The Best Credit Card Readers in the UK
Accepting credit cards is mandatory to merchants nowadays. Customers are using cash less often, either for convenience or safety.
For this reason, not being able to take cards can make you lose sales, as most customers will not be willing to go to an ATM. Or they might change their mind about the purchase while doing so.
But you might feel intimidated by the card machines offered by banks or think they are too costly. Therefore, you should compare the card readers available and decide which one is best for your business. See our picks below.
iZettle Card Reader Review
iZettle Reader 2 is more than just a card reader, thanks to its mobile app full of extra features, such as marketing, invoicing, and sales analytics tools. It costs £59 plus VAT and works with Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets. The battery life is around 8 hours or 250 transactions.
The only fee you pay is a fixed 1.75% transaction fee for all card transactions or volume of sales. The exception is if you decide to upgrade to a POS app – which will cost you £29/month plus VAT – or want to send invoices, for what you will be charged 2.5% per paid one. Funds are credited to your bank account 1-2 businesses days after each transaction.
This solution accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club, and Union Pay. iZettle card reader is ready for contactless, chip and PIN, and, in some cases, signature payments. You will also be able to accept Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay transactions.
You can learn more about the iZettle card reader here.
Square Card Reader Review
With more payment features than its competitors, Square card reader is another strong alternative to receive debit and credit cards. Beside contactless and chip and PIN transactions, you can add to your package an ecommerce software to create a virtual terminal and to provide digital invoices, among other Square Payments options.
Square mobile card reader costs £39 plus VAT, and it works with both Android and iOS devices. About the battery life, the company’s website says that it should last a full day of sales depending on usage. It accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
The transaction fee is 1.75% or 2.5% – the latter is for keyed-in payments, as in when the customer isn’t present. You will get paid in the next business day, or you can add an extra 1% to your bill per transaction to receive the money within 2 hours. But this option isn’t available to new merchants.
PayPal Here Card Reader Review
PayPal Here card reader is a chip and PIN payment solution that also comes with a mobile app – but a more basic option compared to iZettle and Square tools. It costs £45 plus VAT, a price compatible with its competitors, and it works with iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.
But the transaction fee isn’t flat like the others. For chip and PIN transactions, you will pay from 1% to 2.75% per transaction depending on the card used and your sales volume; or 3,40% plus 20p for keyed-in and swipe transactions. Foreigner cards face variable fees.
The money will be on your PayPal account instantly, from where you can request a transfer to your bank account. PayPal card reader accepts the same cards as iZettle: Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. It also takes contactless payments, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. The company’s website doesn’t inform the battery life.
World Pay Card Reader Review
The cards accepted by World Pay Card Reader are Visa, Mastercard, and China Union Pay, and you can add American Express upon request. They can be chip and PIN or magnetic swipe. On the contactless side, you can receive payments from Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
The reader costs £69 plus VAT, and it’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. The battery life is up to 8 hours depending on the usage.
Regarding fees, things get a bit more complex. You will choose between two plans: Pay as you Go (no contract) or Simplicity (18-month contract with a £4.99 plus monthly fee). In both cases, the single transaction fee will vary according to your average monthly card sales. And your money will be in your bank account within three working days.
You still might need to pay a £9.99/month fee for PCI non-compliance. Choosing Pay as you Go, you will also be charged extra for processing premium cards and for transaction authorisation.
SumUp Air and 3G Card Reader Review
SumUp has two card readers models: Air and 3G. Air is a great option for those looking for something affordable. For only £29 plus VAT, you can accept cards by connecting the reader to your Android or iOS device via Bluetooth. And the battery of this model lasts 500 transactions on average.
On the other hand, the 3G model has a built-in SIM card that connects it automatically to the 3G network. Therefore, you won’t need a mobile phone or tablet to use it. The battery lasts above 50 transactions, and it can be yours for £99 plus VAT.
There are no fixed costs besides the 1.69% fee per transaction, and the money will be on your bank account within 3 days. The cards accepted are Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, VPAY, Diners Club, Union Pay, and Discover. It also accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay.
As you can see, the best card readers in the market accept the major debit and credit cards and are ready for contactless payments. They all work with Android and iOS devices as well.
Your decision should be based on added features and/or fees. Some card readers have only a basic app; others can become part of a POS system or offer you advanced analytics. About fees, you will need to choose between a flat fee, monthly fee, or variable fees.