European equivalent of Square, iZettle, commences UK beta trials
16 May 2012 | 9155 views | 4
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.
Under the programme, iZettle is working with MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club to make 3000 of its mini chip-card readers available for small businesses and individuals in the UK.
Jacob de Geer, founder and CEO at iZettle comments: "The UK is a priority market for us and we are very excited about kick-starting this beta programme with three of the major card networks."
With more than 50,000 users today, iZettle has increased the number of point of sale (POS) card acceptance terminals in the Nordic by 10 percent since it began operation in Sweden last September and expanded to Denmark, Finland and Norway in February this year.
The iZettle reader is EMV-approved, and compliant with PCI-DSS standards. Much like Square in the US, there is no set up fee, or monthly fee or minimum, with the company making its money by taking a 2.75% to 3.75% tax on all transactions passed through the reader.
In February, iZettle hired former Barclaycard innovation chief Stewart Roberts to lead its operations in the UK. It also counts Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone among its investors. Dunstone is likely to play an important role in ensuring mass-market distribution once the service is ready for commercial roll-out.
"Taking payments is becoming increasingly difficult with people carrying less and less cash in their wallets," says Dunstone. "With iZettle - problem solved - you can focus on growing your business."
iZettle may face domestic competition on UK shores, with British outtfit mPowa preparing for launch. Initially slated for release in February, the company has yet to issue any devices on the market, but is instead inviting prospective users to pre-register their interest over the Web.