Slideshow In Pictures: Walmart's Aggressive Moves in Payments

Published
  • April 04 2014, 1:20pm EDT
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Walmart has long been as much a force in financial services as it has been in retail. Here are some of ways Walmart and its executives have shaped — and challenged — the payments industry. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Walmart-2-Walmart

Walmart is launching a Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer service in April. The service allows customers to send and receive funds at more than 4,000 U.S. stores. (Image: ThinkStock)

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Processing Priorities

Walmart's decisions carry weight for each of the different card networks. The retail giant just switched its processing business for store-branded cards to MasterCard, which is good news for MasterCard but takes that volume away from Discover, which handled the task for the past nine years. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Clashes in Court

Walmart is seeking $5 billion in damages over transaction fees in a recently filed lawsuit against Visa. A year ago, it was Visa suing Walmart to prevent such a suit. Walmart is one of the many retailers that opted out of last year's $5.7 billion settlement over claims of interchange price fixing. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Bluebird

Walmart's Bluebird prepaid card, a collaboration with American Express, takes a sharp aim at banks' business model. Amex estimates the cost of serving a Bluebird customer is "less than 20%" of the cost of serving a bank customer.

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Mobile Payments for Merchants

Walmart is also a key player in the Merchant Customer Exchange, a mobile wallet initiative that involves many of the biggest retailers in the United States. The initiative wants to ensure that retailers keep control of customer data as consumers shift to mobile payments. (Image: ShutterStock)

Pushing Back on PayPal

PayPal, a unit of eBay Inc., is working to become a payment option for any brick-and-mortar retailer, but Walmart said last year that it "could not justify acceptance of PayPal" in its stores. Online, Walmart accepts PayPal and Bill Me Later, PayPal's instant credit option. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Faster Payments to Foster Competition

In a December letter to the Federal Reserve banks on the development of a faster payment system, Walmart said the process "should take into consideration the need to foster competition in payments. Today, the market for consumer card payments is dominated by two networks that have nearly 100% of the market for debit cards and more than 75% of the market for credit cards." (Image: ShutterStock)

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Green Dot

Green Dot has been helped and hurt by Walmart's moves. Walmart and Green Dot collaborated on the MoneyCard, Walmart was the first adopter of Green Dot's Swipe Interface Technology for reloads, and Green Dot is taking over the Walmart-branded debit card business from GE. But Walmart's Bluebird card is also a significant rival to Green Dot's own products. (Image: ShutterStock)

Pro EMV

Walmart has long been a champion of EMV-chip cards in the U.S., talking up the chip-and-PIN technology long before the card networks started setting EMV adoption deadlines for U.S. merchants. (Image: ShutterStock)

Thought Leaders

Walmart's Sabrina Chin, recognized as one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments in 2014, characterizes Walmart as "thought leaders" in the payments industry. As senior director of payment services, she oversees payment acceptance for retailer's businesses in India, China and Japan. She has also worked with the Bluebird and MCX teams.

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Talent in Demand

Jane Thompson, the former president of Walmart Financial Services, was recognized as American Banker Magazine's Innovator of the Year in 2011 for her work at the retailer. After leaving Walmart, she has been a strategic consultant and was recently named a member of the board of directors at VeriFone and the board of directors at a new subprime credit card venture owned by Fenway Summer.