iZettle, the Square-like app and mini chip-card reader, has partnered with DZ BANK and Deutsche Telekom to launch its payments service in Germany. Jacob de Geer, iZettle CEO and co-founder says their ambition is to “become the undisputed market leader in Germany and given the partnerships with DZ BANK and Deutsche Telekom we believe we are very well positioned.” That may also be code for ‘well positioned’ for a buy-out by US-based Square which has yet to launch in Europe, but has already signalled its intention to do so and may also have the cash if its turnover is to be believed. iZettle goes up against the Samwer-backed swipe-card clone Payleven.de. In addition American Express has become an investor joining their to their Series B round.
To kick start its German operation, iZettle is making 25,000 chip-card readers for iPhone or iPad available free of charge during launch, according to Andreas Barthelmess, Managing Director iZettle Germany. Deutsche Telekom will distribute the iZettle chip-card reader in Telekom shops across the country.
Equens, a joint venture of DZ BANK with other major European banks, will process iZettle payments in Germany. Starting in November, the iZettle solution will be available at selected Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken.
iZettle now operates in five countries across Europe but unlike European clones or Square in the U.S. iZettle’s solution takes chip-based card payments which are more secure than magnetic card readers.
However, after that point the resemblance to Square is obvious. There will of course be consolidation in this market at some point, but the race is on to build market share.