What Walks Like a Bank, Talks Like a Bank, But Isn’t A Bank? It’s Bluebird!

By Tom

The competition for deposit dollars just got hotter. Bluebird, the alliance between American Express and Wal-Mart, has just added even more features to its debit card/checking alternative that make Bluebird look even more like a conventional checking account.

According to a story in this week’s American Banker, Bluebird accounts are now protected by FDIC insurance, they now have physical checkbooks, and they have increased the amount consumers can deposit to $100,000 annually, up from $10,000 at any given time. The Bluebird prepaid cards already offered other bank-like features such as mobile deposits, online bill pay, ATM access, overdraft protection, and online banking.

Bluebird even has branch banking, of a sort. American Express and Wal-Mart have teamed up to offer $5 Bluebird starter kits at retail outlets. Now Wal-Mart’s 4,000 retail stores double as Bluebird bank branches, and online access is free.

As quoted in the American Banker article:

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