iZettle iPhone credit card reader pays your bills with your phone

Cash: it's a pain, isn't it? iZettle is a new payment looking to end coin-related nightmares by bringing together your credit card and your phone for instant on the go payments.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Cash: it's a pain, isn't it? If it's not weighing down your pockets it's falling out and disappearing under the checkout as the queue behind you tuts disapprovingly. iZettle is a new payment system promising to end coin-related nightmares by bringing together your credit card and your phone for instant on the go payments.

iZettle is like a chip and pin reader -- those intensely annoying things you need to access online banking -- but much less annoying. It plugs into the slot at the bottom of your iPhone or iPad, automatically opens the iZettle app, and lets you pay people with your card in a matter of seconds.

The service is aimed at small businesses, offering a quick and easy way to accept card payments wherever and whenever. You can also use it to pay bills, transfer money and generally make any card payments you need to.

The app lets you tag each transaction with a photo, notes and your location to make it easier to keep track of your fiduciary comings and goings -- and of course, you can post the transaction to Facebook or Twitter to tell the world what you've just bought.

Transactions are encrypted, and no data is stored on the mobile device or reader. iZettle is approved by Europay, MasterCard and Visa, and compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). So that's all right then.

iZettle is inspired by Square, a phone-based payment service in the US. Square was co-founded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. It uses a card reader that plugs into the phone or tablet's 3.5mm headphone socket, so it can be used by Android phones as well as Apple devices.

Replacing your wallet with your phone has been talked about for years, with the latest smart phones often including near-field communication, or NFC. The Samsung Galaxy S 2 and Google Nexus S pack NFC chips, but no shops in this country have the technology yet to let you pay with an airy wave of your phone as you breeze through the checkout.

That will change soon, however, with the Orange Quick Tap contactless phone-payments service, which will pay for things with a Tocco Quick Tap, a resprayed version of the Samsung Tocco Lite. Olympic athletes will also be kitted out with a Samsung NFC Olympic phone in 2012.

iZettle launches in Sweden in June, and will launch across Europe later this year. You can sign up at izettle.com for more information.

Is your phone the future of paying for stuff? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall. And for phone-based fun you don't have to pay for, why not download the updated Crave app for iPhone?