You might not have heard of iZettle but with EE’s help their products and services may soon be commonplace. Essentially iZettle allows you to turn your smartphone into a mobile card reader. You purchase a ‘Chip & Signature’ reader from them for £20, download their free app and set up an account. After which you can take card payments anytime and anywhere by plugging the card reader into your phones headphone port, typing in the chargeable amount, placing the customer’s credit or debit card into the card reader and processing the payment. The customer then uses their finger to sign the touchscreen, you can email them a receipt and the money should arrive in your account within 48 hours.
It’s incredibly straightforward and assuming you already have a compatible smartphone or tablet it only costs £20 to get set up. It’s a great system, particularly for those who work from home or markets, or work in other people’s homes - for example plumbers and builders, as it’s a simple, affordable and extremely portable way to take payments.
If ‘Chip & Signature’ all sounds a bit dated and unsecure to you then there’s also a ‘Chip & Pin’ card reader available. It’s a bit pricier at £99 and rather than plugging it in to your phone you sync it over Bluetooth, but otherwise it works similarly.
EE reckon that there’s over £283,000,000 worth of missed payments because customers don’t have money on them. They don’t specify what period that £283,000,000 of lost earnings is over or whether that’s just in England or the whole of the UK, but it’s certainly an eye raising figure and suggests that the iZettle card reader could be a huge benefit to businesses.
You might wonder how EE fit into the equation at all, well aside from giving iZettle a little bit of positive marketing they’re also the only UK mobile network to currently offer 4G, which could prove very useful when using an iZettle card reader. After all a data network is needed to process the payment and many people using iZettle devices aren’t likely to have a fixed place of business - they could be on a market stall or working house to house. As such a Wi-Fi network may not always be available and relying on 3G could slow the whole payment process down.
For the time being then EE are undeniably the best choice of mobile network for iZettle users and as such they’ve made iZettle a ‘preferred partner’. Of course once Three, Vodafone and O2 launch their 4G networks later in the year they’ll likely be just as good (though their coverage may initially not be as widespread as EE’s). Being able to process payments superfast on any network can only be a positive thing for iZettle and its customers, so the sooner it happens’ the better. But until then iZettle and EE certainly make a good pair.