Square drops $29B on Afterpay, because "buy now, pay later" is Zillennials' favorite option

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
_Buy now, pay four centuries later [YuriArcurs/E+ via GettyImages]_

Buy now, pay four centuries later [YuriArcurs/E+ via GettyImages]

Insert Twitter side-eye… Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey just treated his other company Square to a massive shopping spree. Mobile payments company Square is Jack Dorsey's more valuable (and favorite) child. You might've seen Square's sleek payment tablets at craft coffee shops, or swiped your card through its little white reader at food trucks. Now, Square is buying “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) firm Afterpay for a whopping $29B — its largest acquisition yet.

  • BNPL: Afterpay lets you pay for things after you've purchased them (makes sense). Like Klarna and Affirm, Afterpay spreads out payments as interest-free monthly installments.
  • The deal will give Square merchants the ability to offer BNPL services at checkout. Square also gets instant access to 100K merchants who use Affirm, and its 16M+ customers.

Good time to BNPL... Square stock jumped 10% on the news, while Afterpay soared 35%. Square shares have doubled in the past year, as people ditched cash during the pandemic. Now, it'll have a BNPL service to add to its digital payment offerings. And BNPL has been #trending.

  • Gen Zillennial momentum: As Gen Z and Millennial consumers reject credit cards in favor of alt-payment options, BNPL is becoming a big businesses.
  • Receipts: This summer, Klarna hit a $46B valuation to become Europe's most valuable fintech. Meanwhile, Apple and Goldman Sachs are collabing on their own BNPL product.

Payment options affect purchasing behavior… Nearly half of Gen Z shoppers and 70% of Millennials are more likely to make a purchase if they can BNPL it. And since Square makes money off each card swipe and transaction, it wants to go where purchasing goes: Bank of America predicts the market for BNPL could grow 10 to 15X by 2025.