More customers are choosing to pay by card than ever before and we are gradually becoming a cashless society. The rise in the number of people using cards, especially for contactless payments has led to a larger choice of card machines. In the past, businesses had to use large chip and PIN machines, however there are a wide range of app-based machines, which offer a more affordable and flexible option for many small businesses.
If you are a small business looking for a contactless payment machine, there are plenty of portable machines available. These machines connect via Bluetooth to your mobile devices, with an app used to process the payment. The customer simply taps their card or uses traditional chip and PIN, with your mobile app then processing the payment is the same way as traditional card readers.
To help you find the ideal machine for your business, we have compiled this list of the top 10 card machines for small businesses.
1. iZettle Reader
The iZettle card reader is the market leader here in the UK. It is designed to be versatile, so will accept the widest range of possible card payments of all card readers. The machine itself is stylish, with customers able to choose the colour option from either white or black. The payments are processed via the iZettle app, which is very user-friendly and offers a range of innovative features, such as the ability to link to an eCommerce website. The cost for processing payments remains the same, whether customers pay by chip and Pin or contactless, at a fixed rate of 1.75%. Like most of these card machines it links to the app by connecting via Bluetooth to your mobile device. Your customers will be able to make payments using credit and debit cards
Square claims to be a digital payment processing provider which meets the needs of businesses of every size. The Square card reader is small enough to fit into your pocket and will accept contactless, chip and PIN, Apply Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. The machine accepts payments via the Square app, which is available for Android and iOS devices. The feature rich app provides detailed sales reports, with data taken from real-time sales. The transaction fees range from 1.75-2.5%, with cash available in your bank account within 3-5 days. A Square reader is an ideal solution for taking payments via debit and credit card.
3. SumUp Air
If you are looking for an economical card machine, the SumUp Air is a great option. There is no setup or delivery fee, simply purchase the machine and you will then be charged a fixed rate of 1.69% per transaction. SumUp’s pay as you go solution means if you don’t take any payments, you won’t pay anything. The machine features all basic functions needed to take card payments via the free SumUp app. The machine itself is simple and modern, with a design that is user-friendly for both PIN and contactless card payments. It will take 1-3 days for payments to clear in your own bank account, which is relatively quick compared to some providers. If you’re looking for a card processing machine with no monthly fee, SumUp maybe just what your business needs.
4. PayPal Here
If you prefer to use the services of a long-standing brand, the PayPal Here card machine could be the best option to allow your business accept card payments. PayPal is well-known for its online payment services and they have made a lot of progress when it comes to mobile card payment solutions. The Paypal Here point of sale and mobile card reader will accept payments from all major cards, in addition to Android Pay and Apple Pay. There is no long contract and payments are processed to your PayPal account almost immediately. Although, if you want to move funds straight to your bank account it will take 3-5 business days. The transactions fees may be slightly higher than other card machines, as the cost will depend on the total value per month.
5. Worldpay Reader
The Worldpay reader is the brands first machine released for the mobile payment market. It is one of the more expensive machines to buy, however there is a rental plan available with an 18-month contract. If you are looking for a card machine with low transaction fees, this is one of the best. The exact fee you are charged will depend on factors such as your turnover per month, so if you are a very small business this card machine may be ideal. This machine will allow you to take payments via Visa, Maestro, Mastercard, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, with bank transfers taking up to 3 days. The card reader itself is relatively basic and uses the same design as the PayPal card machine, however the app will allow your business to accept payments over the phone, send remote payment links and even send email invoices.
6. Shopify POS
The Shopify card machine offers an attractive fee of 1.7% per transaction, which positions this mobile card reader as one of the best, if your business hosts a website with Shopify. There is an ongoing monthly cost of £7, however the host of features which can be linked to your online Shopify store means that these are great machines for small businesses.
7. Barclaycard Anywhere
This mobile card machine from Barclays uses the same machine as Worldpay and PayPal. This is one of the best machines available thanks to its low fee for card payments, which is set at 1.6%. However, the app is relatively basic and doesn’t offer many of the useful reporting features found from other providers. if you are looking for the best card transaction fees and do not need a card reader with a range of additional features, these card readers could be a great option.
8. SmartTrade App
Although this isn’t a physical card machine, it definitely deserves a spot in our list of the best card payment tools for small businesses. The SmartTrade app doesn’t rely on a physical card machine, instead a mobile app will turn your smartphone or tablet into a portable machine to accept payments. It is one of the best card solutions for small businesses, as it is possible to accept secure payments via the phone, email links and also face-to-face transactions. For small businesses with a turnover of less than £30,000 per month, card payments will take 5 business days to clear. There is no initial outlay, however there is a monthly subscription fee and transaction fees range from 1.75% to 2.15% depending on your subscription tier.
9. Ingenico iWL251
Although these are traditional countertop card PDQ’s, they are fully mobile machines which may suit the needs of many small businesses. The PDQ is small enough to fit into a pocket and will accept payments from all major cards via PIN and contactless payments. It is one of the best card machines for small businesses that need to process payments quickly and will help cut down on waiting times.
This is one of the newest card readers available in the UK, with a range of useful features for small business users. There are a variety of MyPOS machines to choose from, with the most basic being the MyPOS Go and the most expensive being the MyPOS N5. The fees for card payments are in line with other machines for small businesses, with a flat rate of 1.75% per transaction. There are a range of additional add-ons which indicate this could quickly become one of the best card readers available, including multi-currency support, instant access to card payments, GiftCards and the ability to earn money be recharging phones through the device.
The increasing availability of card machines for small businesses have helped many businesses to adapt and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. We hope this list of the top machines for card payments has helped you compare the options available to you. We understand the importance of being able to compare deals, products and services, so always aim to help businesses find the best option available. To find out more about how we can help your business compare everything from loans to bank accounts, please contact our team today.