May 13, 2021

UK consumers see bright financial future ahead

London, 13 May 2021: Klarna, the leading global banking, payments and shopping service, has released the first in an ongoing series of quarterly global personal finance trend reports. 

Despite the pandemic’s negative impact on the UK economy, Klarna’s Money Management pulse has found that consumers are optimistic about their financial futures. The report, which looks at personal finance behaviour and future expectations, found that more than a third (34%) of UK consumers think they will be better off financially a year from now. Only 15% thought they would be worse off in a year, while 51% felt their financial situation would stay the same. Younger generations are the most positive by far, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of 18-25 year olds and half (51%) of 26-35 year olds believing they will be better off financially in a year’s time. 

Younger generations are invested in their personal finances 

While younger generations are often portrayed as irresponsible when it comes to their personal finances, they are in fact highly engaged. 18-25 year olds are set to boost savings more than any other age group, with 39% planning to save more than usual in April, closely followed by 26-34 year olds (34%), double the UK average of 18%.  

Younger consumers also keep a tight grip on money management. Six in ten 18-25 year olds (61%) and 26-35 year olds (60%) manage their savings at least a few times a month. And, while the vast majority of UK consumers (73%) are putting money aside in a regular savings account, just 26% try and grow their funds through investing. While the UK doesn’t rank too badly across the globe when it comes to saving, out of nine countries in the report, the UK narrowly missed out on last place for investing. Australians are the only country where fewer people invest at just 25%.  

Trend towards new payment and banking methods 

The pandemic has accelerated payment trends that were already emerging, with consumers increasingly favouring debit cards over credit cards and using mobile apps for their banking services. Fewer UK shoppers use cash instore (18%) than the global average (23%), while plastic card (61%), digital mobile payment (14%) and biometric use (3%) were above average.

Across all countries, including the UK, consumers use mobile apps for their banking services more often than other platforms, with 55% and 44% of UK respondents checking their balance and transferring money, respectively, via a banking app. 

Alex Marsh, Head of Klarna UK, commented:

“As lockdown restrictions lift and the vaccination rollout continues at pace, UK consumers have a positive outlook for their personal finances, especially the younger generations. Heading into the summer, the future is also bright for key retail and hospitality industries who are finally able to throw open their doors to welcome back customers in increasing numbers.”

Klarna’s Money Management pulse is available here.


Notes to editors

*excludes groceries


The report uses data from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted with Nepa across 9 markets (the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland). The research was conducted during March 2021, and includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each market (1,022 in the UK). In total, more than 9,000 consumers participated in Klarna’s study.

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About Klarna. 

We make shopping smooth. Klarna’s offering to consumers and retailers include payments, social shopping, and personal finances. Over 250,000 retail partners, including H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and AliExpress have enabled Klarna’s innovative shopping experience online and in-store. Klarna is one of the most highly valued private fintechs globally with a valuation of $31 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005, has over 4,000 employees and is active in 17 countries. For more information, visit