iZettle, the Swedish firm that enables small businesses with smartphones and tablets to accept mobile payments, has said it will stop processing Visa card payments in three of its main markets in Denmark, Finland and Norway from August 1. Company CEO Jacob de Geer blamed “a policy decision” by Visa Europe, without providing further details, according to a blog on the company’s website.
The decision is a blow for iZettle, which is available commercially in the four Scandinavian countries. No mention is made of Sweden, with the implication that iZettle users will still be able to accept Visa payments there. The company is currently trialling its service in the UK.
Contacted by Mobile Money Live, Visa Europe said iZettle does not meet "our standard acceptance device requirements" without specifying in what way the company falls short.
Visa is an investor in Square which provides a similar service to iZettle, but only in the US, although there has been recent speculation that Square is set to launch internationally. Meanwhile Visa rival MasterCard recently took a stake in iZettle. However iZettle's disagreement is with Visa Europe as opposed to Visa Inc of the US which is the investor in Square. Visa Europe and Visa are separate entities. One media report quoted de Geer as saying he did not think Visa's investment in a potential rival was the cause of the dispute.
The Swedish firm says it will continue to accept MasterCard in addition to Amex in Finland, as well as MasterCard and Diners Club in Denmark and Norway. This means those small business users who use iZettle’s dongle to accept payments now have to ask their customers for these cards rather than Visa.