Retail giant Walmart has a keen interest in providing financial products and services. Its latest venture is a digital checking account, which will go into beta testing over the coming weeks.
Walmart Enters The Digital Checking Account Game
It is intriguing to see one of the US’s most prominent retailers expand its financial services presence. A digital checking account for employees and customers is a big step for Walmart. Although the solution has yet to enter thorough beta testing, it signifies the retailer’s ambitions in finance. Moreover, it paves the way for future services, including lending and investing opportunities.
Walmart will provide this digital checking account through One, the independent fintech unit established by the retailer. One is led by former Goldman Sachs consumer banking chief Omer Ismail. Walmart’s banking venture was initially called Hazel, but the rebrand occurred following the acquisition of neo-banking player One and earned wage access firm Even.
That acquisition of One has proven instrumental in Walmart’s bigger finance plan. One had built up a strong reputation as a viable traditional bank alternative and had millions of dollars on its balance sheet. That experience will prove crucial to establishing a digital checking account for customers and employees. Properly managing their finances is very different from letting people send and pick up cash at their Walmart store, a service the retailer provides today.
Assuming the beta test is successful, Walmart can offer its new service to over 100 million weekly shoppers and 1.6 million US associates. In addition, it will give the retailer a tremendous foothold as a banking service provider. However, the initial test focuses on thousands of staff members and select online customers.
It remains to be seen if Walmart customers are eager to explore this digital checking account. Retailers providing financial products and services are an unusual development.