Walmart wants to be your banker....

Walmart isn't satisfied by screwing the poor with low wages and crappy products, so, they've decided to go in to banking. The retail giant was previously denied a banking charter by U.S. regulators, but a new partnership with the Green Dot Corporation means that Walmart will soon offer checking accounts. What could possibly go wrong?

According to a recent article on, Walmart says they're trying to help the poor by offering accounts with no overdraft fees or minimum balance. However, the retailer isn't mentioning the fine print. In order to open an account at Walmart, you'll need to purchase a “starter kit” for three bucks, and make a minimum deposit of $20 dollars. Then, customers will have to pay $2.50 to use an out-of-network ATM, and keep a balance of $500 bucks or pay another $9 dollars a month in fees.

While that may not sound like a lot to some people, it could be a big hit for someone living on minimum wage. And, fees can rack up quickly if someone falls behind. The fact is, the too-big-to-jail banks already get away with outrageous fees and fines, and they don't need Walmart's help to rip off more Americans.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 37 weeks ago

Oh boy!! Where do I sign up?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 37 weeks ago

That doesn't sound horrible. I have a money market account at my bank. If my balance drops below $2500, they assess a fee of $15. I have no idea about ATM fees, because I live close enough to the bank that if I ever need to withdraw cash, I can do it there for no charge.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 37 weeks ago

Off topic: I have to have a prescription from my physician to buy an antibiotic. Animal farmers dole out antibiotics by the shovelful. Where do they buy their massive supply? A rational society would criminalize this behavior. The effectiveness of antibiotics is a part of our commons and should be protected as such.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 37 weeks ago

mathboy, what is it about you that makes me sad? Wal-Mart is BANKING on limited ATM access, not everybody lives so close to their bank as you, and that the people, duped into opening accounts with them, will not have 500 dollars in their accounts. Their not altruist doing it out of kindness or convenience to the costumers, Their wanting to profit off their misfortune. Their providing a service based on economic model of profit off the poor. Their betting their account holders will not be able to maintain their balance, so they can rake in the charge fees. Plus, Wal-Mart will have their costumers money close to the company store. History is a rinse and repeat process (trademark).

aphrodite's picture
aphrodite 9 years 37 weeks ago

Richardofjeffer...I was just going to say that! It's way too close to the old "company store" concept of indentured servatude.

I wish more people would move their bank accounts to credit unions. They're so much better than banks on so many levels.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 37 weeks ago

If anyone missed it I posted a great link to an article about Walmart on yesterdays blog. Here it is again. We are literally shopping our way straight to the unemployment line.

DrRichard 9 years 37 weeks ago

They are trying to undercut the proposal to reestablish Post Office savings accounts. By getting enough people the demand for another system won't be there, even though the USPS would likely be far less predatory.

DrRichard 9 years 37 weeks ago

Mathboy, you can afford those fees and to keep such a balance in your account (as can I). But not everyone is so fortunate. This is really predatory capitalism on those least able to afford it.

basmith13f's picture
basmith13f 9 years 37 weeks ago

This a job for the Post Office! Why should Walmart be allowed to be a banker for the poor and working people?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 37 weeks ago

Hellooo Everyone- I wish we could post photos here. Therefore I am going to publish my Green Dot Publix Walmart Logo in my Blog with all the pertinent information to understand this:

The Federal Reserve uses the German America Bank, Jasper, Walmart and Publix to launder money.

This is proven by the Federal Reserve's own Numerical Banking System.

Green Dot is actually the laundered proceeds through Publix of the original Florida National Bank of Lakeland, Florida. It presently exists as a financial holding company.

Publix in Florida has the first grade produce, mostly foreign, and is the most expensive chain grocery store. In recent years the chain has eliminated choice of brands by at least 50%, offering the Publix generic brands at lower prices than other brands.

Publix was built out the ashes of the Florida Land Boom and crash. Founder George Jenkins was given by The Lincoln Group a cover story that the entire Publix food chain, which wiped out at least 10 other chains statewide in my lifetime, was built from a mortgaged orange grove that Jenkins "picked up during the Depression."

If you are interested, I am going to move the facts to my community blog under "Walmart, Green Dot, and Publix" so I can publish the illustration and not clog up this page.

daveroller 9 years 37 weeks ago

Thom, I'm sorry to have to say this, but your host today was absolutely horrible. He kept flapping his mouth, stating the obvious without letting callers finish their points. These were callers who knew something that Dr Mike wasn't aware of, specifically that an experimental serum for ebola has been used to cure the disease 3 times out of 3 attempts -- a pretty good track record. This fact has been all over the news for weeks if not months, so I'm surprised that Dr Mike was totally unaware of it. But the worst thing today was that he kept cutting off callers who had this info before they could describe it. And there were probably other examples, but this one stuck in my mind, because I kept yelling at the radio, "Shut up! SHUT UP! Let the caller say something!!!"

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 37 weeks ago
Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 37 weeks ago

You are all missing a very important thing. You live in a free country. Do don't have to bank at Walmart. You don't even have to shop at Walmart.

Walmart has made it more affordable for the poor. They give people jobs that probaly would not find work any where else. They have made a lot of people very wealthy with there incredible share growth. There is some upside to them. Besides where would all the senior RV'ers camp for free.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 37 weeks ago

I tend to agree with you Kend. Besides, it was all of those other business people who voted largely Republican all of these years that made a company like Walmart a reality. I'm certainly not going to shop elsewhere if I can get the products cheaper at Walmart. And Thom's remarks about cheap products at Walmart...most of them are the exact same products that you can buy elsewhere but for a greater price elsewhere. We have much bigger things to worry cops confiscating our cash during traffic stops...referring, of course, to DAnneMarc's message and links yesterday....oh, yeah, and Ebola too!

Willie W's picture
Willie W 9 years 36 weeks ago

I've bought enough junk at Walmart to know that the cheap stuff dosen't last and their expensive stuff is not any cheaper than it is at other stores. Cheap, side by side with expensive must be their marketing ploy to unload junk. People who always choose cheap will never know how good a deal the more expensive option might be. Caught in a most efficient trap of false savings. Free to choose. Can't stop that.

RaleighMom's picture
RaleighMom 9 years 36 weeks ago

I will tell you what they REALLY want to do--stop the Post Office from offering simple passbook-banking services.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 36 weeks ago

It's the same old "junk" that other stores sell but Walmart's prices are cheaper. And if you can afford to buy more expensive junk then, by all means, waste your money elsewhere. Let's face it some people are easy to be sold by marketing hype beginning with..."if you pay's better quality". That is not always the case.

Walmart is just beating the competition who has continuously squeezed out excessive profits from people through marketing hype. Walmart is just playing the game better than all those other merchant capitalists who are now behind the anti-Walmart hype. I don't feel sorry for the merchant capitalists who have voted for laws that have screwed the consumer or the saver or their employees. They voted for those laws, through their bought off elected officials, because they believed that they could maximize THEIR profits while reducing the savings of ordinary people and squeezing their employees out of benefits and wages...or perhaps, by sending their jobs overseas....and certainly, by buying cheap goods made by sweatshop women and kids in other countries. Again, the same cheap goods made by sweatshop women and kids in other countries...except their prices are higher. But those laws also helped to create Walmart and other huge businesses too big to control.

It's the same thing with on-line merchants. You can buy books from far cheaper than the local book stores. Exact same books but for much less. The book stores get buying customers who want the book right then and there and have no problem paying much more for it. The only real problem buying from Amazon is that you have to wait for it and worry that someone won't steal it right after UPS delivers it. Many people browse for books at the local bookstore but buy them on-line.

Hardly anything is made in the USA's all made if I have to buy cheap junk or expensive junk I'd rather pay the least for it that is possible. We know that when large organizations use their bargaining power with suppliers...they get their inventories much cheaper. And they can afford to pass on the savings to the customer. They can under-price their goods and still make a profit and beat out the competition.

We used to have laws that kept businesses from getting too large but it wasn't just the large, too-big-to fail/control mega companies that were responsible for creating the present laws. It was the voting and bribing power of lots of business owners, stock holders, company executives and their coercive power to sway their employees to vote in certain ways that caused companies like Walmart to get so big and powerful. They shot themselves in the to speak!

Nope, I don't feel sorry for all of the anti-Walmart businesses that are feeling cheated by Walmart. These profit-mongers have ripped off the consumer...buying big fancy houses and cars and expensive vacation get-a-ways all on the excessive profits they have squeezed out of their customer's gullibility in believing their marketing hype. "If you pay more, it's better quality." "Buy it, you deserve it!" "Don't smell bad, use our product!" "Make your friends jealous, buy our product?" "Make people think you are wealthy and successful...dress for success!" And then they use sex to lure you into buying their products.

dianhow 9 years 36 weeks ago

I will Never ever Bank at WalMart Chase Citi BoA - Wells Fargo

Goldman Sachs . Or buy gas at BP. Never buy insurance fronm AIG

They are Greedy corrupt Corp SOB"S

Thanks GW Bush Hank Paulson Greenspan for years of anti middle class PRO CORP policies- laws . NO more right wing judges . End Citizens United

Money is NOT speech IF it were then we have lots less 'speech ' or a voice

bring back Glass Steagal End NAFTA CAFTA Shafta GATT

ALL take away power of the US to determine our own rules- laws .

Each are very dangerous

dianhow 9 years 36 weeks ago

Thats what 32 years of anti middle class - deregulation- Pro Wealth -

pro long un funded war & policies which led to worst crash since 1929 .

Also control unbridled Corp Greed.

dianhow 9 years 36 weeks ago

shoppinmg at Wal Mart damages our country Sad but millions must shop there or starve ..not pay rent- care for their kids .Its a catch 22 Anti middle class anti fair wage Greedy policies led US to brink of deep depresion -TARP joke..GOP congress who only blocks lies filibusters -spreads BS via F O X

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 36 weeks ago

I used to shop at Walmart until about ten years ago, and their prices are not cheaper. And anyone who opts to bank with them is a damn fool. - AIW

Argon's picture
Argon 9 years 36 weeks ago

I thought Walmart / Sams i.e. the Waltons already have a bank: Arvest

am I wrong?

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films