Klarna ‘Wikipink’ challenges broken US credit system with transparent data

Klarna, the AI-powered global payments network, and shopping assistant, today announced in an industry-first, the launch of a new online initiative – Wikipink – aimed at setting new standards for transparency and responsibility in the credit and lending industry.

Amid growing scrutiny over the practices of credit providers and increasing credit card debt in the US, Klarna steps forward to challenge the status quo by revealing comprehensive data on its services, including repayment rates, late fee rates, and consumer age demographics, highlighting its commitment to fair and sustainable credit solutions. Additionally, Klarna commissioned The Harris Poll to survey over 2,000 US adults to better understand how today’s consumers are using credit cards to address some of the biggest misconceptions in the industry.

David Sykes, Chief Commercial Officer, Klarna said: “We still see too many of the traditional banks and credit card companies pushing products on consumers with exorbitant interest rates, hidden fees, and revolving debt. It is very clear that the traditional credit card model does not work in the favor of the vast majority of customers. Wikipink is not just a showcase of Klarna’s achievements, but a call to action for the entire financial industry to prioritize consumer well-being. By sharing our data and practices openly, we aim to inspire a shift towards more ethical, transparent, and consumer-friendly credit options.”

In 2023, credit card debt hit a new record high of $1.13 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with credit card interest rates peaking as high as 36%. Furthermore, the Klarna/Harris Poll survey reveals that 41% of American credit card users are revolving month-to-month, with approximately one quarter of credit card users (23%) saying they have paid their credit card late and incurred a late fee or had a credit card payment go into debt collection over the last year.

In stark contrast, according to Klarna’s Wikipink, 31% of Klarna’s Pay in 4 users in the US paid their bills early, 65% paid on time, and only 4% incurred late fees in 2023, with overall late fee rates showing a decline over time. Klarna’s global default rate stands at less than 1%, significantly lower than the delinquency rates associated with credit cards, and 99% of payments are repaid. This is a testament to Klarna’s dedication to offering fair and transparent credit solutions.

Wikipink and Harris Poll key findings:

Klarna’s customers pay responsibly and on time, while credit card users revolve month-to-month:

In 2023 using Klarna’s interest-free Pay in 4 option, 31% of its customers paid their bills off early, 65% paid on time and 4% incurred a late fee. Out of Klarna’s various payment options in the US, over 90% of purchases are made with interest-free Pay in 4.

In contrast, according to the Klarna/Harris Poll survey, 41% of American credit card users are carrying credit card debt month to month (47% Gen Z ages 18-27, 44% Millennials ages 28-43, 47% Gen X ages 44-59, 33% Boomers ages 60-78), and;

45% of those with an annual household income of $75K-$99K and 31% of those with an annual household income of $100K or more also carry balances month to month.

99% of Klarna’s payments are repaid with a default rate of less than 1% globally.

Klarna’s Late fee and debt collection rates are declining as a result of Klarna’s rigorous process and consumer-centric business model (Wikipink), while many Americans experience financial difficulties with their credit cards (Klarna/Harris Poll):

Klarna’s share of Pay in 4 purchases that have received a late fee are declining over time; 7.41% in Q1 2021 down to 4.31% in Q3 2023.

In comparison, late payments are common among credit card users, with about 17% saying they paid their credit card late and incurred a late fee at least once in the last year (31% Gen Z, 24% Millennials, 15% Gen X, 6% Boomers) according to the Klarna/Harris Poll survey.

According to Klarna/Harris Poll survey, 10% of credit card users have had a credit card payment go into debt collection over the last 12 months, with younger generations more likely to have a payment go into debt collections (21% of Gen Z, 16% Millennials vs. 6% Gen X, 3% Boomers).

Klarna’s share of Pay in 4 purchases that have been referred to debt collection rates have shown a downward trend, remaining below 2.5% over the last year.

Our late fees are significantly less than other services:

We proactively encourage our customers towards punctual payments by sending personalized notifications and clear follow-up reminders for any missed installments.

However, in cases where payments remain overdue we may apply a late fee of $7 or 25% of the total amount – significantly lower than the industry norm, such as a $10 internet bill late fee or a hefty $485 for late tax filings.

There is no typical Klarna consumer:

The average age of a Klarna user in the US is 36, and our fastest growing segment is Boomers (50+).

Consumers require more education on their credit card interest rates:

According to Klarna/Harris Poll survey, 55% of credit card users say they do not know their credit cards’ APR, suggesting some level of lack of awareness among a significant portion of users, and;

13% of credit card users admit they are not clear on all of the different payment amounts listed on their credit card bill and how they each accrue interest.

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