Did Walmart Just Become a Bank?


by Sue Brown, PaymentsJournal 

November 1, 2019


In a recent article published in TalkBusiness.net, the authors discussed Walmart’s renewed contractual relationship with Green Dot, and how the partnership is forming a new fintech program called “TailFin Labs,” a fintech accelerator between retail and financial services. The first thought that went through my mind was, is Walmart the now a challenger bank?


    Walmart announced a new seven-year contract agreement with Green Dot to continue as the issuing bank and manager for the retail giant’s MoneyCard program. The partners also agreed to launch a new financial tech accelerator.


    Walmart said the MoneyCard deal is an extension of a partnership that has been in place since 2006. The Walmart MoneyCard Program is a prepaid debit card that has grown into the largest retailer-exclusive program of its kind in the U.S., according to the release.


    The program gives unbanked consumers an opportunity to manage their funds, pay bills though free money transfers or checks without incurring overdraft fees. Consumers can make deposits to their money card account via a smartphone camera. Consumers with the MoneyCard are also protected against unauthorized transactions.


    In a surprise move, the partners also said they will establish a new fintech accelerator under the name “TailFin Labs.” The mission of TailFinLabs is to develop innovative products, services and technologies that sit at the intersection of retail shopping and consumer financial services.


This is actually a great move...