AND Walmartthe supported start-up wants to compete with “buy now, pay later” companies.
According to a source familiar with the matter, a venture called One is preparing to launch its own version of the payment service next year.
One, majority-owned by Walmart, wants to launch a service that shoppers could use on the website and in Walmart stores as well as other retailers, the source said. This effort was partly motivated by a more difficult economic situation and the feeling that consumers felt pinched by inflation.
Buy stock now, pay later Confirm fell on Friday. Walmart declined to comment.
One is breaking into the growing category of payment services, as monthly retail sales continue to grow, but some Americans are showing signs of tension from inflation, which is driving prices up for food, housing and more. These stretched wallets can drive consumer interest in paying for purchases in a different way. Buy Now, Pay Later allows customers to gradually pay back their purchase with fixed monthly payments plus interest.
Retail executives, including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, have spoken of even wealthier consumers feeling pinched by inflation. About 75% of the increase in retailer share of the grocery market comes from households that earned more than $100,000 in the last two quarters.
In an interview with CNBC this week, McMillon said customers were feeling stressed.
“We have customers who are more budget conscious and have been under inflation pressure for months,” Squawk Box told CNBC. “I think this lingering pressure in certain categories is something customers have to deal with as we get closer to Christmas.”
News of the Walmart-backed start-up’s interest in buy now, pay later was first reported by The Information.
Walmart, the country’s largest private employer and largest grocery store, has long offered financial services in 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 recharging prepaid debit cards. Many of these services are aimed at families who have lower incomes, do not have a relationship with a traditional bank, or do not have a credit history to qualify for credit cards.
Last year, Walmart took it 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 largest stake. Its board also includes several top executives, including Walmart US CEO John Furner and CFO John David Rainey. Rainey, Walmart’s new chief financial officer, recently joined the board and is a former PayPal chief financial officer.
Since Walmart created and backed the startup in early 2021, it has gotten bigger. It acquired two other fintech startups, One and Even, for an undisclosed sum earlier this year. It took the name One and aims to be an all-in-one app where consumers can manage their money.
One of them is headed by Omer Ismail, who headed the consumer bank Goldman Sachs. It also includes several other Goldman veterans.
Buy now, pay later has become a more crowded space, with companies like Affirm, PayPalKlarna and AfterPay offer their own versions. Apple also announced plans to launch its own Buy Now, Pay Later, Apple Pay Later option.
Walmart already offers a buy now, pay later option to customers via Affirm. Before the last holiday season, it ended its redundancy program and replaced it with buy-now, pay-later financing.