US retail giant Wal-Mart has teamed up with American Express to launch Bluebird, a mobile-heavy alternative to bank debit and current accounts.
Available online and at more than 4000 Wal-Mart stores from next week, the product will offer an affordable, transparent way to manage everyday finances, with no minimum balance, monthly, or overdraft fees, say the partners.
Customers will get a card that can be used at millions of locations that accept Amex and at more than 22,000 MoneyPass ATMs around the country.
In addition, the service - built on Amex's Serve platform - includes a digital wallet featuring P2P payments, mobile app functionality, and the ability to control sub-accounts for friends and family from a phone.
Money can be added to the account through payroll direct deposit, remote cheque capture via the Bluebird mobile app, using cash at any Wal-Mart register, or by linking a checking, savings, or debit card.
Daniel Eckert, VP, financial services, Wal-Mart US, says: "Our customers tell us that they're tired of navigating a complex maze of dos and don'ts to avoid the ever growing list of fees found on checking products. Bluebird solves this problem and we believe it's the best product on the market to help customers affordably manage their everyday finances."
Dan Schulman, group president, enterprise growth, Amex, adds: "The financial services landscape is changing. Technological advances, regulatory changes, and evolving consumer needs are redefining payments ranging from prepaid, to checking and debit. Bluebird is our solution to help consumers who currently may be poorly served by traditional banking products."