Klarna is a popular payment method that allows shoppers to pay for purchases in installments over time. While Klarna is commonly used for online shopping, many consumers wonder if it can also be used in brick-and-mortar stores.
What is Klarna?
Klarna is a Swedish financial technology company that offers payment solutions for online stores and apps. Its core services allow shoppers to split purchases into interest-free installments paid over time. This gives consumers more flexibility in how they pay for items.
Klarna offers three main payment options:
- Pay in 30 days – Customers pay the full amount 30 days after delivery.
- Pay in 3 installments – Purchases are split into 3 equal installments paid every 30 days.
- Financing – Shoppers can finance purchases over 6 to 36 months with monthly payments.
By spreading costs over time, Klarna aims to provide a smoother purchasing experience and greater financial control. The service is used by over 250,000 retailers globally, including big names like H&M, IKEA, Sephora, and Samsung.
Can Klarna be used in physical stores?
The availability of Klarna in brick-and-mortar retail locations depends on whether the store has an integration with Klarna.
Klarna is predominantly designed for online shopping. It runs seamlessly in the background of ecommerce stores and apps, allowing customers to select their preferred Klarna payment method during checkout.
Integrating Klarna in physical stores is more complex. It requires advanced point-of-sale (POS) systems capable of accepting Klarna payments. The retailer’s systems must connect with Klarna’s servers to authenticate payments and handle installments.
Currently, in-store Klarna acceptance is limited compared to its online availability. However, some major retailers are rolling out support for Klarna payments in their physical locations.
Key retailers accepting in-store Klarna payments
- Sephora – Sephora launched in-store Klarna in 2021. Customers can pay in 4 interest-free installments.
- Walmart – Walmart integrated Klarna in-store in late 2022. Shoppers can pay with 3 installments over 6 weeks.
- Office Depot – Office Depot started supporting Klarna in select stores in 2022.
As Klarna expands its brick-and-mortar presence, more retailers are expected to join these early adopters. However, availability remains patchy compared to Klarna’s near ubiquitous online acceptance.
How does paying with Klarna in-store work?
The in-store experience for paying with Klarna is straightforward for customers.
At checkout, you simply inform the cashier you would like to pay with Klarna. The cashier processes the purchase through their POS system and you complete the payment on your phone via the Klarna app.
Here is a step-by-step overview:
- Inform the cashier you want to pay with Klarna.
- The cashier enters the purchase amount into their POS system.
- A unique one-time authorization token is generated for the transaction.
- The cashier provides you with the token via a receipt, email or text.
- You open your Klarna app and approve the payment using the token.
- The funds are transferred from your debit card or bank account linked to Klarna.
Once approved in the app, the payment goes through immediately at the store. You then pay your installments directly to Klarna over the payment schedule you selected.
Pros of using Klarna in-store
Paying with Klarna in physical stores has several advantages for shoppers:
- Smooth financing – Klarna installment plans let you spread costs over time for large purchases.
- Improved budgeting – Payments are processed automatically through the app over set intervals.
- Instant approval – Payment goes through quickly after app authorization.
- Good for impulse purchases – The ability to pay later makes it easier to fund spur-of-the-moment purchases.
Klarna also benefits retailers by converting more sales and improving customer loyalty. Offering flexible payments can persuade buyers to make additional purchases they may have otherwise abandoned.
Cons of using Klarna in-store
However, there are also some limitations to consider with in-store Klarna payments for now:
- Limited availability – Only a handful of major retailers have rolled out support.
- Requires an app – Customers must have a smartphone with the Klarna app installed.
- App authorization – The extra step of approving payments in the app adds a little more friction versus one-touch card payments.
- Less impulse friendly – Having to pre-plan financing reduces the benefit for unplanned purchases.
Over time, these drawbacks may be reduced as in-store Klarna acceptance expands and becomes more streamlined. But in the short term, customers need to be aware of the current limitations.
Where can I use Klarna in-store today?
As mentioned earlier, in-store Klarna is still in the early stages of rollout. Availability is limited to select major retailers for now.
Some of the key merchants accepting Klarna payments in physical stores include:
- Sephora – across the US
- Walmart – select US locations
- Office Depot – select US locations
- Sunglass Hut – across the US
- Lamps Plus – select locations in the US
- GameStop – rolling out to US stores
- Lids – select US and Canada stores
- Express – US stores
The list is expected to grow as more retailers integrate with Klarna. Swedish furniture giant IKEA also plans to offer in-store Klarna payments in the US sometime in 2023.
To check for stores accepting Klarna near you, look for puntoTM signs instore or announcements on retailers’ websites and apps.
What should I know before using Klarna in-store?
If you plan to use Klarna for the first time in a physical store, keep these tips in mind for a smooth experience:
- Download the Klarna app and complete the signup process in advance.
- Make sure you have a payment method already loaded in the app, such as a debit card or bank account details.
- Familiarize yourself with how payments work in the app before going in-store.
- Look for information on the retailer’s website to confirm they accept Klarna instore at your location.
- Notify the cashier at the start of checkout you want to pay with Klarna.
- Have your mobile device on hand when checking out to receive and approve the push notification.
- Save your receipt to track installment payment dates or amounts.
As long as the app is ready to go, the payment process is very quick. But avoid holding up lines by completing any registration steps beforehand.
The future of in-store Klarna payments
The big question looking ahead is – how widely will in-store Klarna acceptance expand in the future?
Klarna clearly sees brick-and-mortar retail as a key growth opportunity. The company is aggressively partnering with merchants to integrate Klarna payments into both online and offline points-of-sale.
And physical retailers are motivated. Offering flexible financing and installment plans can help stores attract customers, drive larger basket sizes, and increase sales.
However, rolling out support across thousands of stores is complex. Significant investments in POS and payment processing integrations are required from retailers.
Major national chains like Walmart, Sephora and Office Depot are best equipped to undertake large-scale deployments. For smaller retailers, it may not be financially viable yet.
So while Klarna’s store availability will continue improving, it could still be some time before it matches the ubiquity of Visa, Mastercard or Apple Pay.
Projecting future in-store Klarna availability
Here is an estimate of how widely adopted in-store Klarna payments could become in the next few years in the US:
|Available at <1% of major US retailers
|Available at 2-3% of major US retailers
|Available at 15-20% of major US retailers
|Available at 50-60% of major US retailers
By 2025, Klarna could reach decent penetration at large national chains. But smaller independent stores may take significantly longer unless low-cost POS integrations options emerge.
Nevertheless, Klarna’s overall retail footprint should continue to grow steadily – bringing more flexible financing options to shoppers buying both online and in-store.
Final verdict on in-store Klarna
Paying with Klarna in brick-and-mortar stores is currently only available at select major retailers. But its acceptance is expanding, allowing consumers to finance large purchases over time.
Looking ahead, in-store Klarna has solid growth potential as retailers adopt it to drive higher sales. However, availability is only likely to match leading payment brands over the long term.
For shoppers, the ability to spread costs over installment payments can be attractive for big-ticket items. But some friction remains versus one-touch payments like Apple Pay for smaller spending.
Overall, Klarna instore looks set to become a useful addition to the retail payments landscape – even if it takes some years before it becomes truly mainstream.