Walmart Uses Prizes to Help Its MoneyCard Customers Save

pexels-photo-167300Walmart, in partnership with Green Dot, today announced “Prize Savings,” a cash rewards savings program conducted through its Walmart MoneyCard product.

Walmart and Green Dot, which issues the retailer’s cards, partnered with national organization Commonwealth on the offering, a firm which has created PLS (Prize-Linked Savings) programs that have generated over $153 million in savings.

The company’s stated aim is to entice customers to save more and better grow their financial health. According to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, almost half of American families are today unable to cover a $400 emergency with their savings, said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S on a financial services call conducted by the company today.

“This is the first nationwide prize savings program that is really accessible to all Americans,” said Eckert, adding that about 90% of Americans currently live within a 15-minute drive of a Walmart. “It’s also the first prize savings program available through retail, and bringing that access is crucial. We want to help our customers win.”

The PLS program, which was launched this past August, is integrated into the Walmart MoneyCard, a prepaid debit—Mastercard or Visa—card. Moneycard holders “play” by logging into their account on the online site or opening the app; they can then transfer savings into a siloed “MoneyCard Vault.”

Each dollar placed into the Vault then becomes one entry into the PLS national sweepstakes drawing for that month—there are 500 prizes awarded on a monthly basis, with an average prize amount of $25 and a grand prize of $1,000.

Since its August launch, fifteen hundred customers have won cash prizes according to the company, and the average amount of monthly saving has increase from $400 to $572, according to data collected by Walmart in October of this year.

“What we have seen over and over again is it’s not the size of the prize, it’s the sensation of being a winner, said Tim Flacke, executive director for Commonwealth, on the services call. “We’ve seen people win $5, $10, and be highly motivated [to save].”

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