“House of Klarna” pop-up opens to the UK public today
Today the pay-later platform, Klarna, has opened its pop-up store in Manchester to the public. The event follows on from the successful event in Co...
Today the pay-later platform, Klarna, has opened its pop-up store in Manchester to the public. The event follows on from the successful event in Covent Garden, U.K, back in June 2019. Users of the platform can congregate at 35 Kings Street, Manchester, M2 7AT, where major partners of the brand such as ASOS, Oliver Bonas, Topshop, Topman, House of Holland, Missguided, BEAUTY BAY, My Protein and Schuh will showcase products and services.
A ‘smoooth’ experience
The event is not only set to create further publicity for Klarna and its partners by devoting 10 days to talks, beauty and lifestyle sessions, but to act as something of a shrine to design and great customer experiences.
Events across the three-story building will include a number of free beauty treatments, styling sessions with the aforementioned partners and yoga, but it will also invite c-suite executives of these companies to speak on their careers. Henry Holland is due to speak this evening at the Pop-up on his career at House of Holland.
Sara Morris, Senior Press & Marketing Officer at Oliver Bonas, commented: “We are so excited to join Klarna in Manchester for the ‘House of Klarna’. We believe that design has the power to positively affect how people feel and with Klarna’s understanding of how to create a first-class customer experience, we’re excited to present OB at the ‘House of Klarna’. As the only brand showcasing furniture at the pop-up, we can’t wait to welcome shoppers into our home for ten days”.
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Eve Williams, Brand Experience Director at ASOS said: “At ASOS we want to give our customers the best choice in everything we do; whether that is in the broad range of ASOS Design and branded products, smooth and fast delivery options or payment options. We know these are all important to our customers and we look forward to bringing them to life with Klarna’s fun event in Manchester”.
A great year for Klarna
2019 has been a strong year for Klarna as the platform has processed 12mn transactions in the last year alone, according to its report. 50,000 users a week are opting to ‘pay-later’ through Klarna. The company, which was founded in 2005 now holds a post money valuation of US$5.5bn, making Klarna the largest fintech in Europe.
Luke Griffiths, General Manager at Klarna UK, commented on the news: “The growth we’ve seen since launching in the UK has been astounding, but I’m particularly proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in the last 12 months. Not only have we grown exponentially in terms of volumes and partners, but we’ve also grown our footprint across the UK with the launch of our Manchester office earlier this year.
We know that customers love the flexibility and convenience that comes with alternative payments, and by delivering the best possible experience to shoppers, we’ve been able to partner with some remarkable brands and retailers in the UK. There are a number of significant announcements in the pipeline and I’m confident we’ll continue to go from strength to strength.”
The pop-up will be open to the public until 13. October.
All images: Klarna
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FIVE things fintechs must do to keep investors onboard
New investors flocked to the stock market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-eight percent of investors said they had never had a brokerage or similar account before opening one in 2020.
Low or no-fee trading options have helped accelerate the trend – nearly half of new investors said they accessed their account primarily through a mobile app. As FinTechs, how do we create the trust needed to keep new investors in the market and create a fruitful customer experience for them?
The financial industry does a disservice to individual investors if we merely offer tools that focus on making money quickly, an approach that usually backfires. Instead, the surge of interest presents an enormous opportunity for those who want to help more consumers use financial technology to educate them on responsible spending, saving, and investing in order to achieve financial wellness current fintech tools have welcomed individual investors in the door.
Now, it’s time to focus on education and improving their experience going forward. There are several ways those of us in fintech can step up to shape the future of retail investing so that it works better for everyone, starting with the following areas.
Equal access to financial wellness education
Financial health should be available to everyone — but today, not everyone has the educational resources to achieve it. One study shows that only 3.9% of students from low-income schools were required to take a personal finance class. What they aren’t learning in school or from family members, fintech companies can provide on their platforms.
The companies should move from solely offering financial services to a more responsible model of education, advice, and prescriptive choices to help consumers develop better habits and make wiser financial decisions. Not only can they empower consumers and bridge historical wealth divides, but they can also stimulate growth by opening up new consumer segments.
Just as we’ve come to expect that our fitness routines are tailored to our individual bodies, we’re also ready for finance tools that go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions. But only six percent of financial institutions say they’re using the kind of technology that allows them to deliver a deeply personalized experience. Fintech tools need to reflect that financial success looks different for each of us.
For one consumer, it may mean providing guidance on how to pay off student loans early; for another, it may mean prescriptive actions that enable them to stick to a budget for the first time; for a third, it could look like prioritizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, so that her portfolio aligns with her political beliefs.
Now, we are seeing financial technology beginning to meet the demands of personalized finance in a substantial and meaningful way.
The rise of AI-Powered Advice
Big-picture advice and predictive guidance used to be a feature of high-end financial advisory firms — a perk only available to those who could afford it. But thanks to rapid advancements in data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), that kind of holistic advice is now more accessible than ever. AI-driven robo-advisors can parse many different streams of financial information, delivering customized answers to key questions: Is it time to buy a home, or is it smarter to keep renting? Can I afford to take out another student loan?
Intelligent connectivity powered by AI can anticipate consumers’ needs and next steps, making proactive suggestions that guide them along the path to financial wellbeing. Fintech companies can also help consumers identify when their financial picture becomes too complex for a robo-advisor, and help them find a human financial advisor to meet their needs.
Focus on financial mental health
New investors are quickly finding that the market can be overwhelming. That’s not surprising, financial anxiety is common and studies show that financial stress can have an impact on mental health for some.
It’s not enough for fintech companies to give retail investors access; they also must provide the guidance and support that help consumers manage their financial well-being. Educational tools can ensure that consumers are well informed about their options.
Predictive analytics can anticipate consumers’ questions, serving them key information and insights before they ask. Features that emphasize a comprehensive notion of financial well-being, rather than short-term wins and losses, can also help ensure that consumers are keeping their eyes on the bigger picture.
Gamification for good
The surge of gamification apps has done an impressive job making investing as engaging as playing a video game or joining a social media platform.
Much of the current use of gamification emphasizes short-term thinking, but there’s also an opportunity to help consumers think more broadly about their overall financial picture. One example is peer benchmarking, a feature that enables help consumers to see how their financial habits compare to those of friends and fellow consumers.
Gamification can also be used to incentivize making smaller, smarter choices — for example, rewarding saving over making an impulse buy.
The future of fintech is about more than just broadening access to the markets. It’s about making sure more individuals have access to the tools that can help improve their financial well-being—in the ways that suit their own circumstances and needs. The potential to act within their own set of individual priorities, with their long-term financial wellness in mind is much more empowering to a consumer than simply relying on short-term, high-risk investments.