Walmart filed a trademark patent as reported by Banking Dive that suggests Walmart is considering launching debit, credit, and prepaid banking products. There aren’t many details as this is the patent for the brand name “H^zel by Walmart” as in “Hazel”, presumably the name of the super app that may contain banking and other services.
This patent doesn’t answer the questions who Walmart will market these services to, what will happen with its existing financial services offerings around prepaid card, card reloads, remittances and related services. And it doesn’t yet tell us if Walmart will partner with a banks or acquire their own banking charter. Here’s what we do know, according to the article:
The trademark filing lists several standard financial services Hazel might offer: credit card, debit card, and prepaid card payment processing services, electronic funds transfer, credit card and credit line issuing, bill payment services.
It veers into banking, listing financial services, banking services, online banking services, and lending.
And it hints at an aim to capture market share across the wealth spectrum, from services associated with more well-heeled clients (financial portfolio analysis services, financial research and information services) to people who are less well-off (credit repair and restoration, credit and financial consultation).
The retailer has been fairly tight-lipped about its fintech venture, saying in January that it would “develop and offer modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions” and “bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates.”
Here’s a link to the patent.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group