March 06, 2013

Careful Klarna, or all ecommerce will only take place at 3pm, buyers’ time.

Sir, Richard Milne gives a very interesting recount of the experiences of Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the founder of Klarna, when trying to establish the credit risk-worthiness of buyers in ecommerce, “A Swedish ventures’s new take on ‘buy now, pay later’” March 6.

I would though recommend Klarna to be very discreet about how it communicates facts like that “a purchase made at 3am is inherently more risky than one made at 3pm”. I say this because those genius regulators in Basel might then get the bright idea they should require Klarna to have more capital against guarantees issued to 3am buyers than for those issued to 3pm buyers.

And the final consequences of all that could be that either the whole ecommerce trade system clogs up by all buying occuring at 3pm, buyers’ time, or that Klarna goes belly up when some 3am buyers change their buying patterns, and commit fraud at 3pm, and Klarna then finds itself bare-naked without any capital to cover up with.