Walmart-backed fintech will launch ‘buy now, pay later’ loans

December 14, 2022 by
Frank Calviño

One, a Walmart-backed fintech startup, has announced its plans to launch a ‘buy now, pay later’ loan system. 

The venture, called One, is gearing up to launch its version of the payment service as soon as next year. The effort was partly motivated by a more challenging economic backdrop and consumers feeling pinched by inflation.

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Retail executives, including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, have spoken about even wealthier consumers feeling pinched by inflation. About 75% of the retailer’s market share gains in groceries have come from households that make more than $100,000 in the past two quarters.

In a CNBC interview this week, McMillon said customers are feeling stressed: “We’ve got some customers who are more budget-conscious that have been under inflation pressure for months,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “That sustained pressure in some categories, I think, is something customers have to deal with as we approach Christmas.”

Walmart's-backed fintech is a plan for low-income families 

The news about a Walmart-backed fintech interest in ‘buy now, pay later’ was first reported by The Information.

Walmart, the country’s largest private employer and its biggest grocer has long offered financial services at many of its stores. It has a money center where customers can use banking-related services, such as printing checks, sending or receiving money, or loading prepaid debit cards. 

Many of those services are geared toward families that have lower incomes, do not have relationships with a traditional bank, or do not have the credit history to qualify for credit cards.

Last year, Walmart went a step further by creating and backing a fintech startup with Ribbit Capital, one of the investment firms behind Robinhood. The fintech startup is independent, but Walmart has the most significant stake. 

Its board includes several top executives, including Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner and chief financial officer John David Rainey. Rainey, Walmart’s new CFO, recently joined the board and is the former CFO of PayPal.

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