IN RECENT WEEKS, the online retailer Overstock.com started testing a new checkout service from a Swedish company called Klarna. Through Klarna, people can purchase stuff from Overstock simply by typing their email address, their shipping address, and maybe their phone number?no credit card required. The idea is to streamline e-commerce as much as possible, and according to Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, it works quite well. In testing Klarna?s service, Overstock saw a measurable uptick in sales on mobile devices.
?It saves you from having to key a lot of stuff into your phone,? he says. He estimates that the service will account for $100 million in sales next year for Overstock, a company that reported $1.5 billion in revenue in 2014.
There is still too much much friction with payments, too many steps, too much stuff you have to enter.
KLARNA CEO SEBASTIAN SIEMIATKOWSKI
Founded in Sweden a decade ago, Klarna says it now drives about 10 percent of e-commerce across Northern Europe?handling more than 30 percent in Sweden alone?and on Tuesday, it officially opened the doors on its US operation. According to the company, it has already signed 15 American customers, including Overstock.
The trick is that when you key in your email address, Klarna almost instantly decides if it can extend you some credit, drawing on public and private data about, well, you. If you qualify, it gives you 14 days (and an additional grace period) to pay your bill. This has proven particularly powerful in places like Germany, where few people use credit cards. But the company has also seen success in others countries where buying habits resemble those in the US.
Read more at?WIRED