Bet You Didn’t Know: How to silence the Walmart MoneyCenter Express

By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate

 

“FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!”

If that was the sound of someone loudly declaring you had won the lottery, you’d probably be excited enough not to mind them sharing it with everyone within earshot. But when it’s the MoneyCenter Express machine stridently announcing to the entire Walmart how much you’re loading onto your Bluebird, it’s not quite as thrilling.

walmart moneycenter express

Fortunately there’s a method to quiet down our loquacious companion. You might not have noticed, but the Walmart MoneyCenter Express has a headphone port…

walmart moneycenter express

It’s designed for the hearing impaired, but it can also serve as a way to mute those dulcet tones. If you plug in a pair of headphones, all sound will be redirected to the headphones and away from the external speaker.

Now, please remember that these machines are dreadfully fragile. So read these three important notes before you try this…

  1. Plug in your headphones before starting your MoneyCenter Express transaction. That means before you touch anything on the touchscreen. Once she’s started yapping, there’s no way to shut her up without starting over.
  2. When you plug in the headphones, the functions on the screen will turn gray and our feminine friend will start chattering away, offering instructions and not letting you get a word in edgewise (meaning you won’t be able to start your transaction). To get around this, press the number “3” and then “Enter” on the keypad. That will bring an end to her speechifying and you’ll be able to proceed as usual.
  3. Sometimes the headphone port can get stuck and needs to be “exercised” (which is a fancy term for “plug in your headphones and take them out again”). So if your screen still looks gray after you take out your headphones, be good to the next user and exercise the headphone connector until everything returns to normal.

One last note — if you’d rather not be conspicuous by wearing a pair of headphones to the Walmart, you can head over to Radio Shack (yep, they still exist) and find an adapter that looks something like this…

walmart moneycenter express

Plug it in, press “3” and “Enter,” and you’ll be off and running without a running commentary on your personal finances.

Did you know how to silence "Kate," our friendly but exceptionally vocal automated Walmart cashier?

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About Devils Advocate

The Devil's Advocate learned the ins and outs of travel loyalty programs while flying more than 200,000 miles a year as a TV producer and director for World Wrestling Entertainment (and yes, of course it’s all real). He now splits his time between New York and Los Angeles and loathes New York winters only slightly less than Los Angeles traffic.

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Comments

  1. This is much appreciated. I hated how Kate would announce over and over again that I was $500 wealthier by the minute.

  2. What an awesome little trick! Funny how busy the customer service center is when one loads Bluebird… This is a game changer for me!!

  3. Unfortunately, it does not always work. The Kate in my Walmart is not affected by earphones – I tried many times (inserted them before I proceed any transaction), it just ignores them and shouts loudly.

    • Unfortunately there are some MCE’s out there that don’t work properly, and not just on this trick. As always, YMMV, especially when you’re at the mercy of Walmart!

    • Nope, can’t say that I do. It was my impression that it’s different for each store, but if I’m wrong, then you’ve got yourself a sweet piece of info there!

  4. Let’s add a 5th and 6th voting choice to the poll….5. I have never seen a WORKING Moneycenter Express machine…..6. I miss Greg.

  5. These instructions are incomplete. When you get the receipt, the Kate doesn’t automatically go back to the home screen. You have 2 choices from there. 1. Unplug your headphones and plug them back in. Drawback will be that the Kate loudly say “Thank you for using…” 2. Enter “2” on the keypad. You may have to do it multiple times. This should take you back to the home screen where you then have to enter “3” again to continue.

    • I’ve never had to press anything on the keypad to reset the machine back to the home screen, but I did mention in the post exercising the headphone port to get it back to normal. If there’s another option, then great, though it sounds less reliable than simply plugging the headphones in and taking them back out.

      • Hi, there! When printing receipt, the WMC machine actually says, ” do you want to listen to your receipt? Press 1 for yes and 2 for no”. Remember machine thinks you are a physically challenged person! Thus, unless you press 2 for a no, it will just stay at that screen! Alternatively, you can take out your tool and re-insert.

  6. The volume control used to work on my local 2 Walmarts and you could turn it way down to be silent. They have changed in the last year or so and now that doesn’t work. I just leave it on.

  7. OMG I was trying to figure this out. I hated when Kate announced how much I was loading. Attention robbers at Wal-Mart …this girl is loaded!

  8. I tried this a few times at different store by me and for all of them nothing happens. She still announces to the world that you’re loading $500, but the sound comes form both headphones and her loud mouth.

  9. … someone loudly declaring you had won the lottery, you’d … not to mind them sharing it with everyone within earshot.

    HA! Only if I were armed and in a good-neighborhood WalMart!!

  10. I’ve wondered about this, but never tried plugging in headphones. This will be especially useful as I’d really prefer not to announce the amounts of my transactions at some of the WalMarts I frequent.

    • There’s at least one working in the East Bay 🙂 Well, it’s working 50% of the time, I just call as close as I can to arriving to ask if it’s working so I can reroute myself without wasting too much time/gas. If I call too early, there’s a chance it could break between the time I called and the time I get there. >_<

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