mPOS solutions firm iZettle has released its Card Reader Lite device to merchants for free, enabling them to accept Chip & PIN payments using a smartphone with the peripheral attached.
The free device will significantly reduce the hurdles that small businesses face when attempting to integrate card payments into their set-ups, especially for mobile businesses or service providers like plumbers and electricians.
The Card Reader Lite will be available in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, and can connect to tablets and smartphones via a cable to enable Chip & PIN transactions.
The value of payments made with cards grew by 40 per cent between 2009 and 2013 in Europe, while Visa Europe recently predicted that within 10 years, 95 per cent of UK payments will be made via card.
"This is one of the boldest moves we have ever made," said Jacob de Geer, co-founder and CEO of iZettle. "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.
"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."