Wal-Mart and American Express will offer consumers a prepaidcard, called Bluebird, that the companies describe as analternative to debit cards and checking accounts. Bluebird will beavailable online or at Wal-Mart's 4,000 stores. The product has nominimum balance and it does not charge annual, monthly or overdraftfees.

The companies say consumers can deposit money onto the card viadirect deposit, by paying cash at a Wal-Mart store, by remotedeposit capture using a Bluebird mobile app, or by linking achecking or savings account to the card.

Barron's notes that for American Express, Bluebird isa departure from its usual focus on affluent consumers.Barron's also notes that the stock of GreenDot, a companythat already partners with Wal-Mart to offer a prepaid card, hastaken a beating on the Bluebird announcement.

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