Walgreens Launches Financial Services Products
Walgreens is launching Balance Financial, a suite of integrated financial services.
The program will be rolled out in phases over the coming months, all built around its new Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard.
The program is currently offered at more than 250 Walgreens locations in Detroit, Milwaukee and Nashville, with a nationwide card rollout expected before year end and additional financial services in 2014.
Balance Financial is powered by Galileo, an industry leader in advanced payment processing solutions. It is a collaboration of Walgreens, MasterCard, Galileo and FIS. In addition, Western Union services are expected to be available in 2014.
The program includes the Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard, a safe alternative to cash for the millions of customers without a traditional bank account or those who want alternatives to debit cards and checking accounts.
Customers can easily reload the card at any of more than 8,100 Walgreens or Duane Reade stores and make no-fee ATM withdrawals at most Walgreens or Duane Reade stores in all nationwide.
Cardholders are eligible for check cashing in the initial 250 Walgreens stores. Cardholders will be able to deposit payroll, tax refund and government benefit checks and can receive from a Walgreens cashier up to $100 in cash from their card account. Additional cash can be accessed without a fee at a Walgreens ATM.
Another perk is the ability to earn BalanceRewards points for using the Balance Financial card. By linking the card to a Balance Rewards account, customers earn 10 points for every $1 spent at Walgreens or Duane Reade stores, 1,000 points for the first direct deposit and more points for in-store reloads and monthly direct deposits.
Additional services are planned for 2014, including Western Union Money Transfer and expedited bill payment services.
Millions of Americans do not have -- or want alternatives to -- traditional checking accounts and debit cards, said Jason Dubinsky, Walgreens vice president and treasurer.
“For them, Balance Financial will represent safety, convenience, value and rewards,” Dubinsky said. “With Balance Financial as our platform, over time we plan to add more features and functionality that give our customers even more powerful financial tools to get, stay and live well.”
One American household out of four -- 60 million adults -- is not served or is underserved by a bank or other financial institution, according to Walgreens. Rather than conduct transactions in cash, many seek a secure and convenient way to deposit paychecks, pay bills, move funds and shop.