Study Shows Service Can Save Families More Than $100 Million This Year
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Aug. 25, 2009 – Paying bills just got a little easier for Americans who are looking for ways to save time and money. Walmart MoneyCenters and customer service desks located in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) stores nationwide, now offer a bill-paying service that will allow customers to pay utility, landline phone, cable/satellite, credit card bills, auto and wireless phone at their local Walmart store. A new study shows the service will cut customers’ costs in half and could save families more than $100 million in bill-pay fees this year.*
The new service provides convenient, affordable options to the growing number of financially underserved Americans who do not use traditional checking accounts to pay bills in person. According to research commissioned by Walmart, more than 21 million households pay at least one bill in person every month.
“More and more Americans are looking for ways to save money on financial transactions and enjoy the convenience and confidence of knowing their bills are paid on time,” said Jane Thompson, president Walmart Financial Services. “We’re introducing Walk-in Bill Pay nationwide to provide another affordable money service option that will help families manage their monthly budgets so that they can save money and live better in these tough economic times.”
Study Paints Picture of Americans’ Pressing Financial Needs
To gain a better understanding of the money management challenges many families face today, Walmart commissioned Aite Group to conduct a study of financially underserved individuals across the country. The study shows paying bills in-person remains mainstream among a large segment of Americans who make less than $45,000 in annual income per year. Often, these consumers utilize third-party walk-in bill payers to pay their basic household bills.
“Customers choose to pay in-person for practical reasons such as getting a printed receipt to confirm payment, paying with cash, holding on to their money longer and paying bills closer to the due date,” said Gwenn Bezard, research director, Aite Group. “Walmart’s Walk-in Bill Pay provides a low-cost option that meets these customers’ needs and minimizes the number of service fees or late payment charges they may incur otherwise.”
The study also reveals Walmart’s low prices on bill-pay transactions could cut customers’ costs in half versus average third-party bill pay services, saving Americans as much as $100 million annually.
Benefits of Walk-in Bill Pay
Earlier this year, Walmart began rolling out Walk-in Bill Pay nationwide. Walk-in Bill Pay allows customers to:
- Save money on bill pay transactions;
- Pay on time, even up to the day a bill is due;
- Receive a printed receipt confirming payment;
- Pay bills in person outside of regular work hours; and
- Pay local and national billers
The Walk-in Bill Payment and Same Day Bill Payment pricing structure gives customers control of when they pay a bill and how much they spend to make the transaction. For example;
- Standard Delivery Bill Pay provided by CheckFreePayTM -- Delivered within three business days** for $.88
- Next-Day Delivery Bill Pay provided by CheckFreePayTM -- Delivered the next available business day**for $1.88
- Same Day by MoneyGram® -- Notification sent to the biller within 10 minutes** -- starting at $4.50
- Money Orders -- Purchase a secure MoneyGram® Money Order and pay your bills for $.60
Also at Walmart MoneyCenters or customer service desks, Walmart provides customers with ways to save as they manage their finances through the following services:
- Check Cashing -- With Walmart check cashing, you can conveniently cash your payroll or government check for a maximum fee of $3.
- Walmart MoneyCard -- A reloadable, pre-paid Visa debit card, for only $3. American families underserved by traditional financial institutions can have many of the advantages of a checking account, including depositing their paychecks on a safe and secure card, checking their balances, paying bills and shopping anywhere Visa debit is accepted. The Walmart MoneyCard has no overdraft fees.
- Money Transfers -- Use MoneyGram® to send money to friends and family around the world in 10 minutes, for a great low fee.
For additional information on Walk-in Bill Pay, visit www.walmart.com/moneycenter or “Operation Main Street: Money Management” at www.walmartstores.com/moneymanagement.
* The referenced white paper “Paying Bills at Walmart: The Value for Consumers” is based on an Aite Group survey conducted among 401 U.S. consumers in July 2009. Tests of significance reported in this white paper were conducted at the 95% level of confidence.
**Payment must be processed at Walmart by 7pm EST, available business days exclude bank holidays. Check with your biller for actual payment posting time and availability.
Editor’s Note: Standard and Next-Day Bill Payment services provided by CheckFreePayTM , a part of Fiserv. Same Day Payment service provided by MoneyGram®. Walmart is an authorized agent. Not all billers are available. Refer to the MoneyGram application and contracts for its terms and conditions.
Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $378 million to local communities in the United States.
About Aite Group, LLC
Aite Group, LLC is a leading independent research and advisory firm focused on business, technology and regulatory issues and their impact on the financial services industry. It was founded by leading industry experts in Banking and Securities & Investments. Aite Group brings together a team of business strategy, technology and regulatory experts to deliver comprehensive, timely, and actionable advice to financial institutions and technology vendors. It seeks to become a true partner, advisor, and catalyst by exchanging ideas and challenging basic assumptions to ensure that our clients always stay one step ahead of the competition.
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