So we put all the top card reader providers in the UK today to our rigorous test – iZettle, SumUp, Square, WorldPay and PayPal – and asked small business owners how they got on.
Now, in this full-fat and unbiased iZettle review, we’ll help you decide if it’s your best bet – and if you like the sound of it, we’ll get you a whopping 67% off your no-fuss, no-commitment iZettle card reader.
✔ Transparent pricing – One easy-to-digest flat rate of 1.75%
✔ Speedy payments – Take your payments in seconds
✔ Powerful battery – You’re unlikely to run out of juice
✔ User-friendly app – iZettle’s fresh app gets 4.7/5 on iTunes
✔ Nice features – Like invoicing for a tidy 2.75%
❌ Account suspensions – But mostly when ineligible users get in
❌ App bugs – They’re rare, but some customers have found some
The iZettle card machine: explained
One of the most popular mobile card readers in the UK
iZettle is a small but powerful card payment processing system that was created to help small businesses with diddy budgets accept card payments easily and cheaply.
iZettle claim that small businesses that use them grow at three times the European average every year. Perhaps their intuitive card reader keeps their customers coming back. Or perhaps the nifty reporting function 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 start-ups wanting to keep their costs low.
iZettle’s mobile card reader is nice and pocket-sized:
After all, busy business owners don’t have time for messy displays
What does the iZettle PayPal merger mean for customers?
PayPal recently bought iZettle for £1.6bn – so is that good or bad news?
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 some of PayPal’s premier brand trust and global expertise if anything to support iZettle’s customers even more.
Plus, there are still enough cheap card readers on the UK market like SumUp and Square to keep iZettle’s prices competitively low. And if you ever change your mind, remember there are no set-up costs or contract locking you in with iZettle, so you can join with peace of mind.
How does iZettle work?
It’s easy, iZettle connects to your existing device using Bluetooth
We think taking card payments couldn’t be easier. With iZettle you just click the product the customer wants in the iZettle Go app, the customer taps (for contactless) or inserts their card (for PIN payments), and within five seconds the transaction will be complete.
All you need to worry about is that there’s a solid Wi-Fi or mobile data connection wherever you’re taking payments, and just 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.
This quick demo explains it all:
iZettle’s fees and charges
iZettle offers some of the clearest, cheapest rates around ★★★★★
iZettle and Square both offer some of the lowest transaction fees (the commission you pay per sale) at 1.75% – the cheapest is SumUp at 1.69%, but with WorldPay and PayPal it’s closer to 2.75% for small business transactions.
iZettle’s charges used to be a bit more complicated, but they’re now offering one simple transaction fee for all UK-based merchants. Though that’s a privilege to UK customers of iZettle, in all other EU markets that rate will vary between 1% and 2.75% (depending on the card used), which can be a bit of a headache.
Just note that there are transaction limits. For business accounts, it’s £2000,000 per day with a £5,000 transaction limit per card. And for private accounts, it’s £3,000 a day with a limit of £1,500 per card. Just be sure to register as a business account if you can to get more flexibility, even if it’s for when your business grows.
Our verdict: iZettle’s transaction fees are bang in line with their competitors, but we like the clear pricing structure that our start-ups rely on to plan ahead.
iZettle’s payment entry methods
As is now standard with most mobile card readers today, iZettle accepts all card payment entry methods:
Chip & PIN
Swipe & Sign
Apple Pay & Android Pay
More cards supported than anyone else
If making your customers happy (and especially if you make lots of sales with people overseas), iZettle will be a dream for you.
It accepts the largest number of payment methods of all mobile card machines, so you’ll never have to turn down a sale. Here’s what you get with iZettle:
Overall, most card payment processing companies will support the main credit and debit brands: VISA, Mastercard, Maestro, V Pay. But you won’t find many competitors that even accept JCB (great if you get Japanese tourists), Union Pay and Discover.
Plus, unlike some card readers like PayPal Here, the competitive transaction fee of 1.75% is fixed for all cards, even AmEx will get this special rate. We think that makes the pricing easier for you to understand, and much better for your customers.
With mobile card readers, it’s standard to wait a few business days before you can get your hands on your cash. With iZettle, it’s two to three working days, which is a touch faster than SumUp and WorldPay.
Square and PayPal offer instant deposits, but there’s usually a fee of around 1% attached.
24-hour PCI security and full encryption protects you and your customers
In a word, absolutely. After all, when was the last scandal you heard involving a Swedish company? But stereotypes aside, iZettle really does tick all the safety boxes you’d expect from a card processing company.
With such an intuitive and handy little device, iZettle has made itself popular with millions of small businesses across Europe, but their biggest fan base is the UK where over 60% of purchases are contactless.
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, they’ve brought affordable card readers to pop-up barbers, bathroom attendants, and even London’s buskers – a world first!
Full-time busker Charlotte Campbell is able to make a living thanks to iZettle
iZettle small business testimonials
Block and Bottle finds iZettle a lifesaver
Katie Cullen and Steven Warren run a multi-award-winning beer and meat shop in Gateshead. They told us they’ve been using iZettle from day one, and have never looked back.
The iZettle features
Everything you need, nothing too fancy ★★★★★
iZettle offers everything you’d expect and want from your mobile card reader, including:
A simple product library
Have you ever stood at a check-out, waiting what seemed an eternity for the salesperson to find the product you’re buying on their screen? They almost definitely were not with iZettle. This app makes checking out a breeze for you and your customers.
By tracking your sales and getting key insights into your customers, you can make better business decisions, and plan the best inventory. You’ll get this with most other leading card reader providers, but we found iZettle’s reporting both easy to understand and more in-depth than most.
Better staff collaboration
These days, apps like iZettle don’t just help catalogue your products and services. They even help you stay in the loop of how your staff are doing, and stay protected with different accessibility options for different people.
iZettle Go even has some features you don’t get with all mobile card processing apps, like:
Invoicing (via email)
Easy product updates from the dashboard
We especially like invoicing, which takes the hassle out of billing and gets you paid faster! Just note this service costs 2.75% per transaction, which is actually the same as everyone else is offering.
The iZettle Reader
An award-winning card reader ★★★★★
What’s the use of a mobile reader if it isn’t easy to take around with you? iZettle’s mini size means you can slip it into your pocket, but its robust design means you don’t need to worry about it getting crushed.
Fast connection speeds
With Bluetooth technology, your customers can be paying for your goods in seconds.
Decent battery life
Just charge your iZettle card reader for one to two hours to get up to eight hours (around 100 transactions) use. And if that’s not enough, there’s always the option of the iZettle dock to keep your device well-juiced and looking professional.
If you’re itching for a proper point-of-sale (POS) system, iZettle can also sort you out for not too much. We really like the option of choosing from their (well-rated) kit, or just connecting to your own compatible devices (if you already have your own printers and scanners).
Nice touch: Keeping our countertop wire-free with iZettle’s swish add-ons
iZettle’s customer support
Thumbs up from Trustpilot customers: 8.7/10 ★★★★★
iZettle has a reputation for providing good customer service – and one of the best Trustpilot ratings of all the mobile card readers – a whopping 8.7/10.
iZettle have a an intuitive, search-based support centre ready and waiting on their website. You can also send them a message with your query – you’ll likely get back a robo-response, but most customers are satisfied with iZettle’s online support.
Need answers now? When you’re running a business, sometimes an automated response just won’t cut it. iZettle’s customer service team are on call if you need to be back on your feet within the hour.
All customers can phone them from 9am to 5pm weekdays. Or if you’re an iZettle Go PLUS member (paying £29/ month), you’ll even have phone help at hand evenings and weekends.
Competitor reviews – iZettle vs SumUp, Square, WorldPay and PayPal
iZettle is a top all-rounder – with a great app, generous features and friendly price tag ★★★★★
Mobile card readers tend to be great for small businesses bringing in lower sales volumes (under around £2,500 a month). That because they can have transaction fees a fraction above more traditional credit card processing companies, but with no set-up costs, no monthly fees and no lock-ins, most people still find they save a bundle with this option.
iZettle is one of the most budget-friendly mobile card readers on the market today. It has a clear flat-fee structure which will work for you, regardless of the sales you’re making (with PayPal the rate is a much higher 2.75% unless you’re raking it in month after month).
Of course, there are slightly lower transaction fees (SumUp is a fraction less at 1.69%), and cheaper card machines (Square’s is closer to £39), but you’ll have a tough job finding so much bang for so little buck elsewhere.
This table shows you howiZettle compares to its top rivals:
£59 (excl. VAT)
Next working day
£39 (excl. VAT)
Instant deposits (1% fee applies),
bank account times vary
With low, low costs and one of the most user-friendly apps on the market today, we think the iZettle Reader is a great alternative to traditional ways of processing card payments.
The flexibility in having no set-up costs and no monthly fees makes iZettle ideal for start-ups 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, low fees – iZettle wanted to make accepting card payments possible for everyone – 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 is award-winning for a reason, and will have you up and running in no time
So, if your start-up or small business is currently getting monthly card payments of under £5,000, and you want one of the most user-friendly and budget-friendly ways of taking card payments, we at Startups can’t recommend iZettle enough.