One barrier to entry for Stockholm-based iZettle has always been the upfront cost of their chip and pin readers that allow anyone to process credit card payments. Not that iZettle devices have ever been that expensive – their fanciest device, a bluetooth chip and pin card reader clocks in at only €49. But for a small business owner that’s never taken card payments, iZettle feels more expensive than putting up a “cash only” sign.
To get around this issue today the Swedish payments company announces that they’re launching a Lite version of iZettle that gets back to basics. Here, their device plugs right into the headphone jack and accepts chip and pin payments – basically a wired version of their bluetooth device.
We share an office with iZettle’s Hesinki team, giving us unprecedented access to the organization. Ok, they just showed me the device, but it’s not the “free airplane headphones” version of iZettle’s premium device. It feels solid and professional in your hand, and could be mistaken to their bluetooth device if it weren’t for the lack of an LED display or the big wire sticking out of it.
This should be a big deal for the company, however, as it gives iZettle zero set-up fees and is easier for un-tech savvy users to just plug in a device rather than dealing with bluetooth pairing. More chip readers in more peoples’ hands should mean more payments processed through the company, which translates to revenue. Transaction fees for using iZettle start at 2.75% and reduce to 1.5% for those with a high sales volume.
So far the company has seen good growth, doubling its transaction volumes in 2014 and now running at a total annual transaction rate of around €2 billion.
“The Lite is a first of its kind. 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,” says Jacob de Geer, iZettle’s cofounder and CEO.