As traditional banking relationships continue to diversify, new players are entering the market. This is creating a larger pool of options for customers than ever-before. One “nonbank” services provider, Wal-Mart, is rolling out ‘MoneyCenters in a Box’ this week, offering a variety of financial services to shoppers. The ‘MoneyCenter in a Box’ looks similar to an ATM machine and will be placed in Wal-Mart stores that do not have full MoneyCenters. Presently, Wal-Mart has over 1,000 full MoneyCenters across the country that provide bill payment, wire transfers, check cashing and other services. According to Wal-Mart representatives, the MoneyCenters are one of the most profitable areas of the store.
Brian Riley, a research director at TowerGroup believes the MoneyCenters in a Box will have strong implications for retailers and banks. Quoted in an American Banker article, Riley said, “Retailers should shake in their boots, banks should shake in their boots…because if Wal-Mart starts linking their kiosks to doing reloadable gift cards, they have the power to move a lot of transaction money.”
As the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart has the ability to penetrate the market with these new services. How do you see the Money Centers affecting banking and retail in the coming years? Tweet @banking.com, or leave us a comment below.