Walmart Reportedly Preps Its Own Affirm BNPL Challenger

Walmart, Walmart Healthcare Research Institute

Walmart reportedly plans to offer buy now, pay later (BNPL) through a company it backs. 

The BNPL will be provided by the Walmart-backed FinTech venture ONE and may be launched in 2023, The Information reported Thursday (Dec. 8). 

The installment payment option will join the checking accounts, savings accounts and debit cards already offered by ONE, which operates independently but is majority owned by Walmart, according to the report. 

Walmart itself offers check cashing and money transfers at its in-store Money Centers. 

The retailer uses Affirm to offer a BNPL option to shoppers, and it’s not known how a ONE offering would affect that partnership, per the report. 

Walmart did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment. 

Walmart announced the creation of ONE on Jan. 26 when its FinTech venture Hazel — which was launched in January 2021 with investment firm Ribbit Capital and headed by executives from Goldman Sachs — acquired Even Responsible Finance and One Finance. The new startup was rebranded under the name ONE. 

As PYMNTS reported at the time, Even Responsible Finance had been used by employers to give employees their paychecks early, while One Finance had been a neobank enabling customers to manage their money with lower fees. 

In September, Bloomberg reported that Walmart was set to begin offering — through its backing of ONE — bank accounts and related services to its 1.6 million employees. 

As PYMNTS reported Sept. 14, the startup is a neobank, and checking and basic banking offerings will, ostensibly, pave the road for Walmart to offer investing and credit. 

PYMNTS research found that BNPL made big gains during Black Friday — the official kick-off weekend for the 2022 shopping season. 

Just over 10% of Black Friday online shoppers used BNPL this year, up from just over 8% in 2021 and about 4% in 2020, according to “Black Friday 2022: High Prices Reshape Holiday Shopping Habits.”