The Swedish payments firm Klarna, which raised $231 million in funding in Europe and launched in the U.S. last September with Overstock.com as its first customer, has expanded its American customer service operations.
Klarna is now offering customer service from 8 a.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET. Previously, Klarna’s U.S. customer service hours ended at 5 p.m. ET. Weekend service runs from 9 a.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET.
Klarna, which provides merchants with services for online storefronts — it’s a Stripe competitor — is beginning to beef up its local operations after making landfall on the U.S. market. Klarna’s U.S. customer service team is about 50 people, but recently it expanded its hours of operation.
This may be an early sign of more changes to come.
According to Emily Lantz, a customer service representative with Klarna, both the size of staff and hours of operation may increase going forward in order to meet merchant needs. One reason could be the additional regulations here in the U.S. Here’s how Lantz explained it:
We are abiding by all American compliance regulations … we are aligned with the CFPB and other such organizations. In Sweden we’re regulated by a credit market company, which puts very high regulatory requirements on us. And this can be passported to other E.U. nations, since the laws are more similar. Obviously, the change to U.S. regulations are much more drastic.
Klarna extended its customer service hours because of customer feedback, the company said.
Transparency is a big factor in the market. In the U.S., Klarna is able to share our customers’ information a little more than in the E.U. For instance, [in the U.S.] after a consumer makes a purchase in an online store, the merchant is free to send a newsletter post-transaction. By contrast, this is an opt-in-only option in the E.U.
So far, Klarna’s greatest “call-driver” in U.S. markets is simply customers seeing “Klarna” on their payment receipts and calling in to ask who or what that is. And, Lantz added, if a larger problem arises, Klarna’s product and sales teams stand ready to formulate a collaborated response.
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