- Business and Employment
iZettle Review: A Sleek and Cost-Effective Solution to Accept Card Payments
iZettle is a Swedish company headquartered in Stockholm with regional offices in London, Berlin, Madrid, Mexico City and São Paulo. Founders Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson started the company in 2010 and they launched the following year. iZettle offers a smartphone and tablet EMV-approved solution for chip and PIN cards and magnetic stripe cards.
The emergence of iZettle as a new provider of card payment solutions changed the way payments were processed: by using an app compatible for mobile devices and a small chip and PIN reader, the company allowed small businesses to accept card payments at a reasonable cost and without having to be tied into a multiple year rental contract.
The iZettle card payment solution is available for iPhones, iPads and Adroid devices.
iZettle is available in the following countries: Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom.
iZettle Card Reader Features
There are two types of reader: the Lite Reader, free of charge, and the Card Reader Pro, which is Apple Pay and contactless payment enabled. The Card Reader Pro has a built-in screen but battery life is shorter than the Lite version and takes longer to charge. However, if you plan to offer contactless payments then the Pro version is recommended.
There is no monthly rental fee but a fixed 2.75% transaction fee, which can go as low as 1.5% for larger transaction volumes.
Before starting to use the reader you need to download the iZettle app on your mobile device. You can set up a list of products and prices on the iZettle website, which will then appear on the mobile app at the time of purchase.
To make a sale, select the product (you can also have entries without a fixed price, so you can enter the price manually) and you'll get a prompt to insert the client's card into the card reader for authentication. The authentication process lasts a few seconds (probably quicker if you're on a good wifi connection) and a confirmation message will appear on the mobile device screen. You have the option to send a receipt.
If a customer requires a receipt, a digital one via text message or email can be issued. For paper receipts you will need a separate printer (but who wants to carry a bulky printer to a market stall or other sales venue when you can have a lightweight card reader that's very portable?).
I had been using a very expensive card terminal solution from Elavon for a number of years. I could go on and on about the clunky brick-like mobile card terminal, lack of available signal to process transactions and high rental fee. Compared to iZettle, Elavon provides mobile card terminals with in-built printers via their resellers. The terminal has a SIM card but cannot connect via wifi. While having paper receipts can be a nice-to-have, carrying a heavy card terminal isn't ideal.
I wanted to find an alternative solution that would be convenient for my customers, as the old machine never got a good signal and therefore required for the client and me to walk around the block until some signal bars appeared.
Therefore, I ordered the free Lite Reader from iZettle, which was introduced in 2015. You need to create a profile on iZettle and verify your bank details, which takes a few days.
Connecting the iZettle card reader to a mobile device is done through a cable that plugs into the phone's audio jack.
The card reader charges in 30 minutes (compared to 1.5 hours for the Pro version) via the USB port of a computer and the charge will last for 200 transactions.
The mobile interface is intuitive and the card reader is small yet robust. Clients said it's easy to use and the app looks sleek and modern.
In terms of reporting, you can check your sales reports on the iZettle website and you can download them either as a PDF or an Excel file.
Please note that cardholder not present transactions are not accepted: therefore the iZettle card reader cannot be used for phone or internet orders.
Are You Planning to Accept Card Payments?
Will you accept card payments in the future?
Pros and Cons of Using iZettle for Accepting Card Payments
easy to use
no printer to issue receipts
cardholder not present transactions are not allowed
no monthly rental
flexible transaction fees according to volume
sales reports available from the website
no need to set up a separate merchant account
straightforward verification process
If you want to have a retail presence at an event (for example, you are doing a book launch and want to make your book available to purchase), using iZettle to accept payments is convenient and cost-effective.
Recommendation to iZettle
During a conversation on twitter I discovered that it would be a useful feature for iZettle to provide an online payment gateway with accounting software such as Xero.