This move makes Klarna the first BNPL firm to make such a move. The company will now compete with the growing roster of digital banks in Germany, including N26 and Tomorrow.
Users will receive a Visa debit card, which is available in two colors, and will have tools on the app to track, manage, budget, and analyze their spending habits. Klarna will also reimburse users for two global ATM transactions per month.
“Our focus is to provide a superior shopping experience to our consumers at the intersection of retail and banking,” said Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski. “And we know that there’s still massive room for improvement to the way many people bank and save their money today. Users are demanding more seamless, intuitive and transparent services to meet their daily needs, but many banks still do not cater for this.”
As Siemiatkowski points out, Klarna banking will be useful for “bundling shopping and banking in one app.” However, it is difficult to see the extra value a Klarna bank account will bring to users who aren’t big on shopping. N26 touts an integration with Transferwise for easy and inexpensive foreign money transfers and Tomorrow differentiates itself with a positive approach to sustainability and social causes. Klarna, in contrast, makes shopping a more embedded experience. This isn’t necessarily a positive attribute for one’s finances.
To counteract this “spend, spend, spend” mentality, Klarna said it has plans to add savings goals to the banking app, a feature that is already available in Sweden.
A pilot of Klarna’s bank account will initially be available to the company’s “most loyal” users and will roll out to all Germany-based users “in the coming months.”