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Walmart set to roll out new wiring service

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A new low-cost money wiring service from Walmart saves customers money and showcases the thought process the company applies to disrupt high-margin businesses and generate store traffic.

The new service is called Walmart-2-Walmart and when it launches on April 24 customers will be able to wire up to $900 for only $9.50. between Walmart’s 4,000 U.S. locations. The service is intended to complement Walmart’s existing relationship with MoneyGram which offers a broader range of financial services including international transfers.

“After listening to our customers complain about the high fees and confusion associated with transferring money, we knew there had to be a solution,” said Daniel Eckert, SVP of services for Walmart U.S.

The solution was to introduce a simpler, two-tiered pricing structure and limit the transfer amount to a daily total of $900. Why $900? According to Eckert, that is the magic number where government regulations and various reporting requirements kick in that add complexity and cost to offering wire transfer services. Staying below $900 meant Walmart and its partner in the undertaking, Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Euronet, could minimize complexity and cost to create a different margin structure that would enable the introduction product that could be priced substantially below other offers in the market.

“Walmart-2-Walmart brings new competition and transparent, everyday low prices to a market that has become complicated and costly for our customers. We’re doing what we do best – launching a new service that challenges the status quo and drives down prices for our customers,” Eckert said.

The latter comment is reminiscent of what Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon said back in 2006 shortly he after he joined the company to oversee the pharmacy business and Walmart introduced a $4 flat rate generic drug pricing program. Similar thinking was applied more recently when Walmart launch a used game trade in program and tapped into customers’ frustrations around the value they were receiving from other trade in programs. And most recently, Walmart team up with the Wild Oats brand to launch a new line of lower cost organic dry grocery products.

While the dynamics of each program are different, the commonality is that they all reinforce Walmart’s central value proposition of saving customers money so they can live better. That message is sure to resonate strongly in the financial services area where major institutions and payday lenders are routinely criticized for high fees. According to Walmart, competitive offerings in the wire transfer world can often include 10 or more fee tiers and charges of up to $70 for transferring less than $1,000.

The added benefit of the program from Walmart’s standpoint is that every time a customer uses the Walmart-2-Walmart service to wire money, the recipient at the other end will be receiving a handful of cash inside a Walmart store.

The new service is a complement to other program Walmart offers such as check cashing, bill pay, money orders and tax preparation services, as well as pre-paid card programs though the Walmart MoneyCard, and Bluebird, a checking and debit alternative.

 

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Psi Bands make Target debut

BY Michael Johnsen

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. — Psi Health Solutions on Thursday announced its drug-free Psi Bands for the relief of nausea will launch at select Target stores this week. Psi Bands will make its debut in a new “Women’s Health” section developed by the retail chain. 

Psi Bands are FDA-cleared acupressure wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to pregnancy, travel, chemotherapy or anesthesia.

“We are excited to add Target to our growing list of major retailers,” said Romy Taormina, co-founder of Psi Bands. “This new retail relationship supports a recent trend in healthcare for natural remedies with a stylish flare.”

Psi Bands were recently featured in The New York Times and on "Shark Tank," "The Jeff Probst Show" and "Good Morning America." 

 

 

 

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Jourdan Dunn to be the newest face for Maybelline New York

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Maybelline New York has tapped London-bred beauty Jourdan Dunn as its newest spokesmodel.  

Dunn will make her Maybelline New York debut in print and television advertising campaigns in April.

"Jourdan’s look, style and positive energy are perfect for the Maybelline New York brand," said Jerome Bruhat, global brand president of Maybelline New York. "She truly reflects Maybelline’s vision of global beauty."

Dunn was first discovered by a model scout while out with friends. She was signed soon after and made her runway debut during the 2007 Fall New York Fashion Week. As a featured model in British Vogue, labeled as a "new star" and named "Top 10 Newcomer" by style.com later that same year, she was on the road to success very early in her career.

She has since lit up the runways for Prada, Christian Dior, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Miu Miu, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Burberry, Lanvin, Hermes, Givenchy, Valentino, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Balmain to name a few. She has appeared in the American, British, Paris, Italian, Japanese and Russian editions of Vogue. She has graced the pages of fashion magazines W, Numero, Allure, i-D, V, POP, and Dazed & Confused. She has been a part of various campaigns for ck Calvin Klein, CK1 fragrance, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, Burberry Beauty, Gap, DKNY, H&M, Express, Aldo, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, Rag & Bone, Topshop, John Galliano and Benetton, among others.

When she is not modeling, Dunn is a mother to her son Riley who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. This has led to her active involvement as the Parent Ambassador for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. In addition to being a mother and philanthropist, Dunn is a self-taught cook. She hosts a lifestyle and cooking program titled "Well Dunn with Jourdan Dunn." The show is available through Jay Z’s YouTube channel, Life+Times, and features a different celebrity guest each episode.

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