The next time you go to a farmers' market in the UK expect to be able to pay with a credit card, thanks to the launch of iZettle, a new chip and signature payment system being rolled out from today in the UK for small businesses.
The new system run by iZettle, the European equivalent of Square, will come with no monthly fee, but will charge merchants a 2.75 per cent handling charge on every transaction businesses make with the system.
Costing £20 for the card reader and available exclusively in the new EE stores, the dongle either connects with the 30-pin dock connector on the older iPhones and iPads, or via the headphone jack for new iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. An accompanying app does the rest.
In practice, and the system works as stated, giving you an almost Apple-retail-like experience wherever you are.
In a demo of the new technology, Pocket-lint tested it out with a stallholder at the launch event, successfully buying a pair of sunglasses.
Unlike NFC there is no low threshold for contactless payment, although individual transactions are restricted to £1,250. Merchants will also be restricted to taking £5,500 in a single day, but as Jacob de Geer, iZettle's CEO, told Pocket-lint, if they are taking more than that they really should be talking to their bank.
“The beauty of iZettle is that it’s simple to use, totally secure and takes seconds for a transaction,” said Jacob de Geer of iZettle, which is used by more than 75,000 small businesses and individuals in six countries.
“Whether you are a cabbie, florist, tradesperson or a courier, iZettle gives you the flexibility to operate in both cash and cards. The possibilities are endless because hundreds of thousands of small business can now take plastic.
"We are very excited about our full commercial launch in the UK and the positive results of our Beta test with 4,000 users over the past six months.”
Once a customer decides what they want to buy, the details are punched into the iZettle app before the customer is asked to insert their card.
Rather than using the Chip and Pin system, iZettle has opted for the equally safe Chip and Signature option. Signature given, and you can have your receipt emailed to you even with a picture of your goods, so you can easily remember what the receipt is for.
The process is very simple, and talking to a few of the stallholders at the launch event all seemed very happy with the system, telling us it had also helped them understand their business analytically because the app tracks sales and even generates sales reports.
The system works with Mastcard, Amex, and Visa.