Walgreens Turns To Credit Cards And Financial Services To Build Loyalty And Increase Revenue

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People wearing masks walk in a crosswalk near a Walgreens on September 30, 2020 in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Walgreens on Wednesday said it would offer customers a growing list of financial products – including a co-branded credit card and prepaid debit card – as it tries to earn more from their wallets and help them manage fees. expensive medical care.

Credit cards will be launched in the second half of this year. They will be part of the Mastercard network and will be issued by Synchrony. They will be linked to Walgreens’ new loyalty program, which the company relaunched in November with a new name, benefits and features inspired by the Covid pandemic, such as curbside pickup and delivery via DoorDash and Postmates. .

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Walgreens and its pharmacy peers are adapting to rapidly changing consumer behaviors that accelerated during the pandemic. Walgreens pursued new business opportunities, including an agreement with VillageMD to open hundreds of primary care clinics in its stores.

John Standley, president of Walgreens, said the company also sees financial services as one of these growth engines. “As we continue to focus on creating new revenue streams, we look forward to exploring and introducing even more payment for health and wellness initiatives in the near future,” a- he said in a press release.

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It is the second major retailer this week to announce expansion plans in financial services. Walmart said on Monday it was building a fintech start-up with Ribbit Capital, one of the venture capitalists backing Robinhood. The separate company will be majority owned by the big box retailer.

The pandemic and recession have put pressure on many families, who are trying to outdo their money by paying bills and facing reduced hours or unemployment. During the holidays, for example, an increasing number of consumers were looking for other ways to finance their purchases. Use of “buy now, pay later” for online orders increased 109% during the holiday shopping season, which spanned from November 1 to December 31, with the biggest ramp-up taking place the last week before Christmas, according to a recent report from Salesforce.

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Affirm Holdings, a provider of installment loans to online buyers, will begin trading on Nasdaq later Wednesday.

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