Wal-Mart now getting involved with banking

Sammy Dewey, Staff Writer

Coming to a Wal-Mart store very near you --  banking.

Wal-Mart says it plans to partner with a company called Green Dot, which already issues prepaid debit cards, to offer customers low-fee checking accounts with the banking service being provided through GoBank.

According to investopedia.com, It is also estimated that around 10 million U.S. households are unbanked as of 2011 and the majority of Wal-Marts are located in these high unbanked populations.

Statistically northern states such as Virginia and Washington, have a much lower unbanked percentage than those of southern, central states like Texas. The areas with most Wal-Mart stores per million people are in central or southern states, especially in Arkansas where Wal-Mart started, having roughly 37 stores per million people. Western states having a lot less.

Wal-Mart says its goal is to get people more involved with banking and to be more knowledgeable about handling their money. This is supposed to help lower the unbanked number in the long run.

Currently there are about 4,300 Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., and GoBank says it hopes to have 42,000 ATMs available.