Walmart’s Fintech Startup One Challenges Affirm with Buy Now, Pay Later Loans

Walmart's fintech startup, One, has launched buy now, pay later (BNPL) loans for major purchases at its U.S. stores, entering direct competition with Affirm, Walmart's previous exclusive provider of installment loans. This move signifies a brewing battle in both physical and online retail spaces, involving fintech firms, card companies, and traditional banks. One aims to evolve into a comprehensive financial super app, offering savings, spending, and borrowing services, positioning itself as a formidable competitor in the financial landscape.

Since its emergence in 2021, One, led by CEO Omer Ismail, has intrigued the industry, poaching talent from established financial institutions while operating mostly in stealth mode. Now, with its expansion into lending, One challenges Affirm and other partners in Walmart's ecosystem, potentially reshaping the dynamics of American retail partnerships. With its no-fee approach and focus on underserved demographics, One leverages Walmart's vast customer base, offering lucrative incentives to keep customers within its ecosystem, posing a significant threat to traditional banking institutions.

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