Swedish payments company Klarna is going through a second round of outsourcing, transferring roles in customer services and operations to two other companies, according to company documents seen by Sifted.
According to people familiar with the changes, the number of employees affected is likely to be around 500.
Once transferred, the roles will no longer exist at Klarna; countries affected include Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US, the document says.
This follows an announcement by Klarna in August that it was outsourcing 250 roles in customer service in Sweden and Germany to Foundever, a Miami-headquartered company that handles customer services for a range of businesses and has more than 170k employees and call centres around the world.
Outsourcing roles to Accenture and Foundever
The decision to implement a second round of outsourcing was communicated to affected personnel on Monday afternoon. A calendar invite was sent out to affected UK staff 20 minutes before a meeting to announce the changes, according to a person with knowledge of the changes.
“It was just announced that anyone on this call was going to be outsourced and it's going to be a great opportunity for you to move to a new company. And then that was it,” the person tells Sifted, adding that the team has just over a month’s notice before the move happens.
Another person with knowledge of the changes says that the meeting itself was confusing, and that there were a lot of people unsure if they were actually being outsourced or being informed of the teams affected.
“The whole handling in this has been, in my opinion, absolutely terrible. A lot of the questions that we had remained unanswered, there is a lot of uncertainty.”
The internal document states that the role transitions will take place “once union consultations across some markets are concluded.” It states that the teams affected by this are:
- Anti-Money Laundering & Counter Terrorist Financing
- Customer Service
- Partner Operations & Product
- User Account & Fraud Prevention
- Payment Methods
Foundever will take on the customer-services-related personnel, while the management consultancy firm Accenture will take over the financial crime prevention roles.
Internal document at Klarna
A bonus of the value of two months' pay will be paid out to people who agree to the new job offer, according to one of the people Sifted spoke to. The document also mentions an “early signing bonus”. According to the document, the shift is optional. However, for those who decline, there will no longer be a position for them at Klarna.
“I think what a lot of people are going to do is take the bonus and just try to find a new role as soon as possible,” the first person who spoke to Sifted says.
“It feels like we don't even really have the option of whether or not we move to this new company,” the second person tells Sifted.
“In theory, we can choose to accept this transfer. In practice, the reality is that we have one month before our new start date at the new company, and we all know it's very difficult to find any new employment, interview etc, in this time. It also does not take into account the notice period that we would have to give should we choose to leave Klarna on our own.”
In the document seen by Sifted, Klarna says that the previously outsourced customer-services staff “have reported a favourable shift in the work culture and new growth opportunities”.
It also says: “This affirmed our belief that Klarna should focus on what we excel at and take action for the functions that we haven’t been able to fully nurture, support and innovate as much as other parts of the business.”
Sifted has reached out to Klarna for comment.