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Square Buys Buy Now Pay Later Firm Afterapy

Square plans to buy Australian fintech company Afterpay, a foray to deepen their ties to the booming installment loan market. Jack Dorsey’s Square is spending a whopping $29 billion (with a B) on the Australian buy now, pay later firm.  

The deal seems like a smart move for Square, considering that Afterpay is among the most prominent companies in their respective space. Square says 100,000 merchants globally use the platform, and that it has more than 16 million customers.

Afterpay lets customers pay in four interest-free installments and pay a fee if they miss an automated payment. Now, its roughly 16 million customers will eventually be able to manage installment payments directly through Cash App.

The move comes at a time when consumers, especially the young valuable ones, are slowly drifting away from traditional credit methods. Installment loans have been becoming increasingly popular, and Square CFO Amrita Ahuja said the company envisions the acquisition as an opportunity to create a “more powerful ecommerce platform” that satiates growing consumer interest in “transparent buying opportunities”.

The payments giant said it expects the all-stock deal to close in the first quarter of 2022. CNN Business points out that the acquisition is not only Square’s largest ever, but it’s also the largest acquisition of an Australian company ever — according to data from Refinitiv.

Walmart Partners with Adobe to Sell eCom Technologies

Walmart announced that they will make the technology behind their groundbreaking eCommerce operations available to other retailers. Through a strategic partnership with Adobe, Walmart will integrate access to Walmart’s Marketplace, as well as its vast multitude of online and in-store fulfillment and pickup technologies, into the Adobe Commerce Platform.

The move will make a new range of tools available to Adobe’s retail customers, allowing them to utilize its key functions, like displaying collection eligibility online and providing mobile tools to make order fulfilment more straightforward. 

More specifically, Adobe retail customers will be able to do things like show store pickup eligibility and available pickup times online; offer multiple pickup options like curbside and in-store pickup; provide their store associates with mobile tools to pick for orders, validate item selections and handle substitutions; and use tools to communicate with customers about their pickup orders. 

The deal will also aid Walmart in potentially reaching thousands of small to mid-sized retailers, who will be able to tap into the same tools that one of the largest global retailers is using to run their business. It’s a win-win. 

Of course, the ultimate goal here is to compete with Amazon. On top of providing Walmart with a new stream of revenue, the move could serve to bolster the retailer, helping them remain as steady competitors to Bezos’ company. 

Twitter Pilots Shop Modules

Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have all been steadily integrating shopping technology into their platforms, a move that shows staggering revenue growth for all of the above. Even newly revived Snapchat utilizes in-app purchases and other shopping tech. But Twitter has been more reluctant…until now. 

Twitter has launched Shop Module, a pilot version of an in-app shopping tool that will allow users to click on and purchase products without leaving the social media platform. Sound familiar? 

The pilot comes as Twitter is exploring ways of making money beyond showing ads. In this year alone, Twitter has announced a paid subscription service with access to premium features, as well as plans to let users charge for access to exclusive content, and a Tip Jar feature for one-off payments.

A “Shop button” was also added to some tweets in March that integrated merchandise information as well as a link to purchase. Twitter is also exploring a creator platform with a “Super Follow” subscription. It’s not yet if the Shop Module will be a permanent feature on Twitter.

Users have mixed feelings about the platform’s moves towards becoming a shoppable platform, but small business owners have expressed high praise for the Tip Jar feature, since it allows for seamless payments without using a third party to facilitate them. 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also highlighted the company’s growing dedication to bitcoin during his call with analysts, pointing out that crypto stands as the “best candidate” to become the “native currency” of the internet, so we’ll see how that plays out.