Klarna Adds Late Fees in UK to Reduce Missed Payments


Klarna, a prominent player in the payments industry, has unveiled a strategic initiative aimed at curbing late payments among its borrowers in the United Kingdom. The Swedish-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider has historically refrained from imposing late fees in the UK, but this policy is set to undergo a significant shift.

Alex Marsh, director of Klarna’s UK operations, expressed concerns regarding the absence of late penalties, citing potential repercussions on customer behavior. Marsh emphasized that the lack of financial consequences for late payments diminishes customers’ incentive to settle their dues promptly, leading to an increase in delinquent accounts.

In drawing an analogy, Marsh likened the situation to a city without parking charges, suggesting that while it may seem appealing initially, it ultimately fosters undesirable behavior. To address this issue, Klarna has decided to introduce a nominal late fee in the UK, along with implementing mechanisms to mitigate missed payments altogether.

Klarna’s proactive approach includes the introduction of automatic payments, payment reminders, and a seven-day grace period before levying late fees. These features aim to promote responsible financial behavior and encourage timely repayments among customers. Additionally, Klarna plans to utilize the late fees collected to provide support to customers who have fallen behind on their payments.

Furthermore, Klarna’s Customer Recovery Programme, slated to launch later this year, is designed to assist customers with overdue payments. Under this initiative, Klarna will proactively engage with customers who are struggling to meet their payment obligations, offering to waive 50% of their outstanding balance as part of a debt relief effort.

The decision to implement late fees in the UK follows Klarna’s successful adoption of similar measures in other markets, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, where late payments have decreased by 25%. Klarna’s experience in these regions underscores the effectiveness of late fees as a deterrent against delinquency, while also highlighting the importance of offering support and flexibility to customers facing financial difficulties.

Overall, Klarna’s initiative reflects a commitment to fostering responsible financial practices and ensuring the sustainability of its payment ecosystem. By introducing late fees and implementing proactive measures to address missed payments, Klarna aims to strike a balance between incentivizing timely repayments and supporting customers during challenging times. Through these efforts, Klarna seeks to uphold its reputation as a trusted partner in the realm of consumer finance, dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses alike.