Klarna offers ‘Pay Now’ option in US, Klarna Card coming soon

U.S. consumers now have the choice to use Klarna’s “Pay Now” service to pay immediately and in full at any online retailer where Klarna is available.

This adds to the global retail bank, payments and shopping giant’s stateside offerings, where Klarna has doubled its customer base to more than 21 million customers.

In addition to Pay Now, Klarna will be introducing its Klarna Card to U.S. customers, which will enable them to make interest-free payments in four installments using a physical card format, either in stores or online. It works with the Klarna app and also can be added to Apple Pay and Google Pay.

U.S. users were already able to use Klarna’s Express button for a seamless checkout, now live at Macy’s and Coach, and its subscription service, a first-of-its-kind tool for paying subscriptions and memberships in four, interest-free payments. Klarna works with over 250,000 retail partners.

Launching these services in the U.S. is a natural extension of what the company has already experienced in its other markets, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Klarna’s co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch. For Klarna, Europe’s volume of Pay Now represents 50%, he added.

“We are super excited to launch a card in the U.S.,” he said. “As we have seen in other markets, we want people to use Klarna everywhere. Some will occasionally use Klarna on websites and the app, but when you give them a piece of plastic, they are also highly appreciative and people love it.”

Though behind in market share versus competitors like PayPal, Klarna’s approach as a way to pay online and its share of checkout is providing some competition. Merchants are telling Klarna that its share of checkout is steadily growing after being in the U.S. market for just two years, Siemiatkowski said.

“It feels like a good opportunity to give them a good challenge,” he added.

This latest offering follows a number of updates the company made recently, including releasing its super app earlier this month to provide one app for the entire customer journey from discovery to returns.

And, in October, Klarna acquired Inspirock, an online trip planner using artificial intelligence and local expertise, to add a travel agent component for Klarna’s 90 million users.

While discussing the Inspirock acquisition, David Sandstrom, Klarna CMO, said the super app was an opportunity to bring capabilities seen in other countries, like China, to the Western world and connect a lot of pain points for consumers.

“With the app, we took a look at what more problems beyond payments could we do,” Sandstrom added. “Moving into the space, the online shopping journey is typically spread out to 20 different apps, one each for processes like discovery, payment and return management. The super app is a framework to launch features at mass scale. We can now continuously launch products into the app, and will eventually open it up to third parties.”