Online shoppers praise the ease and convenience of shopping with the click of a mouse and now, their habit is safer than ever
Technological innovation has made people’s lives easier and more comfortable. A lot of things can now be done with a single mouse-click, literally. Watching movies, sending mail or shopping no longer require getting dressed, having to get into the car, navigating through narrow aisles between stacked shelves, and standing in the check-out queues. People can just lean back in their living rooms and browse through the broad range of offers online. Thanks to Klarna this experience is not only comfortable, but it is also safe.
Founded in 2005, Klarna – original name Kreditor – is the brainchild of three students, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Victor Jacobsson and Niklas Adalberth, who met at the Stockholm School of Economics. The men’s vision was to make online shopping simpler and safer. Ideally, creating a smooth undertaking that would eliminate the customer’s hesitation of paying online and the retailers concern about credit and fraud risks.
The company, of which Siemiatkowski is the CEO, knows what makes consumer feel safe. “Klarna lets the consumer get the goods, actually see and feel them before payment,” he explains.
The benefit for the participating e-stores is a revenue increase thanks to “an extremely high ease-of-use, which leads to […] more returning customers for the merchant.”
Klarna further provides the retailers with a high level of security standards and risk analysis to increase trust and security.
“You have to believe in yourself and your idea so much so that you are prepared to put everything on the line”
Like any young company Klarna had to face challenges along the way and find people who would support its vision. “You have to believe in yourself and your idea so much so that you are prepared to put everything on the line,” Siemiatkowski emphasises.
“So far we have not faced anything we could not handle or had not planned for in advance,” he adds.
After seven years the company has conquered six countries and is currently introducing safe and simple online payments in a seventh, Austria. The experience gathered over the years, combined with a strong local focus, has helped Klarna develop a solid approach to any kind of new territory.
Klarna offers three payment systems, of which invoicing constitutes the strong core, but it is supported by an instalment service and “at the same time we see an amazing increase in demand for mobile payments. A lot of the industry growth is believed to happen in this area.”
Klarna is growing not geographically and technologically, but also looking at the current number of employees (766), it is growing internally. With 2012 coming to an end, the company has more than seven million customers and is one of Europe’s fastest growing.
“This is a very exciting time both for us and the industry as a whole,” Siemiatkowski says before disclosing Klarna’s New Year resolution. “We intend to continue to grow in both existing and new markets in the coming year.”
Europe is only the first step towards a future in which Klarna sees itself as the world’s leading provider of invoice-based online payments and creator of a shopping experience that is fun and safe for both sides.