Milan-based mobile point-of-sale startup Jusp has secured $6 million in an initial round of funding for its chip-and-PIN mobile card reader, which it plans to launch in Italy.
Jusp is going up against the likes of Sweden's iZettle, the UK's mPowa, Germany's Payleven and U.S. companies Intuit and PayPal.
Several of these approaches use a separate card reader that communicates with a smartphone or tablet via a Bluetooth signal. Jusp's reader, by contrast, can be attached through the audio jack.
Payleven, iZettle and mPowa have launched chip-and-PIN readers in the European market in the past year. PayPal plans to launch a chip-and-PIN version of the PayPal Here card reader in the U.K. this summer.
Jusp is banking on merchants finding its pricing structure appealing. The company plans to sell the card reader for 39 euros (U.S. $50) and charge a 2.7% merchant fee for any transaction.
Prior to its introduction of a chip-and-PIN reader, iZettle was restricted from processing Visa transactions in parts of Europe because Visa Europe mandates the use of PIN.
Jusp won’t encounter that problem as it plans to target small mobile merchants, such as taxi drivers, artisans, and delivery services, but states it can adjust offers to the mobile sales forces of large corporations.
Prominent Italian Venture Capital firms Principia Sgr and Vertis Sgr provided the equity funding for Jusp's launch.
The company says it will offer the card reader through partnerships in the U.S., while selling directly in others such as Spain, France and Brazil.
Jusp CEO Stefano Calderano says his company is "ready to disrupt the acquiring business in Europe."
"Jusp is a proprietary device, developed in-house by our team to overcome the problems highlighted by other solutions available on the market," Calderano states in the press release.