Square developers and partners can now use Afterpay in their checkouts

The buy now, pay later service can easily be included into a vendor's checkout flow.
Written by Evan Zimmer, Staff Writer

Square announced Wednesday that developers and partners using the Square Web Payments software developer kit (SDK) can integrate the buy now, pay later service Afterpay into their checkout flow without needing two separate integrations.

Square says integration is easy, with developers only needing to add "a few lines of code" within the Square Web Payments SDK. The single integration for both Square and Afterpay means funds aren't received separately; they flow together when added to the sellers' account. 

Afterpay lets customers pay over time for purchases made with a variety of different vendors. Customers pay 25% of the purchase upfront followed by three more payments of 25% every two weeks. There aren't fees unless users incur a late fee by missing one of the payments.

In the press release, Square says Afterpay has contributed to a 20% increase in customer cart conversion -- when customers complete an order -- and has improved customer retention. According to the release, there are nearly 100,000 businesses globally that accept Afterpay, with more than 20 million users registered in North America.

"Afterpay via the Square Web Payments SDK is more than just a payment method. This release enables developers and partners to build an innovative commerce solution that attracts new shoppers and drives incremental revenue for businesses, all through a single integration with Square," said Marylise Tauzia, head of developer relations at Square, in the release.

In a recent study by J.D. Power measuring small business satisfaction with payment processors, Square ranked third highest with a satisfaction score of 878 out of 1,000 possible points. Faster payments, better customer service, and noticeable responses to COVID-related challenges spurred the increase in customer satisfaction.

"When we look at the [brands] at the top of the rank chart versus the bottom, it's a pretty clear-cut story of who's providing better customer service when a small business has to actually pick up the phone and talk to somebody to get a problem resolved," Paul McAdam, senior director of Banking & Payments Intelligence with J.D. Power told ZDNet in a phone interview.

Integration of more services, according to McAdam, also contributes to an increase in satisfaction for merchant payment processor users. "As we push forward, the level of integration in these services is going to continue to excel," he said.

Additionally, merchant payment processors are focusing more on the financial health and wellness of the client, which has had a positive impact on small business satisfaction. Brands like Square are putting greater emphasis on how they can make their customers feel better supported, creating financial wellness initiatives as a result.

"When we look into the future, brands at the top of the rankings will have continued emphasis on pricing transparency and simplicity, while [brands] at the bottom won't," McAdams said.

Brands like Square and PayPal, McAdam said, are doing well in these rankings because they provide a simple, transparent, flat-rate pricing. He also said companies are working hard to provide better customer telephone service, despite the difficult labor environment.

"It's so clear over all that in the four years of this study, those brands, in particular PayPal and Square, have always been at the top of the chart in terms of the cost of service clarity and reasonableness," McAdam said. "Small businesses indicate these brands are easy to use, there are hardly ever problems, and the products work. It's easy and they understand the pricing, and there are no problems."

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