Letzte Woche ist iZettle auch in Deutschland gestartet. Die Volksbank Bühl ist eine der Pilotbanken von iZettle und wir haben uns sehr gefreut, dass sich Jacob de Geer – CEO von iZettle – zu einem kurzem Interview bereit erklärt hat. Für alle, die iZettle noch nicht kennen, hier ein kurzes Einführungsvideo…

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1) Jacob, can you explain the vision and strategy of iZettle to our readers? What are your goals for the German market?

iZettles vision is to make payments easy, we want to make it possible for everyone to take secure card payments.

Germany is one of our core markets, and we are committed to serving everyone from individuals to small businesses here long term. Our 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.

2) From a customers view: why should I use iZettle instead of the other products like Payleven or sumup? Which are the advantages?

– iZettle has a proven track record, our service is available in 6 markets, with +75,000 users

– The user experience is far more convenient and simple (i.e. our online based sign-up process)

– The level of security. The differences lie in fundamental technology and security standards. iZettle is the world’s first mini chip card reader, meaning that iZettle is designed for the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) chip card standard, which was introduced in Europe years ago to limit the risk of fraud and skimming. iZettle is EMV compliant.

– iZettle is a Swedish company founded by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson, two serial entrepreneurs, and funded by the worlds leading Venture capital firms and card networks.

3) What is the interest of your shareholders like AMEX and MasterCard? What was their motivation to invest in your venture?

Thats really a question for them to answer but obviously they see a great market opportunity for iZettle and the mobile payments industry.

4) Mobile payment is considered to be the future of all payment since smartphone users are strongly increasing. In France, e.g., banks cooperate with telecommunication providers and retailers to promote mobile payment by NFC technology. Do you consider this kind of technology to be a competitor for iZettle or can these different technologies co-exist by sharing the market ?

New payment technologies are evolving but it will take its time. And of course several payment methods will co-exist. For NFC to have its break through, a lot of things need to happen on consumer and merchant side.

US is best positioned to have a quick break through on the merchant side as theres new regulation being released saying the liability shift from the merchant with new chip/NFC terminals. In Europe the incentives for merchants are not yet very clear. On the consumer side the absolute majority of smartphones sold are still not NFC enabled and foremost theres no clear incentive for the consumer to why he should pay with his phone rather than with a credit card.

My best guess would be that we wont see mass adoption until 2017 and even then NFC/contactless payments will be one out of several payment types.

5) Looking ahead ten years: do you think that wallets will completely disappear and everything out of our wallets today will be transferred to smartphones? – Is the smartphone the future wallet?

New payment technologies are evolving but it will take its time. And of course several payment methods will co-exist. The credit card has been around for more than 50 years and is a very established and trusted way of paying – still cash is the largest payment type around. In Europe today 44% of payments are done with cash, 15% with debit cards, 12% with credit cards and the rest is other payment types like cheques and invoices.

The whole mobile wallet discussion is also one of the chicken and egg situation. Both parties involved in the transaction need to be signed up. To succeed in this you need to reach mass adoption on both consumer and merchant side. And that’s not easy to do.

The market is becoming very fragmented. Everyone is doing wallets, card networks, banks, telcos and several mobile payment players. I believe the card networks are best positioned to win this race. They already have this kind of relation with the consumer and the trust needed. In addition I believe the most open wallet solution will be the big winner. Just look at what made the iPhone such a huge success – an army of third party developers

6) Finally, how should established, traditional banks respond to the trend mobile payment? What have they done right so far? What do they have to improve?

Well, I dont know if Im the right person to anwer this question. iZettle is changing the way people and small business make and take payments and we see a huge demand for our service. Personally I belive that traditional banks need to respond to the changes in society and demands from customers. And I honestly cant think of a better example than DZ Bank partnering with iZettle.

 Thank you very much, Jacob.