Oct 15 2010

The Blended Walmart Business Model


Chase. Community banks. Wells Fargo. Other credit unions. For years, the standard list of competitors has been static and well-understood. Get ready for a shakeup. Beyond online challengers like ING Direct or Ally Bank, lies perhaps the biggest competitive threat many credit unions have ever faced. It’s an organization with cavernous pockets, a tightly wound business model, and an appetite for growth. Walmart.

The Blended Walmart Business Model: Moneycenters, Banco Walmart de México, and the Formidable Challenge Facing Credit Unions: Even without the bank charter it applied for in 2007, Walmart is a force to be reckoned with. Filene Research Fellow Robert Manning, PhD, examines the myriad links in Walmart’s partnership-oriented strategy – prepaid debit cards, wire services, credit cards, and even small business loans. Match those services with the retailer’s aggressive growth in Mexico, where it does have a charter, and it becomes clear that Walmart isn’t just waiting around for warmer regulators. Individual credit unions cannot afford merely to check the rate pages of other local banks. They must also watch and respond to the products Walmart keeps rolling out—in the United States and in Mexico.

Report Number 220