People wearing masks walk down a pedestrian walkway near Walgreens on September 30, 2020 in New York City.
Alexei Rosenfeld | Getty Images
Walgreens said Wednesday it will introduce a growing list of financial products to customers – including a co-branded credit card and prepaid debit card – as it tries to earn more from their wallets and help them manage expensive medical expenses.
Credit cards will be launched in the second half of this year. It will be part of the Mastercard network and will be released by Synchrony. They will be linked to Walgreens’ new loyalty program, which the company re-launched in November with a new name, perks and features inspired by the pandemic, such as pickup and drop-off through DoorDash and Postmates.
Walgreens and its pharmacy peers Adapts to rapidly changing consumer behaviors That accelerated during the pandemic. Walgreens has explored new business opportunities, including a deal with VillageMD to open hundreds of primary care clinics in its stores.
John Standley, president of Walgreens, said the company sees financial services as one of those growth engines as well. “As we continue to focus on creating new sources of revenue, we look forward to exploring and introducing more health and well-being payment initiatives in the near future,” he said in a press release.
It is the second major retailer this week to announce plans to expand financial services. Walmart said on Monday that it is Create a fintech startup with Ribbit Capital, One of the venture capital firms that supports Robinhood. The separate company will be majority owned by the large retailer.
The pandemic and recession has put pressure on many families, who are trying to make use of their money while paying the bills and dealing with reduced working hours or unemployment. During the holidays, for example, an increasing number of consumers looked for other ways to finance their purchases. The use of “buy now, pay later” online orders increased 109% during the holiday shopping season that ran from November 1 to December 31, with the largest increase occurring in the last week before Christmas, according to a recent report Sales Force.
Affirm Holdings, a company that provides installment loans to online shoppers, will begin trading on the NASDAQ later Wednesday.