Klarna vs. Afterpay (2021) | The Final Showdown

Last updated: 29 Apr 2021 | Reading time: 4.5 minutes | Watching time: 5 minutes

Klarna vs Afterpay
Klarna vs. Afterpay

It is just the beginning of the buy now, pay later era. New companies are emerging every year. Recently a bank titled Klarna introduced an app called Klarna. It offers to buy now and pay later. Another popular service is Afterpay. Although the purpose is the same, both work differently. The blog post explores both and covers Klarna vs. Afterpay (2021).

Table of Contents

Quick Klarna vs. Afterpay comparison

AvailabilityUS, UK, Australia, Finland, Spain, Italy, and nine moreAustralia, US, UK, Canada, New Zealand
Starting limit$200 to $500$500 to $1,000
TypeOnline (Klarna app)In-store / online
RepaymentsSix weeksSix/Eight weeks
Missed paymentAdditional seven days (varies by location)$10 fee


Let’s bring this chapter with a quick comparison video.

Sign up process

The sign-up process is straight forward. To register on Klarna, you need a valid phone number and an email address for the initial registration.

After signing up, you can browse the app and add products to the cart, but you will need to verify your payment information before purchasing your first item.

Afterpay requires:

  • email address
  • phone number
  • Credit or debit card

The app charges a small amount to verify the payment method.

How do both work?

Interface - Klarna vs Afterpay
Interface – Klarna vs. Afterpay


Klarna app is a browser with buy-now, pay-later 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, the website opens up.

Related: Afterpay vs. PayPal (2021) | The Ultimate Comparison

You will need the normal store account to purchase anything. For example, if you are purchasing something on Amazon, you will still need your Amazon account.

You can add the items to the cart, which is within your account limits. On the app, you will have an option to pay with Klarna. The app will automatically detect the cart’s payment, but if for any reason it can’t, there is an option to add the payment manually.

Before the payment processes, you get to see the dues and dates. The app creates a ghost card which is only valid for this purchase. After you have purchased the item, the ghost card details are no longer valid. To see the app in action, check out the video: What is Klarna?


A part of over 11 million customers worldwide, Afterpay is different. After you have signed up, you get to see stores in the app. Tapping 0n one goes to their website. Unlike Klarna, Afterpay offers both online and in-store shopping.

To pay online, you log in with your Afterpay credentials, while to pay in-store, the app generates a barcode. The barcode may not show if there is a problem with the payment method. It also expires every ten minutes, so you have to refresh to generate a new code.


Afterpay App Bardcode
Barcode and Limit – Afterpay

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 is $35.

Afterpay also offers a maximum limit, but there isn’t any minimum limit. Here in Land Down Under, you get to spend $500 initially, and the limit automatically increases as you use the app.

Related: 7 Best Buy Now, Pay Later Apps in 2021


Klarna App Reypayments System
Repayments – Klarna App

Repayments with Klarna are also 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 to pay back.

If you can’t pay on time, you get additional seven days, and if you can’t pay in the extra period, you are charged a fee. In some regions, you get more than seven days. You can read about the rules in your region on the Klarna website.

Afterpay, on the other hand, used to charge the first payment on the day of the purchase (may still charge to new customers), but now the first payment is after two weeks. This gives the customer eight weeks to pay back. Of course, if you miss a payment, you are charged a $10 fee.

Afterpay does not use any rating system, but not paying the required amount may lead to no limit increase. They also send an SMS reminder and an email four days and a day before.


With Klarna, you need to inform the customer service (as the ghost card is no longer available), so they can complete the necessary steps to ensure that the refund proceeds quickly.

If you don’t inform immediately after the refund, the refund will most likely be delayed.

With Afterpay, the system is straight forward. You get your money back straight in your Afterpay 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, you don’t choose, but if you are like me where both are given, why not sign up on both and use them on different occasions. Different brands also offer deals on different payment methods now and then as well.


The Klarna vs. Afterpay comparison covered the essential features. Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think of both in the comments below and your experience with either.

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