Wal-Mart to Compete with US Money Transfer Companies

US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores is expanding into the area of money transfer, with the launch of a new service next week called ‘Walmart-2-Walmart’ to directly compete with Western Union and MoneyGram.

The retailer plans to broaden the range of financial services that it offers to its lower-income customers and also to increase store traffic. The new service, to be run Euronet Worldwide’s subsidiary Ria Money Transfer, will undercut the fees currently offered by competitors.

The new service, which will not be available online or outside of Wal-Mart’s North American stores, enables shoppers to send and receive cash from family members and friends at more than 4,000 of its US outlets.

Walmart-2-Walmart customers can transfer up to US$50 for a US$4.50 fee, compared with between US$4.75 and US$5 at rival services, Wal-Mart said. Transferring US$900 will cost US$9.50, compared with US$73 via MoneyGram.

The service will limit customers’ daily transfers to a maximum of US$900. The group said that higher amounts would require the sender to provide much more information, adding a level of complexity that would compound costs. It also anticipates little demand for transfers exceeding US$1,000.

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