Co-founder Niklas Adalberth tells TechWeek Europe that Apple Pay may not yet be the killer app
When it comes to ecommerce and mobile payments, the UK is one of the most developed markets in Europe, according to one of the continent’s leading payments provider.
Speaking to TechWeekEurope, Niklas Adalberth, co-founder of Swedish company Klarna, said interest in the company’s service over here had been “huge”.
Klarna, which counts the likes of Asos, Spotify and M&M Direct amongst its 45,000 merchants and partners, said it would be spending £100 million on expanding its business to new markets such as the UK.
“First of all, the UK market is so developed in terms of ecommerce,” Adalberth (pictured right) said, noting that UK businesses were very open to new technology and new ideas, which was one of the main motivations behind the company’s opening of a new office in London.
Klarna said that the UK market presented an attractive opportunity because it lags behind other European markets in terms of the number of users finalising purchases on mobile, despite being the region’s largest e-commerce market.
Adalberth added that Klarna has helped retailers across Europe solve the problem of poor conversion rates from their mobile customers, raising it from 3 percent up to around 50 percent simply by helping to make payments a simple but still safe process. However the majority of customers aren’t willing to spend over £100 using mobile payments.
Adalberth agreed that the gradual pickup of mobile payment technology is partly an education issue, as the average customer still uses their smartphone for browsing rather than shopping. Klarna includes support for a wide variety of payment options, as Adelberth highlighted the importance of having localised solutions for different market, stating that “It will not be one single payment method that will dominate, but multiple ones across multiple geographies”.
This includes the upcoming Apple Pay service, due to launch next week in the US, which Adelberth believes will be more dominant in the offline space due to it only being used online for in-app purchases. He says that Klarna is working to make such payment methods, which will grow with the expansion of wearable technology,
Wearables “are a smart way of initiating a transaction”, he said, “but you need to have all the solution around it too.”
And following eBay’s recent announcement that it would be spinning off PayPal, Adelberth had some words of advice for any would-be competitors.
“Payments maybe look very easy on the surface,” he said, “but it’s actually quite complex.
“If you want to win this space, you have to be very focused”