Craft Fair Credit: Etsy Intros a Credit Card Reader for Offline Sales

Etsy is extending its online marketplace into the physical marketplace with a new free card reader that lets Etsy merchants accept credit and debit payments from their smartphones.

According to Etsy, 35 percent of its U.S. sellers set up shop at craft fairs and other markets, where they resort to accepting cash-only payments or using another mobile payments system such as Square or PayPal’s Here. For those on a competing payment processor, Etsy offers a compelling reason to switch over to its card reader. It integrates directly with the Sell on Etsy Android and iOS apps, so funds post directly into the seller’s Etsy account and sales are tracked in Etsy’s inventory management and accounting systems. Every sale also generates a detailed email receipt that links back to the seller’s Etsy shop, so customers can leave feedback.

Every transaction costs 2.75 percent of the purchase price with no other transaction fees, matching Square’s pricing exactly. But I wouldn’t expect Etsy to move outside of its craft-centric universe to compete directly with Square in general small business payments. Etsy hasn’t developed its own hardware. Instead it’s using a white label version of the Roam mobile reader offered by the point-of-sale terminal maker Ingenico Group.