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Klarna invades Amazon, eBay and more with new buy-now-pay-later virtual cards

The updated app is already live in the UK, US, Australia and Sweden, where it is used by over 6.5 million people on average each month.

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Sebastian Siemiatkowski/Klarna

Buy-now-pay-later has been one of the breakout stars of the fintech world as of late and Klarna has just debuted a potentially game-changing new feature.

From today the fintech’s Klarna Shopping app now lets UK shoppers use Klarna with any online retailer—regardless of whether or not Klarna has a partnership with the shop—and split the cost over three interest-free instalments.

The app could be a blow for the likes of Laybuy, which recently raised £22m for its UK expansion plans, and other less-established BNPL fintechs that are still trying to make their mark on the market through partnerships with individual retailers.

Klarna’s new app means that all online retailers, many of whom would likely have never teamed up with the fintech, are powerless to stop their customers from using the BNPL service. 

Klarna is, quite literally, everywhere. 

Whether the likes of Amazon or eBay, which have their own BNPL offerings, look to block Klarna’s virtual cards in the coming weeks… we’ll have to wait and see.

With concerns over the viability of the unsecured credit market and calls for tighter restrictions, Klarna will also introduce monthly budget features and a personal spending limit to help consumers control their spending. 

“At Klarna, we believe that no one should ever have to pay credit card fees or high interest rates and now, thanks to our new in-app shopping feature, they don’t have to,” Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna said.

“Shoppers now can interact with their favourite retailers without having to leave the Klarna app, to create a smooth, safe and frictionless shopping experience. Our one-stop-shop app is the future of shopping, it creates a truly personalised and bespoke service for every user and liberates consumers from ever paying more than the price of the product.”

Estimates show that roughly 72 per cent of ecommerce will take place on a mobile device by the end of the year, Klarna’s app puts it squarely in the running to win over a good slice of consumers.

Klarna’s latest feature is already live in other markets, including the US, Australia and Sweden, where the app is used by 6.5m people on average each month and the pay later feature has been used over 12.8m times through the app.

On a charm offensive at the moment, Klarna also recently found itself with a new CEO.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski stepped aside as CEO to let A$AP Rocky sit in the top job for a day on June 1 2021.

As well as being acting CEO for a day, A$AP Rocky also pledged one per cent of his investment to impactful planet health projects focusing on climate change and biodiversity.

Last week, Klarna found itself in a spot of bother after its app had a bug that saw customers able to access other Klarna users’ account details. 

The BNPL fintech is also reportedly eyeing up London as the destination of its hotly-anticipated IPO.

While no details are set in stone yet, a spokesperson for the firm said that London was one destination that it was considering for its stock market debut, which is still one to two years down the line. 

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