March 12, 2020 / 6:00 AM / 20 days ago

German payments company Wirecard embeds Klarna into its merchant checkout

BERLIN, March 12 (Reuters) - German payments company Wirecard said on Thursday it would embed three ways to pay offered by Klarna, Europe’s most valuable fintech startup, into the checkout product it offers to merchants on its platform.

The deal broadens Klarna’s distribution and will offer all three of its digital shopping methods - Pay Now, Pay Later and Klarna Financing, the two firms said in a statement on Thursday.

Founded in Sweden in 2005, Klarna has pioneered a new form of online shopping in Europe in which it pays merchants up front and collects the money later from consumers, giving them an alternative to credit cards.

It has expanded into the United States and Australia and last week attracted China’s Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , as a backer.

Munich-based Wirecard has risen rapidly into Germany’s top share index, but its ascent has been punctuated by allegations of fraud and false accounting in a series of investigative reports by the Financial Times.

It denies wrongdoing and has sued the UK financial paper.

Wirecard last year received financial backing from, and struck a partnership with, Softbank Group Corp that has yielded payments partnership with several companies backed by the Japanese investor.

The latest is Grab, the ride sharing and e-commerce company that operates in Southeast Asia.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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