Klarna Unveils ‘Klarna Kosma’ Open Banking Unit

Swedish buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Klarna on Thursday (March 31) rolled out the Klarna Kosma sub-brand and business unit that’s geared toward open banking, according to the company press release.

Kosma helps financial institutions, FinTechs and merchants build FinTech apps and services through access to 15,000 banks in 24 countries using a single API, the press release says. Klarna has more than doubled the number of connected banks in its network in the past year. Kosma processes almost 1 billion information requests to bank accounts each year.

“With Kosma, we are opening up the power of our proprietary open banking platform and technology to banks, merchants and FinTechs who share our dream of a world where consumers own their data and banks compete for customers by delivering value, not by locking in data,” said Yaron Shaer, CTO at Klarna, in the company announcement.

Klarna first entered the open banking space when it acquired German bank-to-bank payment service SOFORT in 2014 and has since expanded into 24 markets, using open banking to power additional in-house services.

The company uses open banking to power its Account Insight Services (AIS), which provide spending insights to millions of shoppers in the Klarna shopping app and to provide additional, real-time data.

“Over the past year, the demand for open banking services from financial institutions and FinTech startups has reached a tipping point,” said Wilko Klaassen, VP of Klarna Kosma, in the company announcement, “which is why we have built a dedicated business unit which brings together engineering, product management, sales and marketing all in the same team to focus on this $15bn, fast-growing market.”

Related: Klarna Offers BNPL to German eBay Shoppers

Earlier this month, Klarna and online marketplace eBay joined forces to offer German shoppers more flexible payment options.

The new payment options being added to eBay’s German site will supplement existing payment methods like Klarna’s Pay Now service. The new features let customers access “Pay Later” and “Financing,” giving them multiple options with each purchase.