Major Australian Fintech Firm May Offer Crypto Trading: Report

Zip's co-founder did not specify when the offering would launch or whether services for stocks would be released before cryptocurrency.

Apr 16, 2021 at 3:34 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:41 p.m. UTC

One of Australia’s largest "buy now, pay later" companies is reportedly looking at a move into stock and cryptocurrency trading.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Zip Co. co-founder Peter Gray said his company was looking to provide trading services through its native app in a bid to further engage its typically young consumers.

The co-founder did not specify when the offering would launch or whether services for stocks would be released before cryptocurrency. Instead, Gray suggested Zip would first roll out the services to its U.S. QuadPay unit totaling 3.8 million customers.

“We’re very keen [to] move on this feature and the U.S., in particular, might be further advanced than Australia,” said Gray who spoke to Dow Jones Newswires on Tuesday.

The co-founder said his company's plans were "probably more related to crypto or the ability to buy and sell shares from the app rather than the ability to have a no-coupon savings account," per the report.

"Buy now, pay later" schemes are essentially the next generation of layaway offered by shopping retailers and outlet stores. The current scheme is extremely popular in Australia, offering consumers the ability to take home a product or elect a service with the option of paying for it over a set period with minimal interest.

Generally, $1,000 or less is provided to consumers, regardless of their credit rating. AfterPay, Zip's main rival, kicked off the new layaway model in the country beginning in 2015. Both have managed to corner a large portion of the market in the six-year-old revamped sector.

Zip’s Gray said options for the new cryptocurrency and stock offerings were to use existing infrastructure, partner with existing platforms, acquire specialist businesses or build anew, according to the report.

Zip Co. is currently trading at $9.26 (US$7.16) per share and is up 11.7% on the week.

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