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Walmart Division Announces Payment Plan

Walmart’s (NYSE: WMT) shares needed time to find traction as its majority-owned fintech startup One has reportedly begun offering buy now, pay later loans for big-ticket items at some of the retailer’s more than 4,600 U.S. stores.

The move puts One in direct competition with Affirm, the BNPL leader and exclusive provider of installment loans for Walmart customers since 2019. It’s a relationship that the Bentonville, Arkansas, retailer expanded recently, introducing Affirm as a payment option at Walmart self-checkout kiosks.

It also likely signals that a battle is brewing in the store aisles and ecommerce portals of America’s largest retailer. At stake is the role of a wide spectrum of players, from fintech firms to card companies and established banks.

One’s push into lending is the clearest sign yet of its ambition to become a financial superapp, a mobile one-stop shop for saving, spending and borrowing money.

Since it burst onto the scene in 2021, luring Goldman Sachs veteran Omer Ismail as CEO, the fintech startup has intrigued and threatened a financial landscape dominated by banks — and poached talent from more established lenders and payments firms.

But the company, based out of a cramped Manhattan WeWork space, has operated mostly in stealth mode while developing its early products, including a debit account released in 2022.

WMT shares took on a penny to $60.15.