The Walmart Money Card provides millions of users access to the global electronic payment network, affording greater access and flexibility.
Available to virtually everyone of legal age, consumers can specify whether their Walmart Money Card is branded as a Visa or prepaid MasterCard.
The choice between the two is one of personal preference, given the identical functionality of either card.
For some users, the decision primarily boils down to which name they feel most comfortable/familiar with, or which logo they deem most capable to handle larger purchases like those typically made on Black Friday (Cyber Monday.)
In all cases, though, the Walmart Money Card incurs the same basic registration and maintenance fees, which serve as backstops against either brand gaining an unfair marketing advantage.
The costs to each financial institution are quite similar, too, so whichever company garners superior market share depends mainly on factors unrelated to the card itself.
We deemed it important to include this overview of MasterCard and Visa prepaid cards in response to emails we've received asking about any variances in the two.
So hopefully this helps to assure those interested in a Walmart Money Card that it matters not whether you select Visa or MasterCard if usability and fees are your chief concerns.
Furthermore, the universal nature by which you can use your prepaid Walmart Money Network card is of tremendous benefit, given how many other merchant-branded cards are exclusive to those companies' operations.
And while this marketing strategy may be helpful in ways, it most likely has limited appeal to consumers who don't frequent these shops consistently enough to sign up for such cards.
Alternatively, however, the approach taken by the Walmart Money Card is one that can be scaled to the masses, because again, while it's branded as an official product of Walmart, it still enjoys the freedom of use which all Visa and MasterCards generally do.
Being completely flexible in its application and acceptance is a feature that has been cited by a sizable number of shoppers, many of whom were not avid Walmart shoppers to begin with.
But the inherently clever aspect of branding the Walmart Money Card in the way it has been is that the subtle – yet prominent – Walmart Icon continuously reinforces the company and its services, all the while remaining at the fore of people's minds each time the card is used.
Moreover, this subconscious reinforcement will only grow more valuable as the business units of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. continue to expand into unconquered territories.
Consider the well-known 'billboard effect,' which has been a staple of business marketing for decades.
The logic supporting this theory is that the more exposure to the public a firm can have, the better chance the company will have to convert said viewers into customers.
The only caveat to this, however, is that conventional billboard advertising is quite expensive, and naturally leads executives to explore creative ways to employ this strategy at a lesser cost.
And that explains why, to a large degree, the practice of handing out free merchandise is so widely used in business.
Sure, there's an initial price to pay/loss to incur by utilizing the free-stuff tactic, but over the long haul, the ROI (return on investment) of these campaigns is usually quite substantial.
The key to remember here is that these companies are not only out to promote the underlying product which they're passing out free of charge, but the corporate brand as well.
What's more is the fact that widespread dissemination of tastefully-branded gear aims to garner repeat business for the recipients of such merchandise, in addition to fostering curiosity and interest from those who witness these 'walking billboards' over time.
In that sense, the Walmart Money Card serves effectively to both provide users with a safe and reliable means by which to allocate funds electronically, while at the same time drawing inestimable consumers into the sprawling network of Wal-Mart Incorporated.
In order to completely unlock the benefits of your card, the only requirement is that you first register it via the MoneyCard App, over the telephone, or on the Walmart Money Card website.
The process is quick/straightforward/simple and is primarily required for federal regulatory compliance.
Certain U.S. Banks must adhere to various policies; thus, with Green Dot Bank (the underlying issuer of the Walmart Money Card) being an FDIC-insured institution, any financial services it provides must obey a series of pertinent laws.
But again, for the overwhelming majority of users, the registration process is of negligible concern thanks to the relatively limited information required.
What's more is that by registering your Money Network Walmart Money Card, you can then activate a plethora of features available to help manage + safeguard your funds.
For instance, if you were to misplace your card (or have it stolen), you could quickly freeze it without ever having to call the MoneyCard customer service center.
At first glance, this may seem like a negligible benefit but for those of us who've ever found ourselves in this frightful situation, we know full well that time is of the essence.
And by their very nature, troubled occurrences such as these are both unpredictable and inconvenient, so there's no way to pre-plan for them ahead of time.
What this means is, for example, should you mishandle your Walmart Money Card after visiting a retail store(s) in a mall on Black Friday – annually one of the busiest shopping days of all – you could administer the entire reporting/disabling process in a mere fraction of the time you might otherwise be able to.
Part of that is due to the dynamics of customer service call handling, though the bulk of the hassle stems from the spike in volume surrounding Black Friday, which also entails a high incidence of debit card theft.
So while you may presume that reporting your lost Walmart Money Card to the call center would be a quick process, you'd also be one of many consumers attempting to do the same.
What I'm getting at here is that, in your most distressing time of need, you may face extremely-long wait times before your call is handled by the "next available representative."
Making matters even worse is the fact that security protocols and account authorization measures change frequently, with the last 4 digits of your debit card potentially being needed to gain access to administrative privileges.
And while countless additional benefits are derived from registering your Walmart Money Card promptly, having full reign over the critical aspects of your account is foremost on the list.
The Walmart Money Card can be obtained by visiting any of the Walmart Department Stores or by handling everything online.
Both of these options have positive and negative attributes, with convenience being central to ordering the Money Card online.
On the other hand, speed of access is the primary benefit of retrieving your card at a SuperCenter, but you'll incur frictional expenses in the process.
(The cost of friction as used here pertains to the amounts of time [driving + waiting in line], gasoline, and any frustration involved due to traffic or poor store circulation.)
So the decision to get it online or in-store should be made per a combination of how soon you'll need your Walmart Money Card and how much patience you have to obtain it from a SuperCenter.
For example, say you've received a flyer advertising a current Walmart clearance sale and are intrigued to see what's available. So you head home, jump on the Net, and visit Walmart's website.
However, after searching for a few items of interest, you don't find any of them being sold at clearance prices as indicated on the flyer.
A quick call to your local Walmart reveals that the discount prices are valid in-store only, while the website operates independently in most cases.
The representative was kind enough to ask what you were most interested in while pointing out a few rollback products available on the site.
You reply that you'd appreciate buying them, though unfortunately, don't have debit or credit card to do so.
"Not to worry," you're told because the Web sale will be running for another week or so, which would give you plenty of time to buy a prepaid Money Card in regards.
You're cautioned that it could take a couple weeks for it to arrive if ordered online, so it would be best to purchase one in-store before the end of next week.
You deem this acceptable, especially since you'll also pick up a few clearance items with the free Walmart coupons while you're there.
And once you have the card, in addition to shopping on the internet, a host of other benefits will open up to you as well.
As an example, gassing up at the service station is but one of the ways in which you can save time with a Walmart Money Card, a perk that doesn't quite get the credit it deserves.
Although boring and unexciting to account for, when aggregated over a series of years, 'time drains' like waiting in convenience store lines adds up to needless waste in the long run.
The same is true for constantly having to cash paper checks, whether being inside a retail bank or check-cashing facility – antiquated tasks in the digital world we live in.
So when looked at holistically, the lasting advantages you can have by mastering your Walmart Money Card are substantial, especially once the elimination of mundane – and time-consuming – activities are factored into your daily routine.
One of the main highlights of the prepaid Walmart Money Card is that it can be used to receive payments both safely and reliably.
Direct deposit is among the most frequently-cited features by those who order a Money Network Card.
Considerably more powerful than a Gift Card in this sense, a Walmart Money Card provides users with long-term, dual-pay resources.
Direct deposit and EFT (electronic funds transfer) capabilities enhance the reloadable traits of the card and give owners multiple options by which to replenish balances.
What's more is that not only can customers receive direct deposits to the card, but in many instances obtain such payments faster than they otherwise might have.
The Walmart Money Card boasts a 2-day payment acceleration over other means, which, particularly leading up to a weekend, can make a huge difference.
Receiving funds on a Friday versus the following Tuesday (2 business days faster) could result in your ability to make an emergency road trip, go out on the town, or take advantage of Walmart Electronics promotions.
And perhaps the best part of all is that direct deposit is totally free, with only a one-time setup from your payor.
Government entities, IRS refunds, and employee earnings are all eligible for remittance onto the Walmart Money Card – resulting in few restrictions on how/from whom you receive funds.
What's more is that, with the rapidly-expanding peer lending industry, there's yet another means by which money can be moved onto and off of your debit card.
And as mentioned in our previous section, the implications for most of these new-age technologies are two-fold: On one hand, the basic functions they serve help improve the lives of consumers, while on the other hand, they facilitate the expediting of transactions which effectively give users the gift of time.
In no area is this truer than in the direct deposit space, where untold hours are saved over the lifetime of a recipient.
No more bank runs, lost checks, or messy cash-handling, leads to an enhanced experience for workers who are already tired and worn down to begin with.
In addition to the time-saving aspects of being paid electronically, there's also a safety aspect of the Walmart Money Card which facilitates the secure processing of payments and funds transfers.
Something that doesn't get much coverage beyond law enforcement circles and those who have fallen victim to such tragedies, is the steady – though not rampant – occurrence of check fraud and theft.
These offenses happen both in the United States and elsewhere, oftentimes with the victims having no idea they've been 'had' until it's too late.
For many of them, their first inclination of a problem doesn't occur until long after the perpetrators have succeeded, while the aggrieved suffer the dire straits of lost income.
Past-due mortgage and rent payments, disconnected utility services, and even unfilled medical prescriptions are but a few consequences that stem from these illicit acts, and are quite tragic for the parties involved.
There's no 'quick and easy' fix for such financial chaos, something that many direct deposit users understand.
So after weighing the positive ways in which the Walmart Money Card can help shield you from the detriments of conventional payment, setting up direct deposit is highly recommended for those who are eligible to activate it through their employer(s).
Managing your entire account can be handled conveniently via the Walmart Money Card website and the complementary MoneyCard App.
Both platforms provide comprehensive reporting and control, with the smartphone application being the faster option when executing finances on the go.
The Walmart Money Card App makes available a complete suite of tools which empower users to pay bills, make transfers, and check balances without a hitch.
Performing most, though not all, of these tasks can also be executed via telephone if users don't have access to their mobile device(s) for any reason any reason.
But even if no particular limitations bound the use of smartphone or internet account administration, a live-person telephone option is still preferable to many customers, particularly in a time of distress.
Lost or stolen cards are but a couple of the most frequent reasons users opt to call in instead of going online, and the comfort one gets from being reassured in these times cannot be overstated.
The Walmart Money Card Associates have been trained to deal with myriad issues, circumstances, and personalities, so you shouldn't hesitate to give them a ring when necessary.
Furthermore, advanced fraud protection, on-demand access, and a dedicated customer service department are all standards of the Visa Walmart Money Card, which enhance the mobile capabilities and support systems for it.
And being loaded with up-to-date features and backed by two of the foremost brands in the industry, the prepaid Walmart Money Card is a great choice for those needing reliable, ongoing payment solutions.
Therefore, with the escalating trend of innovation in the digital payments realm, alliances like the Walmart Money Network have ample opportunity to effect change by spawning new technologies.
Perhaps that will be in areas such as inter-bank money transference, 'connected debit cards,' or centralized management of discrete accounts.
Whatever the case, though, it's clear that customers are increasingly looking for mobile utilities which have equal functionality as their static alternatives.
In real terms this means that both consumer and business users are more or less disinterested in, generally speaking, scaled-down versions of certain applications and systems.
We can see the origin of this shift in preference going back a number of years when WAP browsers – as opposed to full HTML versions – were deemed inadequate for mobile cell phones.
So it's likely that in the not-too-distant future, the ways in which we interact with our Walmart Money Card will be significantly different (better) than we do today.
Perhaps we'll be able to, through our smartwatch or otherwise, simply wave our wrists past checkout counters in retail stores around the world.
Or maybe there will be a way to access our Walmart Money Network Card accounts by texting a unique code, which will confirm orders via Bluetooth communication between smartphones and pay registers.
The possibilities are limitless when viewed through the lens of technology; although, when dealing with financial services and money, there's always a bit more that must be done by way of security.
Because as sobering and daunting it may be, 'cyber shenanigans' pose global threats that must be taken seriously, and there are no easy solutions to these problems.
The good news, however, is that the recent proliferation of connected devices by leading tech firms is fostering the sharing of information and ideas that help accelerate the development of the digital frontier.
Consequently, ancillary products like the Walmart Money Card will reap the benefits of some of the most rigorous advances in mobile technology, resulting in a more stable and secure online universe.
It's no secret that one of the chief inquiries/concerns prospective users have about the prepaid Walmart Money Card relates to the applicable fees charged to load money onto the card.
And while these reservations are certainly warranted – particularly for those who reload funds often – there are a number of ways in which you can reduce (if not totally eliminate) these expenses altogether.
The first method by which you can circumvent user's fees is to set up direct deposit from a participating entity, whether being an employer or government agency.
As indicated previously, the benefits of choosing direct deposit stretch far beyond financial considerations, though with regards to this section, the key points are two-fold...
First off, in most cases, receiving your regularly-scheduled payment(s) onto your Walmart Money Card – in lieu of a paper check or other prepaid debit card – results in access to your money up to 2 days faster.
A full 48 hours can have very real implications for a number of reasons, ranging from entertainment to emergencies.
So even if there were a minor fee to set up direct deposit, it would definitely be well worth the charge; but given the fact that this option is totally free, just adds to the appeal of an already-great feature to begin with.
Furthermore, yet another way that you can move money onto your Walmart Money Card without charge is to initiate ACH (automated clearing house) transfers between your savings or checking account and your Walmart Money Network card.
Still one of the safest, most reliable money management systems, ACH provides a traceable method to move cash around as needed.
Having said that, there are a few points of contention with this older technology, particularly regarding the time delay between transfer initiation and reception.
Generally taking between 3-5 business days, depending on the financial institution from which the money is being sent, the ACH process can pose significant problems for folks who need their funds available faster.
What's more is that once the transfer has already cleared the initial 'algorithmic hurdles' – i.e., the security protocols banks use to guard against financial crimes – there's really no way to stop the process in its tracks.
(This is somewhat of a minor issue and is not a pervasive concern for most consumers, though there are times when a reversal [similar to a stop-payment on a check] is desired.)
Utilizing the free bank transfer option to load funds onto your Walmart Money Card also assumes that you have an open bank account in good standing, which, of course, not every Money Card user does.
Thus, we'll now speak to the ways in which Walmart prepaid card members can reduce their servicing fees, should they be unable to eliminate them per the above-mentioned strategies.
The primary tool a Walmart Money Card member can use to reduce reload fees is to pre-determine, to the greatest extent possible, the monthly usage budget for the card.
For example, let's say that you customarily spend around $500 per month with your Money Network Walmart Card, and load funds onto it once a week.
Given that your employer does not offer direct deposit, you're unable to take advantage of this option. And similarly, you choose not to do business with retail banks out of personal preference.
But after thinking a bit more about the $12 a month aggregate fee you've been paying – $3 per Rapid Reload at Walmart – you realize that you can save at least 50% of these charges by adding more cash onto your Money Card each time.
So instead of loading, say, $125 each week on it, you double this amount to $250 every two weeks.
You still maintain your same budget and usage habits, though give yourself an additional $72 a year ($6/month saved x 12 months) of spendable funds.
And this amount could be even higher if you were to load the full $500 onto your Walmart Money Card once a month, resulting in a very reasonable $3/month ($36/year) service fee.
In addition to all the beneficial areas in which the Walmart Money Card can contribute to your financial toolkit, here's one that's sure to pique the interest of even the most skeptical reader...
By doing nothing more than using the reloadable prepaid Walmart Card on items you routinely buy anyway, you can receive up to 3% cash back on these purchases.
But before we dive into the details of this generous program – as 3 percent cash back is among the best rates of many credit cards, and is virtually unheard of for prepaid debit cards – we should also note that there are two additional tiers (2% and 1 percent) of savings, too.
The key to all these savings, however, is that you'll only receive them by spending money with Walmart.
So given that overview, we can simplify the cash-back benefits of the Walmart Money Card by viewing it in the same light as other corporate-branded gift cards, which are valid exclusively at those establishments.
And depending on how you choose to purchase from Walmart determines which rate you'll receive in the form a rebate...
Shopping online at Walmart.com earns you the full 3% cash back, fueling up at the expansive network of Walmart gas stations renders 2%, while buying goods from brick-and-mortar Walmart department stores will get you a 1% statement credit.
It should be noted that the most aggressive rate is attributed to buying online, given the brand's ambitious push into electronic commerce.
Walmart has continued to make strides in its digital operation, with recent data showing impressive revenue gains from online sales.
Key metrics such as those relating to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales weekend have been encouraging, not to mention the record-breaking holiday season.
So it's no wonder that you can earn the best return by using your Walmart Money Card to shop online, as this is quickly becoming one of the strongest business units of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Furthermore, it shouldn't be lost upon readers the fact that most SuperCenter department stores are now outfitted with gasoline stations, and the rewards incentives for using same are strategic.
To illustrate this point, marketing professionals understand that while many consumers will stop at Walmart service stations for gas only, while Walmart Money Card members will generally be more enthusiastic about the brand as a whole.
And that's where the combination of the 2% fuel rebate coincides with the 1% grocery (department) store offer, because taken in aggregate – i.e., for a customer who both gases up and buys home goods at Walmart – it fully matches the 3% reward for buying from Walmart.com.
That's one of the most effective marketing strengths of the Walmart Money Card because it reinforces the end-to-end branding the company has fostered, which makes it effortless for customers to do business with it 24/7/365.
Whether you're an avid online shopper or old-school retail patron, Walmart has positioned itself as a leader in whichever model you prefer.
The everyday low prices of the brand make it an attractive merchant under any condition, though with the added bonus of getting cash back from your purchases via the Walmart Money Card, you'd be hard-pressed to find a seller who offers more value to its customers.
Safeguarding your Walmart Money Card at every turn should be your top priority as a cardholder, as the destructive ramifications of misuse can drag on for months in most cases – and years in more severe ones.
That's partly due to the systemic latency involved with handling disputed financial matters, while other factors pertain to some of the hurdles aggrieved parties must clear in order to receive restitution.
What's more is that the burden of proof for prepaid card members is considerably more onerous than for bank-issued debit or check card users, which are harder still to resolve than matters pertaining to standard credit cards.
Not only is the documentation more extensive for prepaid debit card disputes, but the time-frame to effect resolution is far longer than the duration for similar credit card claims.
So in light of these – and several other – considerations it's imperative that Walmart Money Card members do everything possible to avoid the unfortunate experience of suffering through the trying circumstances a breach entails.
And while protecting your card through common practices may seem obvious to most readers, it never hurts to revisit your habits when it comes to critical aspects that can have negative effects on your finances.
Foremost on this 'common-sense list' is, to the greatest extent possible, relentlessly obscure your Walmart Money Network Card number from the view of strangers.
(In reality, however, this advice extends to folks you know too, as there are few stronger temptations than those involving money.)
What's more is that the proliferation of online shopping sites makes it all-too-easy for someone to enter your Walmart Money Card number and place an unauthorized order at your expense.
The fact that CVV (card verification value) numbers are not universally required by internet merchants greatly increases the ease with which perpetrators can succeed, so you should approach the securing of your primary (16-digit) card number seriously.
Simple steps like always storing your Walmart Money Card in safe, easily-reachable place can help ensure that you don't misplace it, which happens far more frequently than theft.
Adhering to such a policy is not only prudent for protecting your credit and debit cards, but is recommended for keeping track of all your valuable items – e.g., car keys, work badges, and access cards.
And by subscribing to the time-worn adage of 'giving everything a home,' you can save yourself from inestimable heartache, frustration, and setbacks throughout your life in general.
Furthermore, the next level of steps you can take to secure your Walmart Money Card fall into the 'active' category and require a conscientious effort on your part.
The most common – though no less effective – practices for active protection involve covering your MoneyCard number in various ways during use.
Although not always executed easily due to the awkward nature by which you must hold the card, placing your index (middle) finger over as many of the 16 numbers as possible has proven to be an effective method for reducing fraud exposure.
While this remains true for any physical merchant with which you do business, obscuring your number is essential at gas stations and convenience stores.
A little less prevalent nowadays, but still a major source of unauthorized transactions, service stations are notoriously perilous due to the myriad surveillance cameras employed.
There's no doubt that expansive video recording technology serves as one of the most powerful deterrents to would-be criminals, it also creates angst for lawful Walmart Money Card members.
But so long as you develop the habit of being mindful about both where and for how long you expose your card number, the innovative shenanigans of financial predators should remain a non-issue for your Walmart Money Card Network account.
In addition to the well-documented risks of keeping sizable amounts of cash in loose form, doing so can also pose budgetary nightmares over time.
What's more is that human behavior is such that most of us spend far more when shopping with cash, while at the same time receiving less value for our money.
These challenges apply not only to our routine daily purchases but to our savings goals as well.
So given the ease with which paper currency is lost, stolen, or damaged, it only makes sense to alleviate these concerns by keeping as much as your savings in a safe/durable form.
And with no monthly service fees or expenses, the Walmart Money Card is an optimal vehicle for building an emergency fund for the unexpected.
Growing your prepaid savings account couldn't be simpler with today's financial technology, which makes automation and funds transference a breeze.
Another benefit of the Money Network Walmart Card catalog is that you can use different varieties for different reasons, limiting your savings activities to 'inbound only' transactions.
All this can be managed centrally in your My Walmart Money Network Account, which is accessed either online or via the MoneyCard app.
To illustrate, let's say you're intrigued by the idea of receiving some of your income via direct deposit onto a Walmart Money Card, and will reserve this card as your standalone savings account.
But you also need something for your day-to-day buying needs to cover items such as coffee, food, and gasoline.
Thus, in addition to ordering your MoneyCard from Walmart.com, you request an everywhere paycard, too.
And as the name indicates, the everywhere paycard is a prepaid debit tool that's accepted by virtually any merchant with which you'd do business.
Direct deposit is also available for the paycard, as is the ability to reload funds onto it at Walmart Money Centers throughout the country.
Moreover, and in keeping with our previous advice about protecting your cards from misfortune, you designate a specific spot at home where you'll store your Walmart Money Card, while the other will be used regularly.
Though not absolutely essential to the execution of this 2-step savings plan, setting up direct deposit capitalizes on the value of automation, something that's proven to boost savings in the long run.
The theory behind automatic saving — a concept akin to 'dollar cost averaging' in securities investment — is buoyed by taking human elements (indecision/procrastination/fatigue) out of the process, allowing funds to steadily accrue in the background.
The financial gains won't be quite as substantial by saving automatically with your Walmart Money Card as they would with stocks per the compounding of interest, but there's a fundamental distinction between saving and investing to begin with.
The fact is that you cannot invest if without any capital, and capital can only be amassed by saving.
So again, as outlined throughout the contents of this article, the inherent security and ease with which you can move funds onto your Walmart Money Card make it a great choice for building your financial reserves – both for life's inevitable curveballs + long(er)-term capital accumulation.
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