An Interview with iZettle

iZettle is a mobile payments app that allows small businesses and sole traders to accept card payments via smartphone or tablet and a connectable card reader. iZettle was the first to introduce its Smart Rate pricing structure, meaning transaction fees can drop from 2.75% to as little as 1.5% depending on volume of sales. It is currently present in nine markets including Germany, Sweden, Brazil and Mexico. In little over four years they have formulated a working partnership with Peppermint Bars, and offered a more cost effective, stress-free way to run businesses for entrepreneurs and festival traders alike.

Jens Münch – Managing Director of iZettle UK – spoke to Festival Insights about iZettle’s innovative approach to enterprise solutions. Jon Sprank, iZettle UK’s Head of Commercial Relations, also weighed in on their relationship with the festival industry.

Festival Insights: So how does iZettle actually work?

Jens Münch: Well it might seem like iZettle is a hardware manufacturer, but that’s actually the smallest part of what we do. In order to make iZettle as cheap as it is, we took everything out of the chip and pin device apart from the actual pin entry. All of the logic happens through the iZettle app. In other words these devices don’t do anything on their own; they have no Internet or mobile connectivity, so they need to be paired via Bluetooth to a mobile or tablet.

Previously you’d have to sign up for a contract for, say, 24 months and you’d be locked in, whereas we offer a pay as you go model. It’s a lot more financially viable – especially for small businesses – and we provide things like analytics too to allow you to run your entire business through iZettle. This is the first time that a small business can have better equipment than major corporations.

iZettle Analytics

FI: iZettle provides the type of service that festivals increasingly can’t do without. Have you found yourselves in high demand from festival organisers?

Jon Sprank: iZettle have worked with festival organisers and merchants at many UK festivals in 2014 and we plan to expand this in 2015 with a dedicated team – making sure we are helping UK festivals become even better than they already are.

FI: Your partnership with Peppermint Bars seems like such a natural fit; both of you are innovating in similar ways within the festival industry. Do you consider yourselves to share a common ethos?

JM: We’ve been really fortunate in our partnership with Peppermint Bars. They’re incredibly innovative and have applied an entrepreneurial attitude to a space that was previously pretty old school. They’re taking a similarly forward-thinking approach to us – from the way they run their tills, to how they calculate theft, to on-site Wi-Fi solutions. And thanks to using our systems they’ve seen a 30% uptick in profits, which is a tremendous number.

FI: Speaking of Wi-Fi: One of the biggest hurdles for cashless systems at festivals is the lack of wireless Internet. How are iZettle overcoming this issue?

JS: We insist before we get involved with any festival or merchants at a festival, that we have our dedicated portion of Wi-Fi – which is allocated solely to iZettle. In doing this we are making sure that the system works to its maximum performance level. This now seems to be standard operating procedure for all the festivals we have worked with, which is great.

FI: Are there any other challenges that iZettle has faced in integrating with festivals? Or better yet, are there any challenges other systems would face that iZettle is immune to?

JS: We’ve had amazing success with festivals and we believe that this is due to our approach. The challenge for anyone providing a mobile payment solution is third party temp staff and training. As a result, we give all managers and teams thorough training prior to any event. At larger events we have representatives to assist throughout the day. This assistance includes demonstrating how to use the product library and reporting/analytics effectively and how to use mobile payments to queue bust and control point of sale crowds effectively and quickly.

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