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Walmart partners with Citi on new supplier loan platform

walmart sign at night
Walmart is helping small suppliers obtain loans.

Walmart’s latest fintech solution is aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in its supplier network.

The discount giant is partnering with Citi to introduce the Bridge built by Citi platform to the 10,000 SMBs in its U.S.-based supplier network. Bridge is a digital portal that connects SMBs with a group of more than 70 lenders located across the U.S. that provide qualifying businesses with loans of up to $10 million.

In 2021, Walmart teamed up with fintech investment firm Ribbit Capital to launch a fintech start-up, called One, designed to develop and offer “modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions.”

[Read more: Walmart to create fintech start-up]

Through a single loan request form, Walmart suppliers can interact with the select group of lenders. Once a request is submitted, the platform seamlessly connects suppliers with multiple potential lenders that can evaluate their requests.

Working capital loans, commercial mortgages and other pre-shipment financing loans are among the potential loans extended by some of the lenders on the platform. Walmart has programs that help with post-shipment financing, but neither Walmart nor Citi have any influence in lending decisions, nor do they participate as lenders on the platform.

In addition to the introduction of Bridge built by Citi to Walmart suppliers, Walmart and Citi will also collaborate to provide suppliers with educational content designed to increase their financial literacy.

Of the more than 70 lenders currently participating on the Bridge built by Citi platform, more than 20 are minority depository institutions (MDIs) and four are women-owned institutions. In addition, 15 of the 20 Black-owned banks in the U.S. are lenders on the platform. Walmart has long offered supplier diversity initiatives.

“Many small and medium-sized business owners don’t have a network of existing bank relationships – especially those operating in underrepresented communities,” said Rohit Mathur, head of the Bridge built by Citi platform. “Bridge offers a modern and efficient way for Walmart’s U.S. suppliers to navigate the lending process and cultivate relationships with multiple lenders while helping them gain access to the capital that is essential for them to grow.”

“At Walmart, we know small- and medium-sized businesses are the engine that drives the U.S. economy and local communities. Many diverse owned businesses also fit the small- and medium-sized business profile. As such we stand to strengthen our longstanding ‘supplier inclusion’ offering through this specific opportunity,” said Jason Fremstad, senior VP of supplier development at Walmart. “By leveraging the platform, our suppliers can have better access to the funding they need to expand their operations to reach and surpass their goals. Greater access to capital will help our suppliers continue to provide the products that our customers are looking for.”

“At Citi, we are focused on delivering innovative solutions that create value for our clients and contribute to a more inclusive and efficient financial ecosystem,” said Emily Turner, head of business development, Institutional Clients Group at Citi. “This includes our collaborations with clients and partners such as Walmart to identify optimal paths for the solutions we are creating,”



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