European Merchants Get a Free Chip&Pin mPOS, Courtesy iZettle

iZettle, Europe’s prominent provider of mobile payment services, is introducing iZettle Card Reader Lite, it’s first free-of-charge Chip & PIN reader.

The new card reader is available to businesses in the U.K., Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Entrepreneurs can now get the hardware, to take card payments, free-of-charge.

The Lite connects to tablets and smartphones via cable, and removes all startup costs for business that seek to accept card payments for their products and services. Unlike many other card payment options, iZettle’s business model continues to offer full cost transparency and no hidden fees.

This is one of the boldest moves we have ever made, said Jacob de Geer, iZettle’s co-founder and CEO, in an official press release. Four years ago we upended the market with the world’s first mini chip card reader. We’re now embarking on the next step in our journey, with yet another groundbreaking offer that will cement our position as Europe’s leading mobile payments company.

An overwhelming majority of consumers prefer cards to cash, and the value of payments made with cards in Europe was 40% higher in 2013 compared with 2009. Visa Europe recently predicted that in the U.K., 95% of payments will be made with cards within ten years. Still, some 20 million European small businesses don’t take card payments or have access to other decent payment tools.

The Lite is a first of its kind. Not only will it tear down the barriers small merchants face when setting up their businesses, it also raises the stakes for Europe’s payments industry, said de Geer.

Setting up the Lite is a breeze: just unpack the card reader, plug it into your smartphone or tablet, and you’re ready to go. Alongside the Lite, iZettle will continue to offer its Card Reader Pro, which comes with a built-in display and connects to tablets and smartphones wirelessly.

iZettle more than doubled its transaction volumes in 2014, and is now running at a total annual transaction rate of €2 billion with continued strong growth in all markets. Hundreds of thousands of businesses across Europe and Latin America have come to iZettle for tools to grow their business: from complete point of sale solutions, to free sales overview tools that spot sales opportunities and identify loyal customers.