Dive Brief:

  • Swedish buy now, pay later pioneer Klarna has partnered for the first time with ride-share pioneer Uber to offer two payment options to customers in the U.S., Germany and Sweden seeking rides and food deliveries, according to a Wednesday press release.
  • The agreement does not include Klarna’s BNPL offerings, the release said. Rather, as of Wednesday Uber customers in the three countries are able to make immediate payments with a debit card, credit card or bank account via Klarna. A “subscription” option, which rolls up charges into a single monthly payment is also available in Germany and Sweden, the release said. That option will come to the U.S. later this year, a company spokesperson confirmed via email.    
  • The partnership represents “a significant milestone” for Klarna, CEO and Co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in the press release, adding that the company’s immediate payment option accounts for about one-third of its payment volumes. 

Dive Insight:

Stockholm-based Klarna’s partnership with Uber was announced a day after the company said it would bring BNPL financing to U.S. customers of travel company Expedia Group. However, there are currently no plans to bring BNPL loans to Uber customers, a Klarna spokesperson confirmed in an email. 

The company did say that it plans to expand through similar partnerships, calling them a “massive opportunity” to reach consumers.

As Klarna moves to expand its reach through merchants, it is also revamping its credit card services. The company said last week that it would replace its card offering with one that removes the option for cardholders to split a payment into four installments.

While it launches the new card, the company is quietly phasing out the rewards program associated with the old card, according to a Tuesday report from Modern Retail.

“While Affirm’s Rewards beta program is no longer available, we are continuing to explore how we can bring a best-in-class rewards experience to our consumers.” a Klarna spokesperson told the retail news site.

The partnerships and product shuffling may be part of a quest for profitability, with the ultimate goal of an initial public offering. Siemiatkowski said that the company’s IPO could occur “quite soon,” according to a Bloomberg report last month.

Klarna reported a loss of about 2.5 billion Swedish kronor, or about $244 million, for last year.


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