Klarna vs Afterpay – What’s the Difference (2020)

It is just the beginning of buying now and paying later world. New companies are emerging every week. Recently a bank titled Klarna introduced an element called Klarna app, which has the same purpose as Afterpay. In this blog post, we are going to explore Klarna vs Afterpay. From availability to repayments, this comparison covers the essential topics.

Table of contents


Klarna app is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and maybe a few more. Recently it has recorded 7 million customers only in the UK. Afterpay, on the other hand, is an Australian company available in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. The company will soon start in Canada. Afterpay is available in fewer countries, and the only country it is offered where Klarna does not is New Zealand.

Sign up process

The sign-up process is pretty straight forward. With Klarna, you need a valid phone number plus your email address for the initial process. After signing up, you can browse the app. You can view products and add to cart, but you will need to verify your payment information before purchasing the first item. Afterpay also requires the email address (phone in some locations) to create an account. You will need to add your card details, and they will charge a small amount to verify the payment method.

How do both work?

Interface - Klarna vs Afterpay
Interface – Klarna vs Afterpay

The ways both work are different. Klarna app is actually a browser with additional functionalities. The app comes with an interface where you can browse stores. You can add more stores by tapping on the add new button. When you open a store, you see their main website. You will need the normal store account to purchase anything as for those stores you are just using a browser. After you have selected an item which is within limits, add to the cart. Down below, you will have an option to pay with Klarna. The app will automatically detect the payment in the cart, but it also offers to add the total payment manually. On the next screen, you will find the repayments information. When you pay for the item, the app creates a ghost card, which can only be used for the current sale. After you have purchased, the ghost card details are no longer valid. To see the app in action, check out the video below which covers Klarna tutorial

Afterpay, on the contrary, is different. After you have signed up, you get to see many stores. Tapping 0n each one shows the website and in-store options. Unlike Klarna, Afterpay offers both online and in-store. The second menu is your barcode menu. This is where the spending limit is specified. You can refresh the barcode if you can’t see it there. Furthermore, the barcode is only for in-store purchases. After you have selected the products, you will show the barcode to the cashier, and they will scan and process the payment.

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Barcode and Limit - Afterpay
Barcode and Limit – Afterpay

Trust is the main goal. In the beginning, you don’t get an increased limit. Klarna depending on your location gives you a good amount to spend while you can increase that by repaying on time. Also, depending on your region, there is a minimum spending limit. For example, here in Australia, the minimum cart amount must be $35. Afterpay also offers limits, but there is not a minimum spending limit. The maximum is not that much though, Here is Oz, you get to spend $500 in the beginning. However, as you shop and pay on time, the limit will increase.


Repayments on Klarna App
Repayments – Klarna App

Repayments with Klarna are location dependent. The first payment is the day of the purchase. The next three payments are every fortnight. In total it gives you six weeks time to pay for all the money. In some regions, even if you can’t pay on time, you are not overcharged. Your rating decreases though, which means decreased limit. In Australia, if you miss a repayment, the company gives additional days (most likely seven), and if you can’t pay within the additional period, you will most likely be charged. The fee depends on the repayment amount. You can read about the rules in your region on the Klarna website.

Afterpay, on the other hand, also charges the first payment on the purchase day, and the rest are every fortnight. If you miss a payment, you will be charged a $10 fee. Afterpay does not use any rating system, but not paying the required amount may lead to not increase in limit or worst, decrease.


When you refund something, you must notify Klarna customer service, so then they can process the request and expect the refund soon. If you don’t inform them, there will be a delay in the refund process. With Afterpay, while refunding in-store and online, the system will automatically detect the payment method and email address, and you’ll get the money back to your account.

Which one is for you?

Klarna makes online shopping easy. It lets you shop on the popular stores online, whereas Afterpay is for in-store purchases as it mostly offers the online stores of those brands which offer Afterpay in-store. If only one is available in your region, then, of course, you don’t have a choice, but those who have access to both, why not sign up on both and use them at different occasions.

In conclusion

The Klarna vs Afterpay comparison covered the basic features. Thanks for reading. Please let me know what you think of both in the comments below and your experience with any. I’ll keep updating this article as new information comes.

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