In an attempt to reduce credit card processing fees, Walmart recently filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to launch its own crypto-currency. Although it’s too soon to say how far this will go, it’s worth paying attention to.
The application describes Walmart’s currency as “tied to the US dollars and can be blockchain verified”. The application also says the currency would be,
“available for use only at selected retailers or partners. In other embodiments, the digital currency is available for use anywhere. The digital currency can provide a fee-free, or fee-minimal place to store wealth that can be spent, for example, at retailers and, if needed, easily converted to cash”
Without fees or the need to monitor cash-flow, this could ease the financial burden for those struggling to afford the expenses of banking. Furthermore, the coin could also be beneficial for Walmart’s financial situation, as it would reduce credit card processing fees.
This digital currency might also make it possible to offer customized deals and rewards for individual customers based on purchase history.
Walmart vs Facebook’s Libra
Facebook has caused quite a stir with its own cryptocurrency plans, which might eliminate credit card processing fees.
Libra is similar to Walmart’s currency in several ways. Both are going to be a stable coin and will specifically target those who are not involved in the banking system.
However, there are certain key differences between the two.
First, Walmart intends to keep the currency internal, only allowing it to be used for Walmart transactions. And unlike Facebook’s collaboration with major companies like Visa and Mastercard, Walmart is not looking to join forces with anyone else.
It would be smart to keep an eye on how this unfolds. Just because it hasn’t been unleashed yet, doesn’t mean that Walmart’s coin won’t become a reality in the near future.