Intuit Pay Chip & PIN – Review

Intuit LogoFollowing on from the success of my review of the iZettle Chip & PIN mobiel payment solution, I have decided to go a step further and look at another Chip & PIN solution that I was not aware of until recently.

Intuit Pay from Intuit Limited is a new Chip & PIN Mobile Payment solution that consists of a mobile Chip & PIN terminal that communicates with its partner Application on your smartphone by the way of Bluetooth.

Who is it for?

Unlike iZettle which aims at Business and Consumers alike, Intuit Pay is aimed solely at Business owners. This has allowed them to have more functionality and customisation within their service offering.

Business may question the high cost per Transaction (2.75%) as card terminals from other banking providers have a lower cost of less than 2%. The disadvantage with these larger business-oriented banking terminals is that they have a monthly rental fee for the terminal, and often come with a minimum contract term of 1 year and a minimum turnover per month. Intuit Pay has no monthly fee, no minimum term lock in, and no minimum turnover requirement. A straight forward charge of 2.75% and a one off cost of £100 (+VAT) (currently £29 +VAT for their introductory offer) are the only outgoings you will ever see for this solution. If you are a company that relies on cash and invoice/bank payment transactions, but wish to offer a card service on the side to capture those customers whom you might otherwise loose, then this solution is for you. As there is no cost of upkeep, after you have paid out for the card reader, you do not have to worry about taking a minimum amount to cover the cost of the service or any reoccurring monthly fees

If your company relies heavily on Credit card transactions and have an annual turnover large enough to justify the annual cost of a card terminal, then you might be better off going with a more corporate solution.

Cost comparison

When you compare Intuit Pay to established Point of Sale (POS) solutions from larger business banking companies, then the per-card rates can seem a little high. A number of these POS solutions also charge a fixed amount on top of the per-transaction rate. For example: a debit card transaction with one might cost only 2%, but a charge of 40p per transaction is applied on top. Credit card payments from VISA and MasterCard might only charge at 2%. On top of all this, there could be a monthly rental charge to keep the Chip & PIN reader, and a minimum monthly total transaction value that has to be met. While Intuit Pay would not be the most cost effective solution for those who are turning over £1000+ per week in credit / debit card transactions, for the smaller business doing less than this, Intuit Pay is perfect. No monthly cost and no minimum  transaction value per month means that if you dont use Intuit Pay, then you simply dont pay anything. The 2.75% fixed fee per transaction helps for Micro transactions too, as there is no fixed cost on top of the percentage they already take.

Intuit Pay Chip & PIN Device

The Chip and PIN device is manufactured by Miura Systems Ltd, and appears to be a slightly earlier version of the Chip & PIN unit that is shipped by iZettle. The device is a split matte / glossy grey and blue plastic unit 9.5 x 7 x 1.75 CM (H x W x D) with a square bottom / top and curved (almost ergonomic) left and right sides. It has a 4.3CM green/grey LCD display and 13 buttons on its face, a Micro USB plug for charging and a charging LED indicator on its right side, a blue recessed power button and reset button on its left side. The reader features a chip reader on the bottom of the device (the cards clip in securely) as well as a magnetic swipe reader across the top of the unit. The unit has the Intuit Pay printed in white on the front and embossed onto the glossy plastic on the back with a matte inlay finish.

When comparing this unit to the iZettle device with its OLED display, the Intuit device feels and looks and feels far more premium, and more like a chip-and-pin reader should, while the iZettle device has an air that the black acrylic case was more of an after-thought than a design decision. The Intuit device also fits far nicer in the hand than the iZettle unit. My only concern with the Intuit device uses an LCD instead of an OLED. This might prove difficult to read on bright sunny days. The OLED will definitely outperform the LCD in low / no light situations, which might make the Intuit Pay device unusable.

The Miura units have specific firmware installed on them (presumably to encrypt communication between the Reader and the App) that mean the readers only function with the App provided by the company you purchase the reader from. An Intuit Reader will not work with the iZettle App, or vice versa.

There is no word from Intuit on battery life, but it should be virtually the same as the iZettle unit that is reported to support up to 150 transactions on a single charge. You can charge the unit using the included MicroUSB cable, and the reader can be used while it is charging

Setting up the Chip & PIN Device

Once you push the power button, it takes around 40 seconds for the Chip & PIN reader to start up and reach the ‘Open app to start’ screen. At this point you can either pair the unit with your smartphone / tablet, or start the Intuit Pay App (which automatically establishes a Bluetooth link to the unit if it is already paired) for it to be used.

To unpair / make the unit discoverable for pairing with your smartphone or tablet, power on the reader by pressing the power button. Once the reader has started up and the Intuit logo has been replaced by the ‘Open app to start’ text, hold down the Yellow < (Back) button for 5 seconds and you will be asked whether you want to ‘Remove Bluetooth Pairing?’. Clicking Yes will remove the existing pairing and make the device discoverable. At this point you can pair your reader just like you would pair a Bluetooth Headset. You can cancel this action after you have held down the Yellow < (Back) key  by pressing the Red X (X) button at any time. This will not delete the previous pairing. You can only have one pairing on the Reader and cannot switch between two phones/ tablets without re-pairing it.

It is worth mentioning that the Chip & PIN Reader is not linked to a single Intuit Pay account. You pair the reader with your phone or tablet, and the App links to your account. You could loan your reader to friend with Intuit Pay and they could use the reader with their own Intuit Pay account.

To power off the reader, press the power button once and the reader will ask you to confirm the power off action with the green ‘Tick’ key (yes) or to deny it with the Red ‘X’ (no) key. Inaction for 30 seconds will return the reader to its previous screen.

Intuit Pay very helpfully did a brief YouTube video on pairing your card reader.

Updating the Card Reader – First time Setup

When you first receive your card reader you will need to pair it to your phone / tablet, and then run ‘Update Card Reader’ which will be displayed on the front page of the Intuit Pay Smartphone App if you have not already updated the reader. Updating the reader is a very straight-forward process.

Ensure the reader is powered on and paired to your smartphone with the Intuit App running on it.

Click ‘Set up card reader’ on the home screen (first time setup only) or for subsequent updates go to ‘Settings > Update Card Reader’.

The card reader update process will begin. The card reader will restart two or more times during this process. The app will automatically report once the update is complete.

The choice that Intuit Pay to allow the user to update the device is important, as this will allow Intuit to add more functionality and fix bugs further down the line. Currently neither iZettle nor Payleven allow the user to update the firmware on the Miura Systems Chip & PIN devices.

Intuit Pay Smartphone App

Like most Mobile Payment solution apps, Intuit’s comes in two flavours. One for Android, and one for iPhone. The iPhone version reportedly supports all iOS devices, while the Android version is a little limiting, presently only supporting the Samsung Galaxy range (not the Note II or the S4 yet), and the Nexus phones. Currently no Android Tablets are supported. Other solution providers (even Payleven) have left Intuit Pay in the dust for device support now, but I expect this to change in the coming months as their app grows and develops.

The version I will be using for this review is the Android version, running on a Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB.

When you first start the app you are asked whether you already have an account or if you would like to sign up for one. Having already signed up online I was unable to test the signup procedure through the App. Once you have signed in with your credentials you are greeted by the app home screen which will prompt you to ‘Set up business’ and ‘Set up card reader’. If (like me) you’ve installed the app shortly after signing up for the service, you wont have received the card reader yet and wont be able to set it up yet. In this instance the app has very limited functionality  It does not allow you to perform any sort of transaction without having a card reader, and even though you can perform Card-not-Present transactions through the web portal, you cannot through the app. I do hope that (given you can sign up for online card-not-present payments only without getting the card reader) you will be able to use the app for this functionality in a future release.

Business Setup

The first place most people will visit is the Set Up Business wizard. From here the App will guide you through giving your store a name, adding your logo, choosing a background for the application (this should really be under ‘settings’ as its not related to the business setup, nor customer facing in any way), and Customise your receipt message.

During this process I got slightly confused during the ‘Customise your receipt message. As I had never seen an Intuit Pay receipt I had no point of reference, and did not know what this message was that I would be altering. A preview of the receipt would be very helpful here.

Once you have completed your Business Setup, you can always go back and adjust your choices by going to the ‘Settings’ screen of the App. I would recommend this as there are a lot more options shown here, and the descriptions on each field are far more intuitive than the ones on the ‘Set Up Business’ wizard.

Taking your first payment

Intuit Pay very helpfully did a very useful YouTube video on taking your first payment, which is displayed below. The video was made using the iPhone App, though the principles are the same

Item Catalog

Intuit Pay are the first mobile payment operator to the table with an Android Product Catalog. Their offering is relatively straight forward and has some nice features.

To add a product, from the Home Screen go to ‘Manage Items’ and then press the ‘+’ button in the top right corner. You can now enter an Item Name, a Description, Price, assign it a category (only one category per item) and assign it a picture from your gallery or take a new photo through your devices camera.

Currently there is no way of creating product variations, which would be one of the most helpful additions to the Item Catalog.

When you add items to your catalog your Payment screen changes to reflect the item catalog along with the category list below the total amount displayed at the top of the screen. This new view hides the amount entry keypad unless you click the ‘Enter £’ button which allows you to enter an amount for a non-catalog item. You can enter multiple amounts by pressing ‘Next’ and then ‘Enter £’ after every transaction. These items will appear as ‘Misc’ on the receipt and you cannot enter a description for them.

You cannot currently sync your item catalog between devices, and if you loose or upgrade your phone you will need to recreate your entire item catalog.

An Android App update on June 13th 2013 has now introduced the ability to sync the product catalog between devices. This also has the advantage that if you loose or replace your phone, you will be able to retrieve your product catalog.

To edit an existing catalog item, long press the item and it will allow you to edit the picture, description and price.

To delete an item; click the product and select ‘Delete’

Discounts

Discounts can be added during checkout by the seller. Once you have added all the items / amounts to the basket you can add a discount as a percentage or as a fixed amount.

Gratuity

Once the total amount has been confirmed by the merchant the total amount is passed to the Chip & PIN. The customer can see the total amount before they enter their card into the reader. Once they do and the card has been verified they will be prompted to enter a gratuity (tip). It defaults to £0.00 so the user can simply hit the green button to pass through this screen, or enter an amount using the keypad followed by the green button. The amount is then added to the total amount and the final total displayed to the customer before they enter their PIN. The gratuity amount is not displayed to the merchant until the transaction has been confirmed and the receipt is processed.

Gratuity can be turned on or off from the settings menu in the App.

Receipts

Once the final amount has been processed and the card payment confirmed, the seller is given the opportunity to send the customer a digital receipt via email. This step can be optionally skipped, though providing a customer with a receipt is a requirement. A digital receipt should suffice but some customers may also want a paper receipt. Currently there is no printer support through the app.

Payment History

A full payment history can be accessed from the App. This includes transactions made through the app and transactions made through the Card-not-Present Web Portal. Once in a receipt you can

Refunds

Refunds (for card and card-not-present payments) can be processed directly through the app. At present only full refunds can be processed, and you cannot do per-item or part refunds.

Intuit Pay Web Portal

If there is one area that Intuit does not yet shine in, it is their Web Portal. The functionality is basic, however I would expect this area of their service to grow in time. You currently reach the Web Portal by signing in through the Intuit UK Website. Once you have signed in you are greeted by a dashboard with two options. ‘History’ and ‘Take Payment’.

Card-not-Present transactions

This is one area of the Intuit Pay Web Portal (and service as a whole) that really shines when comparing to other solutions such as iZettle and Payleven. Neither of these companies (yet) offer card-nor-present transactions. Their terms and conditions strictly forbid this action.

To take a Card-not-Present transaction, go to the ‘Take Payment’ tab at the top of the portal. Now enter the Amount, Card Number, Expiry Date, Cardholder Name and Security Code. Optionally enter a Memo (this is not published to the customer). Now click ‘Authorise payment’. The card payment should now proceed. On the next screen you can

Payment History

You can review individual transactions through the web portal history page. At a glance you can see Payment date, card type (including last four digits) and amount. You can also see if the transaction was a Sale or a refund. The Name field remains blank for card transactions and is only filled in for Card-not-present transactions. It would be good to see the transaction reference or a receipt number displayed here for quick visual scanning.

When you click on an individual transaction you are shown the only the total payed amount receipt. Itemised products or gratuity are not shown on here.

Reporting

There is currently no reporting functionality through the web portal. You cannot view a total amount of sales per month / week / day. To do this you will currently need to transfer the data to a spreadsheet or accounting package to track your totals. There is also not yet a way to export the data in a CSV or Quickbooks format for easy importing into your favourite software.

Refunds

Intuit Pay - Web Portal - Refund

Refunds (for card and card-not-present payments) can be processed directly through the web portal. To refund a transaction, simply open up the transaction and click the ‘refund’ button. Partial refunds cannot yet be done. This can be a problem should a customer wish to return just part of an order.

Item Catalog

This is unfortunately absent from the Web Portal. Managing / inputting any significant number of products via a smartphone can prove difficult. I would highly recommend that Intuit add this functionality to bring their App and their Web Portal into cohesion.

Receipts

Intuit Pay - Customer ReceiptWhen you process a payment, the merchant is prompted to enter the customers email address to send them an e-receipt. These receipts are delivered by email. They look almost identical to the preview you see through the website, however the receipts contain a fair number of customisable fields.

The receipt is sent with the From and Reply address set to whatever email address you used to sign up to Intuit Pay. A user can send an email to the company simply by hitting ‘reply’.

In the receipt is the usual transaction details as well as an itemised receipt. The photos from the Item Catalog are missing from this, but its questionable if you would ever need / want them in a receipt. At the top of the receipt is a Google Map showing the location of where the transaction took place. This is absent from receipts using the Card-not-Present payment method.

On the receipt, a number of fields can be customised, including links to social networks. You can customise your ‘Receipt Message’ (shown at the bottom of the receipt and the ‘Returns and Legal Message’ (not shown in the example above).  The social network links are currently limited to Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. I would like to see more networks (especially Google+) added. Finally you have the option of recommending Intuit Pay to customers (not shown in the example above).

Receiving your money from Intuit Pay

According to Intuit’s website, money should be transfered through daily BACS payments and takes five working days to arrive in your account.

We’ll send your money via daily BACS transfers, using the bank details you gave us when you signed up:

  1. We add up your transactions at the end of each day.
  2. We also calculate our fees and deduct them from the total.
  3. We initiate a transfer to send the balance to your bank account.
  4. Funds usually take around five working days to arrive in your bank account.

Your Intuit Pay statements will show which transactions each payment covers and how we calculated the total. You can also view this information online.

I am unable to comment on or confirm this as I am yet to receive payment from Intuit Pay as I have not yet had the service long enough.

Bugs

  • Moving away from the Intuit Pay app and then returning to it a little time later causes the App to crash (app timeout?)
  • During ‘Business Setup’ process, ‘Receipt Message’ field defaults to ‘First Letter Capital’ for every word typed. This does not happen when using the ‘Receipt Customisation’ screen in Settings.
  • After completing a transaction the seller is given the option to send a receipt to the customer. Currently the email address entry screen still allows keyboards to put in automatic spaces and auto capitalisation.
  • No context given for ‘Receipt Message’ under ‘Business Setup’ wizard.
  • Some settings do not yet sync via the cloud – E.g: ‘Always send a copy of my email receipt to:’ field under ‘Receipt Customisation
  • No cloud-sync for Item Catalog.
  • No PNG support in web receipts – Transparent areas currently show black instead of transparency. In-App receipts work fine
  • In a situation where the app is already open / signed in and the reader is powered on afterwards, the app will not establish a connection to the reader unless you close and then reopen (and subsequently sign in again to) the app.
  • If the app / phone goes to sleep, the connection between the reader and phone is lost, forcing you to restart the app to reestablish a connection to the reader.
  • When adding an existing picture to a Catalog Item, the gallery interface becomes ‘really’ slow and unresponsive.
  • New photos are downscaled a little too much when adding them to a catalog item.

Improvements I would like to see

Intuit Pay is very currently App driven, and far less website driven. The biggest change I would like to see is a far better balance between the App and the Website, and the implementation of what I would consider to be some very basic functionality.

General changes

  • Ability to modify a catalog item via the App (and Website) to let you change Item Name, Photo, Description and Price.
  • Addition of Product Variations so that you can have a single product but various different variations of it (e.g: in different sizes) with different prices but a single picture / title / description
  • A section to the product catalog that allows you to create a group of ‘options’ that are available to certain products. e.g: For a canvas, you might have the option of a Glossy Finish that would add a £5 surcharge to the price of a canvas.
  • VAT options so you can automatically turn on / off VAT charging depending on whether your business is VAT Registered or not.
  • Add the option for ‘Staff Accounts’ so that you can have multiple points of sale signed in to sell products simultaneously.
  • Ability to log cash / cheque payments through the App and through the web portal – this would allow you to use the system as a full Point-of-Sale record keeping system for all purchases / refunds.
  • Add the ability to do partial refunds and/or refunds by item. Currently if a customer purchases three items and wants to refund just one, you have to refund the entire purchase.

Web Portal changes

  • Ability to manage Catalog Items from the website (this would require that the catalog items are cloud-synced)
  • Access to the Product Catalog on the Web Portal so you can sell Catalog Items to customers using the Card-not-Present sell option
  • Ability to add Descriptions and Itemised billing – Ideally closely linked to the Product Catalog feature request.
  • Ability to search by Transaction Number
  • Change the receipt view so that you can view an itemised breakdown of any receipt.

App changes

  • Cloud-Syncing of account settings such as Catalog Items
  • During the ‘Business Setup’ process, the section ‘Receipt Message’ is very cryptic. Please provide a description of what this does
  • Signing into an account on two devices signs out the first account – change this or add the ability for Staff Accounts.
  • Change the App Timeout system to lock down the app with a Pincode – entering a full (secure) password when trying to check out a customer is prohibitively time consuming.
  • Ability to preview receipt after customising it in ‘Receipt Customisation’.
  • Ability to handle ‘Card-not-Present’ transactions through the App so that business who operate on-the-move can still process these without needing to fall back to the web portal
  • Implement ‘Change Password’ functionality through the app.
  • Option to give manual payment entries a description instead of ‘misc’
  • You can save a customers email address to a contact card, but cannot later recall this information when processing another order. Please add address book access for sending receipts.

Receipt changes

  • PNG support to allow for transparent logos – Currently these appear on web receipts with Black in the transparent areas.
  • Addition of ‘Google+ Page Link’ in the Receipt Customisation
  • Addition of Custom Links (one field for Heading, another for the URL) in the Receipt Customisation.
  • Addition of (an optional) Google Maps image on customer receipt showing the business location, and/or the location where the transaction was made.
  • Addition of Receipt Number that is unique to each company presence instead of using the Transaction Number which is a number that applies to every transaction ever made by everyone under Intuit Pay.
  • Receipt subject line should report company name and receipt number
  • Ability to fully customise the receipt (including subjet) using %data% variables. This interface could be easily driven through the web portal.
  • Ability to print paper receipts through the app (Android and iOS)

Conclusion

I feel it is important to point out that while the Intuit solution does have a number of small bugs, none of these detract from what really is a very good solution. The impression I get from Intuit Pay (especially when comparing it to the likes of iZettle and Payleven) is that Intuit Pay is in its infancy. It has a bit of a way to go before its App and Web Portal can compete with the established solution from iZettle, however it has a vast amount of potential, and possibly more so than the competition. For a start their willingness to allow Card-not-Present transactions is a real feather in their cap when comparing them to the competition. The whole Intuit system feels more professional and open where as the iZettle system feels very ‘let us do it all for you because you dont know what you’re doing’. I feel this is where iZettle’s mix of advertising to Home Users as well as Business Users will be their undoing for the business market. This difference in target markets is particularly obvious in the Intuit Pay Receipt Customisation and Business Setup screens.

There are some bugs, yes, and my list of things I would like to see is extensive, but this should not put you off using this service. If the development team behind the app and web portal take on board even half of the items in this list, then they will have a killer service that will manage to pull a lot of business away from the likes of iZettle and Payleven.The key is going to be developing a rock solid and feature-rich service before PayPal get their act together and release their Chip & PIN unit.

Links

Updates

I will continue to update this review as the product improves. If there is a particular area you would like me to cover in more detail or a feature you feel I have missed out, please leave me a Comment below and I will do what I can.

17/06/13 – Added updates to the review to reflect the Android App update that was released on 13th June 2013

13/04/13 – Added section on Receipts. Corrected some minor typos.

12/04/13 – Original review posted

Disclaimer

All screenshots are taken from the Android version of the Intuit App, using a Samsung Galaxy Note

This review is not sponsored or commissioned by Intuit Ltd or any of their affiliated companies.

27 Replies to “Intuit Pay Chip & PIN – Review”

  1. A very thorough and accurate review, let’s hope the app./web portal are developed into a competitive POS solution.

    1. Hopefully Intuit will be the first company to come out with a computer based app too so you can pair your device with a laptop or desktop for a larger or a stationary POS solution. I can personally think of times when I’d rather use my Laptop as a point of sale unit instead of my smartphone, purely and simply to cut down on the number of devices I’m using with any one client. Additionally you could tie such an app into other desktop apps such as financial software, stock control apps, etc. All it would require is a decent API and some software developers with vision.

  2. This is a good review and I agree with all of the observations and recommendations. After trying the Payleven device (which was hugely disappointing and really not up to the job at all) I decided to try Intuit Pay since I already use Quickbooks Online.

    I did experience a number of cancelled/ aborted transactions when testing using my own card, and this was eventually cured by performing 3 app updates as they suggest.

    I too would like to be able to have a choice of either sending a receipt to a customer’s email address or print to A4 (via AirPrint?) or perhaps even to both.

    I’d also like to see a much better web interface for admin and customisation tasks but I’m sure that will come soon.

    1. Colin

      Hopefully these features are something that will be added soon by Intuit. I also looked at the Payleven offering, and I was not overly impressed with the image they portray. I originally weighed them up vs iZettle, and the biggest factor was Android device compatibility. Payleven were very slow out of the gate with this and updating the app. Unfortunately iZettle have now suffered from this too – We’re still waiting on the Android version of the Product Catalog…

      I’m glad you also found Intuit though. I certainly prefer Intuit for my transactions over iZettle, though I find the iZettle App a bit more of a complete solution as it allows you to take Cash transactions too (simply using the app as a Receipting / Recording tool – very useful!).

      I hope Intuit take a page from iZettle.

      1. First of all; Thank you Colin for a great detailed review.
        Tristan, your sentence “Cash transactions too (simply using the app as a Receipting / Recording tool – very useful!)”, touch on what I may have missed in the review?
        We run a tiny café and need to invest minimum in a ‘cash register’ as well as be able to accept plastic (Norwegians don’t carry money anymore!) which is what got me searching for a tablet with suitable software and card reader.

        Due to Izettle I honed in on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, but I’m learning that I may not need a special software such as TabShop or AirPOS ePOS, as some limited item catalogue is included with the software from the Chip & PIN Mobile Payment solutions…Question is, is it sufficient to run a tiny cafe? Am I understanding right that I’m able to use the Inuit app as our regular cash register, handling some cash transactions, as well as some credit cards?

        Second: The fine print in the Izettle contract clarifies that we’re not allowed to place the 2,75% charge onto the customers wishing to use the Chip & PIN service. Is this also the case with Intuit? -Personally I’d mcuh prefer that it’s the users paying this extra cost, rather than burden the cash payers/our profit margin with it.

      2. AH!! “Intuit Pay is available only to merchants based in the United Kingdom, Channel Island and Isle of Man.”
        …And we’re in Norway… Any good advice? Seems to me we gotta go Izettle, however with alternative POS software which allows for integration with Izettle, as I’m not interested in getting an Ipad…

        1. Max

          Thank you for your comments. I’m glad you’ve found the review helpful.
          As you have correctly identified Intuit is currently only available in the UK (and I also believe the USA). The Intuit app does not yet allow for Cash transactions. The iZettle does have this functionality built in (see my review for screenshots of this – http://tfindley.co.uk/news/izettle-chip-pin-review/ ). The iZettle solution also supports a fair number of devices so far where as Intuit (at the time of writing the review) was a little more limited to what devices it would support. The only drawback that I’ve yet found with iZettle is the lack of the Product Catalog for quickly adding products to a checkout. This functionallity is supposed to be coming very soon though! Their Product Variation option is also excellent, as is the ability to have Staff accounts with limited access and a single main administrator account with full access! My only gripes with the iZettle are: The quality of the chip / PIN device (The Intuit device is far build in my opinion, but I do like the OLED display on the iZettle), the lack of progress for the Android app (we’ve been waiting months now for the Product Catalog), and the inability to give the option to the customer for tips / gratuity.

          With regard to the terms and conditions on the iZettle not allowing you to make up the cost of the 2.75% or include it in your product charge, the way I read it is a bit different. You would be unable to charge card customers the extra 2.75% exclusively, however if you cover the cost of 2.75% by using a store-wide price increase then you would be fine, as long as you dont single out card customers. What you have to consider is this though: the 2.75% is very very small when you consider the amount of business you would loose by not accepting card, or the monthly cost of hiring a corporate chip / PIN terminal. The iZettle does work out pretty cheap, at least for startups.

          If you do decide to go with iZettle, please could you consider using my iZettle voucher code. This will give you a £10 voucher toward free transactions. The voucher code is: S7V2SH

  3. One of the reasons I switched from Payleven to Intuit Pay was because it offers the ability to take “Cardholder Not Present” (CNP) transactions using the client Intuit Pay login. It’s very easy and is the facility I really need. I did ask Payleven’s support (which, I should say, is very good indeed) when their product developers would be able to introduce this feature but their reply was that although it was on their roadmap they couldn’t estimate a time when it would be implemented. I think what that meant was that they haven’t yet considered it!

    One other major downside of the Payleven app was that the emailed receipts were in a format that I considered to be completely unacceptable; it sends with an email header that makes no reference to your business name and the PDF attachment filename is a complex set of alpha-numerics that makes the whole thing look like an email scam. No good at all. Oddly enough, I performed acouple of test transactions to check this, which arrived at the same time as a genuine emailed receipt from my local Apple store came in – I could see immediately who the Apple receipt came from and what it related to even without opening it, but the Payleven one just mentioned “Payleven” in the confusing header. No good for business image purposes!

    One advantage of Payleven – it has the ability interface with three or four mainstream portable Bluetooth printers. I’ve forgotten their names but they are popular. What you then have is a system that operates just like a normal PDQ – but in the field! So far, Intuit Pay’s Chip&Pin device doesn’t offer this.

    Intuit’s customer support isn’t as quick as Payleven’s, either. I posted a query to them on Monday am and received a reply Tuesday mid-day. I then emailed a subsidiary question regarding a problem with the display of the vendor’s address fields on the receipt and they still (Thurs AM) haven’t replied.

    In the final event, it all comes down to the quality of customer service, so we’ll see…..

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for your advice. I’m waiting to order the iZettle until I hear if the https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=es.puntoweb.barposfree app will seamlessly integrate with iZettle before I order anything. In addition I just got an economic set back when finding out that I’d been pricing the SAMSUNG GT-P5110 Galaxy Tab 2, rather than the SAMSUNG GT-P5100 Galaxy Tab 2, difference being G3 or not; It makes a 100 pound price difference…
      Thing is that we prefer not to have wifi in the cafe due to the signal issues… You wouldn’t happen to know of any other price competitive solution; thinking of some router device which receives the bluetooth signal from the tablet and transfers it to a phone/internet connection?
      …And yes, I’ll make sure to use your voucher code: Sorry for the name mess-up in previous post.

      1. I dont believe the POS app you’ve linked to would integrate with iZettle. In fact I’m not sure that (to date) any card payment platform integrates with any third party software. I am aware that the API’s have been released by some companies so integration is certainly possible. This would be down to the application manufacturer to support. Using the iZettle app and the POS system as they are at the moment, you would have to process the transaction twice – once in the POS app and then again in the iZettle app to process the payment. You could get away with using just the iZettle app though as it has a full POS system built in, and reporting / receipting (via email). I’ve no idea if it supports Bluetooth printers yet – from what Colin was saying I dont think it does yet, but I think this is probably a feature they will look at adding sometime soon.

        As for the Samsung GT-P5100 vs the GT-P5110, It is really down to whether you want to have Wireless Internet in your establishment. If you dont, then go for the 3G version of the tablet but keep in mind that you will need to pay for a Cellular Data Plan. To my knowledge there are no Bluetooth routers though. Wireless would probably be your best option, and 802.11n MIMO routers would offer you the best range for wireless. You dont have to broadcast the SSID of the router or make it accessible to your clientele (simply lock it down using WPA2-PSK and/or MAC address restrictions).

        1. “You could get away with using just the iZettle app though as it has a full POS system built in” …Aye, but not yet for Androids…

          Wifi: It’s not about not sharing, it’s about ensuring better public health.
          “you will need to pay for a Cellular Data Plan”: It’s included in my dum-phone already. I’d simply use the same sim-card when we have to make a transaction. (I did mention it’s a tiny not busy cafe, right!?).

          …and to the 2,75%: I’d hate to penalize the cash carriers due to the comfort of the plastic carriers, non-the-least in a small village it makes a difference if a cup of coffee costs that bit more or not… which means it’s more likely to cut into our profit instead…

  4. We have been using IntuitPay on our market stall for about 6 weeks. Initially all was well, we took payments from customers and IntuitPay processed the payments very quickly, we received the money within 3-4 days. However, in recent weeks this has begun to change. After not receiving payment for 5 working days I emailed their support team (no telephone support!). I had a reply within one day to say it was being looked into. It took a full week and 3-4 more emails for intuit to resolve the issue! There was an error on their system. I received the payment 3 days later. I was assured it was resolved and would not happen again. I decided to continue using IntuitPay feeling reassured they had rectified the issue. However, this feeling was short lived. We are currently waiting for payment for sales which took place 10 days ago! We have emailed intuit 3 times over 3 days and have absolutely no response other than automated emails acknowledging my emails despite their promise to reply to all email queries within one working day! We are now evaluating alternative payment processing options such as World Pay Zinc and iZettle!

    1. Steve

      Thank you for your comments on Intuit Pay. I’m sorry that you have been experiencing issues with their product. I too have an outstanding support ticket with them that prevented me from using their product this weekend just gone. I initially got a very quick response from them saying that they will look into it, however it has now been over a week. In my opinion, any company that is controlling access to money should have 24-48 hour turnaround on support issues.

      If you’re looking into a new payment solution, might I suggest that you go straight to the top and look at PayPal Here. It is now available in the UK and offers access to the money within a few hours (according to a colleague who managed to get access to a Here device early). I’ve requested one from PayPal to review and will hopefully be able to write a review on one very soon.

      The costs are all the same with PayPal Here as with the rest of the devices, however you can run with a consistent payment gateway provider if you use PayPal, as they offer both online payment methods, card-not-present payment options, direct transfer options via email or phone number, and now Chip & PIN too.

      Regards

    1. Dan

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad I’ve been of assistance. Did you go for the Intuit Pay unit in the end?
      I’ve not officially announced this yet, but there is a comparison chart of some of the main Chip & PIN devices available here. Not sure if that will be of help to you though.

      Regards

  5. Hi Tristan,
    What a GREAT review you do. Just superb.
    I have read the iZettle and intuit reviews with great interest.
    The best impartial reviews i’ve read in years.
    Keep up the good work, oh and I think you should get sponsored !

    Kev In Security

    P.s. I have both the izettle and the intuit, I use the izettle more but the intuits card not present feature is very useful.

    1. Kevin

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m pleased you enjoyed the reviews. I’ve hopefully got a review of the PayPal Here solution coming soon (as soon as I get my hands on a review device), so watch this space for another Card Payment Solution review. I would love to be sponsored, however I don’t think that will be happening any time soon 😉 I’m just thankful to the companies who lend / send / discount me bits to review, and to people like yourself for taking time to read what I write.

      Out of interest, how do you find the overall presentation of iZettle vs Intuit Pay? I always felt that Intuit gives off a more professional customer facing side with a slightly less seller-friendly back-end, while iZettle feels a little cheap by comparison, but offers some good seller back-end functionality. There’s no denying that Inuit has a major advantage with their Card-not-Present payment system, though the PCI Compliance may be a little daunting for some people.

      I think that the PayPal Here solution is going to shake things up when it goes more mainstream, as they already have a trustworthy recognisable brand name with a massive array of other solutions for your business. I personally use PayPal for my photo stores, and for money transfers etc, and having all my other transactions going through a single platform would be really useful when it comes to book keeping.

      All the best!

      1. I used to run a very busy camcorder reviews site and received the latest samples for review from all the main brands. The site used to get a lot of traffic (up to 8,000 uniques a day) and when the agencies sussed this fact I started to get offers of sponsorship. However, I declined it because it would have immediately destroyed the credibility of the site – and I wouldn’t then have the freedom to be critical of Company X’s latest product. Avoid the temptation!

        1. Colin

          Thank you for the feedback. I agree. As Kevin pointed out; my reviews are impartial, and I always try my best to give a detailed overview of a product with all its positive and negative points. If I was sponsored by a manufacturer to review their products, I don’t feel I could objectively review them with the same impartiality that I always try to maintain. I also feel that if I was sponsored by a company, I could feel uncomfortable reviewing a product from a competitor.
          That said, if its a product I’ve chosen to review it is normally because I already have an interest in it, so I guess I could never be 100% impartial 😉

          Thank you again for your post. I hope you enjoyed the review.

  6. Hi Tristran

    Thanks for a very thorough, in depth and impartial review.

    My business requirements differ from most other commenters, in as much as the fact that almost all my transactions will be cardholder not present, so I understand that this limits my options to either Intuit or PayPal (or a mainstream merchant account with some big corporate bank). As such I’m not really that interested in the hardware side of things, as the transactions will be carried out in the web portal/virtual terminal.

    The area that is of most interest to me, is in the fine print of the T’s & C’s.

    We are a brand new set up company and haven’t actually begun trading yet, but whilst setting up the virtual terminal aspect of the PayPal account they initially wanted to impose a rolling reserve of 100% for 30 days (yes 100% for 30 days), we renegotiated with PayPal’s vetting team a few changes to our privacy/delivery/returns policies and got the rolling reserve reduced to 30% for 90 days which will obviously will be better on the cash flow front, but still seems a little excessive.

    I understand that they reserve some funds in case of chargebacks, and hope after a period of demonstrating that we (hopefully) will not see many chargebacks, that this might be reduced even further.

    After studying the intuit website quite extensively, I can find very little mention of them operating a reserve retention policy. All I could find was a brief note saying they have the right to impose one, but with no further details about It.

    I was also quite worried when I found an American based review site, that absolutely slated
    Intuit for that very same thing (amongst other things) and nearly every review was calling them thieves or liars or both. Please see link below.

    (Scarey reading warning)

    http://www.trustlink.org/Reviews/Intuit-205973834

    I would be very interested to hear from any users who have had Intuit pay running for any substantial period of time and have experience (good or bad) regarding this issue of holding back part of your transactions

    I suppose I’m kinda hoping (after your very positive review) that although they are all one big company, that the UK team fare better than their US counterpart. Also in fairness yours is a bit more recent, as the US one spans back to 2007, but having said that there are some very recent negative comments too from ‘accross the pond’

    Any comments would be gratefully received as we are eager to get trading but need to resolve this last hurdle, everything else is ready to go.

    Thanks again
    Mike

    1. Mike

      Firstly, thank you for your very well thought-out and insightful comments. I enjoy reading content from people like yourself who have done their own research into the product and have information to contribute, as well as ask questions.

      I do seem to remember reading something in the Intuit T&C’s that gave me pause for thought. They seem to be judge, jury and executioner over payment / supply disputes, especially when it comes to the Card-not-Present payments.

      I was aware of the very negative reviews of the US brand of Intuit Pay, however the US terms of use seem to be different from ours. Users have complained about certain things out there that just can’t happen with the UK service. Its not to say that the UK service is without its flaws though – as you’ve pointed out above they seem to be able to reverse any transaction they want to.

      Over-all, I think I would feel happier using PayPal as they are a more innovative company, and have a far more complete portfolio for payment solutions (online, card, app-based, subscription, and others), not to mention their upcoming iBeacon project. I see no reason you couldn’t use both PayPal and Intuit Pay though – you’ve not required to use one exclusively. I use PayPal for all my online stores, and am thinking of making the move to PayPal Here as it would unify everything under one system.

      For the limited transactions that I’ve done through Intuit, I found that the money came through pretty quickly, and they didn’t seem to hold anything back apart from their fee. I’ve not yet done a Card-not-Present payment though. One advantage I’ve seen with Intuit over iZettle though, is that Intuit allows you to take deposits – iZettle doesn’t allow this and people who have not seen this have been asked to cease using the service for it.

      Regards

      Tristan

      1. Firstly, I’m very impressed with the quality of input on this thread. I’m sure you’re impressed with the fact that have received any responses at all Tristan! Running a blog can sometimes feel like you’re a lone voice in a void.

        Secondly (and at the expense of possibly repeating one or more of my previous comments) I should add that I’ve now been using Intuit Pay for about 6-8 weeks and overall I’m quite pleased with the facility it gives me and the features it offers.

        I have experienced a couple of problems. Firstly, as a novice user of Intuit Quickbooks Online (QBO), I was attracted to the ability to push transactions direct through to the accounting system. In the QBO user preferences it’s possible to set up the format of the Intuit Pay printed receipt Vendor details and contact info. However, in practice, it immediately became obvious that the Intuit Pay app wasn’t synching the QBO prefs properly, with the result that duplicate address information was being printed onto receipts line by line (eg: a duplicate line of each field). It also displayed the telephone number in USA format rather than UK STD+LOCAL number format.

        I raised a support ticket and a guy called Gary, who provides support at the UK end, and he came back to me very quickly and to his credit he managed to get the USA-based coders to sort out the address fields issue. However, even to this date he’s been unable to get them to fix the phone number formatting issue despite a lot of effort and communication with me.

        Like others above I’d like to see much more work being done on the web interface. It’s here where we should be able to set up all our preferences and template elements. I’d also like to have the ability to print our a proper formal receipt/invoice at the point of sale rather than rely solely on an emailed receipt. Some people like to have a bit of paper in their hands when a personal transaction is completed, so the ability to send the receipt to a WiFi connected office printer would be a distinct advantage to me.

        That said, I’ve now found that my most common use is now CNP (Cardholder Not Present) transactions because most of my clients are not local and want to be able to phone me with card details. I take very few physical card payments.

        I agree with previous posts that the iPhone interface is a bit lumpy and could do with streamlining a bit more. I’d like to be able to enter a simple description of the item/s purchased and also a sales reference number / job number as well. Perhaps these will come.

        I would therefore suggest that if you have any suggestions, let Gary at Intuit UK’s Customer Service know as he’s very responsive and clearly aims to please!

        Colin

      2. Hi Tristan

        The transaction reversal procedure itself doesn’t unduly concern me, as this is a fact of life with any credit card and with any credit card payment solution provider. The customer has the right to dispute a payment and it then gets disputed…. then eventually gets upheld or overturned and dependent upon this decision gets refunded or not, as the case may be.

        That said it is the way PayPay or Intuit or whoever will automatically hold back some or all of each of my transactions, on a (just in case of a charge-back) kind of basis.

        My main concern is that at least with PayPal it is defined, (in our case 30% held for 90 days) wheres Intuit just seem to have the right to do that as and when they please with no clearly defined boundaries on how much is retained and for how long.

        However in fairness, this may be something that would be just as clearly defined, once I had made the application and been risk assessed, I suppose I won’t know that till I go through the procedure.

        Considering there is no setup cost, no tie in and it is effectively a ‘pay as you go’ service I really have nothing to loose by applying and ‘sucking & seeing’.

        As long as I don’t put too many eggs into that basket, I shouldn’t really get burned.

        So I think that is my plan and I will update these comments as things develop.

        Mike

          1. Thanks Colin.

            I think this is where the risk assessment bit comes in.

            We already know that our lines of service; Website Development, SEO, PPC etc is considered to be high risk for charge backs.

            Not sure what you line is though, but you may be consider every low risk.

            Say if I decorated someones lounge then they paid on a card. It’s a fairly safe bet that the customer is happy and a charge back is very unlikely.

            Whereas if they are paying me upfront to buy an ongoing service = much higher risk.

            Mike

        1. Well the web site says “quick application – get taking payments in a few minutes”

          Filled out the application, (not much more than a few minutes) then shows a whirling gizmo “we are processing your application” then a message pops up it will take us about 3 days to process your application, while our risk assessment department evaluates your application…
          Watch this space !

  7. Hi
    Further to my earlier comments about not being able to find any details on the ‘Reserved Funds’, I have just come across this section in their Terms Of Service Page.

    I’m Not sure if I am being overly skeptical here or not, but it would appear that I am giving Intuit Carte Blanche to take what they want, when they want, if they want…

    At least with PayPal the terms are spelled out i.e.30% for 90 days.

    Please see section 19 below.

    19 Risk Management

    19.1 At any time, Global may establish an account in its books and records (which account Global shall operate on Intuit’s instructions or based on information provided to Intuit in its capacity as agent for Global) (“Reserve Account”) to secure the performance of your obligations under the Agreement.

    The Reserve Account may be funded, in the discretion of Global (which may exercise such discretion itself or which may allow Intuit to exercise such discretion as its agent), through any or all of the following:

    (a) direct payment by you (and, in this regard, at the request of Global (or Intuit acting on Global’s behalf) you will deposit funds with Global which Global will hold in the Reserve Account; or

    (b) the proceeds of transactions submitted under this Agreement which are withheld for payment into the Reserve Account in accordance with this Agreement or on your instruction or with your agreement (and, in this regard, Global may (either itself or through Intuit, acting as Global’ss agent) determine whether any proceeds of transactions should be so withheld and, if so, how much of such proceeds should be withheld and paid into the Reserve Account).

    Any amounts so paid into your Reserve Account will be credited to the Reserve Account immediately and you authorise Global (or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent) to make payments from the Reserve Account to your nominated bank account (subject to the Reserve Account maintaining such minimum balance as Global, or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent, may determine from time to time to meet your potential obligations as set out in this Agreement) and as otherwise set out in this Agreement.

    You hereby agree that Global (or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent) may deduct from this Reserve Account any amount owed to Intuit, Global or the Member in accordance with the Agreement and may apply the same against any actual or contingent liabilities you may have to Intuit, Global or the Member as Global (or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent) elects. You agree that you have no legal or beneficial interest in any money in a Reserve Account. Without limiting the rights of Global (or of Intuit as agent for Global), any funds in the Reserve Account may be held until the later of (a) the expiration of any potentially applicable Chargeback rights in respect of any transactions processed under the Agreement; and (b) the period necessary to secure the performance of your actual or contingent obligations under the Agreement, for which the holding period may extend beyond termination of the Agreement. Funds held in the Reserve Account may be retained unless payment of all of your liabilities under the Agreement are satisfied. If funds are held in a Reserve Account in a currency other than sterling then the funds may be converted into sterling by Global (or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent) for any purpose related to this Agreement (including in application against your liabilities to Intuit or Global or in calculating the balance in the Reserve Account). Such conversion will be at the then prevailing exchange rate which Global (or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent) will determine acting in good faith. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, upon request by Global, or Intuit acting on Global’s behalf, you shall, upon termination of the Agreement, ensure that the sum of five percent (5%) of gross sales for the ninety (90) day period prior to termination is held by Global in a Reserve Account in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. Global (or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent) may, at its discretion upon termination of the Agreement, require that more than five percent (5%) of gross sales for the ninety (90) day period prior to termination is held by Global in a Reserve Account.

    19.2 If Global (or Intuit, acting on behalf of Global as its agent) does not for any reason (including, without limitation, as a result of the commencement of insolvency proceedings by or against it) deduct from the Reserve Account any amount owed to Intuit, Global or the Member in accordance with this Agreement and apply the same against any actual or contingent liabilities you may have to Intuit, Global or the Member, you hereby agree that the Member may deduct such amount from the Reserve Account and apply the same against such actual or contingent liabilities you have to Intuit or Global (and, in turn against any actual or contingent liabilities Intuit or Global has to the Member) or the Member (either directly or by virtue of any obligation of the Member under the Card Scheme Rules to discharge an obligation owed by you).

    19.3 Global or Intuit on Global’s behalf may, at any time, require you to provide guarantees for your obligations to Intuit and Global under the Agreement and/or to apply special terms or conditions in relation to your acceptance of transactions. Global or Intuit on Global’s behalf may, at any time, require you to provide additional security in such form as Global, or Intuit on its behalf, may, at its discretion, determine (including the creation of a trust account, a Reserve Account, a charged account or any other security arrangement) and this may include providing for the replacement of previous or existing security. Global may rely on any general guarantees or other security provided to Global or to Intuit as agent for Global now or in the future. This security will not be released until Global (or Intuit acting on Global’s behalf) deem that your obligations have been fulfilled and (i) Global’s exposure with regards to Chargebacks or fines due to Global and (ii) Global’s and Intuit’s exposure in respect of other sums that may be due to them under the Agreement have elapsed.

    Would still love to hear from other peoples experience with this issue..

    Mike

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