It is disappointing that a combination of regulatory sloth and political ill-will has doomed Wal-mart’s nascent attempt to enter a corner of the banking business. New Wal-mart-like entrants are coming into banking around the world, and there is no reason for similar incursions not be happening here in the U.S.
The competition would have been good for consumers, even if Wal-mart was, as it said in statement, only planning to “reduce credit and debit card transaction costs” via a credit card processing subsidiary. Like usual, however, we are “protecting” the interests of a noisy minority — regulators and incumbent — while raising costs for consumers. Not nice.