Taking card payments is a necessity for most businesses today, as your customers carry less cash, and expect to be able to pay by card for everything, particularly contactless payments.
Businesses used to have only one option when considering taking card payments: top sign up for a costly merchant account with the local bank, and invest in a till system.
But some companies are disrupting the status quo, and offering an “all under one roof” solution. The promise is to make it very easy to take cards through allowing businesses to start accepting card payments immediately, with very little hassle, and very little cost.
Companies like iZettle and Square both offer a card reader connected by Bluetooth to a device (typically a smartphone or tablet). The device runs the free point of sale (POS) application to manage sales, just like your standard till system.
In addition, you’ll have access to a website which provides Sales and other useful reports, so that you can find out important information like your best-sellers, peak times, and best performing staff.
But which one to choose – iZettle or Square?
There a few different factors to consider, which will help you to make your decision:
1. How much do they cost?
First of all, it’s worth noting that these new breed of card payment providers only charge per transaction, and only for card transactions, not cash.
With a more traditional set up, you would be charged monthly fees for a merchant account, monthly rental for a card machine, and then you’d also have a monthly fee for your till system. And then you’d have per transaction charges too. Quite costly, and very limiting for a small or new business!
Both iZettle and Square have a very clear and transparent pricing structure.
The POS app is free
The per transaction charge for both is 1.75%.
There’s a one-off price for the card reader: iZettle £29 | Square £19
However, only iZettle’s card reader has a PIN pad, the equivalent from Square would be £199.
2. What about the card reader?
The Square reader is very compact and simply takes contactless transactions. To take a chip-and-pin payment, the customer has to enter their PIN on the merchant’s smartphone or tablet.
This could cause your customer to question the security of the system, although “pin-on-glass” does meet all industry security standards.
iZettle recently released the iZettle Reader 3 available in black or white. The look is elegant and neat, and the reader accepts all card types, including Union Pay and JCB, not currently supported by Square.
The connection with the POS app is without a doubt the fastest on the market, making it an obvious choice for high volume environments such as takeaways, coffee-shops or pubs.
3. Point of Sale (POS) App
iZettle has made it very easy to use the free iZettle Go POS app. Creating a product library and customising it whith photos, descriptions and prices can all be done in minutes from your computer or directly into the app.
iZettle also added an inventory function recently, which allows you to sync sales with stock levels.
Refunds, invoices, and remote payments are available too, with all your sales data condenseed into a Sales Report at the end of each trading day.
In addition iZettle has launched a hospitality-focused app: iZettle Pro, with great functionalities for restaurants, including bill splitting, table management, and advanced inventory management.
The Square app is very similar with the option to tailor it to a specific industry. For example, food and drink business can manage bookings. The app also includes a multi-site function, which makes it easy to edit yoru menu, staff, and prices to multiple locations at the same time.
Winner: level-playing field
4. How do iZettle and Square integrate with your accounting software?
The magic of cloud-based solutions like Square and iZettle is how easy it is to connect your POS to third party apps to manage your staff, accounting and inventory.
Both companies offer a comprehensive app marketplace, but we will focus on accounting integrations here.
Square and iZettle both integrate with Xero, and iZettle has recently launched an integration with Quickbooks Online.
The integration works similarly for both by creating a daily sales invoice in Xero, and creating bank rules to automatically reconcile the money deposited in the bank account, and account for their fees separately.
It is fair to say though that iZettle has set the bar to a new level with the new Xero and Quickbooks integrations, and is our favourite amongst POS integrations.
The integration allows you to create separate accounts in Xero for each payment method, and its fees, which makes it truly easy to reconcile your iZettle sales with the money deposited in the bank account. This means it’s super easy to reconcile between the different payment methods you receive (eg cash, card, and the associated fees).
Square and iZettle are great solutions that will help you grow your business without any doubt.
Our preference goes to iZettle as it understand the UK market better, with a card reader designed to accept contactless, chip-and-pin and swipe transactions easily.
In addition, given the top quality integrations with Xero and Quickbooks Online, iZettle is the obvious choice for us to recommend to our clients, as it makes your lives easier, and our work as your accountant much more awesome!
We have a super offer on with iZettle too, with discounts on the card reader, transaction fees, their StoreKit bundles. All you have to do is sign up here and use our promo code which is KP. (terms and conditions apply)
We can also help you with your iZettle set up, and integration with Xero, so give us a shout if you’d like our support!
Thanks for reading!
Kinder Pocock are an approachable cloud-savvy firm of accountants based in Herefordshire but supporting businesses on the move.
We specialise in Security/Technology, Design and Indie Hospitality businesses.
Contact Us to see how we can help