BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here is rolling out a co-branded credit card and promoting the new payment option on its Internet home page.
The retail giant sought out shopper input before launching the program, said Keith Morris, Wal-Mart spokesman.
"We asked focus groups what they would want if we offered them a credit card," he told SN. "The biggest feature to them was since Wal-Mart offers everyday low prices, the store should offer a credit card with an everyday, guaranteed, low interest rate."
Wal-Mart's MasterCard offers a fixed 14.48% annual percentage rate, about 3 points lower than the average 17.55% APR on standard credit cards, according to Morris. In addition to MasterCard International, Purchase, N.Y., Wal-Mart joined forces with Chase Manhattan, New York, to launch the program.
"By paying off balances at a lower interest rate, customers can make more purchases with Wal-Mart's credit card," he said. "Customers locked into higher interest rates might not have made many purchases before. With a lower interest rate, they feel free to buy merchandise."
The credit card program does not tie in with any customer incentive programs, though as a bonus Wal-Mart is offering all customers approved by Dec. 31, a $10 savings certificate for their first Wal-Mart co-branded card purchase of $50 or more; the certificate expires in April 1997.
Wal-Mart MasterCard applications are available in the retailer's 2,265 stores nationwide, on its Internet home page (http://www.wal-mart.com).