Online and Unbanked? Walmart.com Lets You Pay With Cash

Walmart online cashIf you don't have a bank account, Walmart wants your business.

In recent months, the world's largest retailer has expanded its inexpensive check cashing service, made it easy for the unbanked to cash their tax refund checks, and given them access to plastic with its cheap prepaid debit cards.

Now, Walmart (WMT) wants to make shopping online simpler for the many Americans who don't have a credit card or checking account by giving customers the option of paying in cash for online orders.

Via the "Pay with Cash" program, launched last week, shoppers can visit Walmart.com place an order and, during the online checkout process, select the cash option and their shipping preference. The customer then has 48 hours to pay for the order at any Walmart store or at a Walmart Market, its small-format subsidiary.

The program gives the unbanked access to the hundreds of thousands of items Walmart.com offers that aren't always available in stores, among them baby products, health and beauty items, toys, home decor, electronics, home appliances and more, the company says.

Pay with Cash, which clearly targets the retailer's core audience, is being launched as Walmart works to re-emphasize its value message, which has gotten muddled in recent years, and expand its mix of low-price merchandise.

According to the FDIC, one in four U.S. households is "unbanked or underbanked," meaning its members either don't have a bank account or credit card, or have limited banking options, so they mostly pay for purchases in cash, Walmart said in a statement.

"However, many of [these consumers] are online, with 81% of the unbanked and 63% of the underbanked having Internet access."

Walmart says the program also targets shoppers who are hesitant to pay for their purchases online. The majority of transactions at the chain's stores are paid for in cash or with a cash equivalent, such as a debit card.

Some industry analysts said the Pay with Cash program could become a valuable service to cash-strapped shoppers, akin to layaway.

"This may be a surprising success as it taps into an untapped e-commerce market of the unbanked," said Ed Dunn, founder of Stealth Operation, on RetailWire's online forum on the topic.

"What I love about this is that it is so counter to the consensus about a cashless society," said Joel Rubinson, president of Rubinson Partners, during the forum. "It is bold, and I think Walmart is right to try."

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Titanium

MANY PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND OR TRUST BANKS. lONG HISTORY IN MANY ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF OPPERATING ON A CASH BASIS. SO A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THOSE COMMUNITIES NEVER HAVE HAD BANK ACCOUNTS.

July 27 2012 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SueClarke

I think it's a great idea. And to the people saying "why not just go to the store and buy it with cash anyway" - many of the items on their site are not available in stores, and believe it or not, sometimes even if they are, the online price is cheaper. Not long ago I was in my local Walmart shopping for a TV for my dad. There was a particular model he was interested in, so just on a whim, I decided to check the online price from my phone - it was almost $100 cheaper, no kidding. I ordered it online and picked it up 20 minutes later from the very same Walmart I was already in.

May 07 2012 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jackandszuey

We like this idea. This is one way that our plastic can't be compromised by unscrouplus hackers. There are items which can be ordered online which aren't available in the store. No one will be forced to use this method, so, what's with all you negative people? Simply continue shopping the way of your choosing. You have choices.

May 07 2012 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wayne Bradshaw

Do you know who is the prolocutor star of Louis Vuitton Handags now? It is the Sofia Coppola, she is well-know with the director of movies. Of course she like the LV very much ,especial the Louis Vuitton Wallet,but she never buy something from the Louis Vuitton Outlet, because she always get freely and show the newest louis vuitton items .

May 05 2012 at 11:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scottee

wow! that's novel.
I wonder if they know our dollars are just monopoly money? that the government is printing with no accountability? hmmm....

May 01 2012 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aurevoir3344

I have never seen a company that will do almost anything to get your money. I am going to start doing most of my grocery shopping at the Kroger not far from my house. So nice, and they even have new shopping carts now. I will admit, I was a Walmart shopper for a long time, but they are just out of control in attempts to get you to shop at their too big, un-kempt, under-paid and overly-bad attitude employee filled, store of horrors. Next they will employees waiting in the parking lots and opening your car door and carrying you into their stores.

May 01 2012 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to aurevoir3344's comment
bsadonis

This gives the "unbanked" the ability to shop on line and purchase the many items not sold in the store.

May 01 2012 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alderaforall

so you order it online, go to the store to pay for it and then wait for it to be shipped to your house? Why not just buy it while you're at the store in the first place? This is like having audible text messaging, ya it's called a phone call. Are people really this blind?

May 01 2012 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alderaforall's comment
Supergluuued

The article clearly states that many items on walmart.com are NOT available in the stores. That's NOT available ... as in NOT there ... in the store.

May 08 2012 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pozboys

With the cost of gas, being what it is, how does this serve the cash buyer?? You order on line, which, normally,you pay by credit card, or Pay Pal, and then your order is shipped, at no, or little cost, to you ! Done ! If I can order on line, and then have to go pay for it, at the same store that I can, in most cases, buy it, then where is the convenience, and savings, for me?? This, does not make sense, does it???

May 01 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mily469

i will never use chinamart for anything, ever.

May 01 2012 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mily469's comment
democracks0

Gee I bet their just shaking in their boots!

May 02 2012 at 6:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
captsharky1

I know some people cannot get a bank account. If you work, you should be able to get one. If you are a bum, you dont need one. I know since the terrorists took away freedom in America, you now have to give up your first born to even qualify for a bank account.

May 01 2012 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply