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IZettle launches free-of-charge Chip and PIN reader

17 February 2015  |  9702 views  |  4 izettle sdk

Swedish mPOS firm iZettle is introducing the world's first free-of-charge Chip & PIN reader for merchant customers across Europe.

The new iZettle Card Reader Lite connects to tablets and smartphones via cable. The company says it will continue to offer its Card Reader Pro model, which comes with a $75 price tag, a built-­in display and wireless connectivity.

The Swedish firm is moving in the opposite direction of US innovator Square, which in November last year announced plans for a new chip card reader that will retail with a $29 price tag to replace its current free-of-charge mag-strip-only dongle.

“This is one of the boldest moves we have ever made,” says Jacob de Geer, iZettle’s co-­founder and CEO. “Four years ago we upended the market with the world’s first mini chip card reader. We’re now embarking on the next step in our journey, with yet another ground-breaking offer that will cement our position as Europe’s leading mobile payments company.”

IZettle more than doubled its transaction volumes in 2014, and is now running at a total annual transaction rate of €2 billion. It remains bullish about the opportunities for growth, pointing out that some 20 million European small businesses don’t take card payments or have access to other decent payment tools.

“The Lite is a first of its kind," says de Geer. "Not only will it tear down the barriers small merchants face when setting up their businesses, it also raises the stakes for Europe’s payments industry."

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 February, 2015, 01:36

Am I the only one who never saw iZettle reader being used in real life?.. Also, last year at Cartes in Paris, there were a couple dozens of "iZettle"-like dongles... 

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 18 February, 2015, 15:21

@AlexP: Any idea how many of the iZettle-clones included a merchant acquirer account à la SQUARE? I don't even know if iZettle itself does. None of the half-dozen clones in India do. I still believe that obviating the need for the merchant to get an acquirer account on their own is the real secret sauce behind SQUARE's success.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 February, 2015, 22:58 I was under impression that most (like iZettle and a similar product by WorldPay) do...
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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 20 February, 2015, 11:42

I know many (e.g. eZetap, Powa) that only provide a mobile card reader and leave it to the merchant to use their existing acquirer accounts. 

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