US drugstore launches financial services around prepaid card

Walgreens, a chain of around 8,300 drugstores in the US, has joined with MasterCard, Galileo and FIS to launch a program of financial services.

Walgreens, a chain of around 8,300 drugstores in the US, has joined with MasterCard, Galileo and FIS to launch a program of financial services.

Balance Financial’s services, including a prepaid MasterCard, is available at 250 stores in Detroit, Milwaukee and Nashville and is due to be rolled out nationwide in 2013.

Jason Dubinsky, Walgreens vice president and treasurer, said that many Americans did not have traditional checking accounts or debit cards. He said: "For them, Balance Financial will represent safety, convenience, value and rewards.

"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."

Customers can top up the prepaid card and make ATM withdrawals at Walgreens or Duane Reade stores. They will also be able to pay in wages, tax refunds and government benefit cheques and can withdraw up to $100 cash from their card account in cashback.

Cardholders can also earn BalanceRewards points by using their card, earning points for in-store purchases, direct deposits, reloads and monthly direct deposits.

Once the scheme has been rolled out nationwide, more services such as Western Union Money Transfers and bill payment services will be launched.

 

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