LAUNCH OF NEW CARD, WAL-MART® DISCOVER®, MEANS
BROADER GROUP WILL BENEFIT FROM MONEY-SAVING PRODUCTS
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 22, 2005 -- Wal-Mart launched its new credit card Wal-Mart® Discover® today, demonstrating its intent to offer a robust line of money-saving financial products for all its customers.
“Wal-Mart Discover is designed especially for credit card customers who want to save money. It has great features like cash back, gasoline discounts and low rates,” Jane Thompson, president of Wal-Mart Financial Services, said.
“Our focus to date has been on basic money services for those without credit cards and checking accounts,” she continued. “These basic services are saving our customers $2 million a week. The new Wal-Mart Discover shows our commitment to widen our services to help all our customers save money and improve their lives.”
Mark W. Begor, president and chief executive officer of GE Consumer Finance-Americas, the card issuer, added, “Wal-Mart Discover provides more ways and places for cardholders to save. It provides more convenience and value at millions of locations across the U.S.”
The new card features:
- Variable interest rates as low as 9.87 percent with no annual fee.
- Three cents a gallon off gasoline at more than 700 Wal-Mart stores.
- Up to 1 percent cash back on purchases.
- Acceptance at the more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations on the Discover® Network, including 3,600 Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB locations.
- Zero fraud liability.
Thompson said Wal-Mart Discover falls squarely within Wal-Mart’s overall strategy of providing low-cost, high-quality financial services to all customers.
Separate from its partnership with GE Consumer Finance, Wal-Mart has rolled out basic money services at great prices intended to help those without credit cards and checking accounts. These services are important since more than 10 percent of American families, or more than 20 million adults, do not have a checking account.
These basic services include paycheck cashing for $3, money orders for 46 cents, and money transfers to Mexico for under $10. Customers who shop elsewhere often pay at least 50 percent more for similar services.
In addition, independent financial institutions are providing retail banking services to Wal-Mart customers in branches in nearly 1,000 stores. The number of these branches continues to grow.
Begor said the new Wal-Mart Discover is of special importance to GE Consumer Finance, which has provided credit cards to Wal-Mart customers since 1999. “This is a significant expansion of our relationship with Wal-Mart,” he said. “We are looking forward to reaching even more Wal-Mart customers by providing a range of financial products and services that are important to them.”
GE Consumer Finance and Wal-Mart Financial Services are also working closely together on another important part of their mission – consumer education.
Said Thompson, “We want to help teach consumers the basics of credit, including how to establish credit and use it wisely. A credit card, used responsibly, can be a steppingstone toward building a good credit history and a sound financial future.”
Wal-Mart has already supported a number of pilot programs and partnerships that teach consumers and Wal-Mart Associates the basics of credit. Helpful credit management tips can be found in the financial services section of www.walmart.com.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.
About GE Consumer Finance
With $151 billion in assets, GE Consumer Finance, a unit of General Electric Company, is a leading provider of credit services to customers, retailers and auto dealers in 41 countries around the world. GE Consumer Finance, based in Stamford, Conn. (USA), offers a range of financial products, including private label credit cards, personal loans, bank cards, auto loans and leases, mortgages, corporate travel and purchasing cards, debt consolidation and home equity loans and credit insurance. More information can be found online at www.geconsumerfinance.com. GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified technology, media and financial services company dedicated to creating products that make life better. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ge.com.