Compare Card Machines.

Do you currently take card payments?

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Contract free and no obligation

Contract free and no obligation

Countertop, mobile & portable machines

Countertop, mobile & portable machines

Accept major card payment methods

Accept major card payment methods

Accept a Range of Card & Contactless Payments

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Card Machine:

Where do you need to use your card machine?

How and where you take card payments determines the type of card machine your business requires.

We help you compare countertop, mobile and portable card machines to find the right solution for your business.

What commitment can you agree to?

Some payment providers provide use of their card machines via a contract, including pay-as-you-go contracts and contracts ranging from 1-5 years.

We compare a range of providers to find the one that works best for you.

Which customer support service level agreement do you need?

Agreements with payment solution providers include a service level agreement (SLA) to keep your payment service running smoothly.

We help you compare SLAs, so you can decide whether you need support within business hours or 24/7.

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How to Choose a Credit Card Machine for Small Business

As card payments continue to surpass cash in popularity, practically every business can benefit from a card payment machine. Card machines enable your business to accept debit and credit card payments using Chip and PIN, contactless and mobile payments such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Which is the best credit card machine for your business depends on several factors, such as the following:

  • The size of your business

  • What type of business you operate (i.e. a restaurant, shop or courier business)

  • The volume of card payments you expect to process

  • Your access to an internet connection

  • The methods your customers are likely to pay with

There are a variety of credit card machines to choose from, but at BusinessComparison, we help you find the perfect solution for your business.

Types of Credit Card Machines

Countertop Card Machine

Countertop Card Machines

Take payments at a fixed location, such as a till.

Minimise icon

Small, compact design

WiFi Phone icon

Connect by broadband or phone

Receipt icon

Fast receipt printing

Portable Card Machine

Portable Card Machines

Take payments within your business premises.

Feather icon

Small & lightweight

Bluetooth icon

50m range via Bluetooth or WiFi

Battery icon

Long battery life

Mobile card machine

Mobile Card Machines

Take payments anywhere, including on the go.

Sim Card icon

Built-in GPRS SIM card

Cellular icon

Connect anywhere in the UK

Battery icon

Long battery life

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Which Card Machine Do You Need?

Countertop Card Machines

Countertop card machines are stationary devices that require a wired power source and telephone or internet connection.

They're best for retail stores or businesses with a fixed point of sale.

These card machines typically include a card reader, keypad and printer. Because of this, countertop card machines offer a wide range of payment options, including Chip and PIN debit and credit cards and contactless and mobile payments.

Portable Card Machines

Portable card machines are smaller and lighter than countertop card machines; as the name implies, they're portable.

They're best for businesses that need to accept payments in multiple locations, allowing you to accept payments anywhere.

They are typically battery-powered and can wirelessly connect to a telephone or internet line via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. As with countertop machines, portable card machines can accept debit and credit card payments and contactless and mobile payments.

Mobile Card Machines

Mobile card machines are the most portable of these three options. A rechargeable battery typically powers these small, handheld devices.

They're best for any business requiring on-the-go payments, such as at markets, trade shows or other areas where a fixed point of sale isn't available.

Mobile card machines offer connectivity via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, but some models offer mobile data connection options. As with the other card machines, mobile card machines can accept card payments alongside contactless and mobile payments.

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Why Compare Credit Card Machine Deals at BusinessComparison?

It's free!

It's free!

We don't charge you to use our service to find the best card machine deal that meets your business requirements.

Great customer service

Great customer service

Our knowledgeable UK-based customer service and technical support team are on hand to help.

Trusted partners

Trusted partners

We only work with suppliers and partners who we trust to give you the best service.

Card Machines for Businesses of all Sizes

Whether you're just starting out or have an established business, we compare card machines for businesses of all shapes and sizes. From sole traders out on the road to shops, restaurants, eCommerce businesses and everything else in between.

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We Compare Card Machines from the Top Providers

The Most Common Types of Credit Card Machines?

There's a wide range of credit card machines to choose from, with many designed to offer flexible, contract-free, low-cost solutions for small businesses. The following are some of the most common types of credit card machines:

PDQ Machines

Also known as PDQ terminals, PDQ machines connect to your card payment provider via an internet or landline connection. Generally, these are countertop machines with a single physical card transaction processing point.

Portable Card Machines

Portable card machines use WiFi or Bluetooth to establish a mobile connection. These machines are ideal for businesses within the hospitality industry, as they allow you to take payments at a customer's table.

Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale

Portable card machines use WiFi or Bluetooth to establish a mobile connection. These machines are ideal for businesses within the hospitality industry, as they allow you to take payments at a customer's table.

Electronic Point of Sale

Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) systems sync with card machines to make it quicker and easier for businesses to automate revenue reports and inventory/stock reporting. Perfect for businesses that want to monitor business performance in real-time.

Chip and PIN Machines

Chip and PIN machines require customers to insert their payment card and enter their 4-digit personal identification number (PIN) to process a transaction successfully. These machines are typically available in countertop, portable and mobile options.

Point of Sale

Point of Sale (POS) terminals come with built-in card machines with security features designed for use with Chip and PIN and various payment methods. As POS systems are integrated with card machines, they include the hardware and software needed to process transactions, monitor inventory and track sales.

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Card Machines FAQs

"Terminal" is the name given to any piece of equipment that lets you work on a specific task. For instance, a point-of-sale terminal would be a till, so a card terminal is the card machine in this context.

The same can apply to other machines that process card payments, such as PDQ terminals and chip and PIN terminals.

While card machines and card readers might appear to be the same device, there are subtle differences. A card machine is a device that allows you to process card payments independently of any other device (although some card machines do require a degree of integration). Conversely, card readers are smaller devices that only read a card or payment method, requiring an additional device, such as a smartphone, to process a payment. These devices tend to be used by sole traders and those operating mobile shops or restaurants, but any business can use them.

To take card payments, you will need a merchant account and a card payment terminal, a payment gateway, a mobile card payment solution, or an integrated payment service. If you are taking payments in person, you will need a physical card payment terminal. However, if your business is mainly online, a payment gateway or mobile card payment solution is possible. Some providers offer an integrated payment service, including a merchant account, credit card machine and payment processing solution.

In most situations, you will need an internet connection to use a credit card machine, as most transactions require a mobile network connection or landline WiFi. However, not all connections are reliable, and some traditional credit card machines offer offline functionality. These machines will hold transactions in a pending state until the machine connects to the merchant bank account via an internet connection.

Yes, you can switch providers. Whether you are looking for a better service, improved features or a lower price, switching is quick and straightforward. There are a variety of factors which you will need to consider, such as contract end dates and early exit fees. However, many credit card machines are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, so you may be free to switch without any charges. Alternatively, a more competitive deal may outweigh the cost of switching.

The main differences between a PDQ, ePOS, EFTPOS and Chip and PIN card machine will be how they process card payments. For example, a traditional PDQ machine will likely be situated next to a till point and connected via an ethernet cable. In contrast, a modern ePOS-linked machine may be portable and offer useful integration features.

Card machines utilise strict PCI DSS regulations that govern the payment card industry to ensure both businesses and their customers are protected from data theft and fraud. Your business will potentially handle sensitive financial data, so you should ensure that you implement the latest security features.

Card machines feature technology designed to combat card payment fraud, such as Chip and PIN payment codes and encrypted data transfer. In addition, if you use a virtual terminal to take payments when a customer is not physically present, you can use security checks such as an address verification system and the card verification value. These ensure that the cardholder is the legitimate owner of the card.

Yes, it is possible to process both credit and debit cards. Most credit card machines accept both card types, with some also accepting contactless mobile app payments. Some card machine providers charge different rates for processing either debit or credit cards, so it is always worth comparing these fees before choosing the ideal provider. In most situations, if the rate differs, credit card transactions are likely to cost more than debit card payments.

Yes, you can get a card machine for a small business. Many card machine providers specialise in offering flexible, low-cost solutions to small businesses, such as PayPal, Worldpay, Barclaycard, Elavon, Square, SumUp and iZettle.

The cheapest card machines include a low-cost credit card machine and low ongoing card payment processing fees. Generally, the cheapest credit card machine is the SumUp reader, although other providers will often offer discounts or free machines for certain plans. PayPal typically offers the cheapest payment processing fee. However, the charge will vary depending on the transaction type and your volume of transactions. The average fee charged by the various card machine providers is between 1.5% and 1.75%.

Every business is different, and the ideal card machine for one business may not be the best option for another. At BusinessComparison, our team can help you compare the best professional and modern options so you can find the most suitable credit card machine available. To compare options and find the best deal, click any of the compare buttons on this page.

Finding the best card machine depends on your business requirements. Although each card machine may offer similar features, there will be features unique to each machine that make that machine the best for your business.

Please read our '10 Best Card Machines for Small Business' guide to learn about the best card machines.

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