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Wal-MartFinancial 06-20 dk

Wal-Mart to unveil prepaid card

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said today it will start selling prepaid Visa debit cards that don’t require a credit check or bank account.

The world’s largest retailer has sought an expansion into financial services at its U.S. stores for millions of people who don’t have bank accounts or credit cards.

The company will also add hundreds of in-store centers bundling the financial services it already offers, such as payroll check cashing and money transfers. The number of so-called MoneyCenters will rise from about 225 now to 1,000 by the end of 2008.

The announcement comes three months after Wal-Mart withdrew a bank license application that had been strongly opposed by banks, unions and other critics, who argued before federal regulators that a Wal-Mart bank would have too much economic power.

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The reloadable prepaid Visa card, dubbed the Wal-Mart MoneyCard, will be rolled out nationally in partnership with General Electric Corp. subsidiary GE Money and with prepaid card company Green Dot.

It can be used anywhere that accepts Visa debit cards and can be reloaded at Wal-Mart stores or Green Dot locations, Wal-Mart said.

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