Here’s a brief comparison of the costs of each:
|Card Reader||Machine Price||Card Fees||Special Offer?|
|Zettle||£19+ VAT||1.75%||See Deal >|
|Square||£16 + VAT||1.75%||See Deal >|
|SumUp||£29 + VAT||1.69%|
|PayPal Here||£45 + VAT||2.75% - 1.00%|
|Shopify||$89 USD||1.7% - 1.5%|
|Barclaycard Anywhere||£29 + VAT||1.60% (75p per refund)|
Keep reading for more on each machine.
Zettle Reader Cost: £19 + VAT via this link (Normally £59 + VAT)
Transaction Fees: 1.75% per transaction for credit and debit cards.
- 8 hours active use
- Accept contactless payments in just 5 seconds
- Accept: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Maestro, V pay, Visa Electron, JCB, Diners Club, China Union Pay, Discover, Apple Pay and Andriod Pay
- 12-month warranty
- Money deposited within 1-2 business days
- Works via Bluetooth with your smartphone or tablet
- Free POS App
- Send receipt via SMS or Email
- No setup fees, beyond buying the card reader
- Works with their Zettle EPOS system
2. Square Reader
Reader Cost: £19 + VAT via this link
Transaction Fees: 1.75% per transaction for Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit or debit cards and 2.5% for other types of transaction
- Accept chip and PIN cards, contactless cards and devices with Apple Pay and Android Pay.
- Connects wirelessly to iOS or Android devices.
- Works with the free Square app
- Track payments, invoices, inventory with their reports
- Get your money in your bank account as soon as the next business day.
- Call, email or tweet for support
- Send invoices from your mobile device or laptop (2.5% fee)
- Sell with Square on your own site via their API (2.5% fee)
- Optional Dock (£19 + VAT)
- Also have a full POS system
- Get your money next business...Show More
- Get your money next business day
- Accept all major credit cards including Apple Pay and American Express
- Just 1.75% per chip + PIN and contactless payments
Reader Cost: £29 + VAT
Transaction Fees: 1.69% per transaction for credit and debit cards.
- Compatible with iOS / Android smartphones and tablets
- Signup in 5 minutes with no contract
- No monthly costs
- Free iOS / Android app
- Free Dashboard and reporting
- Free Telephone & email support
- Payouts to your bank account every 2-3 days
- Accept Contactless, Chip & Pin, Apple Pay and Android Pay Payments
- Can also be upgraded to a full POS solution
- 30 day money back guarantee
4. PayPal Here
Reader Cost: £45 + VAT
Transaction Fees: 2.75% – 1.00% depending on transaction volume for both credit and debit cards.
- Accept all types of payments, cards or contactless, including Apple Pay and Android Pay.
- Payments reach your PayPal account in seconds
- No fixed term and no monthly fees
- Worldclass fraud management systems
- UK-based customer support team you can contact by email, phone or within the PayPal Here app
- Free PayPal Here app
- Add up to 200 users to one account
- Run customised sales reports by date, salesperson, items, and more
- Use the app or log in to PayPal on your desktop to manage and categorise your inventory list and upload photos
- Also offer a range of point-of-sale solutions that are fully integrated with PayPal Here
5. Shopify POS
- Accepts chip, contactless, and magnetic stripe cards
- Supports Visa, Mastercard, and Apple Pay
- Comes with a USB cable
- You can accept two or more payment types in a single transaction, for example, credit card and cash, or multiple credit cards
- Create custom payment options such as cheques, IOUs, or gold coins
- Offer store credit instead of refunding the payment method used
- Offer discounts by percentage or specific pound amount
- Taxes are automatically calculated based on your store’s location
- Custom email or printed receipts
- View all past orders made in store and online, search by customer, product, or date
6. Barclaycard Anywhere
Reader Cost: £29.00 + VAT
Transaction Fees: 1.60% for debit and credit cards (75p per refund).
- No monthly fees
- Application normally only takes 15 minutes
- Accept Visa and MasterCard (not Amex)
- Contactless cards accepted
- Android and iPhone app
- Helps protect you against fraud with proactive security and advanced card verification services
- App lets you track payments on the move and in real-time
What is the cheapest credit card machine for small businesses in the UK?
Currently the cheapest credit card machines in the UK, in terms of upfront cost, is the iZettle reader which costs just £19 + VAT. It also offers extremely competitive card transaction fees (1.75% flat fee), but not the absolute lowest. To to get that you either have to go SumUp (1.69% flat fee) or PyaPal Here (as low as 1.00%).
However, please keep in mind that while the upfront cost for all the machines here is far lower than traditional Credit Card/PDQ Machines, the transaction fees are far higher. This is due to the fact they charge credit card and debit cards the same fee. You can compare these fees by clicking here.
What is the best card reader for small businesses in the UK?
While all of the 6 machines listed above are great and allow your small business to accept card payments, the iZettle card reader is probably the best choice. Not only is it the best known, but at only £19 + VAT it’s very cheap to try out. Plus they offer very transparent pricing and among the lowest fees.
However, if you’re processing more than £2,000 worth of card payments a month, you should probably also consider looking at more traditional machines which offer lower fees. You can get started by clicking here.
Please note: We have affiliate agreements with iZettle, Sqaure, Shopify and Amazon. This means if you purchase anything from those sites via our links we will earn a commission, at no cost to you. In a few cases we have even negotiated special lower prices. We may also be paid a fee if you get a quote via the Expert Market form at the top of this page.