Walmart, Green Dot to Offer Banking Service

Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, announced a partnership with Green Dot to create checking accounts. Green Dot will provide the banking service while Walmart will supply the channel. The new service will target the estimated 10-million US households that lack a banking account.

Consistent with the retailer's every day low price approach, the new banking service will cost $2.95 for a customer to create an account, and will offer access to 4,200 ATMs, and a mobile banking app. If a customer sets up a monthly direct deposit of at least $5.95, then the $8.95 monthly fee is waived. There is no minimum balance requirement. Customers are not screened through a credit check or other form of background check.

This partnership allows Walmart to enter the retail banking market. State regulators have blocked the Bentonville-based retailer's attempt to offer banking services. The United States Postal Service has issued a report that urged federal regulators to allow USPS to offer limited banking services through its more than 31,000 branches.

Consistent with the Ansoff matrix, the partnership with Green Dot represents Walmart's attempt to enter a new market (i.e., retail banking) with its current customers.