Market leader Afterpay (ASX:APT) led a round of BNPL news this morning, as the sector stays under pressure amid a rocky week on broader markets.

APT said the Scheme of Arrangement for its takeover by Square Inc is largely a done deal, except for one hitch — the Spanish central bank.

“Afterpay and Square are confident that the Bank of Spain condition will ultimately be satisfied,” the company said.

The statutory deadline for that approval is February 21 next year, but Afterpay said it reckons things will be stitched up by January.

Under the section titled Conditions in the 431-page Scheme that was lodged with ASIC on November 5, Afterpay said it would need to acquire regulatory approvals from various authorities including the:

“Spanish Council of Ministers and the Bank of Spain (in relation to the indirect transfer of Clearpay, S.A.U. and Clearpay, Technology S.L.U to Square) before 8.00am on the Second Court Date”.

The Second Court Date was defined in the Scheme as 10th of December.

In light of its announcement concerning the Bank of Spain this morning, Afterpay said it will now postpone its Scheme Meeting that was previously scheduled for December 6.

The company will work with Square Inc to arrange another time before the end of the year, notwithstanding the approval from Spain won’t be forthcoming by then.

“If Afterpay and Square determine that this is not possible, it is likely the Scheme Meeting will be delayed until the new year,” APT said.

The company still expects the deal to be sealed before the end of March.

As the Square Inc takeover moves closer to completion, APT shares have increasingly traded in line with their soon-to-be parent.

From October highs above US$260, Square Inc shares have dipped sharply to close last night at US$194.50.

Afterpay shares fell by more than 5% in morning trade, and a short time ago were threatening to fall below US$100 for the first time since July.

Square Inc itself has also been in the news this week, after CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down from his other job (CEO of Twitter).

This morning, the company announced it will be rebranding itself from Square Inc to Block Inc.

In other BNPL news

Openpay (ASX:OPY) had some deal news, announcing a tie-up with payments giant American Express.

Under the terms of the 12-month deal, Amex customers will be given the option to make purchases and fund them via OPY’s BNPL model.

The two companies plan to initially target customers paying for goods and services in the healthcare and automotive sectors.

OPY said the deal reflects its strategy to target different sectors where BNPL market penetration remains lower, and demonstrate the value of its flexible repayment options that can be applied to larger amounts and extended over longer periods.

American Express will initially work with a network of 40 selected merchants, and help market the product as a value-add for existing customers.

OPY shares rose by around 2% to 99c in morning trade, although the stock is trading below its December 2019 listing price, where it raised $50m from investors at $1.60 per share.

Lastly, BNPL competitor Splitit (ASX:SPT) flagged a trading update where it said merchant sales volumes had already set a quarterly record in Q4 with a full month still remaining.

The company said it booked US$94M of MSV in the quarter deate, up 52% from the first two months of the September quarter, and 61% from the first two months of the prior year period.

SPT said top-line transaction volume was buoyed by strong trading activity in the Japan market, as well as a healthy boost from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sales.

The company said it had also been ranked No 66 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list of emerging tech companies in the North American market.

Shares in SPT fell by around 1.99% following the update, to 26c. The stock has now fallen more than 80% from February highs of $1.50.

On February 9 this year, co-founder Alon Feit sold 13,300,000 shares on-market at $1.47, for a nominal return of $19,551,000.

Also providing a trading update was US-based BNPL player Sezzle (ASX:SZL), which said transaction volume rose by 83% in November compared to the prior year period.

Like SPT, the update failed to provide a catalyst for the share price as SZL shares fell by almost 5% into midday trade.

Following a recent selloff, the stock is now trading below $4 for the first time since June 2020.