Can Walmart, Walgreens Lure More Customers With Financial Services?

At a time when customer acquisition and retention are critical issues, Walmart and Walgreens demonstrate how retailers are looking at financial services as a way to boost customer engagement.

Not only do the services make the retailers offering them more attractive to consumers generally and in specific segments, they also establish new revenue streams that can give them more flexibility when confronting the marketplace.

Just days after it announced the creation of a new fintech startup enterprise designed to offer modern financial solutions for its customers, Walmart and Western Union announced a deal that will install Western Union money transfer services at Walmart locations across the United States. Services offered include domestic and international money transfers, bill payments and money order sales available at more than 4,700 Walmart stores with a rollout planned to begin in the spring of 2021.

“Walmart is much more than a place where customers shop,” Wilbert Noronha, Walmart vp/financial services, stated. “To millions, it’s also a place they trust for their financial needs as well. We’re thrilled to soon begin offering Western Union money transfer services at Walmart locations nationwide and, together, continue connecting family and friends worldwide through Western Union’s global money movement platform.”

Walgreen, meanwhile, revealed that it will launch loyalty card-linked credit and debit cards in partnership with Synchrony and Mastercard. The cards will integrate with the retailer’s new customer loyalty program, myWalgreens, which launched in November 2020. Cardholders will receive myWalgreens cash rewards and other offers with purchases. Additionally, the flagship, co-branded credit card will provide a wider range of benefits provided through Synchrony and Mastercard when used at other retailers and service providers.

Walgreens stated that the new cards are the first step in a rollout of financial products and services that will boost the company’s health and well-being focus as well as enhance its loyalty program and customer personalization.

“Walgreens is committed to providing our customers and patients with unparalleled loyalty and rewards experiences for managing their health and well-being, and we are excited to partner with Synchrony and Mastercard, who share our commitment to support healthy communities,” said John Standley, Walgreens president. “As we continue to focus on creating new revenue streams, we look forward to exploring and introducing even more health and well-being payment initiatives in the near future.”