Walgreens Targets ‘Financial Wellness’ With New Planning Feature

Walgreens is committed to “financial wellbeing”. The pharmacy chain introduced a bank account and debit card called Scarlet that announced it would offer customers “personal financial planning tools”. The finance functions are offered in partnership with InComm Payments and are accessible via a mobile app.

According to a spokesman for InComm, Scarlet allows customers to set “up to six financial goals”. The app also tracks cash flow and supports bill payment. Each account can be broken down into four sub-accounts, allowing families to split household finances into separate accounts, each linked to its own debit card.

There is currently no investment option for the product, but this cannot be ruled out in the future either. “InComm Payments cannot comment on future plans for Scarlet product features,” said a spokesman when asked about adding investments to Scarlet. InComm supports services like gift card programs and health care payments, but also has a partnership with Flexa, announced in July, that enables merchants to accept digital currencies.

“Scarlet is just the latest addition to Walgreens’ financial services portfolio,” said Maria Smith, Walgreens vice president of Payments & Financial Services, in a statement. Walgreens has its own mobile wallet, as well as third-party banking services and a credit card. “We look forward to deepening our relationships with our customers as we continue to support their personal and financial well-being,” she added.

Walgreens isn’t the only one looking at financial goals as a business opportunity. Walmart teamed up with venture capital firm Ribbit Capital, an investor in broker Robinhood, earlier this year to create a fintech startup. A few weeks after the announcement, the company hired two Goldman Sachs bankers to run the yet-to-be-named company. While Walmart offers financial services such as cashing checks and credit cards, it does not offer asset management.

According to Stefan Happ, President of InComm Payments, Walgreens is sticking to “banking and financial management solutions” for the time being. The company, he said, wants to “help make financial wellbeing habits more convenient and accessible than ever”.

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