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iZettle card reader review

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Founded in Sweden way back in 2010, iZettle makes it easy and affordable for smaller businesses to compete with the big players.

Now that 75% of retail sales in the UK are made using card, being able to accept card payments has never been more important.

With this in mind, we put all of the UK's top card reader providers through our rigorous testing process, in order to see how iZettle stacks up. We also spoke to small business owners to get real industry insight into how iZettle performs where it really matters: at the point of sale.

Read on for a detailed review that will fully explain everything a startup would need to know about the iZettle card reader.


In this article, you will learn:

  • iZettle Overview
  • iZettle Pros and Cons
  • Who is iZettle best for?
  • How much does iZettle cost?
  • iZettle Features
  • iZettle Alternatives
  • iZettle Review: the Verdict

  • The iZettle overview

    One of the most popular mobile card readers in the UK

    iZettle – or iZettle 2, in its current iteration – is a small but powerful card payment processing system, created to help small businesses with small budgets accept card payments easily and cheaply using a pocket-sized piece of kit.

    iZettle claims that small businesses who use its service are growing at three times the European average every year. It may be the intuitive card reader that keeps its customers coming back, or perhaps the nifty reporting function, which helps business owners plan sales more effectively.

    Either way, we like how easy it is to use iZettle – and the contracts are nice and simple to understand, too. With no set-up costs, no monthly fees, and no lock-in contracts, iZettle is ideal for ambitious startups wanting to keep their costs low.

    iZettle’s mobile card reader is nice and pocket-sized:

    How does iZettle work?

    iZettle connects to your existing device using Bluetooth – it’s as simple as that.

    With iZettle, taking card payments couldn’t be easier. Simply click the product the customer wants in the iZettle Go app – the customer taps or inserts their card, and within five seconds, the transaction will be complete.

    Make sure there’s a solid wifi or mobile data connection wherever you’re taking payments, and check your Bluetooth is on – iZettle will take care of the rest, and the funds will land in your designated bank account in a couple of days.

    What does the iZettle PayPal merger mean for customers?

    PayPal recently bought iZettle for £1.6bn – is this good news or bad?

    As an iZettle card reader user, you probably won’t even notice a change – especially in the short term. And in the long term, we’d expect PayPal’s premier brand trust and global expertise to provide iZettle customers with even greater support.

    Plus, there are still enough cheap card readers on the UK market – such as SumUp and Square – to keep iZettle’s prices competitively low. And if you ever change your mind, remember that with iZettle, there are no set-up costs or contracts locking you in – so you can join with peace of mind.


    iZettle pros and cons

    Pros: Cons:
      ✔ Transparent pricing – One easy-to-digest flat rate of 1.75%
      ✔ Speedy payments – Take payments in seconds
      ✔ Powerful battery – You’re unlikely to run out of juice
      ✔ User-friendly app – iZettle’s fresh app is clean, simple and efficient
      ✔ Nice features

    ❌ Account suspensions – But mostly when ineligible users get in
    ❌ App bugs – They’re rare, but some customers have encountered them

    Who is iZettle best for?

    Small businesses that use iZettle

    iZettle is signing 1,000 new businesses a day

    With such an intuitive and handy little device, iZettle has made itself popular with millions of small businesses across Europe. However, its biggest fan base is in the UK, where over 60% of purchases are contactless.

    Over here, iZettle are a major hit with:

    • Food and drink iconFood and drink
    • cloud virtual iconServices
    • staff person iconHealth and beauty
    • shopping iconRetail

    But that’s not all. iZettle is on a mission to make it easier for everyone to accept card payments, no matter where you work. So far, it’s brought affordable card readers to pop-up barbers, bathroom attendants, and even London’s buskers – a world first!

    charlotte campbell izettle Full-time busker Charlotte Campbell is able to make a living thanks to iZettle


    Small business testimonial

    Block and Bottle:

    Katie Cullen and Steven Warren run a multi-award-winning beer and meat shop in Gateshead. They’ve been using iZettle from day one, and have never looked back.

    “iZettle manages our stock inventory, links in with our accounting software, pays us the very next day, and takes American Express for no extra charge. It’s so easy to set up, and we can use it at market stalls and events through our iPhones”

    Katie Cullen, co-owner of Block and Bottle

    izettle review


    What if iZettle isn't for me?

    One of the UK’s most popular card machines, iZettle has a top-rated app on Google Play and the App Store. What’s more, its device cost and transaction fees are amongst the lowest in the market.

    For the best balance of everything you need, iZettle is our best all-round card machine.

    Here’s how iZettle compares to the other top card machines for UK small businesses:

    Card Reader Best for… Device Cost
    (excl. VAT)
    Transaction Fee
    sumup Cheapest transaction fees £59 1.69%
    izettle Best all-rounder £59
    £19 on offer here
    1.75%
    square Best card machine for features £39 1.75%
    worldpay Most flexible £39.99 1.95% – 2.75%
    (depending on sales)
    paypal Best for growing businesses £65
    £45 on offer here
    1% – 2.75%
    (depending on sales)
    barclays Trusted payments brand £60 2.6%


    How much does iZettle cost?

    Device cost

    With no setup costs and one simple transaction fee, iZettle’s pricing is both transparent and affordable.

    A one-time cost of £29 (+ VAT) for the machine itself sets iZettle apart as one of the cheapest, cheeriest card machines on the market.

    iZettle fees and charges

    Transaction fees sit at a steady, respectable 1.75% – an almost unparallelled rate within the market.
    However, for the premium iZettle Go PLUS package, you’ll be paying a touch more (£29 per month) with a 2.5% transaction charge added to ecommerce transactions made via your website.


    : iZettle features

    Cards accepted

    The new iZettle Reader 2 accepts chip & PIN and contactless payments from all major credit and debit cards.
    This means that Visa, Mastercard, and American Express – plus payments through Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay – are all accepted.

    Reporting

    Easy-to-use analytics and reporting tools, plus iZettle’s invoicing feature helps you send online invoices via the iZettle Go app. This takes the hassle out of billing, and gets you paid faster.

    Product library

    Ecommerce services:

    iZettle Go PLUS gives you a lifetime warranty for your card reader and access to iZettle’s ecommerce services, with membership coming in at £29 per month.

      Point of sale (POS) system

    • iZettle card reader dock – £39 (+ VAT)
    • Cash drawer – £49 (+VAT)
    • iZettle iPad stand – £99 (+ VAT)
    • Receipt printer – from £199 (+ VAT)
    • Barcode scanner – £229 (+ VAT)

    Battery life

    The iZettle Reader 2 lasts 30% longer than other mobile credit card readers, due to the low-energy Bluetooth and improved battery.

    Customer support

    iZettle provides over-the-phone customer support between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

    However, signing up for iZettle Go PLUS membership will grant you priority support (weekends included), plus 8am to 8pm weekday support.


    iZettle Alternatives

    Card Reader Best for… Device Cost
    (excl. VAT)
    Transaction Fee
    sumup Cheapest transaction fees £59 1.69%
    square Best card machine for features £39 1.75%
    worldpay Most flexible £39.99 1.95% – 2.75%
    (depending on sales)
    paypal Best for growing businesses £65
    £45 on offer here
    1% – 2.75%
    (depending on sales)
    barclays Trusted payments brand £60 2.6%

    Take a look at our helpful guide to the best credit card machines for small businesses to help you decide what’s best for your business.

    iZettle vs. SumUp

    SumUp is the cheapest card machine in terms of card processing fees – for small businesses with medium to low monthly revenues (under £5,000), you won’t find a transaction fee lower than 1.69%.

    iZettle vs.PayPal

    For slightly larger businesses bringing in over £6,000 a month, PayPal Here offers a fractionally lower rate of 1.5%.

    iZettle vs. Square

    iZettle’s main competitor, Square, has a sleek, buttonless design that’s as fuss-free as the card reader is to use. However, its minimalist design may flummox some customers.

    iZettle vs. Worldpay

    Worldpay is a well-known, trusted provider that's offers the infrastructure necessary for scaling up. Although Worldpay isn’t the cheapest option to start with, it might be a better long-term investment if you can see your business taking upwards of £5,000 per day.


    iZettle Review: the Verdict

    With low costs and one of the most user-friendly apps on the market today, the iZettle Reader is a great alternative to traditional methods of processing card payments.

    With no set-up costs and no monthly fees, iZettle is ideal for startups or growing businesses who don’t want to tie up their cash, but also don’t want to miss out on the gravy train of accepting card payments.

    Here’s why iZettle tops the charts for us:

    • Transparent pricing – Clear fees protects you from any nasty surprises at the end of the month
    • Low fees – iZettle wanted to make accepting card payments possible for everyone – and now it is!
    • In-depth reporting – Get live insights into your sales in the most easy-to-digest way possible
    • Solid customer support – iZettle’s customers are some of the happiest online
    • A top-notch app – iZettle’s free app has won awards for a reason, and will have you up and running in no time

    So, if your startup or small business is currently receiving monthly card payments of under £5,000 – and you want one of the most user-friendly and budget-friendly ways of taking card payments around – then we at Startups can’t recommend iZettle enough.