Swedish mobile card swipe start-up iZettle - billed as the European equivalent to Square - is set to begin a beta-test of its technology in the UK.
Good to see UK market entry at last. Interesting to note that it's a Mastercard/Amex trial - it'll need to be more universal to really scale, given Visa's dominant position in debit.
Like Square, iZettle doesn't require its small business customers to have a merchant account. mPowa's pricing structure suggests that it does. Given that getting a merchant account directly from an acquirer bank is a major pain area for such businesses,
iZettle shouldn't have any significant competition from mPowa.
iZettle today allows pan key entry of card numbers and therefore it is an excellent device for making card payments without the cardholders presense - why this is needed for face to face trading is unclear. Furthermore it is also distributed to private consumers
enabelling these to receive payments from credit cards. This takes card payments to a new dimension when consumers start paying to consumers in a payment system like mastercard or american express, where all point of sale rules are based on that consumers
pay to businesses. Exciting development. How come that point of sale terminal manufacturer giants have not been able to build a cheap and simple device like this? Does the device really meet all the normal requirements a pos terminal is expected to meet?
Not that I want to blow anyone elses trumpet, but anyone who's been in an Apple store recently will have seen that they run their EMV POS solution via ingenico jackets wrapped on iphones/ipods, wified to receipt printers under desk. The issues for smaller
merchant use of mobile based POS, as others have commentated, are 1) the need for the merchant to sort out thier own merchant account, which is a REAL pain if you're a little sole trader or second income business, which is where the real market for these devices
are, 2) the prohibitive hardware price point and 3) distribution network for the EMV devices. All the current mobile dongle type devices for the UK market are questionable for PCI, and more importantly, cardholder confidence, so I'm looking forward to a proper
market release of a simple, reasonably priced EMV solution. This has potential not only for UK markets, but anywhere that has high EMV CH use. Well done iZettle. I'll certainly be trying out your solution, and hope that other solution providers join the fray.
© Finextra Research 2016