Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, plans to start a money transfer business as it works to provide customers with more financial services.

Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service lets customers transfer money to and from more than 4,000 stores in the U.S., the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said today in a statement. Customers can transfer up to $50 for $4.50 and up to $900 for $9.50, the company said.

During the past decade, Wal-Mart has expanded its offering of financial services to customers yet has been unable to get a bank charter amid resistance from U.S. lenders and labor organizations. In 2005, banks and unions opposed the retailer's application to open a Utah-based industrial bank. Wal-Mart eventually dropped the application.

Since then, Wal-Mart has opened financial-service centers where customers can cash checks, pay bills and transfer money. The retailer also has offered prepaid debit cards, including Bluebird, a partnership with American Express Co., and Green Dot Corp., which can be used on the Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. networks.

Wal-Mart rose 0.2 percent to $77.41 at 9:03 a.m. in New York. The stock has dropped 1.9 percent this year through yesterday compared with a 0.8 percent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

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