Last week, Walmart formally announced plans to launch a one-stop financial “super app,” after acquiring the fintech platforms Even and ONE. By merging these startups to simply go by One, Walmart aims to create a hub for all of Americans’ money needs — managing wages and pay stubs for employees, along with general financial services commonly found in alternative banking hubs. It’s a crowded space, with competitors in PayPal and Block, Google, and even Walgreens already pursuing financial super apps, but few companies can claim to have Walmart’s employee and consumer base.
According to a recent CivicScience study, One’s initial prospects at least seem to be limited, if perhaps strong enough to gain a foothold in the fintech realm. Just 5% of adults consider themselves “very likely” to use Walmart’s upcoming super app, but nearly one-in-five are at least somewhat likely to give it a shot.
Interestingly, Walmart favorables only show a slightly higher interest in the app than the Gen Pop — so it shows potential for growth beyond just fans of the store.
However, Americans’ optimism for its future success outpaces their own interest in using such an app. Twenty percent of adults anticipate that the app will be at least prevalent and widely adopted. An even higher percentage of adults (6%) expect “almost everyone” to use the app than those who claim to be very likely to use it (5%).
Besides the convenience of having employer and consumer finances on the same app, Walmart certainly hopes to capitalize on distrust of traditional banking institutions with its new venture. Americans who trust digital solutions more than banks to some extent are twice as likely as Americans who prefer banks to give Walmart’s app a try. That much is probably expected, but one-in-ten adults who trust banks “much more” than digital solutions are at least somewhat open to giving Walmart’s financial services super app a try. (Americans who just slightly favor banks even outpace the Gen Pop’s intention to try the One app.) This chance to break into the large pool of digital solutions skeptics ought to provide room for growth in both the short and long term.
That said, the high percentage of digital solutions trusters and Americans interested in Walmart’s super app is likely a proxy for age demographics, at least in part. Americans aged 18-24 are twice as likely as the Gen Pop to say they’re very likely to try an app like One.
Although Walmart’s new One app will likely emerge as a niche proposition, its potential to tap into an enormous employee base — and a number of traditional banking defectors — might position it well to survive in a crowded field of digital finance apps.