Consumers Warming to Instant Credit as Online Payment Option: Report

While credit cards remain the dominant way to pay online in the U.S., some merchants are beginning to give their customers the option to pay in installments and/or offer credit. And, according to new research, these retailers are on the right track. Three-quarters of consumers polled in a recent study said they would be more likely to choose an online retailer that offered an instant credit option than one that didn’t, according to a Researchscape International study conducted for Swedish online payment provider Klarna. Klarna, which made a name for itself in Europe by enabling online transactions using only a postal code or email address for authentication, recently has launched an instant credit product for e-commerce merchants.

“We see a generation of millennials that has developed a different behavioral pattern,” Jim Lofgren, general manager of Klarna North America, told “They’ve grown up being connected, with their device always present.  They also have developed an aversion to the lengthy process of being approved for a credit card, of going through the hoops of applying for this payment method. As those two factors converge—having the phone and the aversion to the application process, there is an opportunity to present a payment option that sits in the background and enables you to complete the purchase with one-click, without a credit card number but that lets you pay over time. We eliminate the application process by the way we function at our core.”

Forty-seven percent of those polled said they would like to be presented with an instant financing option while shopping online. Surprisingly, nearly 30 percent said they had used instant financing online already.