iZettle Chip & PIN – Review

iZettle Logo (Black)Ever since starting my own business I have been looking for a way to take payments by card, without having the monthly expense and contractual obligation of operating a Chip & PIN reader from a Business Banking account. Six months ago I came across iZettle; a relatively new startup that promised a mobile card payment solution without monthly cost.

When I first investigated the solution from iZettle, the only payment method on offer was a Chip & Signature reader. This has a number of shortfalls, such as the inability to accept VISA payments through the signature reader, requiring the customer to have an internet enabled phone to process the VISA payment. With the promise of the technology improving I signed up anyway, and last month iZettle released their Wireless Chip & PIN reader with full support for VISA and Mastercard payments. With this new device, I am pleased to report that all concerns I had over the shortcomings of the solution have been laid to rest.

Below is my review of what I believe is a game-changing product for anyone running a small business, with detailed information on the how the process works from the perspective of the customer and seller.

iZettle Chip PIN Reader
iZettle Chip PIN Reader

Who is it for?

iZettle is one of those interesting products that has two clear target markets. The first (and most obvious) is the small business provider who wants to begin offering card payment options to his/her customers. These users will apply for a ‘Business Account’

The other target market is for home users who want to be able to take card payments for things like car-boots and other uses that dont really fall under the ‘home business’ front (though technically if you’re taking payments doesn’t that class you a business?). These users will apply for a ‘Personal Account’

The difference between the two accounts is the amount you can take per transaction and total amount per day. The differences are detailed further on.

For the business target market, many people have voiced their opinion that iZettle (and it’s competitors) has a high cost per Transaction (2.75%) where 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. iZettle 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) are the only outgoings you will ever see for this solution. To me this says that if you are a company that relies on cash and invoice/bank payment transactions, but wish to offer a card service in the side to capture those customers whom you might otherwise loose, then this solution is for you. You also have the advantage of being able to run a service with 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.

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

As I explained above, when you compare iZettle 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% but American Express might be 3.5%. 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 iZettle would not be the most cost effective solution for those who are turning over £1000+ in credit / debit card transactions per month, however for the smaller business doing less than this, iZettle is perfect. No monthly cost and no minimum  transaction value per month means that if you dont use iZettle, 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.

The Competition

Since Square launched in the US, a number of companies have tried bringing mobile payment solutions to the UK. Most of these began (like Square) as a swipe card solution or as a Chip and Signature solution. In the last two months, the market has exploded with companies offering mobile payment solutions with a wireless Chip & PIN reader. One such example is Payleven (who appear to me to be iZettle’s major rival).  Payleven were slightly faster out of the gate marketing their Chip and PIN reader, however iZettle is already an established brand in the UK (having their devices for sale in EE stores around the country), and offer a more complete payment solution when it comes to the types of card accepted. Additionally their App is far more developed than the rival Payleven App, which is currently only working on only 4 Android devices (though their team are reported to be working on increasing support).

iZettle

Payleven

PayPay
Here

Adyen

Intuit Pay

WorldPay

Solution Type
App + Bluetooth
Chip / PIN Reader
App + Bluetooth
Chip / PIN Reader
App + Bluetooth
Chip / PIN Reader
App + Bluetooth
Chip / PIN Reader
App + Bluetooth
Chip / PIN Reader
App + Bluetooth
Chip / PIN Reader
Connection Method
Bluetooth > Phone
Internet Connection
Bluetooth > Phone
Internet Connection
Bluetooth > Phone
Internet Connection
Bluetooth > Phone
Internet Connection
Bluetooth > Phone
Internet Connection
Bluetooth > Phone
Internet Connection
Upfront Cost
(One Off)
£99.99 + VAT £89.99 + VAT £99.99 inc. VAT £99.99 + VAT £29.99 + VAT £59.99 inc.VAT
Rental
£0 £0 £0 £0 £0 / £5 / £10
Minimum Per Month
£0 £0 £10 £0 £0
Charge per Debit Card transaction
2.75% 2.75% 2.75% See Below
+6p
2.75% 75p / 50p / 0p
Charge per Credit Card transaction
2.75% 2.75% 2.75% See Below
+0.60%
2.75% 2.95% / 2% / 0%
Cards Supported
VISA Debit
Yes Yes Yes Yes
14p
Yes Yes
VISA Credit
Yes Yes Yes Yes
1.37%
Yes Yes
VISA Electron
Yes Yes  Yes Yes
14p
Yes Yes
V Pay
Yes Yes  No Yes
14p
Unknown Unknown
Mastercard
Yes Yes Yes Yes
1.40%
Yes Yes
Maestro
Yes Yes Yes No
13p
Yes No
Diners Club
Chip/Signature Reader only No No No No No
American Express
Yes No  No Yes
3.95%
No No
Device Compatibility
iOS Compatible
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Android Compatible
Wide range of phones / tablets Wide range of phones Potential wide range Yes Limited devices Yes
Service Features
Telephone Support (UK)
No Yes No Limited Yes  Yes
Card Not Present Payments
No No Yes No Yes Yes
Product Catalog
iOS only No Unknown
Gratuity Payment Options
No No Unknown Yes
Discount Options
No No Unknown Yes
VAT Options
Yes No Unknown
Requires PCI Compliance
No No Unknown No Yes
Notes
Mag-Swipe / manual
transactions
processed at
3.40% + 20p
Upfront cost currently promotional offer.
Regular price £99.99 + VAT
Pay as you go / Pay monthly / All you can Eat

 Information correct as of March 2013

As you can see, iZettle comes across as one of the more complete Mobile payment solutions, offering payment on all major card types and some of the less widely accepted ones.
Worldpay offer a solution with lower / no rates for a £5/£10 per month charge, however they currently do not appear to accept such a wide range of card types.

The iZettle technology – The Chip & PIN reader

The iZettle Chip & PIN Reader device is a black acrylic unit 9.5 x 7 x 1.75 CM (H x W x D). It has a 3.5CM OLED display and 13 buttons on its face, plus a Micro USB plug for charging / diagnostic log access, a reset button, a power button, a charging LED indicator, and two recessed metal contacts which I presume are for charging using a base station. The reader features a chip reader along the bottom of the reader (the cards clip in securely) as well as a magnetic swipe reader across the top of the unit. The Chip & PIN unit itself is manufactured by Miura Systems, and is branded iZettle.

The reader is identical to those devices provided by Worldpay, Payleven and a number of other Mobile Payment Solution providers. The Miura Chip and PIN devices 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 iZettle Reader will not work with the Payleven App, or vice versa.

The reader seems well made, however its piano black finish is ‘very’ prone to scratching (as I expect is the screen). Purchasers of the unit will want to find a little protective case for the unit as quickly as possible.

Battery life 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.

My only concern with the unit is that its looks differ significantly from other Chip & PIN terminals used in businesses. This could potentially put the more security-savvy people off the unit for now as they will be unfamiliar with it, and might regard it with suspicion (especially if they see it is linked to your phone).

Other than these minor points, the reader is very well made and incredibly well sized. It is portable device that could very easily fit into your business life, slipping into your bag briefcase or pocket.

Security

I admit that I know little about Card Payment security, however the iZettle reports that it complies with the minimum regulations, which certainly seem to be enough to support MasterCard and VISA Payments.

The following is an excerpt from iZettle on security.

iZettle is just as secure as other card terminals. The service is EMV approved and complies with PCI DSS regulations. No sensitive data is ever stored on the mobile device, and all data traffic is encrypted.

Another area that iZettle seem to have covered is with Data Protection. The seller is prompted to enter a customers email address so that an email receipt can be sent to them. After the entry has been completed and submitted, the email address is not made available to the seller. This protects the customer by preventing any nefarious sellers from harvesting this data or signing up customers to unsolicited email shots.

Working with the iZettle Solution

Setting up the iZettle Chip & PIN reader

Once you push the power button, it takes around 45 seconds for the Chip & PIN reader to start up and reach the ‘Welcome’ screen. At this point you can either pair the unit with your smartphone / tablet, or start the iZettle App (which automatically establishes a Bluetooth link to the unit) for it to be used.

To pair / re-pair the unit with your smartphone or tablet, power on the reader by pressing the power button. Once the reader has started up and the iZettle logo has been replaced by the ‘Welcome’ text, hold down the Green Tick (O) button for 5 seconds and the Bluetooth icon will start to flash. This makes the unit discoverable by other Bluetooth devices. At this point you can pair your reader just like you would pair a Bluetooth Headset. You can cancel this pair / re-pair action after you have made the unit discoverable by pressing the Red X (X) button. This will not delete the previous pairing. You can only have one pairing on the Reader and cannot switch between two phones that are paired to it. You must pair it to a new tablet/phone every time you wish to change.

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

Taking a Card Payment with the iZettle Chip & PIN reader

Once you have paired the unit to your phone or tablet, start the iZettle App and your Reader will automatically establish a Bluetooth link to the Chip & PIN unit (On Android, your phone/tablet Bluetooth logo will not indicate any established Bluetooth connection). Now you are ready to take a payment.

  1. With the iZettle App open, the seller types the amount they wish to charge into the App Entry screen
    • Optionally enter a description of the product
    • Optionally take a photo of the product or select one from your Gallery on the phone / tablet
    • VAT can optionally be included during the payment at 5% or 20%
  2. Ask the customer to insert their card
  3. Once the card is inserted, the Sellers App will read ‘Card OK’ and the Chip & PIN reader will report ‘Waiting for amount…’
  4. In the App, the seller presses the ‘Charge’ button. The App will process the payment and send the information to the Chip & PIN reader.
  5. Once the App has sent the chargable amount to the Chip & PIN reader, the Chip and PIN reader will request PIN entry from the customer.
    • The Chip & PIN reader will display the following to the customer on the PIN Entry screen: Type of card inserted, Amount to be charged, PIN Entry request
    • During the PIN Entry process, the customer can press the Red X (X) button to cancel the transaction, the Yellow Arrow button (<) to clear the last number entered on the PIN, or the Green Tick (O) button to confirm the transaction and PIN entry.
    • During the PIN Entry process, the seller has the option to cancel the transaction from the App
    • During the PIN entry, the Seller App displays four * icons. These icons will highlight with every key-press the customer makes.
    • Upon confirmation of the PIN, the reader will report ‘PIN OK’ to the customer.
  6. Once the PIN entry has been completed by the customer, the sellers device will process the card payment. It will report either ‘Approved’ or ‘Rejected’, with the Chip & PIN reader reporting either ‘Approved – Remove Card’ or ‘Declined’ to the customer as appropriate.
    • When the customer removes their card, the Chip & PIN reader reports ‘Thank You’.
  7. When the payment is approved, the seller is given the option to enter an email address for an e-receipt to be sent, or this step can be skipped.
    • After a transaction has been completed, the seller can return to the Payment History screen to (re)send a receipt.
    • The customers email address is not stored nor accessible to the seller (staff or master account). More about this later.
  8. Lastly, the App will display your company logo with a green tick, followed by ‘Thank You!’ and the total amount paid, showing that the payment has been completed successfully.

You can now process a new payment.

Multiple Products, Single transaction

There is a shortfall in the current revision of the App if you are selling multiple products or services in a single transaction. The current lack of the Product Catalog and the Android version of the iZettle App means there is no way to create an itemised receipt for the customer. This feature is due to be added to the Android App around the March / April, but until then a single description field will have to suffice. The Product Catalog has already been implemented on the iOS (Apple) version of the iZettle App. You can add products from your Product Catalog and they will be itemised on your receipt. Unfortunately the product catalog does not help if you wish to sell multiple adhoc items/services. You cannot enter a description per item along with a value per item. You are forced into using a single Description field with no method to itemise individual items.

Bugs
  • The reader will automatically go to sleep by turning off the display if it is not used for a minute or two. Simply press a button to wake it back up. In testing, if you cancel the transaction from the App before the customer has entered their PIN, the Chip & PIN reader will not immediately cancel the PIN entry request. It will reset after about 20 seconds.
  • In testing I could not get the unit to sleep while on the ‘Insert/swipe card’ screen (paired with the app). Even if the phone went to sleep, as long as the bluetooth connection was maintained, the Chip & PIN reader would not sleep. This could be a problem if you are using it on and off during the whole day, though a passive Bluetooth connection shouldn’t draw too much power. This could be fixed in a future firmware / app update though.

 

Transaction limits

iZettle’s Chip & PIN solution has certain transaction limits imposed on it. I am unsure whether this is typical for all Chip & PIN solutions, however it is certainly the case for Mobile Payments using a Chip and PIN solution, or indeed any mobile solution.

iZettle’s limits are imposed based on the type of account you have (Personal or Business) and whether you’re using the current Chip & PIN Solution, the current solution with the magnetic swipe reader, or the previous solution based on the Chip & Signature solution. While I have not covered the Chip & Signature solution in my review, I feel it is important to highlight the differences as many customers have asked the question on iZettle’s Facebook page.

The following information is summarised from the iZettle FAQ on How much money can I accept? and How much do I pay to use iZettle?

Business Accounts
Device Chip & PIN Chip & Signature No Device
Method Chip Mag Swipe Chip VISA SMS Manual Entry Cash
Charge 2.75% 2.75% 2.75% 2.75% £0.10 +
3.5%
0%
Daily Transaction Limit £25,000 £100 £15,000 £2,000 £100 None
Minimum Limit
(per transaction)
£1 £1 £1 £1 £1 None
Maximum Limit
(per transaction)
£10,000 £100 £2,500 £500 £100 None
Private Accounts
Device Chip & PIN Chip & Signature No Device
Method Chip Mag Swipe Chip VISA SMS Manual Entry Cash
Charge 2.75% 2.75% 2.75% 2.75% £0.10 +
3.5%
0%
Daily Transaction Limit £3,000 £100 £3,000 £500 £100 None
Minimum Limit
(per transaction)
£1 £1 £1 £1 £1 None
Maximum Limit
(per transaction)
£1,500 £100 £1,500 £150 £100 None

Alternative Payment Methods

The app allows you to take payments through Card via the card reader or by entering the details manually (there are delays with fund transfers from transactions done this way), or you can record cash payments using the app. This gives you a decent Point Of Sale record system for taking note of your card and cash payments. I will not go into detail about these methods as the screenshots sum them up nicely, and the process should not deviate too far from the Chip & PIN payment procedure. The option of ‘Taking a VISA Payment’ I have not covered as it is only relevant if you are still using the older iZettle Chip & Signature reader.

Customer Receipts

Receipts can be optionally sent from the App at time of payment, or from the Payment History screen in the App. If the seller has already entered an email address for the customer, it will still prompt for the email address entry if the seller chooses to resend the receipt. This allows for multiple receipts to be sent should the customer require it.

The customer receipts are sent as an email which include your company name and logo, the date and time of the transaction, the description of the item (if entered), the picture of the item (if entered) and the amount charged for the item with a total amount below the item list.  The receipt also includes a small unobtrusive banner advertising the iZettle service. This could be seen as useful as the customer could then find out a bit more about the payment scheme you use, however some business owners may find this a slightly unprofessional approach.

If a customer wishes to email the company they have received the receipt from, then the Name of the Company (shown in bold blue text above the address) is a mailto hyperlink that starts a new email to the address that was specified in the Master account (Staff account email addresses are never revealed to the customer). Unfortunately a customer cannot simply reply to the email receipt to contact the company as it is sent from the iZettle email address hello@izettle.com, with your company name in the From field. The ‘reply-to’ address is set to hello@izettle.com and not the email address given in your Master account  This could confuse a customer who quickly wishes to follow up on a receipt.

In the email, the customer is given a link to ‘View detailed receipt’. This will take the customer to the iZettle web site, and gives a more detailed breakdown of the transaction. This includes The Name and Address of the company, a company logo, Telephone and Email address as well as a link to the companies website. A map is displayed showing the location of where the transaction took place. A cost breakdown of the transaction appears here, including the amount of VAT (if applicable), the details of the card used (only the last four digits visible), and various reference numbers.

  • Staff account email addresses are not displayed or used anywhere on receipts or available to the customer.
  • I would recommend registering iZettle to a central account that is used to send out payment information (e.g: store@<companyname>.<tld>). This address is available to customers to reply to in their receipt.

Customer Bank Statement

A completed transaction will appear on the customers bank statement in a few working days. When I tested the unit, the following appeared on my statement. The last four digits (pixelated in the image below) are the last four digits from the card used to pay. We can assume that CD stands for Card or Card, Debit. The company name appears before this but is truncated, and the IZ before that indicated iZettle.

Customer Bank Statement
Customer Bank Statement

Other App features

The app includes a small number of other features, including in-built help and FAQ screens. Also included are Payment Histories and Reports.

Payment History

The app contains a full Payment History screen, where you can view a full list of your transactions. You can also search your payments by Amount, Reference number or by the last 4 digits of the card that was used for Payment. When you drill down into an individual payment, you can see the Status of a payment, the last 4 digits of the card number, a reference number, TVR and AID number, a summary of the product(s) sold, and a map showing where the transaction took place. You can choose to send a receipt from here, or even process a refund (within the pre-allotted time period).

Reports

The app also features the ability to generate reports by day or by month. The report can then be emailed from the app to any address of your choosing. This attaches the report as a PDF file instead of forcing you to go through the web interface.

 

iZettle Web Portal

When you sign up to iZettle you are given access to their web portal. This is the method to administer your account, delegate access to Staff, manage changes to your company details, and to pull off sales figures and reports. You can view your payments taken, and deposits made to your bank account. You can also manage your Product Catalog.

  • The iZettle Web Portal is not available to Staff accounts.

Reporting

The reporting functionality of the iZettle Web Portal is straight forward. You can view reports on sales by Day, Week or Month, and download these figures in an Excel spreadsheet by clicking the button below the report window you have requested. When viewing payments, you can drill down into each individual payment to display an itemised view of the payment (similar to that which the customer receives by email). The customers email address is shown masked, with only the first letter and provider displayed.

  • There is currently no way to Search payments through the Web Portal
  • You cannot send a receipt to a new email address, only resend the receipt to the first email address (as entered during the transaction process).
  • You have the option to print individual receipts, but not the summary of the Day / Week / Month unless you export to Excel first.

Product Catalog

The Product Catalog is a quick and easy method of building up your Point of Sale solution to enable very quick processing of items when processing a transaction. You can create a Product in the catalog, assign a picture to it and a Value. You can also create variants of a product; so you can have sub products that each have the same main description but can have different values and sub descriptions assigned to them.

  • Your product catalog is cached in the App on your phone/tablet. This means bandwidth requirements for the app are kept to the minimum.
  • When creating Product Variants through the web portal, each variant uses the main Product picture.
  • For sellers who pre-sell products and rely on shipping the item to a customer, you will need to create a Shipping item (possibly with variants) to handle this.
    • There is also no Shipping calculator, so if you charge a base rate then extra per weight/product, you will have to calculate this manually.

 

Receiving your money from iZettle

Payments made to you are deposited to your nominated account seven banking days after transactions are made. The following is from the iZettle FAQ on When do I get my money?

Private account
If the transactions are made with the Chip & PIN reader:
A maximum of £1,000 is available on your bank account seven banking days after the transactions were made.

Business account
If the transactions are made with the Chip & PIN reader:
A maximum of £25,000 is available on your bank account seven banking days after the transactions were made.

If the transactions are for more than £1,000/£25,000, then another maximum of £1,000/£25,000 will be deposited to you the bank day after the first deposit was made. This will go on until all of your money has been deposited.

Note that the money is deposited to you four banking days after the transaction was made, it is then available in your bank account within three banking days. This means that the money is available in your bank account within seven banking days.

Manual transactions take longer to complete, with a maximum of £25 available on your bank account seven banking days after the transactions were made. The remainder will be deposited approximately 10 banking days later.​ It is unlikely that a seller will need to use this method unless the card Chip and magnetic swipe are both damaged. In this instance I would recommend asking for another card.

(The above does not apply to the Chip & Signature reader)

Improvements I would like to see

  • Product Catalog for Android devices (iZettle have reported this feature is Coming soon)
  • Desktop application so that a computer-based Point of Sale terminal could be easily used – this is important for sellers who rely on a laptop, and could lead to desktop based Point of Sale units for businesses with fixed locations.
  • A slightly more useful Web Portal, with some options added that are in the App but not in the Web Interface
  • Improvement of the Deposits screen on the Web Portal so you can itemise which Payments are being paid to you in each deposit.
  • The ability to enter multiple adhoc items (multiple descriptions + photos) each with their own individual price.
  • 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.
  • For those business who are doing pre-sales, a basic shipping cost calculator would be very useful. E.g: If you process 3 canvases for delivery to a customer, the first canvas would charge a base rate of £10 shipping, then £3 per extra canvas.
  • Ability to customise receipts
  • Change of the ‘Reply to’ Address in Email receipts so that customers can reply straight back to the company instead of replying to ‘hello@izettle.com’
  • Ability to have an Address Book of sorts so that business with regular customers or an existing customer database can quickly and easily retrieve email addresses from it. (this might not have been implemented due to Data Protection and the ability to store information / purchase habits for customers)

Want to sign up to iZettle?

If you have enjoyed this review and/or have decided to sign up for iZettle, then please support me by using this link to create your account. Alternatively you can use the offer code S7V2SH during sign-up.
Using this link will get you a £10 voucher toward free transactions.

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.

05/05/13 – Added Intuit (based on a request from Jonathan Crossley) and Ayden to the comparison table. Added a brief ‘Feature’ list to the comparison table to better differentiate providers / services.

26/04/13 – Updated the price comparison table to reflect the current pricing of the iZettle and Payleven Chip & Pin Units – These were £49.99 + VAT during their promotional periods.

12/04/13 – Transaction Limits and Account Comparison table added. Minor formatting changes

11/04/13 – Information on Security added from the iZettle App Store information. Minor corrections

07/04/13 – Minor corrections made based on feedback from iZettle

 

Disclaimer

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

The account used in this review is a ‘Business’ account. Private accounts may perform slightly differently than described above.

This review is not sponsored or commissioned by iZettle or any of their affiliated companies, however you can help support me by using my Sponsored Link to sign up to iZettle. You will receive a £10 voucher toward free transactions.

32 Replies to “iZettle Chip & PIN – Review”

    1. Jonathan

      Thank you for pointing me in the direction of Intuit Pay. I’ll take a look at it and either add it to the comparison table or write a separate review on it. I like the look of this service as it does not use the standard Miura Systems offering, and its current signup price is only £29 (which to me says that they’re holding out high hopes for this service, and probably with good reason).

      Do you currently use this service? If so, how are you finding it?

      1. Tristan,

        I have only just signed up for Intuit since they have only just started supporting my Android phone – Nexus 4, previously the app. was limited to select Samsung devices only. My partner has the iZettle solution which looks OK, but from their Facebook page, users do seem to have some problems with the Miura chip and pin reader. I was interested in the low Intuit introductory price, the product calalogue feature (which I understand is coming to iZettle for Android) and the fact that you can accept ‘card not present’ payments.

        1. Jonathan

          Yes the iZettle users do seem to be having a fair few problems according to their Facebook page. In their defence they do spend a fair amount of time fielding these questions / problems, and where needed direct their users to their email support system. One of the biggest bugbears seems to be the lack of telephone support (which Intuit do have) and the slightly arbitrary method they seem to use about accepting / rejecting applications for their solution. They have also suffered two or three recent service outages over the last few weeks, though they have been quick to respond to these. Most of the other ‘problems’ seem to be from users not being able to find the information they need, or finding out-of-date information from the old Chip-and-Signature solution for the iPhone.
          One of the reasons I wrote this review was to cover some of the frequently asked questions about their service.

          Like you said about Intuit, their very low introductory price is very attractive, and the fact that their Chip-and-Pin reader doesn’t seem to be made by Miura make it a very attractive solution. Additionally the ability to take Card-not-Present transactions is a big bonus to a lot of small business – iZettle users are constantly asking for this feature but its not possible with iZettle Terms of Service (I think this is what requires the PCI Compliance, and probably Data Protection compliance too). Until now the only way merchants have been able to offer Card-not-Present payments is through online portals such as Paypal or through service providers that offer a multi-pronged service such as WorldPay (though their rates dont seem to be as good, and they still use Miura readers). When PayPal release PayPal Here (their Chip & PIN service) it will really shake up the industry and make it available to the masses using an already established and very recognised brand name.

          I would very much value your feedback on the comparison between iZettle and Intuit.

          Best regards

        2. Jonathan

          I’ve just received my Intuit Pay card reader. The unit is made by Miura Systems and appears to be a slightly earlier mode, however to me it feels better built, looks more professional and looks move like a Chip & PIN unit. I do have some concerns with the service as a whole, but the service is still in its infancy (the web portal especially feels very underdeveloped, but shows a lot of promise!).

          What are your initial views on the service?

          Regards

        3. Tristan,

          I received my Intuit Pay reader yesterday – quite good service considering I ordered it last Sunday (5th) and Monday was bank holiday. Strangely I haven’t been charged for it yet!?

          As you say it’s manufactured by Miura and is model M004 (iZettle is the Miura Shuttle model M006), whether that implies it’s an earlier model or not I’m not sure. Either way I’m quite impressed with the reader and the firmware is updateable so there could be future improvements. The size and weight is almost identical to the iZettle unit and the main difference is the Intuit reader has an LCDisplay compared to the iZettle OLED display. Each type of display has their pros and cons: LCD lower current but difficult to read in low light – OLED higher current but difficult to read in direct sunlight (this could be a problem for some users/customers)….personally I prefer the Intuit LCD though the Izettle does have some gimmick attraction!

          Functionality wise both readers offer the same experience, but the iZettle unit turns the display off (and appears to disconnect bluetooth) to save power wheras the Intuit leaves display on and stays connected…so long as you’re signed into the app., when the app. signs you out then it would appear eventually the Intuit unit will power down (despite what it states in the app. help). I estimate that the Intuit reader would give 10+ hours active use – this should be enough for a days trading but needs more time to evaluate fully.
          The Intuit reader constantly displays battery level, date and connection status, but duing pin entry the font chosen could have been a little larger/clearer

          Portal wise, the Intuit is a rather poor offering as you state compared to Intuit…essentially just gives summary of transactions, though this would be enough for most. I believe it can/will also integrate with Intuits other software suites, probably at a cost.

          App. wise for android (I don’t have an iphone) the Intuit wins since it has a product catalogue with categories, receipts can be customised and resent. The ‘checkout’ procedure is not quite as slick as iZettle but certainly good enough.

          Overall I’m preferring Intuit on the limited experience and that doesn’t include the fact that they allow you to take payments over the phone.

          1. Jonathan

            After experimenting with my product I’ve unsurprisingly come to the very same conclusions as yourself. In fact some of what you’ve written here mirrors the review that I’m in the process of writing.

            Overall I feel that Intuit Pay is a far less mature product, but they have more potential than the iZettle product does. A lot of this potential is going to be down to how the App Developers decide to implement consumer feedback. Where as iZettle do not seem to be in a rush to update their app (a failure that is now driving early adopters to look for alternatives) Intuit could capture this market by offering a more responsive app roadmap. This is especially critical right now as I have uncovered a number of minor bugs and glitches in the app (at least on Android), some of which prevent a smooth operation.

            As you have also mentioned, the reader is user upgradable once new firmwares are released by iZettle. Neither iZettle nor Payleven offer this functionality at current.

            Like you said though, the web portal is currently is good, but very limited. It does what it does very well, but they need to implement a load of functionality that the App has back into the web portal (such as the ability to customise your receipts and company information).

            I’ve covered all of the above in my review and am aiming to get it completed soon. I’ve been emailing my reported bugs to Intuit so I hope they will respond with some information on at least some of them, so watch this space.

            Thanks for the great information! Keep us posted with your experiences.

            Regards

    2. Jonathan

      Based on your request I’ve added Intuit (and another solution called Ayden) to the Comparison table, and added a small list of ‘features’ to better differentiate the different offerings. I’ve also signed up for Intuit as I really like the look of some of their features, and have requested some information from them directly in preparation for doing a review on their solution.

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

        1. Gerry

          I’m afraid I had not heard of mPowa until you mentioned it to me. I’d happily review the unit if they send me one, but it would seem they’ve not actually been released in the UK yet.

          They appear to support Windows Mobile and Blackberry, where most providers only support Android and iOS (these are also supported by mPowa). Their rates are higher though.

          So far, the most complete solution that I have found is the PayPal Here unit. Their rates are the same as everyone else but the time to transfer the money from your Paypal account to your bank account are (according to one user) 3 hours.

          I’ll add mPowa to the comparison table that I’m building.

          Regards

  1. I have found Izettle to be, dare I say it, useless. I had hoped it would fill in a gap but not so.
    1. You need a 3G mobile signal and venues where I conduct my photography all too often don’t.
    2. Not everyone has a smart phone
    3. Most venues have WiFi but unlike Intuit Izettle don’t offer the ability to collect payment online.
    4. I have tried to use Izettle to collect two payments this week. One for £440 and the other £50 – both were declined. The larger amount a corporate Visa card of a Barclays Corporate team member -so money not an issue. The other Mastercard … money not an issue. I say that confidently as I went online with both and collected through paypal.
    5. Customer Service is useless. I have had issues and it takes days to get a response.
    6. I like many got the first reader only to be informed a few weeks later a new PIN reader was available. Having had to pay out for the Android card/signature reader I enquired about upgrading rather thsn an outright purchase. No go I was told despite the fact they clearly knew it was in the pipeline.

    If the issues I detail wouldn’t affect you Izettle is an option for you but be aware it does not suit all.

    1. Stewart

      It sounds to me like you’re using the previous reader that connected via the iPhone Connector or the Audio jack? I have to say that this previous solution was dreadfully slow and was far too much hit-and-miss for my liking.

      To address some of your points in your post, iZettle will work perfectly fine through WiFi only connection (having just tested this by turning off mobile data and GPS functionallity. It simply requires a data connection of any sort.

      I agree with your comment that not everyone has a Smartphone, but looking at the usage statistics for 2012, iPhone and Android make up between 80-86% of the market share for the UK and Europe. Companies like iZettle, Payleven, Worldpay, Intuit etc who offer this mobile payment solution are simply targeting the largest market share.
      Now if you’re talking about customers not all having smartphones, then I agree. Some might not, some might not have the phone on them, others may simply not wish to complete a payment through their phone as its not the ‘norm’. This was the case with iZettle’s previous solution (the audio-jack / iPhone connector chip & Signature reader) when completing VISA payments. As I said above this always seemed to be a little hit-and-miss. The Chip & PIN solution is a far more reliable solution.

      As for customer service, while I have not found them useless, I have noticed that they do appear to be lacking. While my requests for assistance were resolved relatively swiftly, the feedback from users on their Facebook page tells a different story. Their lack of telephone support is also a bit of a deal-breaker for most companies, as they need uptime and service reliability from their payment solution provider. This is where I feel iZettle and probably most other Mobiel Chip & PIN solution providers are going to suffer in the months to come. iZettle have already had two distinct service outages since their Chip & PIN service went live.

      As you said, most users paid for their first reader and now find it a little annoying that they can’t trade in their obsolete technology for the Chip & PIN reader. Had the reader been at only £50 still, I would have suggested just taking the plunge as I did and get it. However since their price has gone up to £100 + VAT now (I feel this is prohibitively expensive if you have already shelled out money on one of their defunct products, or if you simply wish to ‘try’ their new offering), I would not recommend moving to it if you have already been jaded by bad experience by this product. There are other service providers out there that offer a similar service. I would recommend trying Intuit Pay (read the conversation below between Jonathan Crossley and myself). Their product is currently at £25 and looks like it could have far more promise than the iZettle solution. I currently have one of these devices too, and find it looks more professional than the iZettle solution, but the App and Web Portal are still in their infancy. As part of my review I have been submitting bug reports and feature suggestions / change suggestions to Intuit, some of which will hopefully be implemented.

      I hope some of this information is useful. Please dont think I’m defending the iZettle product. Honestly I dont feel strongly either way about it or any of the competition, but thats the reviewer in me talking.

      If you decide not to look at either solution I’ve suggested above, I’d wait a few months to see what developments the markets bring us. The affordable Mobile Chip & PIN market is currently heating up, and with new companies like Intuit joining the fray, we will see some of these existing companies fall by the wayside, others will adapt and develop, and others will simply remain as they are. I personally feel that when PayPal join in with their new product, this will seriously shake up the market as they can offer multiple payment methods for multiple mediums which currently only WorldPay can provide.

      Thank you for your feedback!

      Tristan

  2. I just went through the whole process with intuit only to find you cannot use it overseas which is no good for me. Before I make the same mistake with izettle do you no if if can be used globally please?

    1. Roger,
      Unfortunately not. This I’d a point often discussed on the iZettle Facebook page.
      I am unsure how it geolocates you though. With either iZettle or Intuit, you may try establishing a VPN connection back to the UK (assuming it uses the reverse IP lookup method). Should it use GPS you can override your location in your Android Debug settings menu, or disable GPS completely.
      Sorry I can’t be of more jeep in this matter.
      Both of these methods ‘might’ be against their terms and conditions of use though…
      When I’m abroad next I’ll test both solutions with both products and let you know what works.

    1. Maxine

      I’m afraid the Intuit reader only works with the Intuit app, and only the iZettle reader works with the iZettle app.
      I’m not 100% sure of the specifics, but it would appear that when the readers are built by Muira Systems they are written with a vender-specific firmware. I expect this contains a vender specific encryption system that only allows communication between the venders app and their specific card reader. This would be to prevent any interception of information between the device and the application, as well as the ability to compromise the reader to clone cards or skim credentials.

      Regards

        1. Monika

          Thank you for your comment. I have not yet had an opportunity to use / test the PayPal Chip & PIN offering (known as PayPal Here) as it has not yet been released in the UK. I contact PayPal a couple of weeks ago with regard to their new unit, and they will be shipping me a unit for review as soon as it is possible.

          From what I have seen though, their rates are competitive vs iZettle and Intuit Pay (though iZettle do now offer price breaks in the form of refunds once you have handled a certain value of transactions in a single month).
          The PayPal Chip & PIN unit is of simpler design than the iZettle and Intuit Pay offerings, with the only feedback provided to a user being LED’s that light up for every PIN code digit that is entered (up to six). The lack of display means the unit cannot confirm the total amount to the customer prior to PIN entry. This means that your ‘Point-of’Sale’ device (mobile phone / tablet etc) is going to need to be accessible to the customer as they will need to confirm the total amount on there before they enter their PIN.

          The biggest advantage with PayPal is the name of the brand behind the device and service – PayPal is a household brand, where as iZettle and Intuit are not. This will engender far more trust with your customers. The other big advantage is for those business owners who are already tied into the PayPal ecosystem – this offers another method of payment for your company that you can add to your portfolio, with all the financial records potentially ending up in exactly the same place.

          More information on PayPal Here can be found here: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/credit-card-reader

  3. This is an excellent review – many thanks. Are you aware that iZettle will not allow transactions for the purpose of a deposit i.e. part payment. Their security dept. has just contacted me requesting that I cease using their service for deposits! Can’t imagine they’ll offer me a refund for the terminal which is now rendered useless to me.

    1. Philip

      That’s an interesting and very useful piece of advice. I did notice that there were certain restrictions in the iZettle Terms of Use. I did not see the one on deposits, but I did see the one that prevents you from taking payments for services relating to Search Engine Optimisation. I expect that is because the outcome of such a service is quite hard to quantify. With deposits, I expect that is because you’re effectively selling something that is not a physical product(?) Either way, it is very limiting for business people (especially wedding photographers) who need to take a deposit.

      Maybe PayPal Here or Intuit Pay has different Terms of Use.

      Thank you for the feedback, and I’m sorry to hear about your angry letter from iZettle.

      Regards

    2. Excellent write up lots of useful info ‘if only it worked on my phone’
      signed up perfect for me to take card payments, downloaded app works perfect on ipad and another android phone in household, but will not work on my samsung s2 despite being on ‘guaranteed’ phone and operating list !!!.
      I have now updated to later operating system and still will not except email and pass word and i just get sign in fail message.
      I have contacted izettle with my problem waiting on tech team.Is there anyone out there using this on their s2 ?

  4. Brilliant review, wish I had read this before purchasing I Zettle for my new small business. I lost so much confidence in IZettle that in truth when a customer wanted to pay by credit card, my heart sank, because I just knew that there would be some kind of problem, be it wi fi, not connecting, not bluetoothing, the stupid button on the side of the chip and pin reader not working. However, I have upgraded my phone to the IPhone 5C and things seem much better. I tried it last night, with the same in-trepidation and it connected straight away. However, I have a craft fair tonight in Watford Football station with no wi-fi so will have to use the mobile signal. Lets see what happens. I would also like to collect emails, this is huge part of my business and I don’t see why, if the customer is happy to give their email address, why IZettle cannot produce a data base or address book. I understand data protection but by giving the email address the customer is agreeing??? Would change if a better solution came out. Thanks Val

    1. Val

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry its taken so long for me to get back to you regarding this.

      Congratulations on your shiny new iPhone. How are you finding it now with iZettle? I havent attempted to use the iZettle unit with my new iPhone 5s, however I can confirm that my Intuit Pay reader and (a recently reviewed – watch this space) PayPal Here reader worked perfectly with it.

      In a recent discussion with PayPal regarding their Here product, they are looking into Email address collection / mailing list subscription options that will be included in their App, so this is one advantage they could end up with over iZettle and Intuit.

      Regards

  5. Tristan, can you tell me who delivers the chip and pin card reader please? I ordered mine today, It suggests 3 – 5 days but doesn’t mention who they use for delivery.

    1. John

      Thanks for the comment. I believe mine was delivered by Royal Mail in a simple Jiffy Bag, and not by a courier. Unfortunately I don’t remember if it required signing for or not, as it was about a year ago now.

      I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

      Regards

      1. Hello Tristan, thanks for taking the time to reply, i ordered mine yesterday, i was a bit impatient in not waiting to see if i would receive an email from them regarding shipping of the card reader, i received an email from them today stating DHL after emailing them, plus i also received a proper confirmation email today regarding shipping of the card reader.

        I really liked reading your review, very thorough, i found it very helpful.

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