Adyen Partners with Klarna as Acquiring Bank

Adyen Partners with Klarna as Acquiring Bank
  • Adyen and Klarna are extending their partnership, with Adyen agreeing to serve as the acquiring bank for Klarna.
  • The two fintechs first partnered ten years ago, when Adyen started offering Klarna’s buy now, pay later technology to its customers.
  • Klarna has evolved from BNPL into a shopping marketplace and currently hosts 500,000 merchants on its platform marketing to 150 million shoppers who transact two million times each day.

Netherlands-based fintech platform Adyen and Sweden-based ecommerce solutions provider and shopping platform Klarna are doubling down on their partnership. The two announced this week that Klarna will leverage Adyen’s acquiring capabilities to power card payments for its 150 million consumers and 500,000 retail partners across the globe.

The fintechs’ initial partnership dates back ten years, when Adyen began offering Klarna’s buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology to its customers. The new acquiring bank agreement will begin in Europe, North America, and Asia in 2024.

“Klarna has, in many ways, revolutionized the digital shopping experience,” said Adyen Co-founder and Co-CEO Pieter van der Does. “I am proud to say we are now joining forces in a partnership set out to simplify payments and shopping in our respective areas of expertise. Adyen’s financial technology platform combined with Klarna’s various consumer offerings will raise the standard of payments and consumer experiences worldwide.”

Adyen was founded in 2006 and offers payment acceptance, embedded payments, virtual card capabilities, authentication, risk management, insights, and more. Among the company’s corporate clients are Meta, Uber, H&M, eBay, and Microsoft.

“Adyen, a world-class financial technology platform for businesses with global ambitions, aligns seamlessly with Klarna’s role as the preferred payments network and shopping assistant for consumers and retailers worldwide,” said Klarna Co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siematkowski. “In our journey towards strengthening our global commerce offerings, Adyen will play an integral role as our trusted partner.”

Originally launched as a BNPL technology provider, Klarna has evolved into a shopping marketplace similar to Amazon or Walmart. The company works with more than half a million retail partners who list goods across a range of categories. Klarna counts 150 million shoppers– 40 million of which are U.S. based– who make two million transactions on its platform each day.

Earlier this year, Klarna teamed up with Open AI to leverage ChatGPT to help enhance the shopping experience to power a product recommendation engine. Klarna was founded in 2005 and is now live in 45 countries.

Finovate Global Germany: Sustainable Investing for Families and Embedded Lending for SMEs

Finovate Global Germany: Sustainable Investing for Families and Embedded Lending for SMEs

This week’s edition of Finovate Global takes a look at recent fintech developments in Germany.

German fintech Bling launched its SavingsTrees solution this week. The new offering helps German families invest sustainably starting with as little as €1 a month. The solution is offered in partnership with wealthtech Evergreen, and represents an evolution in Bling’s product line, expanding from its origins as a family money management educational app and prepaid card.

“Simplicity and sustainability were paramount in the development of our investment offering,” Bling CEO and co-founder Nils Feigenwinter explained. “We prioritize families in our product development to offer a tailored solution that meets their needs. Everyone underestimates the market potential of families, which is why banks have neglected this area for decades. With Bling, we are addressing this.”

Cost savings was one of the reasons why Bling reached out to Evergreen. Cost is also one of the main reasons why more than 80% of German parents do not invest in the country’s capital markets, according to Bling. The complexity of investing and a lack of knowledge about investment products also have contributed to this lack of participation. To this end, Bling leverages visualizations and explanations from finance experts to make the investment process easier to understand.

Funds invested in SavingsTrees are globally diversified and are allocated specifically to sustainable investments. Direct investments in sustainable projects and companies, are available, as are investments in funds that support sustainability initiatives.

Read more about Bling in this TechCrunch profile from December.

Banxware, an embedded lending technology provider headquartered in Germany, has teamed up with Netherlands-based Rabobank to help SMEs secure the financing they need in order to grow. Rabobank will take advantage of Banxware’s embedded lending solution, which enables businesses to apply for short-term financing in as little as 15 minutes. After approval, funds can be available in the borrower’s account within 24 hours.

“This partnership brings Embedded Financing products tailored to the need of SMEs to popular business platforms,” Banxware CEO Miriam Wohlfarth said. “Together with Rabobank we now provide the full financing supply chain, including funds and end-to-end loan management to bridge cash flow shortfalls before they become an issue.”

The deployment will let business founders and owners apply for financing in familiar, everyday digital environments such as e-commerce platforms and booking software. Each firm will focus initially on marketing the solution in their home markets of Germany and the Netherlands, respectively.

Banxware’s partnership announcement follows news that the Berlin-based fintech had teamed up with liquidity management and financial planning company Agicap. Based in France, Agicap helps businesses automate, manage, and forecast their cash flows. Via its strategic partnership with Banxware, Agicap will add access to quick and tailored growth capital to its liquidity management offering.

“From now on, (SMEs) can not only see and manage their cash flows in a centered way, but they can also get new money when there are opportunities for growth,” Agicap Country Manager DE Stephan Krehl said.

Founded in 2020, Banxware is headquartered in Berlin. The company has raised $15 million (€14 million) in funding from investors including Varengold Bank and Element Ventures.

Finovate is proud to showcase fintech innovations from companies headquartered in Germany. This includes hosting our annual European fintech conference in Berlin in 2020.

Here’s a quick list of some of the Germany-based companies that have demoed their fintech innovations on the Finovate stage over the years.

  • aixigo
  • ayondo
  • Bitbond
  • BörseGo 
  • Cash Payment Solutions
  • Coconet
  • collectAI
  • Device Ident
  • Ecolytiq
  • figo
  • Fincite
  • FinTecSystems
  • Fintura
  • iBrokr
  • IND Group
  • Kreditech
  • Mambu
  • Modifi
  • Nextmarkets
  • Open Bank Project (OBP)
  • payever
  • Payworks
  • Pockets United
  • Risk Ident
  • Scalable Capital
  • SwipeStox
  • TeamViewer
  • Vaamo
  • YUKKA Lab

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Egypt-based fintech Axis launched its new digital payments platform, AxisPay
  • Dubai Islamic Bank launched its DIB ‘alt’ product, a new digital umbrella brand for the bank’s digital offerings.
  • UAE-based B2B fintech solutions provider FOO introduced its prepaid travel card and white label digital wallet.

Central and Southern Asia

  • India-based digital lender Lentra raised $27 million in a Series B extension round.
  • BNE Intellinews profiled Uzbekistani SME lender, Oasis.
  • India’s PayU partnered with Visa and Yes Bank to launch its Business Payment Solution Provider program.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Argentina-based mobile banking company Uala launched a new saving account offering in Mexico.
  • Brazil’s Nubank reached one million accounts in Mexico milestone in one month.
  • Lanistar introduced crypto trading on its app for users in Brazil.


  • Singapore-based B2B payment infrastructure platform Thunes raised $60 million in Series C funding.
  • International payments software provider OpenWay launched a second hub in Vietnam.
  • Wise platform inked its first Japanese partnership, teaming up with GMO Aozora Net Bank.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian fintech Flutterwave forged a partnership with account-to-account (A2A) payments company
  • International payment solutions company Unlimit secured license to operate in Kenya two months after expanding to Nigeria.
  • Harvard Business Review asked and answered the question “What African Fintech Startups Can Teach Silicon Valley About Longevity?”

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Klarna brought its Pay in 3 offering to Romania this week.
  • German identity verification company IDnow added automated document liveness capabilities, financial risk checks, and more to its platform.
  • International development agency USAID partnered with Albanian business solutions provider CBS to launch, Lores Plus, a platform to help Albanian SMEs get access to financing.

Photo by javier gonzalez

Klarna Taps ChatGPT to Personalize Shopping

Klarna Taps ChatGPT to Personalize Shopping
  • Klarna partnered with OpenAI to offer ChatGPT users curated product recommendations.
  • When users download the Klarna plug-in, they will be able to receive links from ChatGPT for curated products.
  • The move comes as OpenAI rolls out plug-ins for a select set of users.

Payments innovator Klarna has teamed up with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT users what it calls a “smooth shopping experience” by serving as a product recommendation engine.

Klarna is leveraging OpenAI’s recently-announced plug-in to offer links to recommended products to users who ask ChatGPT for shopping advice. The links will route users to Klarna’s search and compare tool. The use case is not only helpful for users on the hunt for the best products, it also creates value for Klarna’s 500,000 retail partners seeking to reach broader audiences and acquire new customers.

ChatGPT’s Klarna shopping tool isn’t simply built-in for all users, however. There is a bit of friction involved. To use the shopping tool, shoppers must first install the Klarna plugin from ChatGPTs plugin store. Once it is installed, shoppers can ask the chatbot for relevant shopping ideas. If they don’t like the options provided, users can guide ChatGPT further with additional prompts or simply ask for more options. When consumers click on a link provided in the chat, they will be brought to Klarna’s search and compare tool.

“I’m super excited about our plugin with ChatGPT because it passes my ‘north star’ criteria that I call my ‘mom test’, i.e. would my mom understand and benefit from this. And it does because it’s easy to use and genuinely solves a ton of problems – it drives tremendous value for everyone,” said Klarna Co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski. “Klarna is in a unique position to leverage the best technology and data to help people discover new products and solve problems for consumers at every stage of the shopping journey, and we’ll continue innovating to bring these services to our 150 million consumers.”

OpenAI announced the availability of ChatGPT plug-ins yesterday. The new capability will offer ChatGPT access to the internet, helping the chatbot offer users up-to-date information and use third-party services. At launch, other plug-ins include Expedia, Instacart, KAYAK, OpenTable, Shopify, Zapier, and more. The plug-ins are currently only available to a small number of developers and ChatGPT Plus users, but OpenAI will roll them out to more users over time.

Klarna Reports Loss But Plans to Return to Profitability by Summer

Klarna Reports Loss But Plans to Return to Profitability by Summer
  • Klarna reported a $1 billion operating loss in 2022, up from a $680 million operating loss in 2021.
  • Despite the loss, Klarna plans to return to profitability by this summer.
  • Klarna last reported a full year profitability in 2018.

Consumer payment services company Klarna is inching toward profitability, but is still in the red.

The Swedish company released its operating figures this week, reporting an operating loss of $1 billion for 2022 (10.5 billion crowns). The negative side of the news is that Klarna’s operating loss increased– the company reported a loss of $680 million in 2021. But the positive spin is that Klarna plans to return to profitability by summer.

Last week, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) player reported it has seen a large amount of growth in its U.S. market. The region generated a 71% year-over-year increase in gross merchandise volume, while improving credit loss rates by 37%. As of December 2022, the U.S– with its 34 million consumers– has become Klarna’s largest market by revenue.

Klarna, which last posted a full-year profit in 2018, may be able to reach its 2023 profitability goal. The company has seen increased growth in the U.S. and the U.K. “The U.S. and the U.K. [are] growing at a very high pace, pushing up the average growth number for the whole company,” said company Chief Executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski in a statement to Reuters. Additionally, the company restructured in 2022. Klarna let go of 10% of its staff in May of last year in an effort to rein in costs.

With 150 million customers across the globe, Klarna is one of the pioneers in the BNPL arena and currently offers its BNPL payment tools in 45 markets. More than 400,000 retailers, including H&M, Macy’s, and IKEA, offer Klarna within their checkout flow. The company has raised $4.5 billion since it was founded in 2005.

Photo by Mac Mullins

Klarna Integrates with Blackhawk Network Bringing Buy Now, Pay Later to Grocery Stores and Beauty Salons

Klarna Integrates with Blackhawk Network Bringing Buy Now, Pay Later to Grocery Stores and Beauty Salons
  • Blackhawk Network and Klarna have teamed up to bring Klarna’s alternative payment solutions to customers shopping with physical merchants.
  • The partnership comes as consumers show greater interest in using Buy Now, Pay Later payment options at retailers such as grocery stores, as well as for services.
  • Among Finovate’s earliest alums, both companies made their Finovate debuts in 2012: Klarna at FinovateSpring, Blackhawk Network at FinovateFall.

Branded payments provider Blackhawk Network and ecommerce innovator Klarna have forged a new partnership that will make it easier for consumers to use Klarna’s interest-free alternative payment offerings with brick-and-mortar merchants. Specifically, consumers will be able to use payment alternatives including Buy Now, Pay Later at physical retailers in Blackhawk’s U.S. network ranging from grocery stores to electronics shops to beauty salons.

“During a time of strained budgets and increasing costs, our partnership with Klarna is a significant development for retailers and grocers who are focused on meeting the needs of consumers and enabling them to shop how they want, where they want,” Blackhawk Network Head of Global Commerce Brett Narlinger said. “With Buy Now, Pay Later on a major growth trajectory, the collaboration between Blackhawk and Klarna will provide innovative purchasing options for consumers and retailers.”

The partnership demonstrates the growth in use cases for Buy Now, Pay Later by including both consumer staples like groceries as well as services such as beauty salon visits. In its 2021 Shopping Pulse Report, Klarna noted that not only are grocery stores among the most frequently shopped categories in physical stores, but also that 64% of the report’s respondents would use Buy Now, Pay Later to purchase groceries if the service were available.

“While online retail is on the rise, consumers today still value the in-store experience and expect the same level of service and convenience everywhere they shop,” Klarna Head of North America Kristina Elkhazin said. “We are proud to partner with Blackhawk, an industry leader and pioneer, to integrate its in-store capabilities with Klarna’s in-store payment solutions to make this new commerce and shopping opportunity for retailers across all categories a reality.”

The partnership follows news of Klarna’s launch of a new Loyalty Card feature in its app. The additional functionality, which comes courtesy of Klarna’s acquisition of mobile wallet provider Stocard last year, enables users of the app to store and access their physical loyalty cards as digital cards. The feature supports more than 8,000 loyalty reward programs around the world.

Blackhawk Network most recently made fintech headlines with its partnership with LibertyX. The collaboration, announced in June, will enable consumers to use their LibertyX accounts to purchase bitcoin at participating U.S. retailers such as Fresco y Más, Tops, and Winn-Dixie. A part of the NCR Corporation, LibertyX operates one of the oldest and largest retail networks of bitcoin ATMs, cashiers, and kiosks in the U.S.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Klarna Partners with Marqeta to Launch its New Card

Klarna Partners with Marqeta to Launch its New Card
  • Marqeta announced a collaboration with fellow Finovate alum Klarna to power the company’s new payment card.
  • The new card will enable Klarna customers to use the company’s Pay in 4 payment option in physical stores.
  • This week’s partnership builds upon a relationship the two companies have enjoyed since 2018.

A pair of Finovate alums have teamed up to offer a new transparent alternative to traditional credit cards.

Modern card issuing platform Marqeta reported this week that it is working with banking, payments, and ecommerce platform Klarna to power Klarna’s new payment card. The card will bring Klarna’s Pay in 4 service to a physical Visa card, and builds on a payment card partnership between the two companies that extends back to 2018. Marqeta currently enables the creation of one-time cards on Klarna’s app. The new Klarna Card will give customers the same control, convenience, and flexibility when shopping in physical stores that they currently enjoy when using Klarna’s Pay in 4 at the point of sale or via the Klarna app.

“Our U.S. customer base is growing rapidly and we’ve seen tremendous demand for our new Klarna Card offering,” Klarna Chief Commercial Officer David Sykes said. “By expanding our partnership with Marqeta, we’re leveraging their payments expertise to provide our customers with an unmatched user experience that will ultimately help our business grow.”

This latest collaboration comes just months after the two companies expanded their partnership into 13 new European markets. Klarna will leverage Marqeta’s Just-in-Time Funding functionality to gain control over the full transaction flow, and use Marqeta’s technology and 300+ open APIs to deliver customizable experiences and support Klarna’s international expansion.

“Marqeta’s continued partnership with Klarna is a testament to all the payment experiences that our modern card issuing platform can enable,” said Marqeta CEO and founder Jason Gardner. “We’re proud to offer a flexible, scalable card platform that can meet the demands of such a rapidly-growing and innovative company like Klarna.

A Finovate alum since 2012, Klarna now has more than 147 total active customers – 25 million in the U.S. – is active in 45 countries and facilitates two million transactions a day. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the company began the year with the launch of a physical payment card in the U.K. and, in March, announced the completion of its acquisition of comparison shopping service company PriceRunner. Sebastian Siemiatkowski is CEO.

Based in Oakland, California, Marqeta made its Finovate debut at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley, in 2016. In the years since, Marqeta has issued more than 500 million cards via its platform and processed more than $110 billion in volume in 2021. In addition to its partnership with Klarna, Marqeta also announced this week that it was joining Mastercard’s Network Enablement Partners Program in the Asia Pacific. The move will enhance Marqeta’s ability to offer its APAC customers a faster path to live issuance.

“As one of Mastercard’s first Network Enablement Partners to be onboarded in the Asia Pacific region, Marqeta is well-equipped to deliver card issuances in record time, and to help their fintech customers scale at speed across multiple geographies,” Mastercard SVP of Digital Customer Solutions APAC Ben Gilbey said.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva

Klarna Taps GoCardless to Offer Bank Debit Payments

Klarna Taps GoCardless to Offer Bank Debit Payments

Consumer payment services company Klarna has selected account-to-account (A2A) payments company GoCardless to offer debit bank payments to its U.S. clients.

Specifically, Klarna will use GoCardless’ technology to transfer funds via ACH for its Pay in 4 offering that enables customers to split any purchase into four interest-free payments both online and in-store.

GoCardless CEO and Co-Founder Hiroki Takeuchi said that he anticipates alternative payment methods to experience rapid growth as leveraging debt falls out of favor. “Over the next few years we expect account-to-account payments to challenge the dominance of cards as they tap into changing consumer demand and provide merchants significant benefits in terms of cost, conversion and churn,” Takeuchi said.

Klarna CTO Koen Köppen noted that the U.S. is a key market for Klarna. The company doubled its customer base in the last year, and now has more than 21 million U.S. customers. “To continue along that trajectory,” Köppen noted, “we need partners that not only provide our consumers and retailers more choice and control but also offer us cutting-edge technology and best-in-class service. We’re excited to work with GoCardless and leverage its expertise in account-to-account payments as we expand in the U.S.”

GoCardless, which won Best Enterprise Payments Solution at the Finovate Awards earlier this year, was founded in 2011. The U.K.-based company’s technology helps merchants collect recurring and one-off payments from customers via ACH transfers. Businesses can integrate GoCardless’ API to automate payment collection and reconciliation billing for subscription and invoice payments. Among GoCardless’ clients are DocuSign, Survey Monkey, and

Today’s news about Klarna’s new ACH payment capabilities for U.S. customers is the latest in the company’s recent push into the North American region. Last month, Klarna announced it is adding its Pay Now option to its U.S. payment services. The company also unveiled plans to launch its physical debit card in the U.S. market.

GoCardless entered the U.S. market in 2019 and has since opened two offices in New York City and one in San Francisco. By the end of next year, GoCardless plans to grow its U.S. team by another 125%.

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

Klarna Launches Pay Now in U.S., Announces Plan for U.S. Debit Card

Klarna Launches Pay Now in U.S., Announces Plan for U.S. Debit Card

While some European fintechs are exiting the U.S. market, consumer payment services firm Klarna is doubling down. The Sweden-based company announced it is adding its Pay Now option to its U.S. payment services.

The Pay Now tool does exactly what it implies. Instead of using Klarna’s signature buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment structure, it allows users to pay immediately and in full at retailers where Klarna is accepted. This move offers U.S. shoppers more options when paying with Klarna at the point of sale. Users can now pay in full using Pay Now or pay over time with Pay in 4 and Pay in 30 solutions which allow users to split a purchase into four interest-free payments or pay over the course of 30 days, respectively.

“Consumers continue to reject double digit interest rates and fee-laden revolving credit, while simultaneously seeking more choice, control and flexibility in how they shop and pay both online and in store,” said Klarna Co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski. “With the introduction of ‘Pay Now’, Klarna now offers U.S. consumers the choice to pay immediately and in full, alongside our sustainable interest-free services.”

As a result of adding the Pay Now option, U.S. retailers can now offer Klarna users a more well-rounded payment experience. By offering the option to pay in installments or pay immediately, consumers will be more likely to choose Klarna as a payment option regardless of whether or not they want to use a BNPL tool or pay in full immediately.

Klarna also announced it will launch its physical debit card to the U.S. market. The company wasn’t specific about timing but said it plans to introduce the new product “very soon.” Klarna refers to its debit card as a “tangible extension of the Klarna app experience” because it allows users to pay for their purchases over time and connects to the Klarna app to help users track their purchases. The card is also integrated with Klarna’s loyalty program, Vibe, which offers users rewards, deals, and discounts.

The past year has been quite an active one for BNPL companies. Klarna almost doubled its U.S. customer base this year, now reaching 21 million customers. “By launching ‘Pay Now’ and introducing the Klarna Card in the US, we are continually developing our services to meet consumers’ changing needs,” added Siemiatkowski.

Across the globe, the company counts 90 million active customers in 19 countries who make two million transactions per day at Klarna’s 250,000 merchants, including big brands such as H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Nike. Since it was founded in 2005, Klarna has raised $3.7 billion. The company now has a valuation of $45.6 billion and 4,000 employees.

From Affirm to Visa: The Latest from the Buy Now Pay Later Beat

From Affirm to Visa: The Latest from the Buy Now Pay Later Beat

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) revolution shows no signs of abating any time soon. A combination of newcomers, Buy Now Pay Later pioneers, and even credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard are figuring out new ways to integrate themselves into the biggest consumer commerce phenomenon since shopping by smartphone.

According to CNBC, which bases its analysis on data from FIS Worldpay, the Buy Now Pay Later market has an estimated value of $60 billion globally as of 2019 – though there are even higher estimates. Excluding China, this sum represents 2.6% of all e-commerce. And while BNPL represents less than 2% of sales in North America, the overall BNPL market, CNBC believes, could reach $166 billion by 2023.

Here is just a smattering of this week’s headlines from the Buy Now Pay Later beat that only underscores the velocity of the flight from credit cards and traditional consumer financing.

Stripe teams up with Klarna as BNPL competition from Square, PayPal intensifies

Klarna, a company with a long pedigree in providing consumers with alternative payment options, announced this week that it was partnering with ecommerce innovator and payments platform Stripe. The deal will enable Stripe customers in 20 countries to offer Klarna as a payment option to their customers. As part of the partnership, Klarna will use Stripe to accept payments from consumers in both the U.S. and Canada.

“Over the past years, Klarna and Stripe redefined the e-commerce experience for millions of consumers and global retailers,” Klarna Chief Technology Officer Koen Köppen said. “Together with Stripe, we will be a true growth partner for retailers of all sizes, allowing them to maximize their entrepreneurial success through our joint services. By offering convenience, flexibility, and control to even more shoppers, we create a win-win situation for both retailers and consumers alike.”

The partnership is widely seen as a way for Stripe to compete with payments rivals PayPal and Square, which have deepened their commitment to BNPL in recent months. Square agreed to acquire Australia’s Afterpay for $29 million in August. A month later, PayPal announced its $2.7 billion acquisition of Japanese Buy Now Pay Later company Paidy.

Affirm partners with American Airlines to ease cost of holiday travel

In a move well-timed to take advantage of end-of-year travel trends, American Airlines has announced a partnership with Buy Now Pay Later innovator Affirm. The collaboration will enable eligible travelers to pay for the costs of airfare over time on an installment basis, providing them with “flexibility, transparency, and control,” according to Affirm Chief Commercial Officer Silvija Martincevic. Using Affirm, travelers can pay for flights costing at least $50 with monthly installments without having to pay late fees or worry about hidden charges.

“While consumers are as eager as ever to get away,” Martincevic said, “they remain conscious of fitting travel into their budget.” Martincevic cited a survey conducted by the company that indicated that 74% of Americans queried said they would spend more on holiday travel this year “than ever before,” but that 60% were worried that they would not be able to “afford to travel as they would like to.”

The offering is currently available only to select customers, but will be expanded to include more U.S. consumers in the weeks to come. The collaboration marks the first time that American Airlines has integrated BNPL options into its website.

Marqeta and Amount announce collaboration to help banks offer BNPL

The partnership announced this week between card issuing platform Marqeta and bank technology provider Amount will make it easier for financial institutions to get into the Buy Now Pay Later business. Marqeta and Amount have forged a virtual card and loan origination partnership that will enable banks to go to market with their own BNPL/virtual card offering in months. This will help them boost revenues, grow market share, and promote loyalty.

Echoing the challenge that banks and other financial institutions face from Big Tech and fintech alike, Amount CEO Adam Hughes pointed to the partnership with Marqeta as a way for banks to close the consumer expectations gap between themselves and more tech-savvy, tech-native enterprises entering the financial services space. “Banks must compete or continue to lose market share to digital challengers who offer a more flexible way for their customers to pay,” Hughes said.

Part of what makes the Marqeta/Amount partnership interesting is how it takes advantage of research that suggests that a significant number of consumers who have used BNPL would prefer it if the service came from their bank or credit card provider. Amount’s modular approach to BNPL is configurable, easy to deploy, and integrates readily with banks’ legacy platforms, giving FIs the ability to introduce BNPL offerings over a variety of different channels and payment methods.

Berlin-based Billie banks $100 million in funding

The latest reminder of the international growth of Buy Now Pay Later comes from the $100 million investment secured by Berlin, Germany-based, B2B Buy Now Pay Later startup, Billie. The Series C round was led by U.K.-based Dawn Capital and featured participation from Tencent and, interestingly enough, Klarna. In fact, Klarna’s investment comes in the wake of a strategic partnership with Billie in which the two companies will integrate their service to better leverage their core competencies, with Billie serving business customers and Klarna handling retail consumers.

“BNPL for B2B is still in its infancy phase,” Klarna CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski explained, “even though the demand has never been higher. We are here to solve problems and by being able to offer this service to our merchant partners together with Billie, we are doing just that.”

The Series C round gives Billie a valuation of $640 million, and is believed to be the largest B2B Buy Now Pay Later funding round to-date. Co-founder and co-CEO of Billie, Dr. Matthias Knecht noted that those companies buying from larger businesses and individual retailers are increasingly embracing a “digital-first” approach that includes not just “modern user interfaces, high limits for shopping carts, as well as real-time decisions for B2B” but options like BNPL, as well. “There is nearly no provider of a BNPL product (for these companies) like what Klarna offers for B2C,” Knecht said. “We aim to close this gap.”

Visa expands BNPL offerings in Canada via partnership with Moneris

International card company and financial services provider Visa has been making inroads of its own into the Buy Now Pay Later market. This week, the company made headlines in the Canadian fintech news space via a new collaboration with unified commerce company Moneris.

“We’re happy to be working with a trusted brand like Visa Canada on providing a buy now pay later option to Canadians,” Moneris Chief Product and Partnership Officer Patrick Diab said. “Bringing flexible payment methods like buy now pay later to our merchants helps them offer their customers more options when it comes time to pay.”

Courtesy of the new collaboration, merchants partnered with Moneris will be able to leverage Visa’s BNPL solution – Visa Installments – to give eligible Canadian credit cardholders access to installment payments on qualifying purchases. Cardholders can use the existing credit on their cards to pay for purchases in smaller, equal payments over a defined time period, with no additional, new service sign ups or requirement to apply for a new line of credit.

Moneris is set to begin offering Visa Installments to its customers by the spring of 2022.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Klarna Adds Online Trip Planning with Inspirock Acquisition

Klarna Adds Online Trip Planning with Inspirock Acquisition

Does COVID have you dreaming up your long-awaited vacation? Consumer payment services firm Klarna’s latest acquisition may be of help.

The Sweden-based company snapped up Inspirock, an online trip planning service, for an undisclosed amount. Klarna CEO and Co-Founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski described the addition of travel planning “a natural extension of the benefits Klarna brings to payments and shopping.”

Founded in 2012, Inspirock leverages AI to help its customers explore a destination’s offerings and create personalized itineraries utilizing local expertise. On an annual basis, the California-based company sees 25+ million customers each year.

The integration will allow Klarna’s 90 million customers to use the Klarna app to pay for a trip in installments. In addition to the payment aspect, Klarna will also help users plan for their trip. Inspirock matches travelers’ preferences with over 230 million data points to optimize their travel itinerary and discover hidden gems.

“For customers, this makes the whole journey from inspiration to planning and preparing for a trip simpler, less stressful, and more fun, while enabling our retail partners to better reach and engage with their audiences by offering more personalized content,” said Siemiatkowski.

Combining travel planning with its existing payment capabilities inches Klarna towards becoming more like a super app. Founded in 2005 and with $3.7 billion in funding, Klarna offers buy now, pay later options to help users avoid credit cards while enjoying payment flexibility. Klarna also offers a shopping app to provide users with a holistic shopping experience– from payments to shipment tracking– and a rewards club it describes as the “vibeyest community in shopping.”

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Klarna Locks in $639 Million in New Funding; Earns $46 Billion Valuation

Klarna Locks in $639 Million in New Funding; Earns $46 Billion Valuation

In a round led by SoftBank – and featuring participation from Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management, and WestCap Group – consumer payments pioneer Klarna has raised $639 million in funding. The investment brings the company a valuation of $46 billion at a time when the buy now pay later trend is reshaping consumer financing

“Consumers continue to reject interest- and fee-laden revolving credit and are moving toward debit while simultaneously seeking retail experiences that better meet their needs,” Klarna founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said. “More transparent and convenient alternatives align with evolving global consumer preferences and drive worldwide growth.”

A Finovate alum since 2012, Stockholm, Sweden-based Klarna was among the innovators in “after-delivery payment” which enabled buyers to receive products before payment was due, with the facilitating company taking on all credit and fraud risk for online merchants. To state the obvious, Klarna’s approach to consumer financing has caught on in the years since with a wave of companies across the globe launching their own “buy now pay later” options – especially of late. Today, with this investment, Klarna is Europe’s biggest fintech unicorn, with more than $1.2 billion in 2020 revenues, and more than 18 million customers in the U.S. alone. The company’s payment options are available at nearly a quarter of the top U.S. retailers, and can be found in 17 markets around the world. Klarna’s most recent offering, Pay in 4, is a full embrace of the buy now pay later format, giving consumers the opportunity to pay for purchases over time in four, interest-free payments.

In addition to being the highest-valued private fintech in Europe, Klarna is now the #2 fintech in terms of valuation in the world – behind Stripe. And as part of the GiveOne initiative launched by Klarna earlier this year, the company will direct 1% of this week’s investment to “initiatives supporting planet health.”

“Klarna is really transforming and disrupting corporate giving by not only implementing a long-term commitment but also by enabling others to do the same,” explained Nina Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO of Milkywire, a social impact platform that serves as Klarna’s strategic partner in the GiveOne project. “We hope that many more companies follow their lead and support our planet by funding those who are on the frontlines making impactful change on a daily basis.”

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Klarna Scores Big in New Billion Dollar Funding Round

Klarna Scores Big in New Billion Dollar Funding Round

Europe’s most valuable fintech startup just got a lot more valuable.

Klarna announced on Monday that it has raised $1 billion in new funding and earned a lofty valuation of $31 billion. The company, which set out to raise $500 million in the just-ended round, credited investor demand for the exceptional amount raised. Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski also cited strong growth in the U.S. as a reason why investor dollars are flocking toward his company.

“What definitely has accelerated and changed is the success in the U.S. market,” Siemiatkowski said. “Investors are seeing Klarna getting ahead of its competitors. I think that has changed the perspective and changed the view on our valuation.”

According to Siemiatkowski, investors are seeing Klarna as the king of an e-commerce wave that is making Buy Now Pay Later a mainstream financing approach. The reverse layaway strategy of enabling consumers to receive goods and services now and pay for them in equal installments over time has made BNPL the hottest new thing in online shopping. Klarna, which was founded in 2005 and made its Finovate debut seven years later, has been a pioneer in “after delivery payment” and other forms of consumer financing for years. This week’s financing is, in part, a recognition of this fact and a bet that, amid rising competition, Klarna will come out on top.

Right now, both Siemiatkowski and Klarna’s backers seem equally eager to take on legacy consumer financing options as well as Klarna’s BNPL rivals. Pointing out how the buy now pay later approach is fairer insofar as it makes the same offer to all consumers, Siemiatkowski adds, “There’s a number of investors out there that agree with us. They see that this credit card industry is actually at its core flawed and needs some innovation.”

In addition to using the new capital for acquisitions, the company is more interested in synergies that will “help people save time and money” than it is in purchasing rivals. That said, Siemiatkowski does have a few novel uses for at least some of the company’s new funding: Klarna will donate approximately $10 million to organizations that are dedicated to fighting climate change.

More than 30 current and new investors participated in Klarna’s latest fundraising, including Silver Lake, Sequoia Capital, BlackRock, and HMI Capital. Other investors included Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and individual investor, rapper Snoop Dogg.

Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Klarna claims 90 million users and 250,000 merchant partners around the world. The company is optimistic about its growth in the U.S., saying they expect it to overtake Germany as its biggest market by the end of this year. The company has inked partnerships with 20 of the top 100 brands in the U.S., and said it gained a million new customers a month in the States in the final quarter of last year.

Photo by Jean-Daniel Francoeur from Pexels