Walmart  announced a new domestic money-transfer service that will compete directly with Western Union Co.

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Walmart launches domestic money transfer service

April 17th, 2014

NEW YORK – Walmart  announced a new domestic money-transfer service that will compete directly with Western Union Co.

The "Walmart-2-Walmart" service will be launched on April 24 in partnership with Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of electronic-payments provider Euronet Worldwide Inc., the company said Thursday.

The service will allow customers to electronically transfer funds between more than 4,000 Walmart stores in the United States.

Walmart said the service will carry lower fees than those charged by Western Union and other money-transfer providers.

Financial services such as money orders, wire transfers, prepaid cards and check cashing accounted for about 1% of Walmart’s sales last year, Reuters reported.

The new service could be a formidable competitor to Western Union’s business in the United States. Both companies cater to a significant proportion of consumers who are without bank accounts and who rely on non-bank alternatives for some of their financial transactions.

In announcing the new venture, Walmart senior vice president Daniel Eckert said the service would offer a more affordable option to a clientele that relies on wire transfers and related services, including those without bank accounts, military personnel, and workers in oilfield and other remote locales.

The company will charge $4.50 for money transfers of $50 or less and $9.50 for transfers up to $900, he said.

Euronet, headquartered in Leawood, Kan., operates a network of automated teller machines around the globe.

Western Union, based in Englewood, Colo., operates through an agent network of more than 500,000 locations in more than 200 countries that allows individuals and businesses to electronically transfer money or make payments in more than 120 currencies.

Walmart currently offers Moneygram money transfers within the United States and internationally. The company will still sell Moneygram transfers outside the United States when the Walmart-2-Walmart service is up and running.