Thanks to recent investment by Spain’s Banco Santander, mobile payments company iZettle has branched out into Mexico with a brand new mini ‘Chip and Magstripe’ card reader.

The new card reader plugs into Apple or Android mobile devices (phones and tablets) and allows small businesses to accept both chip card and magnetic stripe card payments.

“Starting today [18 June], anyone selling anything in Mexico can take card payments – chip or magstripe – quickly and safely using their smartphone or tablet,” said Jacob de Geer (pictured), co-founder and CEO of iZettle. “This is the start of big change for Mexico, where accepting card payments has never before been an affordable option for new or small businesses.”

Mexico has proven a tough market in which to whip up excitement about making or receiving payments on mobile devices. And while big names, including Telefonica and MasterCard, have attempted to crack mobile payments services in Latin America, the emphasis has generally been on enabling payments by consumers, rather than their acceptance by merchants.

This clearly hasn’t put off iZettle, whose entry into Mexico marks the first time the firm has made its service available outside Europe (where it currently has a presence in seven countries).

In fact, Sweden-based iZettle – sometimes referred to as the “Square of Europe” – sees its move into Mexico as a possible launch pad for expansion throughout the Americas.

iZettle says its payment service takes just minutes to set up, and works with all major payment cards. There’s no subscription, set up or monthly fee. Instead, iZettle merchants pay 3.75 per cent of each transaction when using a chip card, and 4.75 per cent of each transaction with magstripe cards. iZettle then electronically deposits payments in the seller’s bank account.