If Walmart's (NYSE:WMT) latest plans are realized, the retailing giant will become a presence in the hot fintech industry, too. The company announced Monday that it has created a start-up company to, in its words, "develop and offer modern, innovative, and affordable financial solutions."
Walmart is doing so in collaboration with Ribbit Capital, a venture capital firm that is perhaps best known for backing Robinhood, the popular next-generation online securities brokerage. The new company, the name of which hasn't been divulged, will have Walmart as its majority owner. Walmart CEO John Furner will serve on its board, as will Ribbit's managing partner Meyer Malka.
Furner said, "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. And they've made it clear they want more from us in the financial services arena."
Walmart already offers various financial products and services for its customers -- the company cited Walmart Credit Card, and its installment financing, among other examples. It maintained that it will continue to offer these, implying that the operations of the new company will not affect them.
Walmart is a savvy operator that knows a juicy business opportunity when it sees one. Considering that, we can expect it to become a notable fintech player with the new company, if not necessarily one of the most powerful names in the segment.
That said, Walmart left the door open for expansion, saying that it might be willing to bolster the effort with acquisitions and partnerships.