Klarna CEO called to government meeting over data security worries



Klarna CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski. Photo: Adam Wrafter / SvD / TT

The CEO of payment service Klarna has reportedly been called to a government meeting following criticisms relating to issues including identity hacking and customer debt.


Financial Markets Minister Per Bolund and Consumer Affairs Minister Ardalan Shekarabi have asked Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski to explain the company’s plans for dealing with the problems to the Finance Ministry, according to a Dagens Nyheter report.


“I have noted that Klarna’s leadership has expressed an ambition to work actively with this issue and take further measures, so I want to get a picture of what is underway and what we from the political side can do to complement that,” Shekarabi told the newspaper.


He said that a lot of Swedes “end up in the debt trap” due to the delayed payment options offered by companies like Klarna. While it’s not the only payment service with these problems, Klarna’s dominance in Sweden led to the decision to call a meeting.


Klarna has been accused of being unclear about how customers’ personal details are handled and unclear credit reports, leading to some customers having debt registered with state bailiffs Kronofogden.


The company has also been reported for breaching GDPR guidelines, and its handling of personal data has been reported to Sweden’s data protection watchdog almost four times as much as the country’s four biggest banks.


Klarna’s press officer Magnus Törnblom said that the company had not yet received information about a government meeting but would “gladly participate” in discussion of these issues. He added that Klarna had been working long-term to reduce the proportion of customers who pay late.


Founded in Stockholm in 2005, the online payment company secured a banking licence in 2017 and today employs around 2,000 people, serving 60 million customers in 14 countries.


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