Walmart Files Fintech Patent: Hazel by Walmart

Services that may be offered by Hazel include a credit and debit card, bill payment, and cryptocurrency services.

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Need to Know

  • The big-box retailer applied last week to trademark the name Hazel by Walmart.
  • The filing lists a number of services that may be offered by Hazel, which include a credit and debit card, bill payment services, and credit line issuing, among other services.
  • The filing has not yet been approved and is awaiting examination by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Walmart first revealed its fintech plans in January through a partnership with Ribbit.

Analysis

Walmart’s shrouded-in-secrecy fintech plans now have a name: Hazel.

The big-box retailer filed for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in late March for the name Hazel by Walmart, in a filing that also included a number of clues as to what the retailer may end up providing customers via its fintech startup. The filing lists a credit and debit card, in addition to prepaid card payment processing services, electronic funds transfer, credit line issuing, and bill payment services among the tools Hazel may provide.

Hazel is also primed to offer services to affluent clients, as the filing listed financial portfolio analysis services, financial research, and information services among its possible offerings. In addition, credit repair and restoration, credit and financial consultation would be provided, and the filing included the option for Hazel to offer virtual currency transaction processing services for others, which means the fintech could provide cryptocurrency services.

The patent filing itself also shows what Hazel’s logo might look like: a stylized, all-lower-case text logo, with the letter “a” replaced by what appears to be the “^” symbol, and the words “by Walmart” appearing directly below.

Walmart has remained mostly mum on its upcoming fintech offering, which first made news in January when the retailer inked a partnership with Ribbit, the venture capital firm. At the time, Meyer Malka, managing partner for Ribbit Capital, saidthat the combination of Ribbit’s “deep knowledge of technology-driven financial businesses and our ability to move with speed” with Walmart’s massive consumer reach will result in “financial offerings that are second to none.”

John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart US, said of the Ribbit partnership in January that the company is “thrilled to work with Ribbit Capital in a new venture to help us deliver innovative and needed options to our customers and associates — with speed and at scale.”

Walmart has not commented on the trademark filing.

In addition to making plans to enter the financial space, Walmart has debuted a number of healthcare innovations in recent months, as the retailer responded to the demands of the COVID-19 crisis. These have included opening vaccine clinics in nearly 10 US states and launching a digital vaccine record for customers who are vaccinated at its Walmart or Sam’s Club locations.

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