Walmart and American Express have joined together to offer a prepaid card to Walmart shoppers. The card, known as Bluebird, is hoped to replace checking accounts that many low income families do not have. Plus, many more people have been going without a bank, known as unbanking, because of the rising fees banks are charging. So far Bluebird's only fees are $2 to make a deposit from a debit card and $2 for out of network ATM usage.
So what do you think of this? Will it be a help to people or not?
As far as I understand it as long as you don't make a deposit to your Bluebird card from a debit card or use an out-of-network ATM there will be no fees. No minimum balance, no monthly or annual fees. There are to be around 20,000 ATMs in the network. You can direct deposit a check and use a smartphone to take a photo of a check to deposit. Cash deposits can be made at Walmart through a cashier.
It can be used anywhere American Express is used.
This card comes out next week. Once it's out I'll look into it more.
In my opinion, if it's successful, more retailers will soon follow. I sincerely hope it is a help to people and not another way to take money from people.
Either way, it has the potential to hurt the banks.
I'd love to hear from anyone else whose considering trying it.
You can now register for a Bluebird card at www.bluebird.com. You will need to provide basic information includin your SSN and date of birth.
You can read the member agreement and consent agreement which gives all the information on Bluebird. Be prepared to read awhile since it is pages long. So far the fees look to be what was disclosed with the original Bluebird announcement.