Since mobile credit card machines/readers have been introduced, small businesses have been thriving now they can accept card payments. Mobile card readers/machines make it easier than ever before for small UK businesses. Mobile card machines are great for start-up businesses however, higher processing fees are present compared to PDQ machines.

Zettle Card Reader

The Zettle card reader accepts chip, PIN and contactless payment options including Apple and Google Pay. The mobile card reader also works in conjunction with the Zettle app, the reader and app are paired via a low energy Bluetooth connection. Contactless payments are approved within 30 seconds if the transaction is below £30, making it perfect for the small business owner. The Zettle mobile card reader is charged through a USB cable, which takes 60-120 minutes to completely charge ready for the business day. On top of that, uses a battery that lasts for up to 8 hours or over 100 transactions. 

To purchase a Zettle mobile card reader you are looking at an upfront cost of £59 plus VAT. Zettle accepts PayPal with a flat fee of 1.75% per transaction. Compared to other card machines for small businesses, Zettle ranks towards the top due to its simple setup, low maintenance and no initial set-up fees.

Square Card Reader

The Square card reader comes from an American company with the current record-holding for the largest provider of card readers and machines in the world. Although new to the UK, Square has quickly risen to the top 3 ranking 2nd in popularity among small business owners. Square accepts chip, PIN and contactless payments similarly to Zettle. The transaction payments arrive in the business owners account the next day due to the fast-processing fees. However, Square has a very low purchase fee of only £19 plus VAT making it affordable to the entire market of small/start-up business owners. Square has a transaction fee of 1.75% although for online or invoice payments the fee jumps up to 2.5% as higher risks are involved. However, unlike Zettle there is no minimum transaction fee, making it a contender towards the best card machine for small businesses.

SumUp Card Reader

SumUp’s major selling point is that it offers a simple, flat transaction fee. This is ideal for businesses that process low volumes of card payments, however for larger businesses it may not be the best choice. SumUp accepts all debit and credit card providers, contactless and chip and PIN. There are no fixed monthly costs and you can apply online without filling out paperwork or contracts. The SumUp card reader also connects via Bluetooth to iOS or Android devices. 

The SumUp air mobile card reader currently costs £29 plus VAT. However, SumUp has the lowest transaction fee of 1.69%, unlike Zettle and Square’s which is 1.75%. even though SumUp charges 0.06% less the saved pennies add up. This makes them one of the cheapest options within the mobile card reader industry for smaller businesses. There are no setup fees or hidden costs once set up, it even comes with free delivery.

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