Founded in Sweden in 2010, Zettle provides payment processing services for small businesses in the UK and launched their first app and card payment service in 2011.
In 2018 PayPal acquired iZettle for $2.2bn, and in February 2021, iZettle changed its name to 'Zettle by PayPal', or just 'Zettle' for short.
In the decade since its incorporation, Zettle has produced a range of payment products, including point of sale (POS) systems and advanced card readers, solidifying its position as one of the top payment systems providers in the world.
Midway through 2013, the company partnered with the high street bank Santander to bring Zettle's services to mainland Europe and other regions.
The company also created a free POS app, called the iZettle app, that works alongside its card payment hardware.
Similar to other payment providers targeting small businesses, Zettle doesn't charge any monthly fees, nor do they require any contractual time commitment. Instead, the company charges a one-time payment for card readers and other hardware starting at £29 and charges a 1.75% transaction fee for every card payment.
The near-zero startup cost is a huge benefit for small businesses or lean startups looking to lower costs.
However, medium-sized or larger established businesses could save money by using a more traditional payment provider that charges a lower fee per transaction.
Zettle has a whole range of POS (Point of Sale) equipment specially designed for small businesses to take card payments, which we cover below.
Zettle card readers accept all major card brands, including Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, JCB, American Express, Discover and UnionPay. It's worth remembering the card readers do not include magnetic stripe readers due to concerns about fraud.
All Zettle card readers also accept contactless payments, including Google and Apple pay.
The company's bread and butter product, the Zettle Card Reader 2, is a simple, no-nonsense machine. The reader has a minimalist design, comes in either white or black and costs £19 (currently on offer), or £29 when fully priced.
The card reader requires a smartphone or tablet with the free Zettle app installed to take payments. Most shops and hospitality venues will find it easiest to use a tablet, as the app displays more product icons per page.
The unit takes about 2 seconds to power on, can accept chip and pin payments in under 10 seconds and contactless payments in less than 5. The battery lasts about 8 hours on a single charge, which is enough power for roughly a hundred transactions.
You can choose to buy either the card reader with a charging dock that displays your card machine to customers and costs £39.
Zettle recently brought out a sustainable card reader made entirely out of recycled plastic fishing nets, called the 'Ocean' card reader. The card reader functions identically to the Card Reader 2 model described above but is a jungle green colour rather than white or black.
Zettle has publicly committed to donating 20% of the sale price to charities and NGOs that work to remove plastic from the ocean.
The unit costs £98, making it more than three times the core card reader's price. However, the environmentally-conscious model comes with a charging dock and helps you demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Additionally, it's an excellent talking point with new customers.
Zettle also offers a range of accompanying hardware that could be useful depending on your business type.
Zettle also sells three different receipt printers designed for a range of uses:
The Zettle Go App is the free POS software that works with the range of Zettle hardware. The app has a range of features and is simple to use, so businesses owners with no technical knowledge can easily set it up.
Zettle makes it quick and painless to create products and product categories on the app. You can easily add, edit or delete products, product pictures, descriptions and prices from any device with the app installed.
There is also the option to add variants for each product for different sizes, shapes, colour, price, or any other variant you need. It's quick to create each product, so even medium-sized businesses with thousands of products could be fully set up on the app within a day or two.
The app also has an in-depth reporting function, allowing you to view all your transactions split by day, week, month or year. More detailed reports are available but not within the app; you have to email them to your account.
The reporting function also lets you track sales' trends to identify your best selling products and tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
A strong positive for Zettle is thatthe software offers third-party integration with a whole range of service providers, including website builders and accountancy software, such as:
You can find a complete list of compatible third-party applications here.
Overall, Zettle offers a valuable payment solution for small businesses and startups.
If you're looking for a flexible solution for taking card payments for your business or looking to cut costs, Zettle is undoubtedly worth considering.
As only one card reader and a free app is required to get started, and the app is super easy to set up, Zettle is an excellent option for even the most technologically averse business owner.