3 things to know in the payments space

Here’s a look at some of the latest news from our Payments & Commerce analysts.

1. Square aims to merge seller and consumer ecosystems with Cash App Pay

The news: Square will let US sellers accept payments made using Cash App, its P2P payment platform. Cash App Pay, which sellers can integrate with just a software update, will let Cash App users scan a QR code or click a button on their mobile device to check out using the platform both in-store and online. Merchants can use the tool to manage receipts, reconciliation, and settlements within the Square app.

Square’s opportunity: Cash App Pay lets the brand further unify its two ecosystems and grow its business potential. Square nudged these bases together with Square Loyalty earlier this year, but Cash App Pay solidifies the union.

A note on competition: Cash App Pay’s debut turns up the temperature on the Square-PayPal rivalry.

2. Affirm sees triple-digit growth and eyes expansion

The news: US-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Affirm posted a strong fiscal Q4 (ended June 30, 2021) and provided insights on key factors that drove recent growth.

  • Gross merchandise volume (GMV) surged 106% year over year (YoY), outpacing fiscal Q3’s 83% (ended March 31, 2021).
  • Revenues rose 71% YoY in Q4, slightly outperforming the previous quarter, when they increased 67% annually.
  • Active merchants skyrocketed 412% YoY to hit 29,000, up from nearly 12,000 merchants in Q3.
  • Active consumers increased 97% YoY, reaching 7.1 million.

What’s next? A number of partnerships and products in the works should help Affirm carry growth in the coming months.

3. Zip brings cryptos into the buy now, pay later space

The news: Australia-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Zip wants to let merchants accept Bitcoin payments next year and also plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading feature, per CoinTelegraph.

Why it’s worth watching: BNPL users are 67% more likely to trade cryptos than non-users, according to Zip’s internal research—but Zip isn’t the only BNPL provider that sees opportunities in the space.

In a submission to Parliament’s Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre, Afterpay said merchants could “benefit considerably” from crypto transactions because they can reduce fees set by card networks. The company also hinted at ambitions to introduce crypto-related solutions and called for more regulation in the space.