Walmart creates fintech startup, speeding push beyond retail

13012021--walmart

The venture will bring together Walmart's retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit's fintech expertise to deliver "tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart's customers and associates".

Walmart's co-owner of the new company, Ribbit Capital, has a history of investing in fintech companies. Walmart said it will also name independent industry experts to the board and may acquire or partner with other fintech companies.

Walmart pulled on a hoody and started using the word "ideate" earlier in the week, because the retailer announced it's launching its very own fintech startup.

Walmart said it will continue to interact with customers through its existing financial services and partnerships with third parties, including Walmart Credit Card, Walmart Money Card, check cashing, money transfers, installment financing and more. Growth may come through additional partnership arrangements and acquisitions with leading fintech companies, Walmart noted.

"Walmart has a relationship with millions of customers and associates built on trust, security and integrity". Its current portfolio includes no-fee mobile investment platform Robinhood; consumer technology platform Credit Karma; and Affirm, which provides innovative payment options for customers.


Walmart's been expanding beyond its retail business for a while now: it's ventured into both the health and insurance markets, as well as teamed up with Microsoft to bid on social media giant TikTok.

Walmart has long sought to have a bigger foothold in financial services - interests that can be traced back to at least the 1990s.

Walmart already offers some financial services for customers. During the past 52 weeks, Walmart shares have traded between $102 and $153.66. Walmart serves over 265 million customers globally and is still 2x the size of Amazon when it comes to turnover.

The goal of Walmart may be to build an infrastructure like Alibaba has in Asia, where it's both an online retailer and a major financial services provider - all in the same platform.

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