US vendor Intuit is joining an increasingly crowded UK market with the launch of a card reader that enables small businesses to accept chip-and-PIN payments when the reader is attached to a smartphone.
The service, which is called Intuit Pay, comprises an iOS mobile app as well as the card reader that accepts Visa and MasterCard payments. The app is free and so, for a limited time, is the reader. There is no subscription and merchants pay a 2.75 per cent fee with each transaction.
The vendor plans to follow the UK launch with other European markets and then countries elsewhere in the world. It is already pushing the card reader in the US.
Intuit, which has already staged a successful pilot in the UK which involved hundreds of retailers, is entering a market where it faces the likes of iZettle, Payleven and mPowa.
In addition, PayPal recently announced a UK launch for its own dongle service for small businesses called PayPal Here, although it will not be available until the summer.
Entrants are driven by the kind of findings that Intuit claimed in a survey – only 19 per cent of firms with less than ten employees accept card payments, leaving a potential gap in the market.
Separately, PayPal in the US has announced an iPad app for its PayPal Here service. Currently, the service is available only to iPhone and Android device users. The company said the move was a response to user demand.