Over the past few days, we have seen some conversations from our customers about our relationship with UK gambling sites. There have been conclusions drawn that are categorically untrue. We’d like to reassure everyone – and to make it very clear – that consumers cannot use Klarna Buy Now Pay Later or credit products on betting or gambling sites. As a matter of fact, in the UK it is illegal to offer credit, including Buy Now Pay Later options, for gambling.
What happened then?
Klarna acquired payment solution Sofort in 2014. Sofort’s popular service Direct Bank Transfer facilitates an online wire transfer from the customer’s bank account straight into the merchant’s bank account by allowing a customer to safely and directly log in to their online bank account via Sofort’s payment interface. This means that customers can only spend the money they already have in their bank accounts. Neither Sofort, nor Klarna, is collecting the money at any moment in time. This also means that the merchant name will be visible on the customer’s list of outgoing transactions.
Sofort is used by several merchants across Europe operating in a number of sectors, including retail, tourism and gambling. All betting and gambling companies we work with are licensed. Following Sofort’s acquisition by Klarna, the Klarna logo is used instead of the Sofort logo at checkout of some of these sites.
Can Klarna/Sofort be used to circumvent betting/gambling blocks?
Online gaming sites often allow consumers to deposit money in their betting account in a number of ways, including digital wallets, direct bank transfer services, making a payment from your online bank account, and by debit card.
Many banks have tools which allow consumers to block payments to gambling companies. These services most commonly block debit card payments because online gambling sites are easily identifiable by the card schemes. Very few banks have taken this a step further to be able to block bank transfers to online gaming sites made by Open Banking services.
These tools are extremely helpful and positive to consumers but do have their limitations. They are typically unable to prevent payments made by a range of non-card methods, including direct payments from your online bank account.
Where a gambling block exists on the bank account, Klarna Direct Bank Transfer cannot be used to circumvent it. However, we are unable to enforce such a ban where it only applies to card payments. This is the same for all payment initiation services and payments made directly from your bank account and is a limitation which applies to all such providers.
There are many resources available for those who need help with gambling.
We are committed to being fully transparent and clear about how our products work so that consumers can make informed choices and feel safe when they pay, shop and bank with Klarna. If you have any concerns or see a betting or gambling site wrongfully saying it’s possible to use Klarna Buy Now Pay Later or credit options for their services, please contact us immediately as it is not correct: firstname.lastname@example.org.