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Klarna finally launches loyalty card feature

The buy now, pay later firm has launched its new loyalty card feature, with cuts to its valuation looming.

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Buy now, pay later giant Klarna has launched its new loyalty card feature as part of the Klarna App.

The new feature will allow app users to store and access their physical loyalty cards as digital versions, collecting points and benefits at merchants without the need to carry plastic equivalents while shopping in-store. 

The new feature is powered by the acquisition of German digital wallet firm Stocard, which was finalized in June 2021, but has been in the works internally in different forms as far back as June 2020.

Klarna said the feature supports over 8,000 loyalty reward programs worldwide, spanning sectors such as clothing, beauty, technology, and groceries.

The loyalty card feature is live today in the Klarna App in 18 regions, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. 

Klarna said the new feature will be extended to additional markets throughout 2022. 

“At Klarna, we want to give consumers the world’s best shopping experience, no matter whether that’s online or on the high street,” said David Fock, chief product officer at Klarna. “After the launch of our revolutionary new Virtual Shopping tool, Klarna is now delving deeper into physical retail, helping consumers save time and money everywhere they shop.”

He added: “By equipping users with a digital space to conveniently collect their loyalty cards we are raising the physical shopping experience to a new level of convenience and flexibility.”

The new feature comes as the Swedish firm’s valuation looks uncertain in the face of upcoming regulation in the sector and the potentially hugely disruptive entrance of Apple into the BNPL space.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Klarna was discussing raising capital at a valuation of about $15bn, around half of its peak valuation of $46bn.

The firm cut its staff by around 10 per cent in May, citing factors such as geopolitical uncertainty in Russia and rising inflation. 

The Treasury recently legislated that buy now, pay later providers will have to be FCA-approved and borrowers will be able to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Despite regulatory issues, the size of the wider BNPL market is poised for growth regardless, analyst firm GlobalData recently predicted the size of the market will rise to $607bn by 2026.

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