retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that "a new survey of nearly 4,000 Americans by Accenture found that 72 percent of people ages 18 to 34 would bank with Wal-Mart, Google or T-Mobile if they offered banking services. Of the nearly two dozen companies that researchers asked about, people were most willing to sign up with Square or PayPal because of the relationships they already have with the companies. Nearly one-third of those polled said the same about T-Mobile, Costco, Apple and Google."

According to the piece, "These upstarts are gaining footing in the banking world with prepaid debit cards that customers can use to pay bills, make purchases and deposit checks via a smartphone camera -- pretty much all the things you can do with your traditional checking account. And they are piquing the interest of a highly coveted group that traditional banks have struggled to attract: young people."
KC's View:
The story makes the excellent point that while Walmart has been denied a bank charter by regulators (who, IMHO, have been influenced by lobbyists for a financial services industry that dreads competing with the likes of Walmart), it actually has been able to incrementally offer banking services … "Wal-Mart may be getting the last laugh as it reaps the benefits of being a bank without the headaches of being regulated like one."

The same goes for all these other entities that are taking on traditional bankers. And it begins to look like yet another industry that is being disrupted by outside influences, despite its efforts to stave off competition through government regulation as opposed to actually competing.