According to the CEO of Sweden-based company Klarna, accepting bitcoin transactions could allow smaller merchants to access the global marketplace. Brian Billingsley says that the company’s goal is to remove friction for online consumers.
“We’ve done internal pilots with bitcoin. We love the concept of a consumer paying with bitcoin, [but] we haven’t seen a consumer experience to date that really makes it super frictionless,” Billingsley said in an interview with CoinDesk.
Frictionless Bitcoin Transactions
For now, Klarna isn’t looking to join the growing list of online startups that have embraced bitcoin transactions as a payment method. According to Billingsley, the value proposition for the technology in payments and online commerce still remains unclear.
As it is, Klarna has 1,200 employees in 18 markets and is currently tracking the developments in the bitcoin transactions sector. The company is also in touch with Swedish regulators when it comes to determining how they can allow customers to use bitcoin payments with over 50,000 partner merchants.
While bitcoin is appealing to tech-savvy consumers, it is still undergoing plenty of challenges when it comes adoption by a greater audience. “If shoppers have bitcoin, there are great use cases, but it will take us a while to figure out how to integrate this into our experience in a way that makes the average consumer happy,” Billingsley explained.
One of the main hurdles he pinpoints is when a new user needs to set up accounts in order to pay using bitcoin. He said that this could be discouraging for some customers to push through with the transaction when the merchant is accepting bitcoin payments only or the client might simply choose other payment methods at his disposal instead.
“Unless there’s a very specific merchant that only accepts bitcoin, there isn’t that reason for the average consumer to set up and buy bitcoin,” Billingsley said.