Klarna International chief executive officer CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski.
Swedish fintech company Klarna International, offering alternative forms of credit to consumers and companies, has decided to enter the Greek credit market and has already had a successful Greek group invest in it. Its chief executive officer explained to Kathimerini why Klarna chose to set up shop in Greece.
“Greece is a country that has learnt the tough way of bad forms of credit, and we believe that the forms we provide are healthy with no interest, fixed installments etc,” says CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski.
Through Klarna, Greek businesses have the chance to expand to other markets, such as German-speaking ones, as well as Eastern European markets, Britain, the US etc, he says.
Unlike traditional forms of credit, Klarna offers Greek consumers the possibility of paying in three interest-free installments using their debit card. This payment method prevents overborrowing as well as charges such as interest if one does not pay the full amount owed on time. Already more than 50 companies in Greece are using Klarna’s service (“Pay in 3”) – among them Public – while a growing number are expected to be added in the coming days and weeks.
Public Capital Partners, of the Pavlos Germanos group, confirmed on Tuesday its participation in Klarna’s recent funding round, without revealing the amount spent or the stake acquired in the startup. The funding round has raised some $800 million.
“Greece over the last few years has seen tremendous growth in e-commerce – accelerated by Covid, but still without a great user-experience from a payments perspective – so very similar to when we started in Sweden many years ago. A lot of cash on delivery, clicks, security codes that makes the process unnecessary tedious,” explains Siemiatkowski.
He adds, “We know that there is anti-credit sentiment in Greece due to past experiences, and that is very similar to what has driven our success in other markets.”
“Klarna aspires to be one of the first banks to offer its services in all European countries. We believe there is a great opportunity there, and from that point of view Greece is a very important market for us,” he states.