Editor’s note: This article by Dmitri Sarle originally appeared on ArcticStartup, an independent tech blog that reports on digital startups and growth entrepreneurship from the Nordic and Baltic countries.
The VISA issue was one of the biggest hurdles for iZettle in Finland and pretty much everywhere else. They were unable to allow VISA transactions (for several reasons as outlined by VISA Europe) and since it is the major credit card brand in the country, many of the vendors were simply not motivated enough to use iZettle.
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Today, iZettle announced that they are introducing a new device based on Chip & Pin technology that will accept all major cards, including VISA.
The Financial Supervisory Authority regulates iZettle and its services, which are EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) and it approved and confirmed compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
The way the device is going to work is by connecting to your smartphone or tablet via bluetooth, where the customer can then insert his or her card. The payment is then processed on the screen.
The device is said to be working with VISA, Visa Electron, V Pay, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express. The press release notes that in addition to Finland, the Chip & PIN reader will be available in Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain.
Personally, I think that the bluetooth solution is much better than the previous version, as I was able to witness how the process worked using the old device since my wife used it at her Lakshmi Yoga Club. It was a cumbersome task to hold an already bulky iPad with one hand, while trying to manipulate the clients card into the iZettle reader. So with the new bluetooth solution, the device can just sit on the registration desk.
The new Chip & PIN device works with the free iZettle app. This time around, iZettle is not offering the device for free but the price is not something to be afraid of as he new card reader can be purchased at iZettle.com, for €49.
“Our vision from Day One has been to simplify and democratize payments, said Jacob de Geer, co-founder and CEO of iZettle. “Small business deserves a simpler, more mobile and affordable way to accept card payments. Adding a Chip & PIN device to our product offering will play an important part in making that happen.”
That’s not the only news from iZettle today, they also announced a partnership with Banco Santander, one of the world’s largest and leading banks. So as of today, iZettle will be available to Santander banking customers in Spain.
UPDATE: It is interesting to note that Payleven, iZettle competitor announced a similar technology just a few weeks ago with a planned launch date of 18th of February and exactly the same price – €49.
This makes me wonder, just how much these companies have to know about one another to stay on top of their game.
UPDATE 2: We got in touch with iZettle for comments about their competition. They responded that although there are competitors out there, such as Payleven (that has not yet started shipping yet according to iZettle), the business is not about hardware.
What makes a difference for users, and what differentiates iZettle from the competition, is we offer an easy, user friendly and secure service overall. Starting with the super easy online based onboarding process where you can get started in 5 minutes, to how easy it is to take payments and manage your business with the iZettle app.
Image credit: Thinkstock