iZettle – Small Businesses Take Credit Cards on Mobile Phones
Small Business News – 29th November 2012
Small business traders in the UK can now take credit card payments on their mobile phones using the new iZettle for iOS and Android.
iZettle is a card reader (dongle) that plugs into iPhones, iPads and certain Android devices with the 2.1 version and above.
Available from 4G service EE (Everything Everywhere) 297 EE stores stock iZettle for £20. Transaction fees for the iZettle work out at 2.75% per payment.
Small businesses using the iZettle will have to undergo a credit check whilst individuals will need to be over 18, provide their home address and bank account detail plus, as is becoming more ubiquitous these days, have a Facebook account.
Billed as the European equivalent of Square, the twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s pet project in the USA, or even PayPal Here, iZettle started life in Sweden before becoming available in Norway, Denmark, Finland and then Germany.
In a year iZettle has more than 75,000 users and is apparently used by 700 blacksmiths. CEO Jacob de Geer told the BBC that he intends to "democratise card payments."
Now available in the UK, iZettle accepts American Express, Mastercard and Visa cards. After purchasing the dongle, it is plugged in to the device and an app manages the payments – Enter the amount, get the client to sign the screen and then have them enter their email address for a receipt and that’s all there is to it.
From the iZettle website, visual artist Elizabeth Tyler sums up the device and service perfectly:
“Before I have always had to send cashless customers off with a description of the way to the nearest bank. Sometimes they got lost or the ATM was empty so I lost the deal. Now I can use iZettle on my iPad.”
Initially iZettle had a higher fixed cost structure before dropping to become more inline with both Square and PayPal Here. Compared to the transatlantic offerings though, iZettle handles chip and pin cards. The only difference between the Nordic and German markets however is the signature aspect of the transaction – the UK has been chip and PIN for a number of years now.
At iZettle’s UK launch CEO Jacob de Geer defended the lack of Windows Phone and Blackberry support and went on to say that Britain’s builders, electricians and plumbers were owed a collective £283 million in late payments. Billing customers on the spot using a mobile phone, iZettle and credit card could go a long way to helping SMEs get paid on time.