Walmart (NYSE:WMT) announced a new service that offers consumers the chance to pick up their tax refunds, in cash, at stores. Direct2Cash rolls out nationwide today and is a one-of-a-kind in-store opportunity for shoppers to get their tax refunds in a non-traditional manner.
Walmart has partnered with Tax Products Group, a Green Dot Company, and Republic Bank & Trust Company, two providers of tax-related financial products and services. More than 25,000 tax preparation locations using software with the Direct2Cash option may provide this service for either no fee or a maximum of $7. When the actual tax refunds are claimed in-store, Walmart will not charge customers.
"We know tax refunds can be one of the largest financial payouts of the year for many of our customers, and the last thing they want is to wait for their refund check to arrive and then spend money on unnecessary fees—in many cases upwards of $70—to cash it," said Daniel Eckert, senior VP of services for Walmart U.S. "By skipping the check and choosing this new service, customers will not only save time, but also keep some extra cash in their pockets–two things Americans can always use more of."
The idea is to save customers time and money. Often, government-issued checks are subject to theft or fraud and can take weeks or months to get into consumers' hands. Also Direct2Cash will save money from using a traditional check-cashing service.
When customers use Direct2Cash, they receive a confirmation code for federal and state returns through an email from TPG or Republic Bank when their refund is ready to be picked up. The cash can be picked up at Walmart's MoneyCenter or customer service desk.
For additional tax help, Jackson Hewitt tax preparers will be in more than 3,000 Walmart stores around the country and are offering clients a $50 Walmart eGift card when they e-file through Jackson Hewitt.
Walmart has made a concerted effort in the past year to offer new services to its shoppers that make life a little easier—in other words, extending the one-stop shopping idea to programs and services. For example, last fall the company partnered with DirectHealth.com, an online health insurance comparison site and agency, to help Walmart shoppers compare coverage options and enroll in Medicare plans or the public exchange plans created under the Affordable Care Act.
Around the same time, Walmart rolled out GoBank checking accounts. The accounts, launched by Green Dot, are mobile banking platforms linked with MasterCard debit cards that do not charge overdraft fees, minimum balance fees or monthly fees.
-See this Walmart press release
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