Swedish online payment provider Klarna yesterday revealed that Overstock.com is the first U.S. e-commerce merchant to fully roll out its solution that enables customers to complete purchases using only an email address or ZIP code. The company has grown quickly in Europe, offering online retailers higher conversion than solutions that require users to enter payment details at checkout. In December, Klarna established an office in Columbus, Ohio with the intention of expanding operations to the U.S. According to Brian Billingsley, CEO of Klarna North America, Klarna has grown the U.S. team to 50 and is either testing or fully rolled out with 10 U.S. customers.
“We’re doing thousands of transactions a day already and it’s really ramping up from there,” Billingsley said. “The platform we built allows us to manage things globally, but be very flexible on making very local adaptations to specific markets.”
Billingsley said it has actually been processing transactions from Overstock for four months, and, while they are unable to share specific numbers, the retailer was pleased enough by the conversion rates it was experiencing to roll Klarna out as a payment option nationwide (in a press release, the company said globally, 98 percent of its clients experience the same or improved conversion; two thirds of Klarna users see conversion rise between 10 and 50 percent). Testing with Overstock and its other U.S. customers also enabled Klarna to tune its experience to American shoppers, who are not used to making online purchases without entering their credit card number first.
“We spent a lot of time making sure every step was incredibly clear,” Billingsley said. “When we first turned it on, some people thought their card was somehow attached to their phone because the experience was so seamless.”
Overstock has never been timid about trying new things when it comes to payments. Nearly two years ago, the company was the first major online retailer to begin accepting Bitcoin.
“They’re a big merchant, but Patrick [Byrne, Overstock’s CEO] is so strong as a leader, he’s willing to take risks,” Billingsley said. “From the moment we met with them it became obvious we had to try this with them.”