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Wal-Mart Card Reloaded

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

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Wal-Mart (WMT) is cutting the price of its reloadable prepaid Visa (V) debit card.

It's part of the company's ongoing effort to attract new customers, especially those who have maxed out their credit cards and are being crushed by debt.

Wal-Mart cut the purchase price of its MoneyCard to $3 from $9 and reduced the monthly fee to $3 from $5. The reload fee is waived if customers add money to the card with direct deposit or after cashing their paychecks at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart says the lower fees for the card are expected to save customers $50 million a year compared with similar cards. The MoneyCard has no overdraft fees.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, introduced the MoneyCard in June 2007. The pre-paid debit card allows users to determine how much money they want to carry on the card. The MoneyCard can be used at any store that accepts debit cards.

The card is also an attempt to build loyalty among customers by making it easy to use and re-load.

Since launching the product, Wal-Mart has sold about 2 million cards and users have loaded about $2 billion on the cards.

The Wal-Mart MoneyCard is issued by GE Money Bank (GE), under a license from Visa, and is pitched as part of the retailer's financial literacy program.
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