12 February 2016

Sweden's iZettle hires Barclaycard's Roberts ahead of UK launch

27 February 2012  |  12578 views  |  4 iphone apps on screen

Swedish start-up iZettle, which provides technology that turns mobile phones into card payment terminals, is preparing to move into the UK market, hiring former Barclaycard innovation chief Stewart Roberts to lead its operations in the country.

The iZettle card reader and accompanying application enables merchants to accept card payments using iPhones, iPods and iPads. It is similar to US offerings from Square, Intuit and VeriFone but works with chip, rather than mag-stripe, cards.

Despite only launching in August, with a full scale commercial roll out in November, the service already has 25,000 active users in Sweden, with iZettle claiming to have grown the country's point-of-sale market by 15%. The company charges 2.75% of the sale plus SKr1.50 for each transaction.

Having established itself in its home market, iZettle is now preparing to expand into Europe, beginning with a launch this week in Denmark, Finland and Norway. During the beta phase iZettle is making 5000 chip-card readers per country available free of charge.

Beyond this, it is looking at the continent's major markets and in May will welcome as UK managing director Stewart Roberts, who is currently director of global innovation at Barclaycard.

IZettle will face a competitor when it arrives in Britain, where mPowa is hoping to steal a march on it. However, mPowa's system relies on card mag-stripes, not chips, a factor which iZettle - EMV-approved and PCI-DSS compliant - believes gives it a significant advantage.

Jacob de Geer, CEO, iZettle, says: "We estimate there are at least 20 million small businesses across Europe, not to mention all the individuals that could benefit from the iZettle service. The Nordics are just the first step of our global expansion scheduled for 2012."


Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 27 February, 2012, 14:33

Thanks for a great article, and may I make a small correction in relation to mPowa.  mPowa does indeed have a Chip & PIN option for markets in which Chip & PIN is required, and in fact we're about to announce our plans in respect of this.  It's important to remember that the card reader device is just one small part of the solution, and whilst its easy to get focussed only on that component the whole solution consists of very much more.

David Ingram, SVP, mPowa

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Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto | 27 February, 2012, 15:02

Thanks for the update David. When we talked to your representatives last month, chip and PIN certainly wasn't an option – a cause of some concern among our readers. 

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 28 February, 2012, 12:06

Do we know if merchants need to sign up separately for a merchant account with an acquirer in the case of mPowa and iZettle or, like it is with Square, they can get to operate under the payment provider's "master" merchant account?

As I'd pointed out in my comment to a previous Finextra post, mPowa's fee structure a month ago made it appear as though merchants do need to sign up separately whereas iZettle's fee structure suggests that they don't. Assuming the same situation continues, iZettle addresses a major pain area for merchants.  

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 01 March, 2012, 09:55

Thank you for the article, and to Ketharaman Swaminathan: As our fee structure suggests, iZettle does not require users to have a merchant account. After signing up with us, users operate under our merchant account and thus pay the fee of approximately €0.15 + 2.75% of the transaction amount. Nothing else.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly at hello@izettle.com if you have any other questions.

Kind regards,

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