Walmart ’s latest hires are big news in retail, and in banking.
It isn’t yet clear precisely what this venture will be doing. Often merchants have entered payments and banking as a path to cost savings, sometimes in payment processing. But this is shaping up to be something well beyond that.
One of Walmart’s broader strategies lately has been to diversify its profit base as it looks to grow operating income faster than its revenue base. Other efforts have included the third-party marketplace platform on its website, its fledgling Walmart+ subscription service and online advertising.
A lot of attention may be on Walmart and whether it pursues a banking charter of some kind, but that may be beside the point. In the fintech world, alliances with banks are common, and Walmart has said fintech partnerships and even acquisitions are possible. Alphabet , for example, is working with banks such as Citigroup on accounts linked to Google Pay. Walmart has many bank partnerships today, such as with Capital One for rewards credit cards and with Green Dot for MoneyCard debit cards. In any form, Walmart’s fintech efforts may be felt by stocks across banking.