Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and American Express are teaming up to offer low-income shoppers a prepaid card, touting it as a more affordable alternative to debit cards.
Called Bluebird, the card is aimed at “customers who are disillusioned or excluded by the rising cost of banking services,” the two companies said in a Monday statement. The card, which has been tested since March, will be available next week online and in Wal-Mart stores.
Bluebird, which functions somewhat like a checking account, can be used anywhere that accepts American Express cards. It’s one of many prepaid cards that have recently flooded the marketplace that try to woo customers increasingly fed up with debit card fees.
Money can be loaded onto the card at Wal-Mart cash registers, through direct deposit, via a bank account or using a mobile application to deposit a check remotely. With Bluebird, American Express will be able to reach more financially cash-strapped customers who may not have bank accounts.