Wal-Mart Money Transfers to Compete With Western Union, MoneyGram

Image: Wal-Mart Money Transfers to Compete With Western Union, MoneyGram The Money Center is pictured at a new Wal-Mart store in Chicago.

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 01:31 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Wal-Mart will take on Western Union and other money transfer services this month with "Walmart-2-Walmart," a cheaper way to transfer funds between more than 4,000 of its stores, the company announced Thursday.

NBC News reported that the mega-retailer will launch the service on April 24 through a partnership with Euronet Worldwide Inc. subsidiary Ria Money Transfer.

Customers using Walmart-2-Walmart can transfer $50 or less for a $4.50 fee, and anything from $50 to $900 for a $9.50 fee.

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"After listening to our customers complain about the high fees and confusion associated with transferring money, we knew there had to be a solution," Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart U.S., said in a statement.

The company said its fee schedule is as much as 50 percent less than other comparable options.

Upon the disclosure Thursday, Euronet's stock rose 4.2 percent, and Western Union shares fell 7.1 percent. Wal-Mart's partnership with MoneyGram — whose stock tumbled 14.6 percent — will continue for transactions over $900, according to Reuters.

Wal-Mart's MoneyCenter locations and service desks account for roughly 1 percent of its annual sales. MoneyCenter offers money orders, prepaid cards, wire transfers, check cashing, and bill payments.

"We are leveraging our size and our scale to make a difference for our customers," Eckert said. "This is about providing those everyday financial services for less and making sure that they can save a little here and there."

Money transfer services allow anyone to send money across the nation or internationally in just minutes without a bank account. Many other services offer the same transfer capabilities for free, but often require a checking account.

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