Goldman Sachs to Acquire Buy Now, Pay Later Platform GreenSky
It looks as though Goldman Sachs is joining the “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) trend. Recently, the bank announced plans to acquire GreenSky in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $2.24 billion. At this time, the deal is expected to close in Q4 2021 or Q1 2022.
GreenSky currently works with more than 10,000 merchants, allowing them to offer financing options to their customers. According to their press release, Goldman intends on integrating the service into its consumer banking brand Marcus. Previously, the company has acquired FinTechs, such as Clarity Money, that has since folded into Marcus.
In a statement regarding the acquisition, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David M. Solomon said, “We have been clear in our aspiration for Marcus to become the consumer banking platform of the future, and the acquisition of GreenSky advances this goal. GreenSky and its talented team have built an impressive, cloud-native platform that will allow Marcus to reach a new and active set of merchants and customers and provide them with an expanding set of solutions. We welcome the GreenSky team to the Goldman Sachs family.”
Elsewhere, Greensky CEO David Zalik said of the deal, “The GreenSky team and I are thrilled to be joining Goldman Sachs. From GreenSky’s inception, our mission has been to deliver exceptional value helping businesses grow and delight their customers. In combination with Goldman Sachs, we’re excited to continue delivering innovative point-of-sale payment solutions for our merchant partners and their customers on an accelerated basis.”
Goldman’s BNPL acquisition continues a streak of similar deals. Mostly notably, last month, Square announced plans to purchase Afterpay for approximately $29 billion. Then, earlier this month, PayPal revealed that it was buying the Japanese platform Paidy for $2.7 billion.
Of course, these deals come as such platforms have been exploding in popularity. At the same time, criticism of the buy now, pay later model has also been growing, with some particularly taking issue with how these services are marketed. In fact, Afterpay pulled one of its commercials in its native Australia following complaints and calls for regulation.
Despite the negative attention that BNPL platforms have garnered, it doesn’t seem as though the momentum will be slowing down anytime soon. Instead, the concept seems to be going more mainstream as larger FinTechs and now banks snap up these services. That said, regulators will almost certainly be taking a closer look at BNPL — which is certainly something to watch for as recent trends accelerate.