By: 30 April 2024

The banktech backed by the supermarket giant will offer the product on high ticket items in US stores

One has launched buy now pay later at Walmart

One, the buy now pay later (BNPL) firm owned by Walmart, has started offering BNPL loans for expensive items such as electronics and power tools in Walmart stores across the US.

The idea isn’t new to Walmart; Affirm, another BNPL lender, has been available in Walmart stores since 2019. Just how the two will work alongside each other remains to be seen.

If One eventually forces Affirm out of Walmart stores it’ll be a huge loss for them, with Walmart offering some of the biggest affiliate partnerships in US retail. In terms of revenue alone, Walmart made $638bn in 2023, a staggering amount of money no company would want to be cut out from.

The move isn’t the retailers first into the financial market. One already offer a debit card with cashback of up to 3% at Walmart, and the retailer also offers its own Walmart MoneyCard, which as well as offering cashback also offers overdraft protection and free cash deposits.

One started in 2021, hiring former Goldman Sachs executive Omer Ismail as chief executive officer. Since then it’s largely been operating behind the scenes, with this move its first big play in the retail market.

Jason Mikula, a consultant formerly employed at Goldman’s consumer division, said: “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.”

Buy now pay later is a hot topic at the moment all over the world. In the UK, Neil Kadagathur, chief executive officer of Creditspring, has called for more regulation in the industry. This came following a report the company did, which found that the product is often used by people who don’t fully iunderstand it, and as such can end up missing payments and even getting into long term debt.

It remains to be seen what will happen with One and Walmart. JP Morgan wrote in a note: “For the time being, Affirm will remain a funding option at Walmart but will presumably compete head-to-head with One at the point of sale (POS).” They added that Walmart could push One more prominently at the POS.

Image: Walmart

Robert Welbourn
Robert Welbourn is an experienced financial writer. He has worked for a number of high street banks and trading platforms. He's also a published author and freelance writer and editor.