Zip is plotting a major move into cryptocurrency and stock trading, as it diversifies beyond buy now, pay later

Zip founder Larry Diamond and Peter Gray.
  • Zip co-founder Peter Gray has revealed Zip is planning to expand into a trading platform.
  • In comments made to the Dow Jones newswires, Gray said Zip was considering offering cryptocurrency and stock trading options out of its existing app.
  • Zip confirmed the announcement to Business Insider Australia, as it looks towards future growth markets.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

One of Australia’s largest buy now, pay later companies wants to do a whole lot more as it looks to the next stage of its evolution.

In comments published by the Wall Street Journal, Zip co-founder Peter Gray revealed the $5.1 billion platform plans to soon expand into cryptocurrency and stock trading. The trading function would most likely be launched in the United States, where Zip-owned QuadPay operates, before turning its eye back on its home turf.

“We’re very keen move on this feature and the U.S. in particular might be further advanced than Australia,” Gray said, according to the Dow Jones newswires.

Business Insider Australia has since confirmed this with Zip, although the company remains tight-lipped on further details. It’s understood any such services would be offered via Zip’s existing app rather than peeling off into a new one.

There doesn’t appear to be a concrete timeline yet for the products with Gray suggesting Zip could partner with existing platforms or build their own from scratch.

“It’s probably going to be slightly different for each of the products and services we roll out,” he told the newswire.

It marks a major deviation from rival Afterpay which is looking to move into more traditional banking products. Earlier this year Afterpay partnered with Westpac, after the major bank sold its Zip stake for a $318 million profit.

As Afterpay turns to banking, so too have banks turned to the buy now, pay later sector. Not content just to own a stake in Swedish giant Klarna, the Commonwealth Bank is already readying its own payment-instalment option.

Unlike his Afterpay counterparts Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisner, Gray appears reluctant to go down the path of traditional financial services. Instead Zip seems to have its eye on larger growth markets, as hundreds of thousands of Australians scramble to sign up for share trading platforms and cryptocurrency markets run hot.

The company entered a brief trading halt this week after announcing a $300 million capital raise on the back of better than expected US growth with QuadPay. The promising numbers were enough to launch Zip’s share price briefly into double digits once more.

The explosive trajectory means the US is on track to soon become Zip’s largest market, raising speculation it could list on Wall Street in a bid to chase Afterpay’s runaway share price.

While the speculation remains unsubstantiated for now, Zip clearly has ambitious plans of becoming a far bigger business.