Sources Say Walmart Plans to Offer BNPL Loans Through Its Fintech Venture
Walmart is planning to launch buy now, pay later (BNPL) loans through its majority-owned fintech venture as early as next year, according to three people familiar with the matter. The service could put the world’s largest retailer in competition with established fintech leaders like Affirm and Klarna, and could give it an advantage on both traditional banks and digital finance firms.
In January 2021, Walmart announced that it was collaborating with Ribbit Capital to pursue a fintech venture, which was kept under wraps until January of this year, when it announced that it was acquiring Even, a startup that worked with the company to let employees cash parts of their paychecks early, and One, a digital banking startup.
The joint venture took on the One name and branding, and leader Omer Ismail said that Walmart planned to build a “super app” that would allow users to manage their financial lives in one area. According to The Information, the venture currently has around 330 employees and plans to grow to 500 by the end of next year.
Currently, Walmart uses Affirm to provide BNPL services to its customers, but it is unclear how the joint-venture would affect that partnership, as big box stores like Walmart brought in Affirm’s biggest sales figures between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
One employee that joined the company before the acquisition valued its relationship with its user base. Now that the company aims to appeal to a larger audience, existing customers were concerned about potential changes. “This is universally a good thing for customers, employees, and our vision,” wrote Brian Hamilton, One’s CEO at the time, on Reddit.