What kinds of payment can I accept with the iZettle Readers?

At iZettle, we charge one flat transaction fee no matter which cards you choose to accept.

Read through this article so that you are aware of all the types of card, and card providers, you can accept with iZettle. The more cards you accept, the more sales you can make this is especially true if you work with a lot of tourists or business travellers who use cards from different parts of the world.

This information is for both the iZettle Reader and iZettle Reader 2. 

What types of card can I accept with my iZettle Reader?

Debit cards

The majority of global card payments are made with a debit card. Debit cards can be used to pay for goods and services or withdraw cash at an ATM. Customers using a debit card will take money directly from their bank account, this means the customer must have enough money in their bank account to cover any outgoings (unless they have agreed on an overdraft limit with their bank).

Credit cards

Credit cards are a convenient solution for people who want to pay for their purchases over an extended period. They are issued by a card provider (often ­ but not always a bank) and guarantee a line of credit that the cardholder must repay.

Credit cards are not linked to an individual’s current account, which means that credit card holders have immediate access to funds regardless of how much money they have in the bank. The money that an individual borrows from their credit card provider must be paid back within a certain period, and if they fail to make the repayment, they will be charged interest.

Charge cards

Charge cards are similar to credit cards, in that the card issuer will loan the cardholder money for their purchases throughout the month. However, whereas a credit card can be paid off in small chunks at a time, a charge card must be paid off in full at the end of every month.  

Which card providers can I accept with my iZettle Reader?

Customers use all kinds of different credit cards, for all sorts of different reasons. Many companies offer cash back, air miles and extra benefits to keep people committed to using their cards. And for cardholders who want to keep collecting these extras, it can be very frustrating when shops and restaurants won’t accept their card of choice.

If you never want to miss a sale, you need to know exactly which credit cards you can accept using your iZettle Reader. At iZettle, we work with the world’s leading card providers so that you can accept all major credit cards and offer excellent customer service, no matter where your customers come from. And best of all, when you sell with iZettle you are only charged one transaction fee, no matter which cards you accept.

Visa and Mastercard

These are the two leading card providers in the industry. While Visa is known primarily for its debit cards, Mastercard is more recognised for credit cards and prepayment products.

China UnionPay (UnionPay/CUP)

In terms of purchase transactions, China UnionPay (often referred to as just UnionPay) is the 3rd largest card provider worldwide. In partnership with more than 1500 institutions worldwide, UnionPay International has enabled card acceptance in 162 countries, is issued in 42 countries and serves about 150 million users. CUP is the preferred card of Chinese travellers.

American Express (Amex)

American Express has more than 110 million users worldwide, all of whom are rewarded for their spending through a membership programme, cash back system and Avios points. This makes American Express a popular choice for consumers. However, American Express charges a high fee to merchants, and this means some businesses refuse to accept Amex payments. But at iZettle, you are only charged one transaction fee, no matter which cards you accept, so you never have to turn down a sale made using an Amex card!

Japan Credit Bureau (JCB)

This credit card provider dominates the Japanese market. JCB has 106 million users, making it one of the top five largest card provider. JCB Cardmembers can access special offers online and have access to JCB Plazas, a face to face concierge-like service that helps them to book travel and discover local attractions, which makes them popular with tourists and business travellers.

JCB have a strategy of financial inclusion, so many cardmembers in emerging Asian markets may exclusively have a JCB-branded card and not have access to any other cards. This is why, if you wish to accept payments from Japanese tourists and business travellers, you should use a payment system like iZettle that works together with JCB.

Discover/Diner’s Club

Discover is an American card network, and Diners Club is like its international counterpart.
It has 70 million users across the world. Diners Club cardholders receive cashback on purchases (up to 5% depending on how much the card is used,) airport lounge access, car rental benefits and no fees are applied to foreign transactions. This makes it a popular choice for American tourists and business travellers.

In a 2016 Discover survey, they found that 61% of Discover cardholders were more likely to revisit merchants who accepted their card. And with US tourists spending £3 billion in the UK per year, it pays to use a credit card machine that accepts Discover/Diner’s Club.

What card payment methods can I accept with my iZettle Readers?

Chip and PIN

Chip and PIN is a payment verification method used widely across Europe, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India and New Zealand. It is considered to be a safer way for cardholders to identify themselves than chip and signature.  Chip and PIN cards have a small semiconductor chip in them and are used together with a four-digit personal identification number assigned to the cardholder.

Chip and signature

Chip and signature cards are popular in Asia, the United States, Mexico and South America. These cards also contain a semiconductor chip, but cardholders identify themselves by signature, not code. As a merchant, it is your responsibility to verify the customer’s signature.

Magnetic stripe

Cards that do not contain a chip may instead have a magnetic stripe, also known as magstripe. Cardholders with magstripe cards may identify themselves with a signature on the receipt you print, or on your smartphone or iPad screen. As a merchant, it is your responsibility to verify the customer’s signature.

Magnetic stripe & iZettle Reader 2

With the development of the iZettle Reader 2, we made the decision not to include magnetic stripe cards. By removing the magstripe and adding standout features such as transaction protection, payment data encryption and a tamper-proof design we’ve made it one of the most well-protected payment machines on the market.


Contactless payments are transactions made without touching the card reader. It uses NFC (Near Field Communication) technology thanks to an NFC chip in every contactless card. Embedded in each NFC chip is a transaction limit. This limit is usually £30 but might vary depending on the card’s country of issue.

Mobile payments

Mobile payments are the latest way to pay using the iZettle Reader. Mobile payments use the same technology as contactless cards, but the Near Field Communication technology is stored within your customer’s smartphone or smartwatch, and they use a virtual wallet to pay.

Mobile payment limits are much higher than contactless payments. This is because smartphones use cardholder fingerprints or facial recognition to confirm identity and therefore mobile payments are considered a more secure way to pay.

Most of the mobile payment providers such as Apple Pay and Google Pay use NFC
technology. However, Samsung Pay uses both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure
Transmission) which makes the system work even if the card reader doesn’t
integrate NFC technology.

If you wish to accept other types of payment without using your iZettle Reader, you can visit our pages on paying by invoice and paying with cash.

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