Italian mobile point of sale company Jusp has launched a mobile chip-and-PIN card reader as a plug-in device, veering from the more common approach of using a separate Bluetooth device.  

Other European readers, such as Payleven, iZettle and PayPal Here, pair a phone wirelessly with a keypad that reads card payments and accepts PIN codes.

"The fact that there are two different devices doesn't match the customer or merchant experience that is already in the U.S. with Square," says Stefano Calderano, CEO of Jusp.

The Jusp device is larger than Square and other mobile card reader products in the U.S. because it must have a PIN pad and screen, but at seven-by-seven centimeters, the device is as small as it can be while still sporting those features, Calderano says.

Jusp paid a lot of attention to Square when building the company, since Square has captured a lot of the U.S. market and offers a great user experience, he says.

Like Square, Jusp is focused on micromerchants but can accommodate larger merchants as well.

"For micromerchants it's about mobility…mobile card readers bring more convenience and are less expensive," Calderano says. "The market has really moved a lot in this last year…so we're also targeting large corporations and average retailers."

Large corporations could provide the readers as an alternative to invoicing, and retailers could give employees the readers to handle sales in their aisles, Calderano says.

Jusp also differentiates itself with its pricing. The Jusp mobile card reader costs about $49, which is more expensive than U.S. products but cheaper than some of its European competitors, Calderano says. Jusp charges 2.5% to process payments for micromerchants and is working on a range of prices for large corporations.

Payleven and iZettle charge about $62 for their devices and 2.75% in transaction fees. PayPal offers its Here reader for free and charges 2.7% for swiped card transactions.

Jusp is looking for acquiring bank partners all over the world, and is currently in talks with distribution partners from Australia, Africa and Latin America, Calderano says. "We've seen interest from a lot of emerging countries," he says.

Recently, iZettle dropped its processing fees for larger merchants and moved its technology into Mexico and Brazil.

Jusp started in February 2012 and by April had secured $6 million in funding from two Italian venture capital firms. 

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