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Walmart links credit card rewards to in-store discounts

Walmart is partnering with a financial services technology platform to let shoppers redeem credit card rewards points at its stores.

The discount giant is joining the Premium Payback real-time rewards redemption network offered by fintech provider FIS. As a result, Walmart customers are now able to redeem their credit card rewards points for real-time discounts at more than 4,700 Walmart stores across the U.S.

Walmart customers using eligible cards will be prompted at checkout with the option to turn their card rewards currency into discounts, which will be deducted from their purchase amount.

“Walmart’s mission is to help customers save money so that they can live better, and FIS Premium Payback allows customers to enjoy the benefits of their rewards in real-time at checkout,” said Mike Cook, senior VP and assistant treasurer at Walmart. “Today’s busy consumer is looking for a frictionless shopping experience, and our partnership with FIS makes paying with points as simple as a single prompt at the point of sale.”

“More than ever, credit card rewards are a driving motivator for how and where consumers make purchases. We are excited to partner with Walmart and card issuers to bring Premium Payback to consumers who can benefit from this new way to pay for their purchases,” said John Durrant, president of banking and payment solutions at FIS. “Major players like Walmart come to FIS because we have the innovative technology solutions to enable these experiences that deliver significant value and savings to consumers across the U.S.”

Thousands of financial institutions representing more than 7,000 card rewards programs are enrolled in the FIS Premium Payback ecosystem, with up to 45 million eligible cardholders.

Walmart expands payment options, makes fintech moves
Walmart’s new partnership with FIS is the latest in a series of steps Walmart has taken in the past few years to both become more flexible in how it accepts payment and to establish a presence in the fintech space.

The company has been offering a flexible buy now, pay later ((BNPL) payment option with Affirm since February 2019, when it began allowing customers to use Affirm to make installment payments on purchases at more than 4,000 Walmart Supercenter stores nationwide. Walmart also integrated Affirm as a payment option on the Walmart.com e-commerce site, and makes the service available in Walmart Vision Centers.

In August 2022, eligible consumers who spent $300 or more on a single purchase with Affirm at Walmart, either in-store or online, received a free 90-day Walmart+ membership. Members of the Walmart+ program, which normally costs $12.95 a month/$98 a year, receive exclusive benefits such as free shipping with no order minimum, free delivery from stores, and discounted gas prices. Walmart has also replaced its layaway program with installment payments from Affirm. 

Meanwhile, in January 2022, a fintech start-upwhich Walmart operates with Ribbit Capital, one of the venture capital firms behind Robinhood, entered into agreements to acquire fintech platforms Even and One. The acquisitions mark the start-up's emergence from stealth mode. The combined company will be called One.

The company has also teamed up with the payments platform and financial technology company PayNearMe to let customers make cash bill payments to utility companies and other billers at select Walmart stores. Other moves include collaborating with InComm Payments to make the payment tech provider’s Vanilla Direct financial network available nationwide at more than 4,700 stores. 

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