Primary File

Wal-Mart N'est Pas Une Banque

Marco Pagani, Asbjorn Osland, Andrew Borchers
November 1, 2016
North America
Strategy & General Management, Accounting & Finance
7 pages
retail, strategy, financial services, banking, U.S. financial services sector
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.69)
Average rating: 

Wal-Mart was becoming a key provider of financial services to millions of US low-income consumers at the fringes of the traditional banking industry. It offered check cashing, bill payment, money transfers, credit cards, prepaid cards, small-business loans and an innovative checking account. Although Wal-Mart offered all these products, the firm was not a bank in the US. In fact, regulators rejected several attempts to acquire a US depository institution charter. Nevertheless, through strategic partnerships the retailer made significant inroads into the U.S. financial services sector. In contrast, Mexican and Canadian regulators allowed Wal-Mart to become a chartered banking institution and offer traditional financial products through a network of banking branches and Wal-Mart retail centers. The case asks students to analyze Wal-Mart’s strategy to offer financial services and assess its impact on consumers and competitors

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Describe and evaluate a retailer’s strategy for offering financial services
  2. Evaluate and assess the unbanked and under-banked phenomenon among U.S. consumers as an opportunity for a retailer
  3. Evaluate and assess the impact of a retailer’s offering of financial products on important stakeholders
  4. Evaluate and assess the reasons for a retailer’s failure to own a chartered depository institution
  5. Evaluate a retailer’s decision to create the assorted financial services with specific vendors as opposed to contracting with a national bank to establish branches in the retailer’s stores
  6. Compare and evaluate the strategies used by a retailer to offer financial services in the US vs. Mexico