Ant Financial Takes Minority Stake in Swedish Payments Platform Klarna

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Ant Financial has just announced the acquisition of a minority stake in Scandinavian payments platform Klarna.

Klarna has confirmed reports from Reuters that the stake acquired by Ant Financial is less than 1%, and comprised of both existing and new shares.

The Scandinavian payments platform is performing well in Europe, with a product that enables consumers to pay for goods via interest-free instalments, usually 14 or 30 days after transactions take place.

According to Klarna its technology had already been adopted by over 200,000 retailers and e-commerce platforms following the addition of more than 75,000 new merchants in 2019 alone.

Klarna’s current commercial partners include Adidas, H&M, ASOS, Expedia Group, Ikea, Farfetch, Spotify, Samsung and Nike.

Klarna and Ant Financial have already engaged in cooperation via the AliExpress platform, which includes the “Pay later” option developed by Klarna in a number of jurisdictions.

Klarna hopes cooperation with Ant Financial will give the burgeoning Chinese middle-class greater access to this service when making purchases from vendors abroad.

“For too long consumers have had to endure non-intuitive, boring and overly complex services when shopping both online and offline,” said Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiątkowski in a statement.

“At the heart of this cooperation between Klarna and Alipay is a shared ambition of innovating truly superior shopping experiences and creating destinations of inspiration for consumers across the world.”

“Alipay, and the wider Alibaba Group, have truly set the global pace on retail innovation and the app economy. We are delighted in this confidence shown in Klarna in defining the future of payments and shopping and are very much looking forward to working together further in the future.”

The move arrives just after Ant Financial took a minority stake in Vietnamese payments platform eMonkey – reportedly its eighth in the international arena.

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