Walmart Stores Inc (WMT) is in talks with financing startup Affirm Inc to use its services to offer installment loans to customers with limited credit histories, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A possible tie-in with Affirm would be the latest move by Walmart to reach customers with tarnished or limited credit, and signals intensifying competition for credit card providers such as Synchrony Financial (SYF) , the exclusive U.S. card issuer for Walmart.
San Francisco-based Affirm is run by PayPal cofounder Max Levchin. The upstart is reportedly nearing a deal with Walmart that could have it offering installment loans to Walmart shoppers as early as this fall. The loans would be focused on costlier items such as tires and other purchases over $200, insiders said.
Walmart stock was flat in premarket trading Tuesday at $79.76 per share. Synchrony stock has fallen 17% this year amid concerns over rising default rates. Shares jumped last week when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) bought the stock.
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