The Square payment system has taken the US by storm, but here in Europe there isn’t really an equivalent just yet. iZettle is perhaps the closest anyone has come, and the company has been running trials in various countries for a while – including here in Norway. Like Square, iZettle uses mobile devices (iOS devices for now) combined with special card readers in order to provide cheap payment systems for both merchants and personal use. The reader itself is larger than the Square equivalent since it uses the embedded chip instead of the magnetic stripe (the latter isn’t even in use anymore here in Norway), but other than that, the concept is very similar. Now, however, the company has run into a rather major issue with Visa Europe.
In what seems to be an issue with how iZettle uses a signature as authentication instead of a PIN code, iZettle has had to remove Visa support in Norway, Finland, and Denmark. Visa was never an option at all in the UK, while Swedish users can still enjoy Visa support. With iZettle already being years behind the US-based Square, this is definitely a mess that the company needs to clean up quickly. It also shows the difficulties of dealing with Europe as a whole when it’s really a mix of different smaller countries.
As much as I’d like a system similar to Square here in Norway though, I think it’s a good thing that someone is keeping an eye on these companies. To me, the idea of a digital signature as a security method is outright idiotic. Then again, with all the information needed to use a Visa card online being printed physically on the card itself, perhaps Visa isn’t the right company to lecture anyone about security.[TechCrunch]