Wal-Mart Stores said Thursday it will partner with Ria Money Transfer to launch the Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service, a program that will allow customers to transfer money to and from more than 4,000 of its stores.
Through the service, customers can transfer as much as $50 for a $4.50 fee, and up to $900 for a $9.50 fee. Customers are limited to transferring $900 per day.
The retailer said the idea for the service, which begins on April 24, was sparked by customers asking why money transfers were so expensive. Wal-Mart said the service costs as much as 50 percent less than other options available on the market.
“After listening to our customers complain about the high fees and confusion associated with transferring money, we knew there had to be a solution,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart U.S.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said the system could bring more shoppers into its stores, but that wasn’t the focus of the program. The discounter emphasized that it is a way to leverage its footprint to provide a convenient option to its shoppers. The service is currently only offered in-store at its domestic locations, and can be done in 10 minutes or less.
An estimate on Western Union’s website said that in the New York City area, an in-person pickup for a $400 cash transfer that is paid for with cash, and available for pickup in minutes, costs $28.
Wal-Mart already offers a money transfer service through MoneyGram, a partnership that has existed for more than a decade. MoneyGram will still be available to shoppers, particularly those looking to send more than $900 at a time—the cap for Ria’s service, due in part to regulatory requirements regarding identification.
Wal-Mart recently signed another three-year contract with MoneyGram, which lasts until 2016.
The retailer already offers check cashing, money orders and services for tax preparation.
Ria Money Transfer is a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, a processor of electronic financial transactions.
Wal-Mart, which logged its fourth-straight domestic same-store sales decline in the most recent quarter, saw its shares tick slightly higher in early Thursday trading.
—By CNBC’s Krystina Gustafson.