Walmart is many people's "everything store," hawking everything from groceries to apparel to tires. But could it be your bank, too?
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What seems like a bunch of high-level deal making could soon make banking through a Walmart-sponsored app a possibility. A financial tech company created by the mega retailer is acquiring two additional companies, a step toward creating an all-in-one app that will let everyday people manage their money. In other words, the place where you get toilet paper is aiming to become your financial best friend.
The Walmart-funded startup is buying ONE Finance and Even Responsible Finance, and will subsequently change its name from Hazel to ONE. The resulting company aims to capitalize on Walmart's 100 million-plus weekly shoppers as well as its 1.6 million U.S. employees. Another target? The millions of Americans who don't have a bank account, credit, or savings, many of whom are already Walmart customers.
The goal is to give people one centralized "super app" for spending, saving, and borrowing. The startup is likely to take advantage of Even's app, which companies such as Walmart, PayPal, Humana, and Mattress Firm already use to help workers with budgeting and building emergency savings.
Walmart isn't the only big retailer that has explored luring people away from traditional banks. Amazon has made several investments in financial technology, and Google recently backed off an ambitious plan to let its users open bank accounts through Google Pay.