Walmart shoppers might be able to do something new at the retail giant—bank.
- Walmart is on the way to becoming a one-stop shop and may soon offer shoppers a way to bank with the grocery store chain.
- The company has been looking for ways to offer financial services with financial company Fintech and it looks like the two are making some headway.
- The new banking venture is scheduled to start a soft launch this month.
Why it’s news
Walmart has officially partnered with One, a Fintech venture, to offer modern and affordable financial solutions for both customers and employees.
The grocery-store chain plans to launch its digital bank accounts for millions of employees and customers soon with a test trial coming for select numbers later this month. The company has high hopes of offering more financials later down the line like loans and investment opportunities, but is starting off small.
This isn’t Walmart’s first financial rodeo. The company has long offered money services in its stores MoneyCenter that allows customers to cash checks, access tax-preparation services and send money overseas.
The retail giant also already offers a bevy of credit and prepaid debit cards through lenders including Capital One Financial Corp., Synchrony Financial and Green Dot Corp., reports Bloomberg.
“We’ve got a pretty big financial-services business, but I would characterize it as being analog, and the opportunity to make it digital is right there in front of us,” says Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. “There are so many digital products that we can build that will help people with managing their family’s expenses and their accounts and ultimately, hopefully, build wealth.”
With Walmart, One has access to a retail behemoth with 5,335 stores across the US—more locations than any of the four biggest US banks has. The company has touted 150 million weekly customers and says more than 90% of the U.S. population lives within a 10-minute drive of a Walmart store, reports Bloomberg.
Having so many stores means marketing should be relatively easy.
“Given the eyeballs that we have and the number of people who transact with us every week, customer-acquisition cost is actually something we already bring to the table,” Walmart’s previous chief financial officer, Brett Biggs said at an investor conference in March. “We should have lower customer-acquisition costs than other companies like that.”
The venture is considering offering discounts on products for people who use the services and potentially offer shoppers 2% cash back when used at drugstores, gas stations and the store itself.