iZettle launches on EE in the UK, lets merchants take plastic with smartphones, tabs

iZettle has just launched its Android and iOS payment platform on EE in the UK, giving small businesses a cheap way to get paid through Visa, American Express, Diner's Club and Mastercard. For a £20 fee in EE stores, you can grab the scanner (shown above) and start accepting charge card payments through your iPhone, iPad and certain Android devices with no other fees except for the usual merchant grab -- 2.75 percent per transaction in this case. Sales can even be keyed in manually if you don't want the scanner, and the company claims the system is quick and "totally secure." So, if you're tired of chasing down that deadbeat client who keeps saying "too bad you don't take Amex," hit the PR after the jump.

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iZettle launches with EE in Britain helping tradespeople secure up to £283m in lost customer payments

Up to £283m currently owed to plumbers, electricians and builders by late or non-paying customers

iZettle mini chip-card reader with free mobile payment app turns businesses' smartphones and tablets into credit and debit card readers

EE named as exclusive UK iZettle launch partner, with the device initially available in 297 of its retail stores

STOCKHOLM & LONDON – 7 November 2012 – From tomorrow, iZettle mini chip-card readers, that turn smartphones and tablets into mobile payments terminals, can be purchased exclusively in 297 newly designed EE stores across the country and from EE's telesales channel. The social payment company's new device and free app could help small businesses secure millions of pounds they are owed by customers. For example, the UK's plumbers, electricians and builders alone are currently owed up to £283 million by late or non-paying customers, according to an EE survey of 1,029 tradespeople1.

iZettle's mobile payments card readers, which can be used with iPhones, iPads, and more than a dozen 2.1 and higher Android smartphones and tablets including the Samsung Galaxy range, cost £20 in EE stores and come with a £20 voucher that can be used towards iZettle transaction fees. With iZettle merchants can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club payments. There are no lengthy sign up processes, no set up fees, no monthly fees and no minimum spend. iZettle merchants are simply charged 2.75% of each payment.

"The beauty of iZettle is that it's simple to use, totally secure and takes seconds for a transaction," said Jacob de Geer, CEO and co-founder of iZettle, which is used by more than 75,000 small businesses and individuals in six countries. "Whether you are a cabbie, florist, tradesperson or a courier, iZettle gives you the flexibility to operate in both cash and cards. The possibilities are endless because hundreds of thousands of small business can now take plastic. We are very excited about our full commercial launch in the UK and the positive results of our Beta test with 4,000 users over the past six months."

Research revealed today by EE, which has just launched its new superfast 4G and fibre brand in the UK, shows that small electrician, plumbing and building firms alone are currently owed up to £5,000 each by late or non-paying customers – equivalent to £283m. To compound the late and non-payment issue, tradespeople are investing an average of 36 days every year chasing overdue customer bills. Even based on minimum wage rates, that means the time spent chasing customers for payment costs tradespeople up to £125 million a year2.

Accepting card payments could easily boost revenue and cash flow, but 45% of small firms have been previously put off due to the cost of accepting cards. However, 71% claim they would accept credit or debit cards if there was a low cost, low hassle way of doing so. iZettle meets this need with an effortless sign-up and stress-free system that has one of the lowest cost and complexity profiles on the market. While according to consumers, there is also a pent-up demand with eight in ten (82%) saying they would like the option to pay tradespeople by card.

"Small businesses are crucial to the UK economy and to driving recovery and growth amongst the local communities where they operate. MasterCard has helped iZettle enter the UK market as we know that enabling small businesses to accept card payments will stimulate more business by addressing the restriction of customers paying only with cash. We have a five-year partnership with EE which focuses on innovation, and are delighted that our introduction to iZettle has resulted in EE becoming the first distribution partner in the UK", said Marion King, President of MasterCard UK and Ireland.

Gerry McQuade, Chief Marketing Officer at EE said: "iZettle is a revolution for small businesses and consumers across the nation. The aim of our new superfast EE brand is to make businesses' digital lives easier and ultimately more profitable through technology. Businesses and consumers are on the cusp of mobile payment transformation and we are delighted to bring iZettle to market, enhancing our mobile payment portfolio."

"We are delighted to be working with iZettle as they continue to expand into new markets, launching in Britain today. American Express is committed to adding value for small merchants, helping them grow their business. We see iZettle as a smart and convenient way for small businesses to further enable commerce by accepting card payments," said Werner Decker, Senior Vice President, Merchant Services Europe at American Express.

iZettle is designed for small business and tradespeople such as plumbers, electricians, builders, taxi drivers, housekeepers or market stallholders. It is estimated that there may be more than three million people running businesses in the UK who would benefit from the flexibility iZettle offers, with two thirds (66%) of small firms currently owning a smartphone3.