Walmart creates FinTech startup


Walmart announced Monday (Jan. 11) in a press release that it is creating a FinTech startup.

The details thus far are sparse. The name of the company is not known, nor is the range of services that would be provided.

The retail giant has been making inroads into eCommerce and has become more digital by the quarter (judging from the explosive growth in digital transactions, where PYMNTS noted that eCommerce sales were up 79 percent).

The company said in the release that it is creating the startup in tandem with Ribbit Capital, which, as CNBC reported, is one of the venture capital firms that has backed online stock market trading platform Robinhood and has investments in Credit Karma and Affirm.

The company will be majority owned by Walmart, according to the release.

In a nod to what might guide Walmart’s FinTech efforts, the company said in the release that “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.”

That gives a sense that the ecosystem (perhaps the initial ecosystem) will be relatively closed.

In terms of structure, board members of the as-yet-to-be named FinTech will include Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs and Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner.

“The company plans to add independent industry experts to the board and to build a management team of experienced FinTech leaders,” Walmart said in the release. “It anticipates that growth may come through partnerships and acquisitions with leading FinTech companies.”

“For years, millions of customers have put their trust in Walmart to not only save them money when they shop with us but help them manage their financial needs,” Furner said in the release. “And they’ve made it clear they want more from us in the financial services arena.”

Importantly, Walmart said that it will continue to serve customers through its existing financial services and partnerships with a number of third parties, according to the release. The firm explicitly mentioned Walmart Credit CardWalmart MoneyCard, check cashing, money transfers, installment financing and other offerings.

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