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‘Buy now, pay later’ firm Klarna to launch first physical card for in-store UK payments

The online payments service is expanding onto the high street.

By Will Stroude

Words: Brian Lenord; Image: Klarna

‘Buy now, pay later’ service Klarna is set to take its ever-expanding reach onto the UK high street with the launch of its first physical card.

The Swedish online banking and payments service has announced the launch of an interest-free credit card into the UK market that will allow consumers to delay payment for 30 days. No late fees will be charged.

Klarna, which has already successfully launched the card in Sweden and Germany, says that 400,000 people in the UK have already signed up to the waiting list for the card.

The company says its card offering could be expanded in the future to include additional payment options, such as splitting payments into three installments.

The Klarna Card will be available in pink or black and can be fully integrated with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

“Consumers are rejecting credit products which charge double-digit interest rates while allowing repayments to be put off indefinitely,” says Alex Marsh, Head of Klarna UK.

“For online purchases where credit makes sense, buy now pay later has become the sustainable alternative with no interest and clear payment schedules. The launch of Klarna Card in the UK brings those benefits to the offline world, giving consumers the control and transparency of BNPL for all of their in-store purchases.”

Klarna launched in the UK in 2016, and has rapidly expanded as consumers increasingly turn to online shopping; a trend exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Consumer watchdogs and politicians have increasingly called for the ‘buy now, pay later’ market to be regulated, arguing that the apprach enables consumers to spend more than they can afford.

A government consultation on the regulation of ‘buy now, pay later’ products closed earlier this month, with legislation expected to be brought forward later in the year.

Klarna previously said it believes that greater regulation of the sector is a “good thing”, adding: “We continuously set the standard for the sector in the best interest of consumers.”