Europe’s answer to Square, iZettle, is introducing its new Card Reader Lite, which is reportedly the world’s first free-of-charge Chip and PIN reader.
Businesses in the U.K., Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands can now get the free hardware necessary to take payments via EMV card with little more than a few button clicks at www.izettle.com.
The Lite is compatible with tablets and smartphones via cable and comes at a lower cost for merchants. According to its business model, iZettle’s continues to offer full cost transparency and no hidden fees.
"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.”
The value of payments made via pay card in Europe was up 40 percent in 2013 compared with 2009; Visa Europe has recently predicted that in the U.K., 95 percent of payments will be made with cards within ten years. However, even as pay cards are becoming Europe’s dominant payment method, there are still 20 million SMBs that can not take such cards.
"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 de Geer.
The Lite is a “plug and play” piece of tech that is ready to go once plugged into a smartphone or tablet. iZettle will continue to offer its Card Reader Pro, which comes with a built-in display and connects to tablets and smartphones wirelessly, though that product will not be free.
iZettle’s transaction volume doubled in 2014, and the firm is now running at a total annual transaction rate of $2 billion.