Hazel by Walmart

Walmart filed a trademark application for ‘Hazel by Walmart’ on March 29, 2021, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a fintech business unit.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced it is partnering with Ribbit Capital to offer next generation digital fintech products but did not give it a name. With the USPTO filing, it now seems this fintech venture will be known as ‘Hazel by Walmart’.

The January announcement also appeared to hint that Walmart’s fintech would stick to consumer retail financial products to serve its customers and associates.

“For years, millions of customers have put their trust in Walmart to not only save them money when they shop with us but help them manage their financial needs. And they’ve made it clear they want more from us in the financial services arena.”

John Furner, president and CEO, Walmart U.S.

But the ‘Walmart by Hazel’ USPTO application suggests the company is also considering offering business financial services, many similar to PayPal.

  • Processing credit card, debit card, and prepaid card transactions via electronic communications networks for business purposes.
  • Electronic and on-line credit card, debit card, and prepaid card payment processing services.
  • Electronic funds transfer.
  • Clearing and reconciling of financial transactions.
  • Providing secure commercial transactions and payment options using a mobile device at a point of sale.
  • Financial transaction services, namely, providing secure commercial transactions and payment options using a mobile device at a point of sale.
  • Credit card and debit card transaction processing services.
  • Reimbursement of funds for disputed items in the field of electronic payment purchases.
  • Providing purchase protection services for goods and services purchased by others via a global computer network and wireless networks, namely, fraud reimbursement services in the field of electronic payment purchases.
  • Providing electronic processing of electronic funds transfer, ACH, credit card, debit card, electronic check and electronic, mobile and online payments.
  • Electronic foreign exchange payment processing.
  • Payment processing services, namely, providing virtual currency transaction processing services for others.

Filing a trademark for services is not a guarantee the company will actually provide these services. It could just be a broad filing to cover a laundry list of associated financial services as it continues to develop the business model for the fintech unit.

Yet, the inclusion of PayPal-like services is a bit of a surprise considering the original announcement that seemed to stick to consumer-oriented products. If Walmart ventures out to offer financial services for businesses, it could first launch them on its own online marketplace before expanding further.

It’s all speculation at the moment, but the USPTO filing suggests the company’s interests may be well beyond consumer services and one day could morph into a PayPal competitor.

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