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Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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iZettle Card Reader Lite lets small businesses accept card payments free of charge

Swedish firm iZettle has launched Card Reader Lite, which will make it even easier for small businesses to process credit and debit card payments.

Available to businesses in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, the Card Reader Lite removes all start-up costs for businesses that want to accept card payments.

The Lite connects to Android and iOS tablets and smartphones via a cable, and accepts all major cards.

Instead, merchants will pay transaction fees at 2.75 percent, which reduce to 1.5 percent at a high sales volume. There are no fees for set up and no additional hidden fees.

izettle card reader liteRaising the stakes

“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,” said Jacob de Geer, iZettle’s co-­founder and CEO.

Alongside the Lite, iZettle will continue to offer its paid-for Card Reader Pro, which costs £59 and comes with a built ­in display and the ability to wirelessly connect to tablets and smartphones.

The company, which says it more than doubled its transaction volumes in 2014, and processes around €2 billion a year, estimates that 20 million European small businesses are unable to take card payments, hugely limiting their potential customer base.

“This is one of the boldest moves we have ever made,” de Geer added. “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 ground-breaking offer that will cement our position as Europe’s leading mobile payments company.”

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