Square snaps up buy now, pay later service Afterpay

Autonomous finance
(Image credit: Shutterstock / MK photograp55)
Audio player loading…

Payments giant Square (opens in new tab) could be set to offer more flexible payment options after it revealed a deal to acquire Afterpay, the Australian company that specializes in buy now, pay later services.

In an update, Jack Dorsey, Square CEO highlighted how the $29bn deal would mean the companies could use the combined power of Square’s CashApp (opens in new tab) and Seller ecosystem to offer better services for merchants and consumers alike.

The purchase will further boost Square’s investment in the financial sector, and wider overall expansion, having recently also unveiled plans for a Bitcoin business (opens in new tab) unit along with recently purchasing a majority stake in streaming service (opens in new tab) Tidal.

Buy now, pay later services are proving incredibly popular with consumers thanks to the ability to spread payments for products over a period of time via installments. 

The growing appeal of the services has spawned several key players, including Klarna (opens in new tab) and Affirm alongside Afterpay. Even Apple has plans to enter the buy now, pay later marketplace and is rumoured to be working on its own Apple Pay Later (opens in new tab) service.

Buy now, pay later

The acquisition will also give Square access to over 16 million of Afterpay’s customers as well as a network of merchants (opens in new tab) that numbers almost 100,000. Square expects to complete the purchase of Afterpay during the first quarter of 2022 in a move that will see an Afterpay director added to the board of Square. 

“Square and Afterpay have a shared purpose. We built our business to make the financial system more fair, accessible, and inclusive, and Afterpay has built a trusted brand aligned with those principles,” said Dorsey. “Together, we can better connect our Cash App and Seller ecosystems to deliver even more compelling products and services for merchants and consumers, putting the power back in their hands.”

  • Also, check out our roundup of the best budgeting (opens in new tab) software

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.