A Bluebird starter kit will sell exclusively in Wal-Mart locations for $5. It will be merchandised at checkout and at the front of stores, Eckert said. Consumers can also go to Bluebird's website and sign up for free.
The addition of Bluebird may help Wal-Mart to attract shoppers from Dollar General Corp. and Family Dollar Stores Inc. that have been gaining customers since the recession by adding food and other products, said Patrick McKeever, managing director for MKM Partners in Stamford, Connecticut. Bluebird users can deposit cash into the account at Wal-Mart stores.
"You get consumers in the stores to do more of their financial transactions, and maybe that represents a modest threat to the dollar stores," McKeever said. "Dollar stores don't offer this kind of service currently."
Wal-Mart declined to disclose the financial terms of the partnership. Bluebird can only be used where American Express is accepted, Eckert said.