Home / Banking / Walmart Bank: Free Checking — No Overdraft Fees
Print Friendly and PDF

Walmart Bank: Free Checking — No Overdraft Fees

Written by Gary North on September 24, 2014

Walmart is about to give traditional banks a run for our money.

For a $9.95 a month fee, if you don’t have $500 in the account, you will be able to get free checking — no extra fees. The banks have been cleaning up on overdraft charges and bounced check charges. In 2013, they pulled in $32 billion from overdraft fees.

That source of easy money is about to be challenged.

I am not sure banks really want the kinds of customers Walmart caters to. They want middle class customers, upper middle class customers, and rich customers. They want the 20% of the customers who have 80% of the money. I have a friend in Arkansas whose job at a major regional bank is to find and attract these people. It is a sophisticated business.

The free market caters to people at the bottom. The dollar stores do. Walmart does. They make high quality products and services available to people who have less money. The name of this game has always been the same: price competition. In four words: Save money. Live better.

This will put pressure on banks. It will also put pressure on dollar stores. This is good for customers. “Under the free market, they ask continually: “What have you done for me lately?” They make this threat: “I can always take my business elsewhere.”

Anyone who is over 18 years old will be able to get a checking account. If he has $600 to deposit, he will not have to pay anything, and he will have $100 headroom to write checks.

Bank customers who are not Walmart shoppers will ask their banks: “Why don’t you offer a program like Walmart’s?” Word will get out. Save money. Live better.

High-priced check-cashing companies that service the poor will also take a hit. Word will get out. Save money. Live better.

Whether this service will work is up to the customers to decide. Will Walmart be able to handle customers’ questions? Will it all run smoothly? We will find out. Customers get the final say under capitalism, as long as the government stays out of it.

Continue Reading on www.nytimes.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

14 thoughts on “Walmart Bank: Free Checking — No Overdraft Fees

  1. Tony Nobaloney says:

    Big deal.

    TD Bank has a $100 minimum and no fees.

  2. Ann in Nebraska says:

    I have enough accounts at my bank that I never pay any fees. Works for me. When they change their policy, I may very well change banks, but until then, I'm staying put. This will be interesting to watch.

  3. My credit union has no fees either, but they do charge for overdraft…..but that's just poor responsibility on the bank customer for not keeping track of what you really have!!!

  4. Free, with $9.95 a month fee……………..hah, never stayed at a bank that charged any fees.

  5. soon to be owned by china no thanks

  6. A few years back, the banks were up in arms about Walmart "getting into" banking. I mean really jumping up and down and screaming. I decided to do my own little reality check: within a 1 mile stretch of road near where I live, there were no less than 7 banks at the time. In the last few months, they've just torn down a neighborhood Wendy's and are putting up yet ANOTHER bank, which will put the total within less than a 1/4 mile stretch at 5. Rather than try to compete with each other "real" banks seem more content to see who can charge the largest fees. Yet, if they were to adopt some of the practices followed by credit unions and Walmart-type institutions, they wouldn't have to worry so much about a Walmart bank. . . . .

  7. The banks are one of the country's biggest hindrances…they truly are the vampire squids!!! NO punishment for their bad deeds and no big wig bankers in orange jumpsuits doing the perp walk!!!!

  8. What's the big deal? Do you have plans for seniors? My bank does not charge maintenance fee for seniors and other people only $6.95 a month…..no minimum balance!
    Just some info for you!

  9. Our local WalMart has an ATM which charges $1.75 to make a withdrawal. This WalMart also has a bank branch in it which has an ATM which charges $3.00 to make a withdrawal. Yet, I still see people using the ATM at the bank branch.

  10. Potawatomi13 says:

    Mal Wart does not belong in banking! They do not belong in business! They only sell foreign junk and treat their average worker like an expendable commodity that does not deserve to make a living nor will they provide insurance as the state(taxpayers)can pay for all of their welfare wage slave laborers benefits and food. Mal Wart does not belong in America!

  11. Anything to get young people away from traditional commercial banks is good. Government and the big banks are ripping off the new generation with exorbitant tuitions and student loans, which they consider an investment opportunity.

    It was the traditional banks that created the mortgage backed securities fraud that imploded in 2008 and wiped out a generation’s retirement savings. They’re criminals and gangsters, but the government won’t touch them because they’re both in on the scam.

  12. That was the demonrat run Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac that FORCED the banks to make bad loans to unable to pay customers. Blame them libtards for wrecking our country.

  13. ….even as Congress voted over the protests of 9-out-of-10 Americans not to pass TARP and bail out the big banks shifting the banks’ losses to the taxpayer…even as we learned Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Chase have been laundering drug money for years…even as we discovered BofA was foreclosing on homeowners who didn’t even have mortgages…

    You’re just spreading disinfo trying to make it into a simplistic Dems-versus-Repubs. It’s a systemic problem.

  14. And stupidity seems to be your problem..