Wal-Mart Rolls Out Bank in Mexico

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Feb. 25, 2008 12:00 am  

Wal-Mart's Mexican bank was a way to provide banking services to customers who don't have access to affordable credit plans, according to a Nov. 12 Wal-Mart news release.

The bank currently has several products, including an interest-bearing savings account that is tied to a debit card.

To open a savings account, customers need 50 pesos, or about $5. No minimum balance amount is necessary to keep the savings account open.

To open a checking account, a Mexican customer will need 1,000 pesos, or just under $100.

Another product allows customers to have credit to buy items in Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart also has space set aside in the store to help customers choose the best product. The bank is open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

"It is with this in mind that our specialized service has been created, to offer easy and simple basic banking services, without the need for troublesome paperwork, ambiguous and confusing contracts or complicated clauses," Eduardo Solñrzano, chairman of the board of directors for Banco Wal-Mart, said in the Nov. 12 news release.

The Mexican government will regulate the banks similarly to the way banks are regulated in the United States, Gardner said.

Customer Attraction

Wal-Mart already has proven to be successful in Mexico, Professor Rochin said.

Mexico has a population of 108 million, and in 2007 Wal-Mart de Mexico stores had 957 million customer visits. In 2006, Wal-Mex had sales of $18.3 billion, a 20.2 percent increase over 2005.

"Wal-Mart's done a good job at marketing itself but also adding low-cost items to consumers," Rochin said.



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