Wal-Mart launches in-store tax refunds

Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:02pm EST
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(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote) has launched a service allowing customers to pick up tax refunds in cash at stores across the United States.

The service, Walmart Direct2Cash, was made available at Wal-Mart stores from Tuesday, the company said.

The world's largest retailer is working with Tax Products Group (TPG), a unit of Green Dot Corp (GDOT.N: Quote), and Republic Bank & Trust Co. Wal-Mart will not charge a fee for the service, although customers could be charged up to $7.

Sterne Agee analyst Thomas McCrohan said the service would appeal most to customers without a bank account, who would otherwise pay a higher fee to convert a tax-refund check into cash.

" ... Those without a bank account would likely view this option as more economically attractive," he wrote in a note.

In April, Wal-Mart launched a money transfer service in a direct challenge to the dominance of Western Union Co WU.N and MoneyGram (MGI.O: Quote), aiming to broaden the financial services it offers to low-income customers.

Wal-Mart's shares closed down marginally at $86.69 on Tuesday. Green Dot's stock closed up 2.6 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Robin Paxton)

The Wal-Mart company logo is seen outside a Wal-Mart Stores Inc company distribution center in Bentonville, Arkansas June 6, 2013.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking