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Klarna‘s sale of its checkout business has received a warm welcome from sections of the payments industry, with perceived positive impacts for merchants and consumers.

Announced yesterday, the Swedish fintech declared that its Klarna Checkout (KCO) business had been sold to a consortium of investors led by BLQ Invest and its CEO, Kamjar Hajabdolahl.

The company stated that it was doing so to concentrate its efforts on its traditional payments offerings. Klarna also seems confident in KCO’s continued growth and development prospects under its new owners.

Responding to the sale, Moshe Winegarten, Chief Revenue Officer at Ecommpay, a payments platform, stated that the firm is “welcoming the news that Klarna is selling KCO to concentrate on its flexible payments business”.

“Obviously as a PSP ourselves, who like to offer Klarna to our clients, it removes that layer of conflict, but we also believe it’s the right move for the industry as a whole,” he continued.

“We’ve seen a trend in the market when gateways or payment facilitators are used as a means of entry for a proprietary wallet. There is a risk that they can route customers to prioritise the usage of their wallet. 

“As a result, merchants could lose out because the checkout experience has been skewed to push one specific payment method over another, potentially costing merchants and consumers more money.

“It’s critical for merchants, especially in the current climate, to be able to optimise payment methods like cards, open banking, BNPL or wallets based on cost, speed of settlement or consumer preference.

“Therefore, in the long term, the news that Klarna is selling Klarna Checkout is not only better for the market, better for the merchants, but also better for the consumers, by providing a balanced and objective checkout solution.”

Post-sale, Klarna intends to focus on its payments products. One of the biggest areas where the firm has made a name for itself is buy now, pay later (BNPL), a payments practice which has surged in popularity among consumers in recent years.

Sharing Winegarten’s viewpoint was Gary Prince, CEO of The Payment Firm Limited, who commented on LinkedIn about the challenges KCO presented for Klarna from an operational and commercial perspective.

“A very sensible move by Klarna as this removes one of the conflicts and challenges they had when trying to work with this business unit’s direct competitors,” he said on the social media platform.

“Will be interesting to see where they will invest the money, either internally or whether they decide to use it for a string of acquisitions.”