Wal-Mart unique solution to cash customers online

Paula Duffy's picture

Wal-Mart knows a good number of its customers pay with cash and are unable to shop online with them. That is about to change with a cash payment option for online purchases.

Wal-Mart has devised a unique way to allow cash customers to shop for thousands of items online that might not be found in their retail locations, announced today in a press release.

Like a growing number of Americans, many who shop at Wal-Mart do not have credit or even debit cards connected to a bank checking account,

Their research has shown that only 15% of their purchases are made with credit cards and the rest are split between those paying cash or using debit cards.

Twenty-five percent of Americans use nothing but cash to purchase what they need, the company said in its press release of today, announcing the program.

An FDIC survey found that, "A quarter of U.S. households are considered "underbanked" or "unbanked" -- with no or limited access to bank accounts, credit or debit cards or other banking options."

Add to that number the shoppers who fear using plastic on the Internet for security reasons and you have a vast number of potential online shoppers who are limited in what they can hope to buy from Wal-Mart.

In a recent survey, Walmart found that more than two thirds of those identified as “underbanked” were likely to use cash as a form of online payment if the option were available.

Enter the new "Pay With Cash" option program. It entails getting a receipt for after selecting product choices, taking it to Wal-Mart location within 48 hours and paying for the purchase at that time.

The products are shipped to the customer's home or to that Wal-Mart location for pickup on delivery. It doesn't solve the problem of customers who don't have a nearby Wal-Mart and want to pay cash but all things take time.

Despite being what the FDIC labels as unbanked or underbanked, the vast majority of people in that category are hooked up to the Internet.

The company's CEO made it clear that Wal-Mart was ready to serve the needs of those who are currently under-served, in its opinion. “Many of our customers shop paycheck to paycheck and are looking for more ways to purchase items online but don’t have the means to a credit, debit or prepaid card,” said Joel Anderson.. “Our new ‘Pay with Cash’ offering is designed just for them."

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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