A Swedish mobile payments firm could help businesses around the world easily accept Apple Pay.
iZettle is launching a new card reader that will let customers pay at small businesses across Europe and Latin America by tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch. The company’s readers plug into the headphone jack of a smartphone or tablet and allow small stores and street-market vendors to take card payments through its app.
The company did not disclose how many merchants use the current iZettle reader, but said that “hundreds of thousands of businesses are using its platform”.
iZettle’s newest reader will also accept contactless card payments, and other mobile wallets such as Google Wallet.
When Apple Pay does finally launch outside the US, small merchants using iZettle’s reader will be able to accept it immediately using their own smartphone or tablet, so they don’t have to pay out to upgrade older point-of-sale hardware.
This could remove a big barrier to adoption. More merchants are likely to accept Apple Pay if they don’t have to take a financial hit to do so. And if consumers across Europe and South America can use Apple Pay in a wider range of small businesses immediately, we might see them adopt Apple Pay at a faster rate.
The new iZettle reader will cost £79, and will be released in the UK from June 1. The company plans to roll the reader out to other markets in the following months.
iZettle’s US rival Square, which also offers a card reader and register app for small, independent businesses. announced it was building a reader to accept Apple Pay last November.
iZettle CEO Jacob de Geer has expressed interest in moving into the US, but noted that since the mobile payments market is already so saturated, iZettle would have to bring something the US really needed.
“I think we are moving into a position where we could actually consider it,” he told PYMNTS.com.