Rocket Internet’s Square copycat Payleven signs taxi deal in Berlin



Rocket Internet’s Payleven today announced a mobile payments partnership with taxi network Taxiverband Berlin Brandenburg (TVB) in Germany.

Like Square in the US, and European rivals SumUp and iZettle, Payleven offers a “plug and pay” app and card reader, allowing merchants to turn smartphones or tablets into a payments terminal. Payleven offers a chip-and-PIN solution (rather than chip-and-sign, used by iZettle) and charges 2.75 per cent per transaction.

The trial partnership with the TVB is expected to be the first cooperation of many for Payleven, as competition between players in Europe heats up. Payleven is now active in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK and Poland. SumUp is active in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria, and iZettle is active in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, while it’s still in testing in the UK and just-launched in Germany.

Square, backed by Starbucks and valued at about $3.25b after its latest fundraising round, is yet to leave North America.

Next stop, rest of Europe – and Brazil?

It’s likely more partnership announcements will be made shortly. “We are at the Euro Taximesse right now and want to establish new partnerships in Germany or even in our other European countries,” Payleven PR spokesperson Nils Seger said.

In the taxi mobile payment market, Payleven will also be competing with MyTaxi‘s new purpose-built solution. MyTaxi, which expanded into the US in October, claims one in five taxi drivers in Germany are already using its app.

Rocket Internet recently invested R$10million (€3.83m) in Brazil’s Easy Taxi, an app similar to MyTaxi, with plans to take the service international. There is no connection right now between Easy Taxi and Payleven’s Brazilian subsidiary. “So far, we are just doing the payment process,” Seger said. “In future we will see what will come up.”


Mobile payment platform iZettle launches in Germany, backed by Deutsche Telekom and VR-Banks
SumUp raises $20m plus to tackle mobile payments in Europe
Rocket Internet’s Square clone Payleven releases API, expands to Italy