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New reader, partner for Euro mPOS provider iZettle

Swedish mobile point of sale provider iZettle has announced two important developments as it competes with other mPOS providers and looks to expand across Europe. The company said it has signed a new banking partner and will begin shipping a new card reader that will allow its merchants to accept chip-and-pin transactions

The partner iZettle has landed is Spanish bank Banco Santander. The financial institution will offer small merchants the iZettle solution to accept credit and debit card purchases. The bank said offering iZettle is a part of its "Innova" program that aims at leading innovation in payments.

"In Spain alone there are more than 1 million self-employed professionals and microcompanies that, due to the mobile nature of their business, need an option that is more flexible than conventional card terminals," said Francisco Fernández Cué, head of payments at Banco Santander. "For Banco Santander it is a priority to help these businesses to grow and flourish. The bank is making use of new technologies and mobile devices to make its customers' lives and work easier."

A chip-and-PIN competitor

The bigger news from iZettle is that those small businesses in Spain — as well as merchants in the U.K, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Finland — will be able to use iZettle's new chip-and-PIN reader. The new device connects to a mobile phone or tablet via Bluetooth and includes a keypad so merchants can accept and process chip-and-PIN cards from all major credit cards — including Visa. That last bit is important as iZettle has had issues in the past with accepting Visa-branded cards. Users in the Nordic countries had to use a workaround to accept those cards.

"Our vision from day one has been to simplify and democratize payments," said Jacob de Geer, co-founder and CEO of iZettle. "Small businesses deserve a simpler, more mobile and affordable way to accept credit card payments, and our breadth of products and partnership with Santander go a long way towards making that happen. After seeing a great demand and take up on our chip-and-signature solution, adding a chip-and-PIN reader to our product offering enables us to extend our target group of individuals and micro merchants to include businesses with higher transaction volumes."

The cost for iZettle merchants to accept payments through the new device is still the same: 2.75 percent of each transaction. The reader itself will sell for €49 (though iZettle said merchants signing up through new partner Banco Santander will receive a "substantial discount" paid into their accounts once they begin processing transactions).

IZettle isn't the first to offer a chip-and-PIN reader. Rival mPOS provider payleven announced its competitive product for Europe just two weeks ago.

IZettle is headquartered in Stockholm with offices in London, Berlin and Madrid. Its mPOS solution is available to merchants in the U.K., Spain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, with plans to expand into more markets. The company has raised around $41 million in funding since its launch in 2010.

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