Jun 30, 2021

Klarna joins two leading climate change programmes

3 min
Klarna joins two leading climate change programmes
Swedish BNPL fintech Klarna is the first fintech to sign up to The Climate Change Pledge and the Race to Zero campaign

The Swedish BNPL fintech Klarna has become the first fintech to throw its weight behind two leading climate change initiatives. 

Klarna has already pledged to implement decarbonisation strategies that are in line with the Paris Agreement in order to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in all scopes by 2040. 

To realise that ambition, the global retail bank, payment solutions provider, and shopping service has announced it is joining The Climate Pledge and the Race to Zero campaign.

The move is the next stage in Klarna’s company's commitment, made earlier this year to reduce its total emissions by 50% by 2030 and to use an internal carbon tax that is channeled into effective climate projects. 

A strong advocate of climate initiatives

The digital payments fintech, which was recently valued at over US$45bn, is the second biggest fintech company globally. It also has more than 90 million global active users, carries out two million transactions daily, and works with over 250,000 global retail partners, 

Klarna's strong advocacy for climate protection has been inspired by the WWF and BCG blueprint for corporate climate action. This directs companies to track, publish, lower and price their emissions, and then financially contribute to high-impact climate projects to permanently remove carbon. 

The annual amount is established through an internal carbon tax set at US$100/tonne for all scope 1, 2, and travel emissions (remaining scope 3 emissions set at $10/tonne). 

Klarna and The Climate Pledge

Due to its strong positioning, Klarna's commitment to the objectives of The Climate Pledge is predicted to send a strong message to the other leading finance operatives. The programme was co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019 to encourage businesses to reach net-zero carbon emission by 2040 - 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. 

The second initiative - Race to Zero - is an UN-backed global campaign that aims to build traction towards the drive to a decarbonized economy, halving all global emissions by 2030. As part of the Climate Pledge Klarna is committed to:

  • Measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis. 
  • Implement decarbonisation strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through business changes including; efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.
  •  Neutralise any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions.

Climate change goals for Klarna

According to a statement released by Klarna, the latest steps follow Klarna´s larger sustainability initiative GiveOne that was announced on Earth Day earlier this year. 

As part of the drive, data shows Klarna has allocated 1% of its latest funding rounds to projects that support the planet. The donations will support companies working on the most critical climate change problems, including the loss of biodiversity. 

Speaking about the drive towards green finance and the zero-emissions strategy, David Sandström, CMO of Klarna, explained, “We as a global company have a great responsibility to tackle some of the most pressing challenges for our planet's health. 

“We, therefore, join forces with other major players to prevent long-term damage to our economies and ways of life.” 

He added, “Managing Klarna’s environmental impact is a top priority for Klarna and we aim to further promote environmental awareness and knowledge among our employees, customers, and partners.”

Main image credit: Klarna app from Klarna

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Jul 22, 2021

Upgrade launch new credit card with bitcoin rewards

2 min
Upgrade has announced their new bitcoin rewards card that offers unlimited 1.5% BTC back on every purchase paid

Upgrade, a fintech company focused on providing credit for mainstream consumers, has launched the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card a new version of its Upgrade Card featuring bitcoin rewards. Under the new programme, users earn unlimited 1.5% bitcoin rewards on every purchase as they make payments.  

The custody and trading platform for holding and selling bitcoin is provided by NYDIG and the card is a Visa Signature card, which includes benefits such as trip and baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.

The company offers credit lines from $500 to $25,000 with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card depending on your credit score. It works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Like other Upgrade credit cards, there are no monthly fees, late fees, or returned payment fees.

"Upgrade Card is already delivering over $3 billion in annualised credit to consumers," said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO at Upgrade. "Starting today, anyone can apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card and enjoy the same affordable and responsible credit as with any Upgrade Card, plus the potential upside and fun of owning bitcoin."



(Image: Upgrade)

Participating in the crypto economy 


Upgrade isn’t the first company to announce a credit card with bitcoin rewards, but it’s the first one that is generally available. Anyone can apply with no waitlist, and start using their virtual card immediately until they get their physical card in the mail. 

"Crypto rewards introduce cardholders to a new asset class that is increasingly part of a consumer's financial portfolio," said Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech at Visa. "Whether you're a crypto enthusiast or just getting started, programmes like the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card offer an engaging and low-risk way to participate in the crypto economy."

At the moment, you can’t do much with your bitcoins. You can choose to hold them or sell them. There’s no way to transfer your bitcoins to another wallet for instance. If you choose to sell your rewards, there’s a 1.5% transaction fee.

This card is not currently available in all 50 states. Customers in Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia can’t order an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card at the moment.

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