Jack Dorsey’s next move at Block is a deal with Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards
Kendrick Lamar at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards
Image: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
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Block, the company formerly known as Square, has teamed up with rapper Kendrick Lamar and Ticketmaster to offer exclusive early access to tickets for the artist’s The Big Steppers Tour set to kick off next week. The deal allows Cash App users with a Cash Card to buy tickets to the Super Bowl artist’s event 24 hours before the rest of the public. 

This is just the latest example of Block’s efforts to frame itself as the Generation Z banking solution of choice. Last year, Megan Thee Stallion appeared in a Block commercial promoting the stock investing feature on the Cash App, which also allows users to buy Bitcoin. 

Founded by Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, Block’s Cash App has gradually entrenched itself among the young and historically unbanked, overtaking Venmo a few years ago as the unofficial go-to cash exchange app on social media.

Block is branding itself as the digital bank that understands young consumers

Unlike competitors like Apple Pay, Zelle, PayPal, and Google Pay, Dorsey has been aggressive in making Cash App  seem cool. The app regularly promotes cash giveaways on social media to users who post their Cash App user names, curates discounts to sneakerhead outlets like GOAT and Flight Club, and released an entire line of Cash App streetwear.  

Block laid its early foundation by providing independent vendors with easy-to-use hardware and software tools that would allow them to accept payments from any credit card user. The company then added a kind of virtual bank to the mix with Cash App. Then, in a challenge to startups like Robinhood, Cash App added bitcoin and stock purchases to its services.

Why Jack Dorsey picked Block over Twitter

This next frontier will take Block into the live events market, bringing the company back to its in-person money transaction roots, but this time as the direct payment instrument instead of as a mere middleman facilitator. Rather than functioning as a credit card, the Cash Card generally works as a debit card users can put money on from their bank accounts or via money they’ve been sent or paid through direct deposit.

Considering the stagnant growth curve of Twitter, and its never-ending drama inside and outside of the company, Dorsey’s decision to step down from his CEO role at the social media company last year to concentrate his efforts on Block now makes sense.