BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here said it hopes to reduce the fees it pays for accepting debit cards by buying a small bank, which some analysts said could be a platform for expanding the company's financial services. The company has applied for state and federal regulatory approval to acquire Franklin Bank of California, Orange, Calif., in an effort to eliminate the fees the retailer currently pays to a sponsor bank to access the electronic network used to process transactions in ...

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