Retail

Cap One Scores Walmart’s Credit Card Business

Walmart has announced that Capital One will become the exclusive issuer of Walmart’s credit card and co-branded credit card program in the U.S. The partnership will begin Aug. 1, 2019.

“Walmart and Capital One share a common goal of transforming the way they serve customers through digitally-led innovations,” the company wrote in a press release. “This new relationship combines Walmart’s size, scale and leadership in omnichannel retailing with Capital One’s long-standing position as a technology leader within the retail financial services market. Leveraging their respective technology platforms and individual capabilities, Walmart and Capital One intend to offer highly innovative, digitally enabled credit card products that deliver great value to customers and an exceptional cardholder experience.”

Moelis & Company and Greenhill acted as financial advisers to Walmart, and Morrison & Foerster served as Walmart’s legal counsel. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz acted as legal counsel to Capital One.

It was reported earlier this month that the retail giant was considering shifting its branded credit card business from Synchrony Financial in an effort to expand the company’s mobile payment offering. Walmart Pay has been out in wide release for a little over a year. According to the PYMNTS/InfoScout data, in a little under eight months, Walmart Pay ranked as the third most frequently used mobile wallet in the U.S. The same data noted that, among consumers who had used Walmart Pay, the majority found it easier to use, faster at checkout and more convenient overall than swiping a card.

While Synchrony has lost this  partnership with Walmart, which accounted for greater than 10 percent of the interest and fees the bank earned on the loans last year, it says it it expects it can fully replace the EPS impact through one of two options: selling the portfolio to Capital One, or converting qualifying accounts to a Synchrony branded general purpose credit card.

“While the Walmart program will not be renewed as we were unable to reach terms that made economic sense for our company and our shareholders, we have strategic options that we expect will fully replace the EPS impact,”  Margaret Keane, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synchrony Financial, said during an earnings call on July 27. “We remain focused on the risk-adjusted returns of our programs and returning capital to shareholders, as evidenced by our actions this quarter, which included significantly increasing the quarterly common stock dividend and share repurchase program.”

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