The best card machine and online payment services 2021 UK
Payments made in cash now only account for 23% of all total payments made in the UK. Data from trade body UK Finance shows that the number of people choosing cash for payments has declined since 2014 from just under half to now less than a quarter. 62% of all card payments are made using contactless debit and credit cards.
Covid-19 is expected to see the share of card payments increase further as consumers and businesses worry about the risks of handling cash. Another effect of the Coronavirus pandemic is an increase in consumers purchasing goods online.
As paying by card and shopping online becomes more and more popular, small businesses need to find easy to use and low-cost options to accept card and online payments. Our guide reviews some of the best and most well-known companies offering card machines and online payment services.
Moneyfacts has over 30 years’ experience in providing impartial and accurate information about products in the financial services space. This review focusses on three specific brands and looks at their range of products and services to help small business to manage payments.
Square offers businesses the ability to accept card payments including contactless cards for purchases made in store and online. They also offer point of sales (POS) systems.
Payment services from Square include hardware and software to process your payments both in store and online or in App. Hardware options include terminals to accept chip and PIN card payments and to print and email receipts.
The software from Square processes your business payments going through the relevant networks and acquirers. They are accountable for making sure all these payments are processed to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards, removing the burden from you and your business. They also complete anti-money laundering and know your customer (KYC) checks on all transactions too - free of charge. Payments made through Square are data encrypted for security processes.
Square also offers businesses the option to key in card details of their customers (useful for purchases made outside of an ecommerce site or remotely) and for sending digital invoices.
Point of sales services include the Square Stand that transforms an iPad into a point of sale system and can be used in conjunction with a reader to accept card payments. Businesses that have a point of sale system already can also integrate Square with systems including vend, Woo, Wix and Go Daddy.
Square offers no monthly fees and instead takes a share in the value of the transactions they help the business to make. The Square fee structure is 1.75% for in-person transactions including Chip and PIN, mobile payments and contactless payments. Online payments are charged at 1.09% for European cards and 2.9% for non-European cards of the transaction value. Manually keyed in transaction fees using the Square Point of Sale app and for payments made over the phone using a virtual terminal are charged at 2.5% of the transaction value.
Businesses can buy a Square Reader to manage payments through their mobile device for £19 inc VAT or a Square Terminal that does not require a mobile for £199 plus VAT. The Square Stand to convert an iPad into a point of sale system is £109. There are no monthly rental fees to pay. Square also sells a range of accessories for accepting payments in person.
Point of sale software from Square – including for use in restaurants has no monthly fees and is free to use. Only the transactions incur a charge at the rates quoted above.
Square suggests that businesses with more than £250,000 in credit and debit card sales should speak with them to find out how much they might be able to save by switching.
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SumUp offers payments services to help businesses receive payments in store, online and on the go. It is probably best known for its card reader devices, but it can also help with businesses needing to create ecommerce sites, manage invoices and with a business payment card.
SumUp offer three card reader devices to help your business accept credit card and contactless payments. SumUp Air connects to your smartphone or tablet through Wifi and you can use a free App to manage your payments. This device can make up to 500 transactions on a single charge. Businesses can also add a cradle to the SumUp Air that will show your customers that you are ready to accept card payments.
SumUp 3G works standalone and comes with an in-built SIM card with free and unlimited mobile data and Wifi connectivity. However, it is designed for fewer transactions, with one charge being able to make up to 50 payments. Businesses can also choose to upgrade this to include a printer. There is free access to a dashboard and reporting of your transactions plus telephone and email support. Payouts to your bank account will take between one to three days.
The Starter Plan from SumUp is an easy wat to get selling products online. Simply load up images and details of your products plus your shipping details to create an online store. The Starter plan is free of charge to use but all transactions made within will have the 1.69% transaction fee applied.
Businesses can have any funds received through SumUp devices or online stores paid into their bank account, taking between one and three days or into a SumUp Card and receive the money the next day.
The SumUp App allows you to create invoices easily and quickly. You can create new invoice templates and the system automatically allocates your invoice numbers and calculates prices and VAT. Your customers can pay their invoices to you easily and securely. All payments are then tracked and matched to your invoices automatically and any late invoices can be followed up.
SumUp was formed in 2012 and is backed by investors including American Express, BBVA, Groupon, Holtzbrinck Ventures and other venture capital investors. It was established to create a device that would accept card payments and fit into the pocket of busy retailers and small business owners. It is now present in 33 countries across Europe, North America and South America.
SumUp has no monthly fees or rental costs. Businesses will need to buy the payment devices and then SumUp takes a percentage fee of the value of each transaction made. The transaction fee for card, contactless, Apple and Google Pay payments is 1.69%. There are also no fees for using the dashboard or reporting services.
The SumUp Air costs £29 and the SumUp 3G £99 both excluding VAT. The SumUp Air Cradle is £55 plus VAT and the SumUp 3G Printer is £169 plus VAT. Those wanting a professional looking POS system can purchase the SumUp POS for £139.
Those businesses using the SumUp app to generate invoices will also avoid paying any additional fees if their customers pay for this using the payment link provided (only the transaction fee of 1.69% of the transaction value will be due).
The card readers and associated hardware come with a 30-day moneyback guarantee and a 1 year warranty.
The SumUp Air Card Reader has received full certification from a range of regulatory bodies for its security of processing payments. These include meeting the required standards of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards, Mastercard and Visa accreditations.
SumUp is a brand of SumUp Payments Limited which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under the Electronic Money regulations 2011.
iZettle was established in 2010 by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson. It was bought by PayPayl in 2018.
No card details are ever stored on the smart phone or tablet using the iZettle Go App or on the iZettle card reader. All data sent from and to the devices is encrypted. In the event of a reader or device being stolen iZettle claim that individual card details and money remains 100% safe.
iZettle is a part of PayPal (Europe) and is a licensed credit institution in Luxembourg.
Prices correct at time of publication. You should contact the provider to check pricing before making any purchase. The content of this review does is not advice and any business should consider their needs before making any commitment.Disclaimer
The list of featured providers on this page is a selection of services available and gives you an idea of the kind of options available. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting any of the providers listed. Moneyfacts.co.uk will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.