Two industry giants are combining their skills to sell a prepaid card targeted to the unbanked and underbanked markets.  The card will be called Bluebird and will be accepted anywhere American Express is, as well as, being usable to withdraw cash from ATM’s.  The card will be available for sale at Walmart stores and online.

Although the specifics have not been announced, the two companies have said that there will be no monthly or annual fees, no overdraft fees and no minimum balance required.  They also said that customers will be able to make deposits and pay bills with their smartphones.

One of the stated goals of the companies and the card is to simplify the whole pre-paid card fee structure.  Walmart says this is the simplest product on the market for consumer use.   I guess the market will be the judge of that.

The unbanked and underbanked are growing segments of the American financial picture.  The growth of pre-paid cards and payday loans attest to that.  More and more people are learning to not just live with, but to prefer these banking alternatives.  Their convenience and flexibility are often cited as reasons people prefer them.

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