Klarna becomes a bank

Klarna has been granted a full banking license by the Swedish financial supervisory authority Finansinspektionen. This means Klarna can operate as a bank, something it wanted for a long time. With a banking license, Klarna kan now broaden its product portfolio for customers and merchants.


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Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, is more than happy with this new milestone. “We are now one of Europe’s largest banks with 60 million customers, 70,000 merchants and working seamlessly across borders.”

Klarna Bank: ‘We need to reimagine what banks really are’

Klarna moving from mobile payments into the old business of retail banking is something that has been in the pipeline for quite some time. In October 2015, Klarna applied for a Swedish banking license. Some months later, Siemiatkowski told the Economist more about their plans and said “in the longer term, we need to reimagine what banks really are”.

Now, Klarna is aiming to transform parts of retail banking. The Swedish company thinks it can do things different than the current players, because of its technological platform, the lack of an organizational legacy and its focus on customer experience, innovation and simplicity.

‘We have the tools to drive change in retail banking’

“As the entire banking value chain is being challenged, the payments sector has seen the most profound transformation. Klarna has played a role in disrupting payments services for the better and now as a consumer-oriented, product driven and technology intensive bank, we have the tools to drive change in retail banking”, co-founder Siemiatkowski says. “The opportunities are tremendous, it is a thrilling prospect.”