"As the nation’s largest banks stay stingy with credit and a growing portion of the population has no bank at all, major retailers are stepping into the void. Customers can now withdraw cash at an A.T.M. with a prepaid card from Walmart, take out a loan at Home Depot for a kitchen renovation or kick-start a new venture with a small-business loan from Sam’s Club. This year, Walmart even started to test selling a life insurance policy." ("On the New Shopping List: Milk, Bread, Eggs, and a Mortgage")
How many aspiring bankers dreamt of working at Costco? How many finance majors compete for those super-selective summer internships at PetSmart?
Everything old is new again. In days of yore, local barbers tended to their communities' medical needs, offering therapeutic bleedings alongside more traditional tonsorial services. Perhaps all this crossover retailing will inspire a return of such time-honored traditions: Come in for a wash and cut, and, while you sit 'neath the hair dryer, have your appendix removed by the onsite surgical staff.
Meanwhile, traditional financial institutions will react as you might expect. I look forward to the Bank of America creperie: The special rooty-tooty-fresh-and-variable-interest-rate breakfast platter will be delicious.