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One, part-owned by Walmart, is a fintech startup poised to take on a growing buy now, pay later (BNPL) industry dominated by existing companies like Affirm — whose shares reportedly closed Friday. fell in response to the news.
CNBC cites an unnamed source report that One plans to launch a service for Walmart customers that they can use both in stores and online. It will be launched within the next year and is seen as a response to economic volatility and consumer fears about inflation.
According to CNBC, Americans are feeling the effects of inflation on the cost of living necessities, such as housing and food, and this has led to continued interest in alternative payments. With BNPL, consumers can take the stress off their bank accounts by making regular, 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 a variety of financial services to low-income customers through cash centers, where customers can print checks, load prepaid debit cards and transfer money.
CNBC notes that One comes with a Goldman Sachs pedigree — it’s led by Omer Ismail and David Starks, Goldman veterans who left the venerable investment bank for the Walmart-backed startup in early 2021.
Buy now, pay later has been dominated by companies like Affirm, Klarna and Afterpay, but it seems clear that there is room for additional competition. Deal room currently lists 214 BNPL companies with valuations ranging from $9 million to $3 billion.
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