Privacy in Payments? A Breakdown of Klarna

Providing sensitive information within an app can be terrifying, but Klarna has the proper privacy measures in place to ensure a “smoooth” shopping experience.

When using any apps on your phone, it is important to assess the privacy policy to determine exactly how your data will be used.  One of the most recent apps I have downloaded is Klarna, which also happens to be my current workplace.  Klarna allows its users to split purchases into four interest-free installments, and a lot of their privacy policy deals with the fact that banking information is collected.  In order to make purchases in the Klarna app, you need to link your banking information.  Once you upload it, payments become “smoooth”, according to Klarna’s slogan.  With such sensitive information on the line, I chose to dig deeper into how Klarna uses this information.

According to the privacy statement, Klarna collects both “personally identifiable information” and “non-personally identifiable information”.  This includes items such as your name, email address, IP addresses, demographic information and location information.  Klarna collects information using your interactions with their services, cookies, third parties, and contact with the customer support team.  Additionally, if you use Klarna Credit, your non-public personal information is subject to WebBank’s privacy notice.  As a payments company that helps you manage finances and track/record purchases, this information helps build the proper profile for online shoppers.  This information is used to help provide Klarna services and customer support, as well as allow communication regarding anything within the Klarna ecosystem.  Part of my role on the job is marketing, and personal information can also be used to build target publics for upcoming campaigns based on shopping habits.  All of this information allows Klarna to function properly and provide the best services to its users.

When it comes to information sharing, Klarna may share information with service providers (typically to help protect against fraud), credit bureaus, merchants you order from using Klarna, third parties such as governmental authorities, and more.  No other third parties will receive information unless you provide consent, as outlined in the Terms of Service.  If you wish to restrict Klarna’s access to your personal information, you have the ability to unsubscribe from emails, modify browser settings and check Google Analytics to see how your information may be collected there (Klarna uses Google Analytics for reports on its services).  Klarna also allows you to go in and modify or delete information. In order to protect users, Klarna only allows you to access your information and may verify your identity using personal information.  As an employee, I have seen first-hand how seriously Klarna takes these requests.  Klarna is a bank over in Europe, and if information were to be hacked and exposed, the company would be trying to climb out of an incredibly deep hole.  Throughout the entire privacy statement, there are several hyperlinks users can access that give a deeper dive into Klarna and how to connect with employees. 

Although giving up this information may seem intense, the Klarna app outlines how your personal details are protected.  Computer safeguards, encrypted files and additional procedural safeguards are in place to make sure that your information will be used appropriately.  The privacy notice does mention that there is no guarantee for 100 percent protection, but users can easily keep themselves safe by choosing smart passwords, signing off after using shared devices and keeping all log-in information private.  As employees, if we need to leave our desks, we are required to lock our devices as well to protect against additional threats.  All of these steps contribute to a safe and user-friendly experience with Klarna.

For anyone on the fence about using Klarna: this may seem daunting, but Klarna takes all preventative measures into account when it comes to handling your information.  Some of these things are necessary to provide in order to use the services, but you always have the right to modify and delete information if needed.  Klarna makes shopping smoooth, and we can improve further by looking at users’ information and determining where we can improve.  Your information will not be accessed by anyone who does not need to view it, which is also important.  As a marketer, I don’t have access to anyone’s financial information, which helps keep security at the front of everyone’s minds.  I still recommend going through and reading all of the privacy notice and the hyperlinks to make sure you fully understand Klarna’s intentions with your information, but if you take the right steps to keep your data private, your experience with Klarna should be nothing less than stellar each time you use its services.

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