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Klarna’s Kevin Ward on What it Takes to Win with Buy Now, Pay LaterWhile FinTech darling Klarna is a licensed bank with financial products, its brand and trajectory behave more like an upstart ecommerce organization focused on consumer adoption. Klarna, which pioneered the fast-growing Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment system, has a market valuation of more than $31 billion and more than 90 million customers around the globe. In this podcast, Kevin Ward, director, key global partnerships at Klarna, sits down with Jason Nyhus, SVP of global sales and partnerships at Digital River to talk about the Klarna marketing strategy, the benefits of BNPL and why retails brands should take note. Buy now pay later ecommerce benefits Pretty much every customer who transacts through Klarna spends more, spends more often and comes back more often than customers paying with credit or debit cards, says Ward, who notes that the company focuses heavily on marketing that helps customers feel comfortable with the BNPL option. “Compared to credit and debit card usage, there’s no comparison,” Ward notes in his discussion of the Klarna marketing strategy at 6:10. “The amount of items they have in the basket are exponentially larger than they are on credit and debit cards.” The Klarna growth trajectory One change brought on by the global pandemic has been that older consumers have been more willing to try new-to-them online payments systems. While Klarna started in the fast-fashion industry that attracted younger consumers, it’s expanded into verticals like homewares that attract a wider demographic. “It’s about driving those new demographics, but most importantly, building that customer sentiment and that ecosystem all the time, because that’s where the merchants are getting the most benefit from,” Ward says in his discussion of COVID at 19:01. “And the customers then have the most benefit from having a wide range of merchants to shop at.” The Klarna marketing strategy Since it was founded in 2005, Klarna’s growth trajectory has been steadily headed upward, much of it due to the brand’s commitment to driving both adoption and performance. More than 1,000 of Klarna’s 3,500 staff around the world are engineers, underscoring its commitment to making the BNPL shopping experience as seamless as possible for consumers and brands. “The one constant that’s been climbing over the years is that quest for making shopping as friction-free as possible,” says Ward in his discussion of the company’s fast growth at 3:06. “And that’s what we do every day.”
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