business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports this morning that Walgreen is slated to launch low-cost financial services programs in three markets - Detroit, Milwaukee and Nashville - "with a nationwide card rollout expected by year-end and additional financial services in 2014."

According to the story, the program is linked to its Balance Rewards loyalty scheme, and "will be built around its new Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard ... The prepaid MasterCard, which can be reloaded at any of more than 8,100 Walgreens or Duane Reade stores, offers an alternative to cash for those with limited access to traditional checking accounts or credit cards. It also will allow no-fee ATM withdrawals and check-cashing services. Users also will earn Balance Rewards points, which can be redeemed when making purchases, for using the Balance Financial card."
KC's View: