Walmart Majority-Owned Fintech, One, Launches BNPL Service

One, the fintech startup backed primarily by Walmart, has started offering buy now, pay later (BNPL) loans for high end items at US Walmart stores

Fintech startup One, majority-backed by leading US retailer Walmart, has begun offering buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment options to Walmart customers purchasing expensive products such as electronics and power tools. 

The service has already started rolling out at several of Walmart’s US stores, says CNBC, joining fintech Affirm as a leading payments option customers can leverage when making purchases at the retailer. 

Advertisements for both One and Affirm are now on display in Walmart stores, as the leading payments providers vie for customer attention in electronics aisles, and other locations with big-ticket items.

Walmart: Sparking in-store payments competition

Affirm, the BNPL provider established by PayPal Co-founder Max Levchin, will remain a funding option for consumers at Walmart – but given One is majority-owned by the retailer – it stands to reason that One will be pushed heavily by Walmart at the point of sale (POS). 

Max Levchin, CEO and Founder, Affirm

It could well be that Affirm gradually phases out its services from Walmart altogether, after recently shifting its attention from retail and e-commerce to offer BNPL services in the healthcare space, primarily for elective medical procedures. 

As for One, the 2019-founded BNPL provider, its presence in Walmart stores follows previous efforts to expand its offerings in a bid to onboard new customers. 

In 2023, the fintech offered 5% interest rates on savings accounts of up to US$100,000 – more than 12 times the national average at the time (0.4%). 

The fintech, founded by former Goldman Sachs partner Omer Ismail, attracted significant attention in 2021 following Walmart's involvement. 

Now that it has moved into the lending space with BNPL options available, it is one step closer to achieving its ambition of becoming a financial super app, where consumers can spend, borrow and save money. 

Speaking to CNBC, former Goldman Sachs consultant Jason Mikula says: “I have to imagine the goal is to have all this stuff, whether it’s a credit card, buy now, pay later loans or remittances, to have it all unified in an app under a single brand, delivered online and through Walmart’s physical footprint.”

For now, while Affirm remains the dominant BNPL option at Walmart, One’s introduction to certain stores looks set to spark a payments war, both in Walmart’s in-store and e-commerce spaces. 

Fostering competition in the BNPL space, Walmart is meeting customers where they are, with the popularity of BNPL services skyrocketing in recent times. 

Per Adobe Analytics, US$19.2bn in online spending was done so via BNPL between January and March 2024 alone, a 12% increase year-on-year. 

Now that more BNPL options are available at the US’ leading retailer, it can only be expected that the popularity of BNPL will grow even more in the months ahead.


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