COPENHAGEN, Denmark — iZettle, the fast-growing Swedish payment terminal company, is signing 1,000 new businesses a day and seeing huge traction in the UK.
CEO and founder Jacob de Geer told Business Insider at the Money2020 conference last week: “We see our strongest growth in the UK, it’s our biggest market.”
iZettle makes a payment terminal that allows people to accept card payments using their smartphone or iPad. The company operates across 12 markets globally.
De Geer said: “If you look at growth, I think by now we take on roughly 1,000 small businesses per day, which I think is quite significant for a B2B [business-to-business] company, especially considering the restraints put on us by the regulator: having to adhere to know-your-customer directives, anti-money laundering regulation etc.”
iZettle, founded in 2010, only has around 500 staff globally and de Geer says the company is able to onboard so many new customers thanks to investment in machine learning.
“Since day one, our core focus in terms of machine learning and AI went into onboarding,” he said. “That has resulted in a process where we can automatically handle massive volumes of merchants across a multitude of markets wanting to take on our product.”
De Geer added: “We’ve been iterating and developed out risk and onboarding platform over 7 years now. It’s nothing that you just turn on or off. It’s constant iteration with a lot of people involved.”
Jack Dorsey, the cofounder of Twitter and rival payment terminal company Square, made a similar point about using AI for onboarding during his keynote speech at Money2020. Square recently launched in the UK, its first European market, but de Geer is unfazed by the competition.
“I think it will probably take them a while before they’re fully up and running,” he said. “Eventually, we’ll definitely notice their presence. But this market is so big. 95% of all businesses are within our joint segment. So there’s definitely room for more than one player.”
De Geer is, however, worried about Brexit. He said: “We’re equally worried about Brexit, as I would say most people in Britain are. I would say the problem for everybody, [is that] the consequences of Brexit are still up in the air. Nobody really knows what it will imply for the financial market. I would be surprised if you wouldn’t try to limit the potential damage and outflow of everything from companies to capital. How that’s going to be handled is beyond my knowledge.”
iZettle’s biggest priority at the moment is growth, both in existing markets it is in and potentially into new ones. De Geer said: “I think you will see expansion. The question is really when, whether it’s this year or next. The most logical next place is somewhere in Europe where we can leverage our existing regulatory approvals. Europe is still heavily underserved from a small business perspective.”
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