Green Dot Launches GoBank Checking Account Exclusively at Walmart (Sept. 25, 2014)
Green Dot Corp. (NYSE: GDOT) reinforced its position yesterday as a full-service financial products and services provider with the announcement of a nationwide rollout of GoBank, a checking account product available exclusively at U.S. Walmart stores. The company estimates that GoBank will be available in all Walmart stores by the end of October.
The checking account from Green Dot Bank—which includes a linked MasterCard debit card, numerous features and minimal fees—eschews ChexSystems score or credit bureau ratings to determine consumer acceptance, relying on proprietary underwriting techniques to enable almost any consumer who passes ID verification to open an account.
“Adding the GoBank checking account to our shelves means our customers will have exclusive access to one of the most affordable, inclusive and easy-to-use checking accounts in the industry,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services at Walmart U.S. The big box store unsuccessfully tried to acquire its own bank in the first half of the 2000s. “GoBank gives our customers yet another option as to how they manage their money.”
After purchasing a starter kit for $2.95 at a Walmart store, setting up a GoBank account takes minutes, and accountholders immediately can use a starter debit MasterCard for purchases until their personalized card arrives in the mail. There are no minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees if accountholders go slightly over, and with a qualifying direct deposit of $500 per month, the monthly membership cost of $8.95 is waived. GoBank also features a network of 42,000 free ATMs. A 3 percent foreign transaction fee and out-of-network ATM fees may apply.
GoBank’s features include P2P payments, bill pay and the Money Vault, which is an integrated bank account, with deposits insured by the FDIC, where customers can put money away. GoBank also includes a sassy Fortune Teller feature offering advice on spending—customers about to spend beyond their budget might get a message that says, “Remember that time you won the lottery? I don’t either.”
If Green Dot’s GoBank sounds familiar, it should. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company announced the launch of a mobile bank account in January of 2013.
“The ‘new’ GoBank is packed with the same features as the original Paybefore Award-winning GoBank,” Alok Deshpande, Green Dot chief product officer, tells Paybefore. “We’ve simply added a destination where consumers can have even greater convenience and access because, in addition to having a full-featured bank in their pocket, they can do their banking errands while they shop for groceries, such as depositing money and getting cash, all while at the register.”
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