This trend is picking up speed. Fast growing Fintech firms are looking to receive regulatory approval to operate more like a bank. Klarna, a Sweden based payments platform, was granted a full banking license by the Finansinspektionen, (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority) last week.
Klarna management explained, obtaining a banking license was a natural next step for their company. This will enable Klarna to broaden their product portfolio offering new services to customers including small business. Klarna added that no organisational legacy will stand in their way and their approach to banking will include a positive customer experience, innovation and simplicity. In brief, Klarna wants to transform retail banking.
“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,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski CEO of Klarna. “We are now one of Europe’s largest banks with 60 million customers, 70,000 merchants and working seamlessly across borders.”
Having 60 million customers is nothing to sneeze at. Klarna is active in 18 markets with more than 1500 employees. While small in the world of traditional banks the growth of Klarna has been pretty impressive. Siemiatkowski added;
“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.“
Klarna was founded in 2005 in Stockholm with the aim of making it easier for people to shop online. Over last 12 years, technology has evolved, and improved yet Klarna’s mission remains the same; to make paying and now retail banking as simple, safe and above all, smooth as possible.