2 Nov 20214 min read

Why BNPL is a no-brainer for cross-border.

Klarna K logo

by Klarna

Did you know that it’s extremely difficult to sell certain Chinese goods in Mexico? That Klarna now processes 90% of ecommerce in Sweden and 50% in Germany? Or that in just two years, 20% of all online sales will be cross-border?

These are just some of the insights shared by Jason Nyhus from Digital River and Klarna’s Kevin Ward in the “How to Optimize Your Cross Border Commerce Strategy” webinar.  

The discussion focused on how partners can smooth local harmonisation and speed success. And why buy now pay later (BNPL) is now a ‘sale-maker’ for international brands.  Here are some of the key points that were discussed:


BNPL has joined local acceptance and eWallets as a checkout essential.

BNPL is expected to reach $20.4 billion by 2028 up from $4.1 billion in 2020. It’s now a ‘must-have’ in many markets, especially in Scandinavia, the UK, US and Australia. Its EU footprint is growing fast, with countries like Germany, Italy and France leading the way.


Payments should fit local needs.

Even BNPL doesn’t have to be one size fits all.  In the US, Pay in 4 works for consumers’ fortnightly pay schedules, while Pay in 3 is perfect for the UK where most salaries are paid monthly.


Consumers in many countries are moving away from credit cards.

Shoppers are using BNPL to help spread out their payments without incurring high interest.  In the UK alone, consumers have saved £75 million in the last 12 months by avoiding credit card costs with Klarna.


What’s happening internationally is a bit of a button war.

There are lots of choices for local payment methods to offer during checkout –  getting the right mix is what’s important. You have to be selective about how the real estate is being used. Be sure to consider how to optimize the flow and give customers what they expect, when they expect it – with no unpleasant surprises.


Look for lift that pays for itself.

BNPL options may cost merchants a little more than traditional card methods, but this can be rapidly offset by uplift in other KPIs.  Klarna, for instance, uses its ecosystem to drive millions of consumers to merchants through apps, dot com and social sites, emails and newsletters.


Shipping can be innovative too.

Amazon has raised shipping expectations with2 days or less and free delivery with membership. Offering choice when it comes to how products are packaged and delivered –  such as scheduled time delivery or carbon neutral packaging – is the next way to differentiate.


Returns must romance the brand.

Many brands focus on delivery and overlook returns processes, which is often the first thing consumers check before committing to buy.  Turn this into a positive experience by working with right shipping providers and using local infrastructure for returns.  To reduce them, get the front-end right with great descriptions, multiple images, and tools to ensure accurate sizing and fit.


When navigating new trade routes, don’t fly solo.

Understanding the dynamics and logistics involved in global trade is complex.  Your sector, supply chain, products and locations all impact what, where and how you sell – and the costs, taxes and duties involved. You need specialised partners with the right expertise and ecosystems to harmonise your offering and give you the knowledge, speed and pace.


Want to learn more about how to smooth your way to new markets and optimise your cross-border commerce?  Catch up on the conversation here.

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