May 4, 20221 min read

All you need to know about Klarna sharing BNPL payments with credit reference agencies.

by Alex Marsh

At Klarna, we offer a smoooth shopping experience and a fairer, more sustainable way to shop, bank and pay. We allow you to pay in several ways depending on your needs. We put consumer needs at the heart of our business which means we offer choice – you can Pay Now immediately and in full, or you can choose our Buy Now Pay Later options offering multiple advantages. One of the most popular is the ability to purchase items now and split the cost into interest and fee-free instalments, which provides greater financial flexibility and convenience. And, our pay in 30 days payment method allows consumers to try an item and be fully satisfied with it before the money leaves their account; also interest and fee-free.

Today we have an important update about changes to our BNPL products in the UK. From the 1st of June, 2022 Klarna will begin sharing Buy Now Pay Later purchases made in the UK with the credit reference agencies (CRAs) Experian and TransUnion. This means purchases you make on or after 1 June using Klarna Pay in 30, Pay in 3, in-app shopping and Klarna Card will become visible on your credit files held by Experian and TransUnion. Consumers like yourself will no longer need to depend on using high interest and fee-charging credit cards to build a positive credit profile!

Changes can be confusing and we are here to make it all clear! So here is everything you need to know about Klarna sharing BNPL payments in the UK with credit reference agencies:

Why are we making these changes?

Unlike traditional credit products, Klarna’s BNPL products are interest- and fee-free and are designed to keep people out of debt with our short term instalment loans, clear repayment plans and freezing access to our services after missed payments to protect customers from accumulating debt. 

Klarna will begin sharing the use of BNPL products with the UK credit reference agencies (CRAs) to help  UK consumers build a positive credit history using Buy Now Pay Later, protect consumers from taking out unsustainable amounts of debt with multiple providers, and provide the financial industry with greater visibility of BNPL use. 

Until now the UK’s credit reporting infrastructure was built with traditional credit in mind, so Klarna has partnered closely with the CRAs in the UK over the past two years to help them update their systems to the point where they are now able to receive and process BNPL data in a fair and balanced way.

What is a  Credit Reference Agency (CRA)?

A CRA is an independent organisation that holds information about consumers’ use of credit products. The information includes applications for credit – such as if a consumer has applied for a credit card recently; current credit status – for example if a consumer currently owes money to a financial institution; and financial behaviour, which includes whether the consumer regularly pays their bills on time.  

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

What will Klarna share in the UK? 

Klarna will share purchases settled on time, late payments and unpaid purchases for Pay in 30 and Pay in 3 orders made on or after 1 June 2022 in the UK. This includes payment made using Klarna Card, In-app shopping and instore. This will give the UK financial industry greater visibility on the use of Klarna’s BNPL products, help to improve affordability assessments, and means Klarna consumers who make payments on time will see long-term benefits, showing lenders they use credit responsibly.

How will the changes affect my credit history and credit score?

The new changes will show UK consumers’ use of Klarna’s BNPL services in their credit reports providing transparency to other lenders. For now, consumers’ credit scores will not be impacted, but it is something that Experian and TransUnion are working on. 

Does Klarna conduct hard credit checks?

Not on our BNPL products! Klarna will continue to conduct a soft credit search as part of an eligibility check for Pay in 30 and Pay in 3. What has changed is that we will begin sharing data on purchases and payments to CRAs. 

When will the changes take place?

Purchases made on or after the 1st June 2022 in the UK using Klarna Pay in 30, Pay in 3, in-app shopping (OTC) and Klarna Card will become visible on consumers’ credit files. Any purchases made before this date will not appear on the credit report, neither will payments relating to purchases made before 1 June.

Which CRAs will Klarna share with? 

We will be sharing this data with Experian and TransUnion for now in the UK. 

 

We have come a long way since the Klarna launch in the UK in 2014 and we are excited about this next step where consumers can build a positive credit history through the use of Klarna’s BNPL products and we provide greater visibility on the use of our BNPL products.