Walmart Money Center Express Blues – Is Walmart Pulling the Plug on the Machines?

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Money Center Express
The unplugged Walmart Money Center Express kiosk at my local store.

Money Center Express Kiosks Broken & Turned Off

Over the past few weeks there have been a number of good deals which have resulted in me making a lot of trips to Walmart. When visiting Walmart, I prefer to do my business at the Money Center Express kiosks. What can I say? It has the right amount of human interaction for me! ­čśë

The past few days I have set out to my local Walmart to take care of business only to find my beloved kiosk turned off. There is no out of order sign. The thing is just unplugged.

Kiosks Down All Over Town

Today I checked again to see if my beloved Kate (a nickname for the kiosk) once again had power, but alas it was still dark. So during the course of the day as I was taking care of other business, I went to four other Walmart locations and found that each and everyone kiosk was either broken or turned off.

The troubling thing is that three of these kiosks have been rock solid for over two years. I have used them many many times and never seen them turned off or out of order. It seems to me that something may be up.

When Vanilla gift cards stopped working at Walmart, many people thought it was the beginning of the end. Fortunately all other gift cards have continued to work, but maybe Walmart is planning to start cracking down or perhaps these machines are just junk.

A Ray Of Hope

After failing at five locations, I did find one Walmart which still has a working kiosk. Perhaps the string of unplugged and broken kiosks is simply a coincidence, or maybe Walmart is planning to make some changes. We do know the machines have been unreliable in general, so perhaps they are being upgraded or replaced.

The main reason I am posting this is to see if anyone else has encountered anything similar. I simply don’t believe it is a coincidence that three rock solid kiosks and two others are simply on the fritz, especially since my two favorite kiosks are simply unplugged. (How crazy is it that I have favorite kiosks?)


Let me know in the comments if you too are having Money Center Express blues. I sincerely hope it is nothing, but we shall see.

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. You were lucky to have those machines that were working for so long. Kiosks in my area have always been down more than they were up ever since giftcards got pins. There are many Walmarts in my area but the only two that have robust kiosks are 13 and 16 miles away from me.

  2. Something strange going on here in Honolulu. Tried to load BB @ Kate. 1st WM, could not get past entering pin, nothing would happen after pressing enter button. 2nd WM swiping BB would not register! Do you think its a human error, machine glitch, or?? (note: have loaded BB before at these locations no problem. Always using MB GC)

    • First situation sounds like the machine just needed a reset. I have had that happen before. As for the second situation, I have never experienced that. Did you try at the register?

      • Yes, went to register afterwards, both times and both went through. So really got me confused. Hopefully ur advice of reset is the cure. Thanx and Aloha from Hawaii!

  3. Do you ever buy money orders at Kmart? At Walmart you have a maximum of four swipes. Do you know how many swipes you can do at Kmart?

  4. My message got cut off somehow At any rate, today was the first time it was out of order. Note, it was turned on with a paper covering the screen. Hopefully it’ll be back up.

    I did a $200 staples vgc to test the waters. Picked a young cashier lol. Does anyone know what the maximum I can go per transaction? I read somewhere it was 4 swipes, including the serve card, meaning of its $200 gc then I can only do $600 is this correct?

    Either way, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to tell them I’m splitting payments or what when I go to the cashier? I’d prefer not to coincide them and hassle with questions, considering most Wal-Mart cashiers I’ve encountered aren’t too bright =)

    • You are correct that there is a maximum of four swipes including Serve. Using $200 cards, the maximum load would be $600 in one transaction. You would need to tell them that you want to load $600 and that you will be paying $200 each from three cards.

      Splitting payments can sometimes be confusing for cashiers. If they act confused you may just want to do separate loads, although that takes slightly longer.

      • Really appreciate your help here (and your blog).

        Do you think it would be wise to stand in the Money Center line and not the front registers? I typically buy groceries etc. while going to this Walmart so its easier (in theory) for me to use the front registers and not the MC. On one hand I would think the MC would be less likely to get confused, where as the front cashiers may be less likely to want to see my card. The MC line is always really long and a PITA to be honest but I’ll do what I have to do (Kate my love, please come back to me).

        Also, when I did my first ever deposit using the registers, it looked like I could’ve swiped my own Serve card and not given it to the cashier. Does this make sense or is it always the case for you that you give the card to the cashier? I ask b/c I can use my Wife’s card but not if it raises eyebrows.

        I’ve read that some people put their real card on top before swiping, and I personally feel like I’d just say look it’s a debit card and if they say no it’s a gift card I’d just point to the debit logo and say I’ve done this before without issues. Mind you I’d of course not flash the card around, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable hiding the card when the reality is we aren’t breaking any laws.

        • The Money Center cashiers are definitely better, but they are more likely to know not to allow you to use gift cards if that is their store policy.

          As for who swipes the Serve card, it is the cashiers preference. Some cashiers take my card and swipe it themself and others have me swipe it.

          I load my wife’s card all of the time and have never been asked for ID. You are adding money to the card and not taking it away, so it shouldn’t matter.

  5. Maybe it’s just me, but if I was publishing a blog site I might, you know, pick up the phone and ask somebody in Bentonville, Arkansas about it.

    • You mean like have real respect for their profession and actually fact check before they publish this dribble?

      • Comments are automatically held in moderation if you have never commented before. Both this and your other comment have been approved.

        By the way, your original comment was in moderation for a total of 11 minutes before I approved it.

      • hey jackass what exactly did you want him to fact check? he is simply asking other readers if they have experienced the same thing that he has lately. I can’t speak for him but personally I would avoid calling Walmart at all costs because they don’t know what customer service means and I’m sure it would be a long frustrating ordeal where you would possibly not even get an answer. also remember we try not to draw attention to what we’re doing here. it may look suspicious that so many people are concerned about this ATM when there are so many other ATMs available out there for non-MS use. I find this blog extremely informative and I’m thankful that he takes the time to alert us about stuff like this. unsubscribe yourself if you think it’s such a joke.

        • My guess is it’s the same person (or a friend) with no lives or decency and decided to bad mouth this site on what amounts to being amusingly terrible “reasons.”

          Wouldn’t surprise me if they also had a vested reason to see this blog not succeed, because they posted pretty damn quickly after Shawn did. Why would you subscribe to a blog that you’re not interested in? (see first paragraph)

  6. I’ve been the the store near me 3 or 4 times and there’s been an out of order sign on the kiosk every time. Annoying!

  7. Couple weeks ago, the ones around me are clearly working but there’s paper taped on the screen saying it’s broken. Currently, when it’s working, there is a sign that says “Everything works except for MO”.

  8. I live in San Diego where there are lots of Walmarts. One is nearly always reliable, the other Kates are nearly always down and this is not a new pattern. Been doing this for over 2 years. I’m thinking paranoia here. Nothing has really changed. It’s always been a problem. There are some Walmarts I have been to 10x/row that never have a working Kate. I think some managers are just more proactive, others could care less and put off getting it fixed. The nearest WM just a couple miles from my house had been dead and off for months in a row. They finally replaced it but the darn 4 digit then 9 digit debit pin request is on this new one as well rendering is useless. So I’ve never been able to use that Kiosk.

  9. I was at my local Walmart yesterday morning and the kiosk was turned off as well. I asked about it and they said it was not working. Some of the self checkout registers were not working so I assumed it was a store thing but apparently not.


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