Global payments giant Square — which recently made moves into decentralized finance — is acquiring Australian “buy now pay later” fintech company Afterpay for US$29 billion (AU$39 billion) to expand its range of services, according to a recent company press release.

Fast facts

  • The purchase will enable Square’s CashApp and Seller business units to offer “buy now pay later” services by integrating Afterpay’s functionality into their existing systems. Afterpay was a global leader in BNPL services, also known as installment loans, which allow consumers to pay off purchases in smaller amounts with participating merchants.
  • The announcement comes as Square’s Q2 financial report stated that its CashApp’s Bitcoin revenue had tripled during the quarter from US$875 million to US$2.72 billion while its gross profit soared from US$17 million to US$55 million. CashApp is a mobile payment service that allows users to transfer money, including Bitcoin, between each other simply using the mobile phone app.
  • It has been a busy time for Australian BNPL firms, as Zip recently announced plans to offer crypto trading services in the next 12 months in Australia and the U.S., beginning by re-branding in the U.S. where the company currently trades under the name Quadpay.
  • Square is also looking at moving into crypto as CEO Jack Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Twitter, recently announced the creation of a new division dedicated to decentralized finance using Bitcoin. “Square is creating a new business (joining Seller, Cash App, & Tidal) focused on building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services,” Dorsey said of the announcement via Twitter.