The news: Cash App users can now make online payments via Cash App Pay to merchants that don’t use Square, per TechCrunch.
Why it’s worth watching: The rollout further broadens Cash App’s use cases beyond peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and can help monetize the platform.
Block invested heavily in Bitcoin features in recent years to engage and monetize Cash App users. But a long, deep crypto winter may have pushed Block to explore other growth avenues: Block’s Q2 Bitcoin revenues sank 34% YoY.
The opportunity: Enabling Cash Pay for third-party retailers can help Block compete more aggressively with PayPal, whose Venmo already lets users make payments on websites like Amazon and Adidas. Offering the same capabilities erodes some of the competitive advantages Venmo had against Cash App.
PayPal and Block are no strangers to competitive one-upmanship. For instance, Block announced its Afterpay acquisition roughly a year after PayPal introduced its first buy now, pay later (BNPL) product, Pay in 4. And PayPal has scaled its in-store POS solutions to contend with Block’s Square products.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Payments Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the payments industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.