Klarna and Gamestop partnership expands to offer virtual shopping

Games retailer set to provide video calls with in-store experts and faster checkouts online

Swedish fintech Klarna is expanding its partnership with video game retailer Gamestop to include virtual shopping and faster checkouts for Irish customers.

This will be the games retailer’s first foray into virtual shopping, which will connect customers with in-store experts at Gamestop, giving them access to live product advice over chat and video calls, real-time reviews and recommendations.

Gamestop already offered Klarna’s buy-now-pay-later services to customers, with the “pay in 3” product that gives consumers the option to split the cost of purchases in three interest-free, fee-free equal payments. The expansion will allow customers to log into their Klarna account to access express checkout and additional security protections.

"Gamestop's strategy is to provide our customers with an engaging, informative and personalised online shopping experience," said Maximiliano Donzelli, Gamestop European marketing and ecommerce director. "That's why we are excited to extend our partnership with Klarna in Europe, which will be key in giving our customers greater choice over how they want to pay and shop and in providing them with in-store level customer service when shopping online."

Klarna also plans to expand further into Europe, launching with payments and express checkout in Germany and Italy for Gamestop customers.

"We're excited that Klarna's express checkout and shopping services will be available to Gamestop customers in Ireland and to launch in new markets as we see an increased demand for flexible payment options and social shopping tools," said Colin Creagh, head of business development in Ireland at Klarna.

“Consumers across Europe will be able to enjoy the flexibility and convenience of Klarna’s payment options while also having access to personalised virtual customer service.”

Online surge

The Swedish payments company officially launched in the fledgling buy-now-pay-later market in the Republic, aiming to take advantage of the surge in online shopping that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The group's 250,000 retail partners globally include names such as H&M, Ikea, Samsung and Macy's.

Buy-now-pay-later companies make their money by charging merchants 2-5 per cent of the purchase amount of a product. Klarna does not charge late-payment fees or interest rates on the “pay in 3” offering, but starts off with customers with small transactions to develop a profile for further credit.

A report from research group Research and Markets published in July last year found that the Irish buy-now-pay-later market is expected to grow by about 50 per cent a year to reach about $1.2 billion (€1 billion) by 2028. It is currently worth about $267 million.