Klarna: BNPL Fintech Uses Gen AI for US$10m Marketing Cuts

Klarna: Cutting marketing costs with Gen AI
Klarna: Cutting marketing costs with Gen AI
BNPL giant Klarna says it has cut marketing costs by up to US$10m thanks to its adoption of Gen AI for marketing campaigns and generating images

Fintech giant Klarna, one of our Top 10 BNPL providers worldwide,  says the adoption of Gen AI in its marketing department has seen it save US$10m annually, both when it comes to running marketing campaigns and generating images. 

In the first quarter of 2024, Klarna has cut its sales and marketing budget by 11%, with AI responsible for 37% of cost reduction benefits. These cuts come as Klarna has actually increased its frequency of new marketing campaigns.

Fintech and the tangible benefits of Gen AI

By leveraging leading Gen AI tools including Midjourney, DALL-E and Firefly, Klarna has reduced image production costs by a significant US$6m. 

In fact, Gen AI-produced images, used across the Klarna app and website every week, have seen engagement increase too. 

Klarna CMO, David Sandström

Klarna CMO David Sandström says: "AI is helping us become leaner, faster and more responsive to what our customers care about, leading to a much, much better experience.

 "And we’re actually driving more marketing activity while saving tens of millions of dollars a year.

"Traditionally, it would have been very costly to cater to these occasions with bespoke imagery, but with AI that is no longer an issue. Essentially, we have removed the need for stock imagery."

By leveraging Gen AI, Klarna has been able to generate over 1,000 original images in Q1 2024 alone, pointing to the increased production benefits of Gen AI as well as cost reduction.

The rapidity at which Klarna has been able to generate new images has seen its image development cycle reduce from six weeks to seven days. 

It was not just in image production where Gen AI has helped Klarna reduce costs markedly. Klarna has been able to secure a further US$4m in expenditure reduction by cutting costs on external marketing suppliers for translation, production and social agencies. 

What’s more, Gen AI has helped Klarna drive efficiencies outside of marketing entirely. The fintech’s recent partnership with OpenAI for an AI assistant to be used in its customer service division has seen AI take on the work equivalent to 700 full-time agents.

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Empowering the workforce with AI

CEO and Co-founder of Klarna, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, recently spoke of how 87% of the Klarna workforce regularly uses Gen AI – namely the OpenAI AI assistant – to support them in completely daily tasks. 

He says: “We push everyone to test, test, test and explore. As Klarna continues to discover applications for OpenAI’s tech, there’s the potential to take the business to new heights.

“We’re aimed at achieving a new level of employee empowerment, enhancing both our team’s performance and the customer experience.”

Klarna is not alone in its heavy use of Gen AI tools. A recent poll from GlobalData found that 27% of respondents had a high adoption rate of Gen AI tools – with the technology implemented across company workflows, as well as by individual employees. 

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