Walmart Sends Chills Through Money Transfer Business

(Photo Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)

Morning Money Memo:

Big changes are coming to the money transfer business. Walmart's announcement that it's entering the market has left competitors shaking in their boots. The new service will be introduced next week, and Walmart says it will cut fees for customers by up to 50 percent compared with similar services.

Shares of MoneyGram fell nearly 18 percent after the announcement. Western Union shares are down more than 5 percent.

The new Walmart-2-Walmart service is the latest expansion of the retailer's financial offerings for low-income customers. Those who use it will be able to transfer up to $900 to and from more than 4,000 stores.

The service will be done in partnership with Euronet Worldwide's Ria Money Transfer. The program has two pricing tiers. Customers can transfer up to $50 for a $4.50 service fee and up to $900 for $9.50.

More doubts are being raised about the future of Barnes & Noble stores.

Company shares lost 12 percent Thursday after Leonard Riggio, Barnes & Noble's chairman, disclosed that he had sold nearly a quarter of his stake, cutting his stake to 20 percent from 30 percent of the firm.

The stock market is closed for the Good Friday holiday. The broad-based S&P 500 rose for the fourth straight day after Wall Street had a case of investment jitters last week. The Nasdaq rose 9 points Thursday. Only the Dow Jones index lost value with a 16-point drop.

Michaels Stores says about 2.6 million cards used at its retail outlets might have been affected in a security breach but it has received "limited" reports of fraud.

America's largest arts and crafts chain says that its subsidiary Aaron Brothers was also attacked. The company said that both stores were attacked by criminals using highly sophisticated malware that had not been encountered previously by the two security firms that were conducting the investigation.

The details come nearly three months after Michaels disclosed that it may have been a victim of a data breach.

It has been more than a week since the Heartbleed bug was revealed, but many popular websites still have not reached out to their users warning them that their passwords could be at risk to hackers. Heartbleed is a flaw in widely used security software.

"We will be dealing with the effects of this for a long time," says Kevin Johnson CEO of Secure Ideas, an Internet security firm.

The flaw potentially allows hackers to steal consumers' credit card information and other data from many websites. "There is the potential their information could be exposed and their passwords could be compromised," Johnson says, urging consumers to change their passwords.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesnow