News and resources on payments systems, innovations and initiatives worldwide.
Klarna opens first bank account; eyes $500 million fund raise

Klarna opens first bank account; eyes $500 million fund raise

Buy now, pay later pioneer Klarna is launching its first consumer banking account in Germany.

A Klarna bank account will come with a Visa debit card which can also be connected to both Google Pay and Apple Pay. Users will also be able to use budgeting tools available via the Klarna app to track, categorize and analyze all of their everyday spending.

Initially available to a limited number of users, the account will be gradually updated to incorporate savings goals and connections to Klarna's savings account product, which was released in June last year through a partnership with German deposit platform Raisin.

Klarna was granted a full Swedish banking licence back in 2017.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna said, "Our focus is to provide a superior shopping experience to our consumers at the intersection of retail and banking. And we know that there’s still massive room for improvement to the way many people bank and save their money today. Users are demanding more seamless, intuitive and transparent services to meet their daily needs, but many banks still do not cater for this. We are very excited to introduce Klarna Banking today, bundling shopping and banking in one app and allowing our consumers to bank in the same seamless way as they shop with Klarna.”

The move comes as rumours abound that the Swedish BNPL firm is closing on a $500 million fundraise, giving the company an outlandish $30 billion valuation - triple the price tag applied at its last funding round in September. Klarna has yet to comment on the speculation, but if approved it will mean the firm has raised a total of $1.3 billion in the past twelve months alone..

Comments: (2)

Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson - Fontis Search & Selection - London (Farringdon) 10 February, 2021, 15:01Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Great move - they need to transition away from pure BNPL and differentiate their offer or risk losing market share to the likes of viva / zip / clearpay etc. We are seeing significant investment into sales hiring across BNPL firms expanding in Europe. Klarna have a solid  headstart but this is a smart move to shore up the customer base and cross sell services. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 February, 2021, 09:041 like 1 like

Sweden last year issued legislation prohibiting e-commerce BNPL companies and/or merchants to offer only credit alternatives or pre-select credit payment alternatives in e-commerce. As a consumer you need to see that you can pay with your own funds from a bank account or debit card without borrowing the monies. If you want to be billed or pay by a credit arrangement you must actively seletc that option. This is one reason why Klarna and other BNPL companies have started debit card issuing, offer deposit accounts in addition to credit accounts and credit cards and also need to offer bank-link or instant payments. Own deposit accounts also provide cheap funding for their credit portfolio. But require a banking license.