Coming Soon to a Walgreens Near You: Bank Accounts

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Walgreens adds banking to their store services.

You'll notice a change in your local Walgreens store by the end of the year. The company announced last month that it will be offering bank accounts in all of its stores by the end of 2021.

Building on a current trend

As part of Walgreens' loyalty reward and discount program for shoppers, the company recently joined forces with Mastercard and Synchrony Financial to offer debit and prepaid credit cards to customers.

Now, Walgreens is looking to expand its financial reach by providing in-person and mobile banking at its nearly 9,000 stores nationwide. When you consider that 78% of Americans live within five miles of a Walgreens store (or a Duane Reade, owned by Walgreens), it makes sense. In rural areas, hard hit by bank closings, the ability to walk in, take care of banking business, and pick up a prescription is sure to provide convenience.

Walgreens knows its customers

Given that Walgreens' new banking system will be available through a mobile platform and in person, it's primed for older customers. After all, older adults are the demographic most likely to need regular prescription refills. Once they're in the store, Walgreens has the opportunity to offer its banking services and help existing customers find value in "one-stop transactions."

Walgreens' mobile banking offering will enter a market that has historically appealed to younger customers. However, by launching both mobile and in-person banking services, the company casts the broadest possible net for new customers.

Walgreens has partnered with MetaBank to offer bank accounts -- and with InComm Payments, a payments technology company, to create the mobile application.

Waiting on more detail

There's currently no word on the specific banking services that will be available to in-person customers vs. online. However, Walgreens has made it clear that customers will be able to open a bank account both in person and online.

Tying it all together

Walgreens launched a new customer loyalty program in November 2020. Besides offering 1% in-store credit for every dollar spent, the program offers 5% in-store credit for every dollar spent on Walgreens-branded merchandise. According to the company, their rewards program will be linked to a Mastercard debit card that immediately debits a customer's bank account while keeping track of their loyalty points.

John Standley, president of Walgreens, spoke of the company's desire to "enrich the experiences and ways we meet customers' financial needs." For loyal customers and those living miles away from the nearest bank, it's likely to hit a sweet spot.

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