Dive Brief:

  • Walmart shoppers are getting another buy now, pay later option in stores: The retailer-backed fintech One has begun offering installment loans at some of Walmart’s brick-and-mortar locations, CNBC reported Tuesday.
  • One’s BNPL services are available for higher-priced items at some of Walmart’s 4,615 U.S. stores, the report said. Interest rates range from a 9.99% to a 35.99% annual percentage rate, according to CNBC. Walmart spokespeople didn’t immediately respond to questions on One’s BNPL services. A spokesperson for One declined to comment.
  • The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail behemoth has partnered with BNPL provider Affirm since 2019 to offer Walmart customers the opportunity to spread out payments for purchases. Last December, Affirm’s services were integrated into Walmart’s self-checkout kiosks at some 4,500 U.S. locations.

Dive Insight:

Fintech One, which partners with Everett, Washington-based Coastal Community Bank for banking services, is led by Goldman Sachs veterans Omer Ismail and David Stark. In 2022, One began offering banking services to Walmart’s 1.6 million U.S. employees and some of its customers, and was reported to be working on its own buy now, pay later offering that year.

A spokesperson for Affirm, which does more longer-term, interest-bearing loans than short-term, interest-free installments, declined to comment Tuesday. The Walmart partnership has been an important one for the San Francisco-based BNPL provider, as have ties with other high-profile companies such as Amazon and Shopify. In addition to the self-checkout option, Walmart customers are able to use Affirm’s services when shopping online, in the Walmart app and at the retailer’s vision and auto centers.

With One, Walmart may seek to reduce its reliance on third parties to offer financial services to its customers. After a judge ruled last month that Walmart can end its card partnership with Capital One early, the retailer may look to lean on One to handle its credit-card program. Walmart had told the bank it wanted the fintech to be involved in issuing cards, The Wall Street Journal reported.

One’s website says “millions” of customers bank with the fintech, which offers debit rewards, early access to pay and a high-yield savings option. Users can add or take out cash at Walmart, and get cash back when shopping at the retailer, One’s website says

The fintech compares its offerings with those from neobank Chime and big banks JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Although One offers peer-to-peer money movement, the fintech notes that funds sent through its platform “can only be transferred to a One account.” 

For its part, Affirm has also sought to expand its offerings, in an effort to be involved in more brick-and-mortar spending and habitual, lower-value transactions. The BNPL provider said last November it was adding a spending account tied to its debit card.

The impact of One’s BNPL service will depend on its integration with Walmart-branded properties, especially the retailer’s physical stores, said Tyler Brown, a senior research analyst at consulting firm CCG Catalyst.

“Certainly it will affect the brisk business Affirm’s doing with Walmart, but I don’t see One becoming a big Affirm competitor overall,” Brown said in an email. “One’s reasons for being are to make digital natives a stickier customer base for the Walmart brand and expand or build upon the financial services Walmart already offers as part of a one-stop-shop for its customer base.”


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