Walmart leverages its MoneyCard app to help customers save

Retail giant Walmart is partnering with Green Dot to debut a new prize-based savings incentive program run through the former’s MoneyCard service.

The Prize Savings program will be available to all MoneyCard holders, which number in the millions. With this new offering, Walmart MoneyCard customers can now enter a monthly sweepstakes that awards hundreds of cash prizes just by saving up.

“According to The Federal Reserve Board of Governors, nearly half of all U.S. families can’t cover a $400 emergency with their savings,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, Services, Walmart U.S. “That’s a reality we don’t want our customers to have to live with, and we thought we could help.

“Using our size and scale to take on issues that are affecting our customers is at the core of what we do. Along with Green Dot and Commonwealth, we think Prize Savings can help drive change and address an important issue in a new, innovative way.”

Prize Savings

Walmart claims that Prize Savings is the first national and first retail offered prize-linked savings program.

Interested users can participate through a simple process: to play, users simply log into the Walmart MoneyCard app or website to transfer money from their Walmart MoneyCard balance into a separate MoneyCard Vault, a free savings feature within their account.

Each dollar a customer saves in their MoneyCard Vault equals one entry in that month’s national drawing, which awards 500 cash prizes every month, including a $1,000 grand prize. Cash prizes are deposited directly to the winners’ Walmart MoneyCards.

The program is reportedly in response to Walmart’s claim that there is a “savings crisis in America.” Apparently, 90 percent of households have less than two percent of their disposable income saved.

In the limited time that the program has been in place, it has returned good numbers for Walmart and Green Dot. Since Prive Savings’s launch in August, usage of the MoneyCard Vault is up more than 130 percent, and MoneyCard Vault users are, on average, saving 35 percent more.

Fifteen hundred customers have won cash prizes.

Large retailers
Walmart and Green Dot enlisted the help of Commonwealth, formerly known as D2D Fund, a national organization that has led the creation of prize-linked savings products and policies in the United States to create “Prize Savings.” Commonwealth’s PLS innovations have generated over $153 million in savings by more than 75,000 Americans—many of whom were first-time savers.

Walmart may have found another winning strategy on mobile this holiday: a solution for a widespread phenomenon around this time of year, the procrastinating holiday shopper (see story).

And the company is largely practicing what it preached this holiday season and seasons previous: it announced in October that it will be scaling back the opening of new stores to focus on improving its mobile and online commerce channels, following many other big retailers after the industry as a whole saw a surge in mobile shopping and digital continues to dominate (see story).