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Swedish buy now, pay later company Klarna has announced Appliances Online as its first Australian retail partner

Business Insider Australia logo Business Insider Australia 11/02/2020 James Hennessy
  • Swedish fintech firm Klarna has revealed Appliances Online will be its first retail partner in Australia.
  • Klarna, which offers a buy now, pay later (BNPL) functionality through its app similar to local challengers like Afterpay, launched last month backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
  • Klarna's app allows shoppers to use BNPL functionality with any online store.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.

Klarna, the Swedish fintech giant trying to muscle its way into Australia's crowded buy now, pay later (BNPL) market, has announced Appliances Online as its first Australian brand partner.

The company, which launched at the end of January in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank, entered the market with no brands on board, though it touted its global relationships with companies like Adidas, IKEA, Expedia, Samsung, ASOS and Nike.

“By partnering with Appliances Online, we’re able to create an experience that heightens customer loyalty, helping them continue their impressive growth and demonstrate the wider value of our payment products to retailers across all markets," said Fran Ereira, General Manager for ANZ at Klarna.

"Klarna is proven to increase conversion and customer acquisition for over 200,000 retailers across the globe, so we’re confident that we will help Appliances Online with a truly customer-centric payment experience.”

The Appliances Online partnership will allow customers to use Klarna's platform to pay for their purchases in four equal interest-free instalments at checkout – in much the same way as similar BNPL firms like Afterpay operate.

Klarna appears to be taking its time shoring up Australian partners

Klarna is in no hurry to develop relationships with local vendors.

The reason for this is simple: through the Klarna app on iOS and Android, shoppers can use the buy now, pay later functionality at virtually any online merchant using the inbuilt browser. This doesn't require Klarna to have actually established a relationship with a brand.

Speaking to Business Insider Australia in January, Klarna CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski said this “ubiquity” was key to Klarna's strategy.

“One of the ideas we had at Klarna a couple of years ago was, you know, if people can build cars that drive themselves in the streets, shouldn’t we be able to build a computer that can go to any website and make a purchase on your behalf?” Siemiatkowski said.

The advantage of Klarna entering partnerships with brands like Appliances Online, however, is twofold.

Firstly, it means users are able to use Klarna functionality at checkout without the app – a more frictionless experience.

Secondly, it means Klarna makes money via transactions through charging a merchant fee to the vendor. Business Insider Australia understands Klarna does not make any money from transactions through its app with non-partner vendors.

With the Commonwealth Bank's backing, Klarna can definitely afford to take it slow.

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