Not just a pharmacy anymore. That would be Walgreens’ ambitious plans to offer banking services to its large customer base. This is really a four-way partnership that also involves Mastercard and MetaBank. Planned to become available in the 2nd half of this year, the basket of financial products will include a bank account, a Mastercard debit card, and a Walgreens’ gift card program.
Banking and payments products comprise a crowded field of competitors looking to gain consumer business and long-term relationships. Walgreens may not see rapid adoption for new offerings but it’s worth trying to tap into its vast network of stores, digital presence, and overall brand awareness to generate consumer interest in a menu of financial services.
The following excerpt from a Banking Dive article reports more on the topic:
- Walgreens plans to launch bank accounts that will be available to customers online and at 9,000 of its retail stores in the second half of 2021, the company announced Tuesday.
- The pharmacy chain said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured accounts will be available through a partnership with MetaBank. The retailer said it will use payments technology company InComm Payments’ Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, while Mastercard will issue debit cards for the accounts.
- Walgreens said the agreement is part of its “alternative profit strategy” — one element in a broader initiative to launch new financial products and services that offer differentiated services and benefits to its customers.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group