No Overdraft Checking Account Coming To Walmart

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By Consumers Union on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Go BankGreen Dot’s mobile bank account, GoBank, will soon be available at Walmart stores. We think this is good news for consumers, as GoBank offers transparent, low-fee, no-overdraft, fully-federally protected checking accounts.

Recently a number of banks, including Bank of America, Key Bank and Citi, have begun to offer low-fee, no overdraft accounts. As with GoBank, we think this is a positive development, giving consumers greater choice of products and greater control over their money.

What appears to separate GoBank from its competitors is that GoBank – and for that matter the Walmart–American Express prepaid card Bluebird – comes with no-overdraft paper checks. For consumers who need to be able to write paper checks (not just set up bill pay) and for those worried that the voluntarily provided protections that come with prepaid cards such as Bluebird aren’t enough, the GoBank account may be a good fit.

Right now, consumers can sign-up for GoBank online or via a mobile device. GoBank does not use Chex systems, so consumers who have struggled with overdrafts and have found themselves blacklisted and unable to get a bank account, may find that GoBank is willing to give them an account. There are few fees: a $2.95 start fee and a waivable $8.95 monthly fee, plus out of network ATM fees if you find yourself nowhere near an in-network ATM (which might be tough, since Go Bank’s has 42,000 free ATMs in the US).

While the GoBank account has many positive features, we should point out one drawback that consumers have reported to us: there can be lengthy hold times on funds after checks are deposited via picture taken with a mobile phone, also known as mobile remote deposit capture. Our colleague, Consumer Report’s Jeff Blyskal, reviewed GoBank and found that he had to wait 8 days (!) to get his money.

Have you used Go Bank? How about a prepaid card? We want to hear from you.

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