. In the smaller towns, only so many banks can prevail. A bank like Walmart has the money behind it. This may not be a good thing for small towns.

So what can you do? Express your feelings to the FDIC.

It doesn’t matter if you are for or against the idea of Walmart going into banking. It’s your opinion. You can write, sign petitions, tell other people about their application, get involved. Your views do sometimes may a difference, if you take a stand and join others.

Can one person stop a giant like Walmart? No. Can many people? Maybe. Should we stop Walmart from going into the banking business? That is a decision for the FDIC to decide, but we can voice our opinions to them.

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