Thursday, 28 February 2013

Plastic Fantastic

This weekend at Unravel I was trying out a new device.
It's a way of taking card payments, using my iPad. Conventional card terminals that you get in shops don't work out to be very cost effective for small businesses like me. I do less than 6 shows a year, and go months during the winter where I do no shows at all, if you have a conventional card terminal you're stuck with paying rental agreements, and contacts involving set fees.

This however, changes all that, there's no hire fee, no monthly cost, and it means I can accept cards for pretty much the same fee as it costs me to take a payment using paypal.

It's a chip and pin reader that connects to my iPad using bluetooth, and then processes payments just like a regular card terminal. 

I use the iPad to key in the amount, the card slots in the bottom of the reader, you enter your pin to authorise the payment, the iPad talks to your bank over a 3G signal, just like a regular mobile card terminal, and it's as simple as that. 

I used the chip and signature version at Unravel, and it worked flawlessly. I picked iZettle because they were one of the first options available in the UK, but there's more companies offering this sort of device all the time. I know quite a few fellow indie dyers and fibre artists have one, or are getting one, so I think it's going to be a pretty common sight at UK festivals this year. It's just as secure as using a regular mobile card terminal like this one, but an awful lot cheaper for a small business like me. 

I'd always rather take payments in cash as there's no fee for me to pay cash in at my bank, but if you are coming to a show, and would rather pay for something by card, you do now have that option. 

Oh, and just so this isn't an all shop talk post, here's a chicken picture!

They spotted me head outside to take pictures of my new toy, and headed over to check if I had any food. As soon as they realised I hadn't they resumed digging up the vegetable beds. For little birds they manage to send soil flying everywhere as you can see in the blur of dirt and feathers!

A shop update with lots of batts is on it's way tomorrow, and I'll be putting up pre-orders for my Odin's Ravens colourways as well. 


  1. Is iZettle just UK or is it worldwide? What if your customer wants a receipt, would you email or just write one up manually? I love the fact there's no monthly fees or rental.
    Also owning my love for the chickens! I keep trying to persuade my brother we need chickens (& bees) but he hasn't succumbed yet. I may have mentioned a sheep too.....

    1. I think it's launching across Europe over the next few months, the US have had Square for a few years now which I believe works in a similar way.
      You can either email a customer a receipt, print one out if you have a wireless printer you can connect to your iPad, or write a receipt.

      I love my chickens, they're such fun, we're hopefully getting a few more this spring, just so we have rolling replacements as these ones start to slow down in their laying. We've also got a couple of hives of bees, no sheep though, but plenty in the fields around the house.