Payments and shopping platform Klarna, known for its buy now, pay later (BNPL) option, is now offering consumer bank accounts in Germany as it moves closer to becoming an all-in-one app for its users.
“Our focus is to provide a superior shopping experience to our consumers at the intersection of retail and banking,” Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in a Wednesday (Feb. 10) blog post. “And we know that there’s still massive room for improvement to the way many people bank and save their money today.”
By rolling shopping and banking into a single app-based platform, the company said, Klarna shoppers can bank the way they shop.
“Users are demanding more seamless, intuitive and transparent services to meet their daily needs, but many banks still do not cater for this,” the CEO said.
A Klarna bank account will come with a Visa debit card that is linkable to Google Pay and Apple Pay. The introduction of the banking product will initially roll out to select Klarna consumers. Feedback will be considered and integrated before it’s launched to all German Klarna users across the next few months.
The new banking product offers Klarna users an end-to-end experience, with the ability to track, manage and predict spending. Savings goals can be set in the savings product within the app.
Deutsche Bundesbank research per Klarna indicates that the number of bank branches dropped to the level of the 1950s. Klarna said a 2019 Bitkom study indicated that 7 out of 10 people in Germany conduct their banking online.
As BNPL firms become more closely watched in the U.K., Klarna said it will take time to regulate the industry. Klarna said that credit reporting agencies don’t have mechanisms in place for data sharing.
Headquartered in Sweden, Klarna has been experiencing record growth in new users, retail partners and app downloads. Last year the company doubled its user base to 15 million. In the U.S., 1 million new users joined the platform every month since October 2020.