What does Square’s Afterpay acquisition mean for Australian customers?

Customers at Square POS.
Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash.
  • Expanded merchant offerings
  • Potentially more consumer deals
  • Broader ecosystem and customer experience

When a business is bought by another company, often some changes are made. For this reason, Afterpay customers may now be wondering whether the service will look a little different, after the buy now pay later giant is sold to Square.

We did some digging and spoke to an expert to try and find the answer to that question. Here’s what we found.

What is Square?

A US financial services company, Square’s black and white logo will be familiar to many. If you’ve ever bought anything at a market or small shop or cafe, you’ll likely have seen Square’s card readers and registers. You may even have received a receipt from Square, via email.

Square is a digital payments platform that sellers can sign up to, to make cashless sales. It provides Point-Of-Sale equipment to small businesses, including the popular square reader, the square terminal and the square register. Square was founded in 2009 and according to Google Finance is now worth over 100 billion USD.

Well that’s Square, but what about Afterpay? How does Afterpay fit with Square and what changes might the US company make to Australia’s biggest BNPL provider?

What Afterpay sale means for customers

OMG (Openmarkets Group) chief executive Ivan Tchourilov was positive about the sale, saying it was good news for Afterpay customers. 

If anything, Tchourilov says the acquisition means that Afterpay customers will be able to use the service with a much larger range of merchants. “Square is already widely used in Australia and they have said they will integrate Afterpay into their existing merchant and cash app systems,” he says. 

Tchourilov adds that more merchants offering Afterpay may even mean more deals and rewards on offer for customers. On top of this, he says Afterpay customers may be able to better manage their cash flow and installments with Square’s cash app. He likens these potential changes to Afterpay’s partnership with Westpac, which led to the launch of the Afterpay card.

Afterpay x Square potential for the future

Besides integrating the two systems, Tchourilov says there is even room for Afterpay to evolve under Square ownership. “The partnership opens up the possibility for Afterpay and Square to create an extensive ecosystem,” he says.

Tchourilov says Square cash app users can send bitcoin and even invest in shares. "It will be interesting to see how they deploy and leverage all the synergies, and how they manage the balance of risks and benefits that these new products pose to customers."

Finally, he says that the buy now pay later industry is highly competitive right now. "This record-breaking deal will accelerate growth in the industry, and push all BNPL companies to continuously improve the customer experience."

Want to read more about how buy now pay later works? Head to our buy now pay later hub to learn more about what it’s all about and see what providers are operating in Australia in 2021.

If you're interested in BNPL as a whole, take a look at Mozo's Buy Now Pay Later statistics report, covering everything there is on the current market.