Sweden online payments provider Klarna gets bank license

Swedish payments firm Klarna just announced that had received a banking license from Sweden’s financial watchdog Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen).

While the company would not comment on immediate plans, the banking license that is valid across the European Union gives it “very interesting opportunities” including the possibility to issue credit cards and other retail banking services, a spokeswoman said.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski CEO of Klarna:

This is another exciting milestone on the Klarna journey to become the world’s favourite way to buy but also for the European banking sector. We are now one of Europe’s largest banks with 60 million customers, 70,000 merchants and working seamlessly across borders.

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. We will do this by providing solutions that ensure a smooth customer experience, help people streamline their financial lives and continue to support businesses by solving the complexity in handling payments. The opportunities are tremendous, it is a thrilling prospect.“ added Sebastian Siemiatkowski.

Klarna which manages payments for e-commerce companies, handles 450,000 transactions per day according to its website.

A spokesman for the Financial Supervisory Authority confirmed the company had been given a license to operate as a bank.

Klarna was founded in Stockholm in 2005 and has now more than 1,500 employees and is active on 18 markets.

The license to operate as a bank came into effect the date of the decision.

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