back to article iOS 9 update set to bork 'hundreds of thousands of EU businesses'

Mobile merchant terminal company iZettle has warned its users that the Bluetooth issues within Apple's operating system could seriously affect payment processes, and has strongly warned merchants using its kit not to upgrade to iOS9 until it says so. iZettle provides its users with card readers allowing them to take payments …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    apple don't force you to update now do they?

    Looking at it a little differently, Apple went through a good number of iterations before this version was released. Some were even public betas. I have to ask if the iZettle testers signed up to the betas you know ... just in case there were some changes that stopped their app from working?

    With IOS 9.1 already in beta I don't expect it to be very long before the iZettle users can enjoy IOS9 in all its glory (sic)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but?

      Sometimes you have chicken / egg racing conditions where your old app could work perfectly on the new OS, but can't because it needs to be recompiled, only you find that you can't recompile with the old compiler, because the new OS requires the new version. And the new version requires too many changes to handle in short notice.

      Not that easy.

      Nothing that time and resources doesn't solve, but, you may not have them now.

    2. MacroRodent

      Re: but?

      I have to ask if the iZettle testers signed up to the betas you know ... just in case there were some changes that stopped their app from working?

      If I were an iZettle + iOS user, I would obviously steer clear of iOS beta versions, because that little device is the doorway money comes into the enterprise and hiccups could mean big losses. iZettle is typically used by small-time vendors, because the up-front cost is much smaller than with "official" payment card readers, and these people usually do not have backup for it, except cash.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really? A store using Apple's expensive kit to manage payments or have I missed something here?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Yes - various stores do this - it's a relatively low cost entry into taking card payments.

      It's also good if you run a mobile business (a business that moves, not one selling mobile phones) since you don't need a fixed line for the card machine...

      1. Captain Queeg

        On the cheap or do I mean expensive?

        Whenever I see these devices I cringe. Given most merchant acquirers will give you a rechargeable GPRS terminal built exclusively for the purpose of taking card payments why would any business worth its salt rely on a cludge like a mobile to process payments.

        And then of course having made the decision to go with a cheap option, naturally you choose Apple hardware as the base system.


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It is the cheap option if you already have an iPhone

          It isn't like these sole traders using this are buying an iPhone just to take credit cards. They're using an app on the iPhone they already own. So yeah, it is a very cheap option - the only outlay is for the bluetooth attached reader and the app. Are you going to suggest using an Android phone is cheaper for them?

          I'm sure there are similar solutions available for Android, so people who already have an Android can use those for a similar price - the same $0 for the phone since you already own it.

          1. Wzrd1

            Re: It is the cheap option if you already have an iPhone

            "I'm sure there are similar solutions available for Android..."

            My wife is an artist, who accepts commissions and also sells pre-prepared works. She uses a reader that has software for both iphone and android (we use android).

            I'm considering adding paypal as well, to further diversify payment sources, as all charge 2.5 - 3% per transaction, which is a *lot* lower than the commercial credit card processing firms charge.

        2. Wzrd1

          Re: On the cheap or do I mean expensive?

          Those rechargeable units come from card processing companies that charge anything between 5% and 10% per transaction.

          If you don't have enough transactions to their liking, they come by at night and break your legs.

          OK, they don't do that, they start charging fees.

          I can't find this service's fee amount, but it's likely they'd charge a similar amount to the leading competitors if they ever come to the US.

        3. badger31

          Re: On the cheap or do I mean expensive?

          Most definitely cheap. The non-bluetooth device is free, most people will already have a smartphone it can use (not just iphone), and there is no contract, monthly fee or minimum payment. If you don't use it, it costs nothing. They just take at most 2.7% of whatever you put through it (the % goes down for large amounts. I forget the limits as they are irrelevant to me. My wife uses one at craft fairs and the like. It's perfect for that sort of thing. If I was WorldPay, I'd be shitting a brick.

    2. NogginTheNog
      Thumb Up

      Not just stores

      I had a tradesman come round to visit once who used a card reader connected to his phone. Much better than cash, cheques, or clunky bank transfers (though I believe they stung him for the fees?).

      1. Lee D

        Re: Not just stores

        What moron tags their credit card onto a device attached to any-passing-joe's mobile phone?

        That's just ASKING for trouble.

        I thought Wifi card readers were bad enough, especially when you can sit at the restaurant table and see the WEP encryption on that Wifi network...

        1. Ambivalous Crowboard

          Re: That's just ASKING for trouble.

          If you don't know what you're talking about, don't post. It isn't "asking for trouble" -- as a customer you can do chargebacks, indemnity claims, and so on. These devices are very safe and very popular. Get back under your rock, or read up before you open your mouth.

        2. The Vociferous Time Waster

          Re: Not just stores

          You do realise that inside the WEP wifi connection there is strong encryption for the actual data payload right? You do realise that the end points check certs to prevent man in the middle over an untrusted network right? You do realise that credit card information passes over untrusted networks like the internet all the time right?

          Not every setup is insecure like the wifi you use to view porn in your mum's basement.

          1. Wzrd1

            Re: Not just stores

            "You do realise that inside the WEP wifi connection there is strong encryption for the actual data payload right?"

            Erm, you did *not* mistake WEP as secure, did you?


            I'm hoping that you meant WPA2, lest one and all consider you a village idiot.

            SSL is more secure and it isn't the same layer of the OSI model. *That* should be the beginning of the session level security, the encryption of network traffic adding an additional layer to the security.

            Although, if the app isn't written with security in mind, the session could be captured from the device itself before going into the initial encryption. See Home Depot for an example of a device level attack.

            First, writing a secure app, then encrypting the IP level traffic with a hard encryption method, then have a secure encrypted wireless session (which for a mobile telephone is not WEP, WPA or FART).

            It's called defense in depth.

            Bollocks one layer? Still encrypted with secure, tough encryption.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              No, he meant WEP. When he said "inside" the WEP connection he meant the data is already encrypted before being passed to the wireless driver and being (poorly) encrypted by WEP. If you are passing encrypted data end to end, and checking certificates etc. it doesn't matter whether you encrypt the wireless connection carrying it via WEP, WPA2 or no encryption at all. Think about it, most data over the internet is using plain old IPv4 - which is completely unencrypted. The security relies on the payload being encrypted, not the transport.

              So even if the device was using unencrypted wireless (i.e. the same encryption as IPv4 over the internet) they'd be fine since they use SSL or similar for the payload.

      2. Wzrd1

        Re: Not just stores

        Most of the vendors like that in the US, counting PayPal charge around 2.5 - 3%. The big card payment vendors charge far more than that, 5% and up. That's where that minimum purchase bit comes in in the small mom and pop shops.

        A smarter, more tech savvy mom and pop shop would use someone like Paypal or Square Trade or similar service, which is a lot less expensive than those large credit card processing leeches.

        That's what my wife does for her artwork sales.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They're fantastic for sole traders. My partner runs a jewellery stall in a well-known market, and takes a good chunk of her revenue on the iZettle. And, anecdotally, those customers spend more - no longer limited by the £10/20/50 cash they have in their pocket, the sky, or at leas their credit card limit is now the, er, limit.

      1. Lee D

        That's the way to sell it to me.

        Not only are you using a cheap card reader stuck on a mobile with god-knows-what app reading it (legit app being sniffed, or just fake iZettle-like app), but no card limit on it either!

        More importantly, what's her payment-knockback rate each month?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Limits of BYoD

    We are advising folk not to upgrade as opening attachments from work e-mail (managed using MobileIron) is not 100%.

    However, these are personal devices and if someone wants the benefits of iOS9 we cannot stop them.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Limits of BYoD

      Upside, if a client upgrades and they're unable to link the device, Apple is working on a patch.

  4. Joerg

    iZettle should update their mess instead of blaming Apple...

    Why didn't they update and test their software and hardware with iOS 9 in the previous months?

    They clearly did a huge mess and now they blame Apple for their mistakes.

    What a shame!

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: iZettle should update their mess instead of blaming Apple...

      "The Register understand that Apple recognises the Bluetooth issue, and is currently working on a patch for the new OS."

      This seems to be Apple's problem. And the best iZettle could have done is notify Apple.

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: iZettle should update their mess instead of blaming Apple...

      As Bluetooth service on the Apple device turns off, that's an OS problem, not an application problem.

      As a MacBook Pro user, let's just say that I'm underwhelmed with some of Apple's quality assurance, when it comes to software releases. You'd think that they took notes from the Windows NT4 team.

  5. macjules

    No, its not them crying ..

    Given their truly abhorrent small-print clauses I hope that would be the sound of iZettle choking slowly to death upon a combination of their own greed and iOS fuelled vomit.

    Someone I know tried them out, only to discover that the moment you go beyond a certain 'threshold' (UK is around the £100,000 mark in sales) they require you to use 'Premium iZettle Merchant Agreement' and by God they hit you for it. Not only that but if they even THINK you might be heading for success (i.e. they project that you might earn over the threshold) they clobber you anyway.

    Oh, and it takes up to 48 hours for them to 'process' payments AND there is no differentiation between an AMEX card purchase and a debit card purchase (bit weird).

    <end rant>

    1. theModge

      Re: No, its not them crying ..

      I've found all payment processing types to thieving sons of gunns, it could just be they're trying to fit in with the existing players....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No, its not them crying .. PayPal for example, who I've found the hard way to be unscrupulous thieving bastards.

    2. jof62

      Re: No, its not them crying ..

      48 hrs is better than most providers

    3. jof62

      Re: No, its not them crying ..

      And they don't have that much small print, I am sure paypal would have a lot more.

      What's ios fuelled vomit ?

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: No, its not them crying ..

        "What's ios fuelled vomit ?"

        Vomit that is far more corrosive than hydrogen fluoride.

        Triggered by "inconveniences" created by Apple OS upgrades.

        If you're a Microsoft centric type, think of upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

        Crap. I just spit up a bit into my drinking glass and now it's fused into a corroded puddle.

  6. Alan Denman

    Fee time !

    Yes, this usually means Apple whitelists those who pay up.

    So, pay your fees in advance next time iZettle.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Fee time !

      Downvote due to Apple trying to get control of malware ridden apps as we speak.

  7. Jay 2

    Not the only app having Bluetooth problems

    Bluetooth problems eh? After upgrading to iOS 9, the app that calibrates my Wahoo KICKR (bike trainer thingy) bombs out whilst trying to talk to said trainer via Bluetooth.

    Obviously Apple have made some sort of change regarding Bluetooth and some peeps either haven't been reading the release notes (or whatever), or their suitable apps are still awaiting release. Either way, makes you wonder what they've been up to during the beta.

    1. ThomH

      Re: Not the only app having Bluetooth problems

      Same thing with my LifeTrak fitness watch; there's clearly been some sort of regression in the Bluetooth stack somewhere between the OS and a large body of apps — though whether it's because Apple fixed something or broke something I don't know; hopefully the latter because then we can expect a fix from the centre. However you can never rule out the former. Who here has never had a colleague who, rather than reading documentation, just tried to figure things out empirically? And who therefore ended up writing code entirely reliant on non-guaranteed behaviour, which later changed?

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: Not the only app having Bluetooth problems

      In other words, Apple pulled a Microsoft and changed the API for bluetooth, turning it into blueballs.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Major problem with card readers. Really?

    Exactly the same problem as PayPal have with their NFC card reader. Exactly the same cure as well. Lot of fuss about nothing much.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Major problem with card readers. Really?

      "Lot of fuss about nothing much."

      Yep, absolutely nothing much.

      Unless one is earning a living with the thing, then one's fsck'd.

  9. JimmyPage

    Hardly a surprise though

    For something which really should be the dogs bollocks, it seems to me that bluetooth is fragmented and badly implemented in most cases.

    1. Wibble

      Re: Hardly a surprise though

      My iPhone and car seem to hate each other. It takes three or four goes and frequently a reboot to get the iPone to connect to the car. Then it frequently screws up and goes into gaga mode.

      And it's a shite phone. Sometimes wish I had a good old-fashioned Nokia as a phone.

      1. ZSn

        Re: Hardly a surprise though

        Actually the NOKIA Bluetooth implementation was terrible. When you paired it to a NOKIA Bluetooth earpiece you couldn't disconnect or even use it but just throw it out of range to be able to answer a call.

        1. Captain Queeg

          Re: Hardly a surprise though

          And their early Bluetooth kits would only echo cancel Nokia handsets. I got burned on that one when swapping to a Sony Ericsson handset, rendering the car kit useless.

      2. Wzrd1

        Re: Hardly a surprise though

        "And it's a shite phone."

        'You're holding it wrong!'

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Hardly a surprise though

      For the first 10 years I hated bluetooth with a vengeance.

      I still don't like it much, but at least it works for things like keyboards.

      (Still have no simple way to quickly switch a BT device from one connection to another, for time-sharing HW. Perhaps there is a universal way?)

      1. goldcd

        BT itself works well

        but I'm unaware of any OS that properly handles connected devices.

        e.g. just been back from a trip and my clock radio in my hotel let me connect to it and stream audio. Quite nice to be able to listen to my music in my room through a decent speaker.

        Problem was that if I ambled into my room using earphones, my (Android) phone sees the speaker and then immediately switches from my earphones to the clock-radio.

        Only way I found of stopping this, was to de-pair the radio.

        Couldn't see any option of actually allowing me to control the audio output of my phone to over-ride the 'speakers'

        Not an issue with BT, but the piss-poor control my phone gives me. I know it's a bit easier on my PC, it detects BT speakers as a potential output source I can keep connected, and I have a little switcher app that sits in the tray that lets me flick between my 2 soundcards (and various outputs on each) and my mobo bluetooth and whatever that's connected to... but even that's not 'good'

        Maybe iOS is better as I'm not massively familar with it, but all a bit of a mess.

  10. chivo243 Silver badge

    Glad to see..

    Apple is testing the Microsoft waters and pissing people off, and going to get away with it. Welcome to the future of F-Y.... we have your money, and some telco has your contract. Thanks for using our product. We look forward to molesting you soon! If this has not been a satisfactory experience then everything is ok!

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Glad to see..

      I buy insurance on the telephone. If it's shit, it goes into a swamp.

      I then pay for the upgraded one that is good.

      Rinse and repeat.

  11. Howard Hanek


    ....problem with bluetooth....IOS9....Apple....blah blah blah

    Does Apple want to be the goto payment system? Or just another run of the mill excuse system?

  12. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Their accountant has told them, hey, your phone is now a business expense if you flush your profit down the drain with a 3rd party payment provider so go for it. Here's my bill and no, I prefer cash or a cheque and please pay me beofre you go bankrupt.

  13. Ambivalous Crowboard
    Paris Hilton

    ITT: people who don't know what they're talking about

    I didn't read much of the comments but I read enough to see that it's largely

    1. iZettle's fault for not testing their stuff in time

    2. morons tagging their card onto "a device attached to any-passing-joe's mobile phone"

    3. 48 hours is a TERRIBLE amount of time to wait to receive your cash

    Firstly, who's to say this little payment company iZettle didn't reach out to Apple at beta stage and try and get this all cleared up before iOS 9 was pushed out anyway?

    2 - those who say you are a 'moron' for being a customer of a merchant using iZettle have clearly never looked at card machines. I was quoted £300 a year plus three year contracts and equipment purchase fees just to start taking cards for my run-from-home business. Or, I can just pay ZERO to iZettle upfront (card reader is optional and sometimes free), ZERO contract and just a relatively small percentage per transaction. Add to that the app's comms are encrypted, the PIN pad is a challenge-based device, plus full receipt and auditing of card & cash balances... you're a moron NOT to use it if you're a micro business.

    And C - merchants typically ask customers to wait 7+ days before then doing a BACS (3 day) transfer to the account. This is also how iZettle started. And it's how VISA makes them do it. They've been able to shorten the time, but the bottleneck here rests firmly with VISA (et al) and not the card processors.

    I'd like to acknowledge here the small minority of people in this thread who were using reasoned arguments and pointing out the facts in response to the seasoned idiots though; good work, keep going... but isn't it like swimming upstream sometimes?

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: ITT: people who don't know what they're talking about

      "...but isn't it like swimming upstream sometimes?"


      But then, I'm a professional dick. I helped raise two children and hundreds of Privates into proper soldiers.

      So, I'm a persistent dick that trends toward near 100% accuracy on facts, which also makes me a pedantic dick.

  14. tempemeaty

    Sad Apple

    It's sad Apple doesn't have the ablity to maintain backward compatibility between their OS updates.

  15. PassiveSmoking

    You're only just noticing this now? I'm fairly sure Apple made a whole string of IOS9 betas available for third parties to test it. Didn't anybody at your company test the bluetooth pairing and file a bug report before they went golden?

    1. Emmeran

      So Apple is feeling the pain

      After all the trash they talked about M$FT the Cuppy boys are blowing the upgrade game just as bad - if not worse by way of Walled Garden and current decade comparison.

      Always wait for the X.1 version/SP 3 before upgrading anything, after all it's not like Apple cares if your device/business app works after you've purchased the kit. Shades of M$FT circa 200X

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iOS 9.0.1 fixes it!

    I don't work for iZettle but I do use a similar product from PayPal.

    I would happily beta test iOS releases if only Apply allowed any kind of regression. Once my iPhone got its bluetooth bricked by iOS9 I spoke with Apple and there is no approved way to return it to the previous 8.x OS. If they had that facility then there wouldn't be anything to complain about other than hang on until the update fixes it.

    The technician also stated after 20 minutes that it was not an OS problem but that my card reader needed an update! He refused to accept that both devices I use with the card reader worked before the iOS 9 upgrade.

    That said, last night iOS 9.0.1 came out (check software updates) and bluetooth now works fine again. Thereby proving this WAS an iOS issue!

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