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One, partly owned by Walmart, is a fintech startup ready to take on a growing buy now, pay later (BNPL) industry dominated by existing businesses like Affirm — whose shares reportedly dipped Friday in response to the news.
CNBC cites an unnamed source in reporting that One is planning to launch a service for Walmart shoppers that they can use both in stores and online. It is set to launch within the next year and is viewed as an answer to economic volatility and consumer anxiety over inflation.
According to CNBC, Americans are feeling inflation’s effects on the costs of necessities, like housing and food, and this has spurred continued interest in alternative payments. With BNPL, consumers can take the stress off their bank accounts by making fixed, smaller monthly payments.
The Information first reported Walmart’s interest in One. It’s an unsurprising direction for the retail giant, which has long offered various financial services to low-income customers via money centers, where customers can print checks, load prepaid debit cards, and wire money.
CNBC notes that One comes with a Goldman Sachs pedigree — it’s led by Omer Ismail and David Starks, Goldman veterans who departed the venerable investment banking firm for the Walmart-backed startup in early 2021.
Buy now, pay later has been dominated by firms like Affirm, Klarna, and Afterpay, but it seems clear the field has room for additional competition. Dealroom currently lists 214 BNPL companies with valuations ranging from $9 million to $3 billion.
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