At Klarna, we are focused on driving the growth and success of our retail partners by offering them solutions that fit whatever their individual needs might be. We’re pleased to welcome FreedomPay to our partner network, bringing flexible payment options to even more physical retail stores across the US. Retailers live with FreedomPay can now offer Klarna’s interest-free payment solutions at checkout in-store, maximizing sales and bringing added ease and convenience to shoppers nationwide.
We sat down with FreedomPay President Chris Kronenthal to discuss our partnership’s value to physical retailers and what’s ahead for the company in the coming months.
Could you give us the FreedomPay elevator pitch?
FreedomPay’s award-winning ‘agnostic’ commerce platform serves many of the world’s leading brands, including the top 10 food service providers, the top 5 resorts & hotels, and many of America’s global retailers. We provide an all-in-one open solution, fully integrated commerce platform for all retailers’ payment needs across in-store, online, and mobile channels. FreedomPay enables merchants to:
- Select payment technology providers of choice vs. limited choice
- Tap into omnichannel payment technology expertise
- Go-to-market faster with leading industry integration timeline of 4-6 weeks vs. months
To date, we’ve processed over 3 billion transactions across 130+ countries, launched over 600 integrations, and achieved 100% client retention. Global leaders in retail, hospitality, gaming, education, healthcare, and financial services, including Marriott, Foot Locker, MGM, FedEx, Four Seasons, Delaware North, and Compass, trust us to deliver unmatched security and advanced value-added services.
Klarna is excited to partner with FreedomPay to bring our flexible, interest-free payment solutions to retailers. What attracted FreedomPay to partnering with Klarna?
Together, Klarna and FreedomPay are enabling retailers to create next-level in-store shopping experiences by bringing even greater variety, flexibility, and functionality to payments and checkout options. Put simply, we uniquely blend the benefits of an online experience with a seamless in-store contactless checkout on the customer’s mobile device. We provide shoppers with the flexible payment solutions they demand, ultimately driving success for our merchant partners.
You’ve talked about how retail point of sale (POS) is more than a transaction—it’s a critical piece of the consumer experience. Can you elaborate on what this means and the shopper behaviors driving this shift?
COVID-19 had an unprecedented impact on retail around the world. Almost every part of the business changed, from the front of the house to the back-office environment. In part, these transformations were triggered by changing consumer behavior brought on by the pandemic, but let’s not forget technology has also been changing our lives for the last two decades and was also a major contributing factor. Technology has enabled a new world of commerce and payments, where consumers have the ability to shop and pay more safely and securely with methods such as contactless, QR codes, and mobile ordering. Everything has suddenly become possible and frictionless. Think about it; just 18 months ago, most of us were paying with cash, or signing receipts, swiping, and using chip n’ pin when paying for a meal.
A January 2020 independent study commissioned by FreedomPay, when frictionless payments were still emerging, found a staggering 63% of consumers didn’t trust contactless card payments, while 73% would use contactless cards if they perceived them to be secure. Fast forward almost two years and “the payment” has become much more about an experience at the POS. Consumers today expect greater accessibility and choice when it comes to how they pay.
How do you think POS will change for retailers in the near future, and how is FreedomPay positioned to help?
Choice and relevance are here to stay when it comes to POS—from payments to delivery and pick up. Most shoppers love the flexibility, and the payments industry is rapidly becoming a technology play. Retailers who install the best tech ultimately will be the winners. Customer-centricity and data have become the two most important aspects of a business.
We firmly believe in-store experiences will not go away, despite the shift to online and curbside. If anything, we expect shoppers will return, searching for that all-important experience in-store and not just a quick purchase. Retailers who deliver more advanced choices at the POS—such as flexible ‘buy now, pay later’ options and personalized incentives, experiences, offers, and rewards—will be the winners as the customers return again and again. Consumers know their inherent value and it is time the merchant recognized it too, across all channels.
What are the most essential factors every retailer should consider when looking for a commerce platform partner? How does FreedomPay stand out?
The right technology and a trusted third partner are essential to enable a 21st-century consumer experience. Retailers need a centralized capability linking together all of the ways and form-factors in which a consumer might pay and interact (i.e. loyalty). A properly implemented commerce platform enables a consistent, universal identity and consumer persona, unleashing significant advancements in cross-channel and cross-brand loyalty and recognition programs.
Many merchants have a vision for what they want to do from a ‘data usage’ perspective but often overlook the complexities inherent in the ‘data collection’ prerequisite. FreedomPay provides that missing link with our globally available channel and vendor-agnostic commerce platform.
As we look ahead to the peak holiday sales period, how is FreedomPay enabling retailers to maximize efficiency and drive sales during this time?
FreedomPay is driving a modern-day commerce makeover for tens of thousands of retailers in America. We work around the clock with merchants to ensure their technology is delivering the most exciting commerce experience. Our merchants are front and center of our tech operations. With partners like Klarna, we are further enhancing the shopping and checkout experience for retailers, enabling them to meet evolving interests and needs of US shoppers this holiday season and beyond while reaping significant benefits at the same time.
What’s next for FreedomPay over the next few months and beyond?
It’s about growth, growth, and growth. We are accelerating our business to enable connected commerce at speed, not just in America but across the globe, including Europe, Asia, and beyond.