There is various available buy now, pay later businesses also known as BNPL, and most times we view them as shady deals because what gives.?
This deal sounds too good to be true, and they have taught us severally that any deal that sounds too good to be true is a scam.
Klarna is an example of one of the many BNPL companies out there gaining a massive amount of popularity.
Klarna is widely known for boasting of their interest-free transactions, i.e., charging no interest on borrowed money and their pay-in 4 shopping options which allow you to spread the cost of any purchased material into 4 different parts, which lets you pay the first part on ordering the items then the remaining payments come every two weeks.
Is this company a scam or a legit business? Does this company really employ the interest-free rule? Or are they actually wolves in sheep’s clothing, filled with hidden fees?
This article would serve as a guidebook to everything to know about Klarna before you decide on signing up.
Table of contents
What is Klarna?
Klarna is one of the biggest financial technology firms in Europe. It was founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden by its present CEO Sebastian Semiatkowski together with Niklas Adalberth and Victor Jacobsson.
Klarna, also known as sofort is an online banking payments service that allows users to make safe, fast e-banking transactions.
Also, Klarna is available to people who have bank accounts in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, and Norway. Klarna is a buy now pay later financing service.
Klarna mobile app allows customers to design payment plans on specific stores that normally do not allow such payment methods.
It allows customers to purchase from high-end retailers such as Apple, Microsoft, Macy’s, Sephora, Saks fifth avenue, and many others without paying the total money upfront, this helps customers split the price of expensive items and pay in installments.
Klarna attracts a large number of customers due to its strong point of offering zero interest rate on the borrowed money and flexibility on payment of expensive items.
Equally, the Klarna app can be used both for online and in-store shopping. Klarna being interest-free are convenient alternative to credit cards.
How Does Klarna Work?
Using Klarna, you can do purchases through the Klarna app, online and at stores that accept it as a means of payment.
The Klarna soft credit inquiry, your purchase history, and your personal details are used to determine your personal spending limit and shopping eligibility.
When you purchase with Klarna, you can choose from three different financing options.
Pay in 4:
This option allows you to use your debit or credit card to pay for your purchase. The first payment (25% of the total amount) is charged to your card after the agent has processed your order.
The next three payments will be automatically charged to the credit card every two weeks with a 2-day prior reminder.
The pay-in-4 financing options has a zero percent interest rate as long as you follow the automatic payment schedule.
Pay in 30 days:
This financing option lets the customer purchase the desired items from retailers that support the Klarna finance.
Once the retailer ships your order you receive a digital invoice from Klarna which specifies that payment for the goods is due in 30 days.
The pay in 30 days plan enables customers to make returns of purchased goods they don’t like and pay the final balance with a credit card, debit card or bank account.
The pay in 30-day option has zero interest charge or hidden fee if you pay the invoice for on the stipulated time.
6-36 Month plan:
A lot also know this plan as financing or “slice it”. This option is usually for the more expensive goods and is open to only a select number of users.
It works like a credit card; the only difference is the physical card’s absence. They can spread out your purchases over 6 to 36 months, but the annual percentage rate will be greater than with a credit card.
Credit cards are not allowed for payment on this plan, so you must use a debit card or a bank account.
The 6- 36-month plan or Klarna financing can come in three forms depending on the merchant’s offer. They include,
With the planned payment option, you will receive a specified repayment schedule, an interest rate, and an annual percentage rate.
You are meant to make a fixed payment every month.
This option lets you personally design your repayment plan while the merchant gives you a quality interest rate and the minimum payment allowed with your credit or debit card.
It is advisable to pay off your balance quickly to avoid accumulating interest.
Deferred interest financing:
This option also requires a minimum payment, like the flexible month-to-month. The deferred interest financing plan lets its customers pay off purchases in time with zero interest charged.
They will charge you interest for the entire payback period if you do not pay within the time they allot to you.
Before making purchases from any retail store accepting Klarna services, it is advisable to carefully go through the terms and conditions provided by the retailer before selecting a financing plan.
What are the Pros and Cons of using Klarna?
Are you thinking of signing up for Klarna or any related buy now pay later firms?
Below is a list of pros and cons to enable you to make the best decision.
- It offers multiple ways to finance purchases.
- Klarna can be used both online and in-store for purchases.
- It offers various free interest plans
- It does not require membership or an annual fee.
- Klarna offers multiple repayment options available.
- Klarna can be used in any retail company in the United States accepting credit or debit cards.
- It offers an easy, reliable, safe opportunity to buy from various stores.
- It creates a virtual card number for other retailers.
- You can get points by registering for its reward program called vibe, which lets you cash out the points accumulated as gift cards.
· Klarna requires a soft credit check i.e., an inquiry into your credit history or report.
- You can be charged for falling behind on your agreed payment plan.
- A missed payment can be reported to the credit bureau, which can reduce your credit rating.
- Poorly managed customer service.
- Late fees can accumulate.
- Increases chances of falling into debt due to always borrowing.
- Refunds can become complicated as Klarna uses different return and refund policies which depend on the store being shopped at.
- Does not accept prepaid cards.
What are the Steps to Setting up your Klarna App?
If you are in one country accepting Klarna this section will serve as a guide towards setting up your Klarna account.
The Klarna app is easy to use; the steps involved in setting it up include:
1. Download the Klarna app:
The Klarna app is currently available for both android and apple customers; it can e downloaded from the Google play store and the Apple Appstore, respectively.
They will require you to create a profile providing personal details like name, email address, and phone number
2. Link your credit or debit card:
Your debit card or credit card information should be added to your profile section of the app for any purchases made.
3. Start Shopping:
You are ready to go and free to shop from different retail stores using the app.
After shopping and you are ready to proceed to the check-out section, you will be required to use a virtual one-time card, also known as the Klarna ghost card.
Payment options will be made available to you depending on the purchase amount.
Each purchase made through the Klarna app will require app approval before processing unless you are eligible for the Klarna financing account, enabling you to access it severally.
Buying many items in a short time frame can lead to application rejection. Each Klarna purchase goes through an approval process. Klarna is permitted to review your credit history with every purchase you make.
If, on checking out, you select the pay-in instalment plan, Klarna will undergo a routine soft credit check which does not affect your credit score, but if you select the Klarna financing plan, they undergo a hard credit check which is capable of reducing your credit score by a few points.
No stated minimum credit score is required for a customer to qualify for Klarna.
The Klarna mobile app lets you track your purchased goods, view your purchase history, and process returns. The application also lets the customers create items on the wish list for future purchases or share them with others for gift ideas.
The app has a feature that sends you a notification when there is a reduction in price on any item placed in the wish list section.
Klarna is one of the few buy now, pay later apps that give a loyalty program i.e., Vibe, which allows you to earn points with every purchase made. This point can be converted to gift cards at Starbucks, Sephora and others.
The vibe program is aimed at rewarding clients and retaining them.
Is Klarna Legit or Scam?
NO, Klarna is not a Scam. After intense research, we can safely say that Klarna, despite offering a service that might sound too good to be true, is not a scam.
Klarna offers an impressive buy now pay later service to its customer with a zero percent interest rate as long as you keep to the prior agreement by paying on the stipulated time.
Klarna has been approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2015 with an A+ rating.
The Klarna app has a 4.6-star rating on the Google play store and a 4.9-star rating on the Apple App store, with reviews online from both customers and workers proving the fact that Klarna is a legit company and not a scam. Klarna separates itself from other BNPL’S due to its unique zero interest rate, flexibility, and being safe and secure.
What Klarna does is literally borrow money from its customers to enable them to purchase and select the preferred option for repaying the debt, if they remit the amount on the agreed due date, there is no charge on the borrowed money.
Interest charges come only when the customer falls behind on paying back the agreed amount.
In the scenario when you delay your payment, you can get to pay a fee of up to 7$ and up to 35$ for longer-term plans. Klarna’s late fees cannot exceed 25% of your purchase.
Besides this, the acceptance of Klarna by some big businesses like Sephora, Macy, Starbucks, and others should serve as a proving factor that they are a legit business and not a scam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Klarna is a legit company with an A+ rating on the better business bureau.
No, if you keep to your due repayment time you won’t be charged any extra fee.
Yes, Klarna has a spending limit which increases the more you shop with Klarna and continuously pay off your debt on time.
Klarna sends you a notification two days before the due date to remind you of your payment.
Yes, just login to your app and select pay early.
Companies like Afterpay, Affirm, Perpay, Sezzle, and Splitit Offer similar services.
Klarna offers a convenient buy now, pay later service for customers’ purchases. Klarna lets its customers to get what they want and pay over a period of time.
Despite offering deals that sound too good, the company is a legit business charging no interest on the borrowed money, with fees arising only when you don’t repay the agreed amount at the specified time.
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