Times The Are A Changin
On a quick run to a local Walmart, a service manager and I talked about the store’s money order (MO) policy. The store has been very MS friendly for years and is one of the few dependable outlets for points runners in my area. That store, like many others around the country, has primarily used paper forms to document individuals having money order transactions totaling over $3,000 in a day. The Money Order Transaction form was used for a long time, and more recently was converted into the MSAR form.
Over the past year, Walmart has rolled out electronic versions of these forms, providing updates and changes along the way. The electronic roll-out occurred at different times at different stores. Initially, the electronic money order data capture proved difficult, if not impossible, at many stores as machines froze up if any information related to money orders was entered, regardless of the transaction amount. The store I visited today has tried using the electronic money order information capture at different times, but has experienced some pretty substantial headaches with it. In the meantime, store management has opted to use the old Money Order Transaction paper form while the MO software is ironed out.
Until today, the store has allowed up to $20,000 in money orders (using cash or PIN based debits) to be purchased in a single day.
The cash office at the store I visited today isn’t happy about the paper money order forms. They don’t like the extra work, the responsibility of securely filing them all, or faxing the forms to corporate at the end of the day. For them, it’s just another thing that they have to worry about and generally see it as a burden. Recently they have pushed store management to do away with allowing customers using multiple PIN based debits to not do amounts over $3,000 in a day – which would essentially limit a trip to the store as 4 ($500) debit swipes and done.
In response the managers discussed the issue, and later called Walmart corporate to get clarity on the suggested policies. Here’s the latest procedures from Walmart corporate surrounding money orders:
I’ve written before about Walmart’s corporate policy surrounding money orders. This document is a little different from the last one that I viewed just a little over a month ago. The old document clearly stated that $20,000 was the maximum money order amount/total allowed in a day. This new policy (that was updated on March 19th, 2018 per the service manager) now lists $10,000 as the maximum amount possible. Some stores aren’t allowing more than $3,000 a day, and there are some that allow significantly more than $20,000. However, official Walmart policy lists $10k as the allowable amount.
I’ll write more about some of the information that was shared with me today in the next few days, but wanted to share this document in the meantime. If you have a Walmart store that isn’t MS friendly, remember that you can always ask to view the store’s policies surrounding money orders and ask for clarity from management. I’ve written several posts about approaching store management in regard to creating positive (MO related) change at the stores. It can be a difficult road in some cases, but in others those efforts can actually create a change.
The store I visited is still a MS friendly store. As of today, it’s no longer allowing paper Money Order Transaction forms to be filled out and used. All money order transactions must now flow through the eMSAR software, but today no issues occurred during any of the transactions. The store, more than any other in my area, has changed policies several times in the past 6 months or so, which has been frustrating, but has also created a learning opportunity for me and others who go there often. However, just because the store is friendly now doesn’t mean that everything won’t change dramatically next week. With that in mind, if you are liquidating debits at Walmart, have other outlets in mind in case one of your options ceases to exist.