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Oct 8 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc and AmericanExpress Co have teamed up to provide financial servicesto customers who often do not have traditional bank accounts byoffering a prepaid Bluebird card.
The Bluebird will allow for deposits by smartphone andmobile bill paying, with no minimum balance or monthly, annualor overdraft fees, the companies said on Monday.
"Bluebird is our solution to help consumers who currentlymay be poorly served by traditional banking products," said DanSchulman of American Express. "In an era where it isincreasingly 'expensive to be poor,' we have worked with Walmartto create a financial services product that rights many of thewrongs that plague the market today."
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has long tried toserve its lower-income shoppers who have little or no access tocredit. The retailer offers check-cashing at low rates and otherservices as it tries to appeal to shoppers without bankaccounts.
Bluebird will be available next week online and in more than4,000 Walmart stores in the United States, they said.
American Express has been testing this program since latelast year.
Users will be able to put money onto the card throughpayroll direct deposit, remote check capture with a mobileapplication, with cash at a Walmart register, or by linking to abank account.
Cash withdrawals from American Express' ATM machines carryno fees or surcharges for customers enrolled in direct deposit.For those without direct deposit, withdrawals are $2. Forout-of-network ATMs, each withdrawal is also $2 and additionaloperator fees may apply.
Walmart has said in the past that about 85 percent oftransactions at its U.S. stores are paid for with cash.
(Reporting By Martinne Geller and David Henry in New York;Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)
Keywords: WALMART AMEX/