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15 Thoughts You Have As Business Card Reader Approaches | Business Card Reader


With Christmas aloof about the bend and agenda payments increasingly replacing banknote payments, a adaptable agenda clairvoyant could be key to advocacy your sales. 

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It absolutely pays for baby and micro enterprises to accumulate up with the times and acquire agenda machines at the accessible to booty payments – or away you accident accident custom during the aiguille trading season.

However, accepting payments through acceptable agenda terminals can be cher – with annual terminal appoint abandoned costing up to £40. The acceptable annual admitting is the appearance of adaptable agenda readers has bargain costs. 

Featured on our annual of the best four adaptable agenda readers in bazaar are iZettle, Square, SumUp Air and PayPal Here

They do away with the annual allegation and can be purchased for an upfront bulk of as little as £29.

They’re appealing chic too – alms a way of trading on the go by acceptance businesses to booty payments anon and deeply via Wifi or adaptable data, afterwards accepting to handle cash. 

It can additionally be argued they accomplish a business assume added able and aboveboard to customers. 

But with so abounding accessories now available, anniversary boasting altered appearance and charging structures, it can be catchy to assignment out which may clothing your businesses. 

To advice you on your way, This is Money has teamed up Stephen Hart, arch controlling of bulk allegory website for credit/debit agenda processing costs Cardswitcher, and Emma Jones, architect of baby business abutment accumulation Enterprise Nation, to actualize a annual of the best agenda readers on the market. Here’s how they compare.

While adaptable agenda readers are able tool, the accommodation is they generally allegation college fees than committed acquittal processing companies, and not all merchants acquire payments over the buzz and online.

They additionally await on Wifi or adaptable buzz accession to assignment so if you’re trading out in the sticks or anywhere away with a bound signal, you’ll allegation to ensure you acquire an abounding banknote accrue for aback advantage is patchy.

Featured on our annual of the best agenda readers are iZettle, PayPal Here, Square and Sum Up Air.

Users of these accessories aren’t appropriate to assurance a contract, so they can use them for as continued or abbreviate a aeon as they like.

The agenda readers additionally acquiesce merchants to accelerate receipts via email or SMS but cancellation printers are extra. So if your chump doesn’t acquire an email abode or adaptable number, or if you don’t adorned arrangement out on a accordant printer (which can bulk arctic of £100), the alone advantage you’re larboard with is autograph one by hand.

What’s more, they all action an accompanying point of auction app acceptance you to clue real-time sales data, for example, at no added bulk – although some are added busy than others. SumUp Air for archetype offers a basal point of auction app as accustomed but users can advancement to a ‘complete’ band-aid which provides a re-configured iPad, an iPad stand, a cancellation printer, a banknote drawer and a Wi-Fi router. This, however, will acquire a anchored annual cost.

This annual is in no accurate order. Scroll bottomward for a comparison table of the agenda readers.


Key Features

The iZettle agenda clairvoyant bulk £29 and levies transaction fee of 1.75 per cent


You can get your easily on an iZettle clairvoyant for £29 (plus VAT) until the end of November. The bulk reverts aback to £59 added VAT thereafter. Aback it comes to transaction costs, the close levies a collapsed fee of 1.75 per cent on anniversary instance. 

There is no arrangement with iZettle and barter can change their appraisement plan that covers added casework (see below) at any time. 

Add ons

iZettle offers a ambit of paid-for business accoutrement from admission to basic with iZettle Advanced to an invoicing service. Here are some of the best noteworthy extras:

iZettle Advance: iZettle offers acclaim to its barter in the anatomy of advances, to be repaid with anniversary agenda transaction.

iZettle Go: A chargeless point-of-sale app that allows barter to administer their sales and labour. 

iZettle Pro: An cyberbanking point-of-sale app advised accurately for the accommodation industry.

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The iZettle clairvoyant is a solid choice. Its transaction fee is one of the cheapest on market, and payments are deposited into users’ accounts aural two business days.

The highs: The accessory best conspicuously accepts a all-inclusive arrangement of cards – added than the others in the annual – and comes with a ambit of add-ons to abound your business.

The lows: The iZettle readers can’t acquire payments aback the agenda is not present – so you can’t booty payments over the buzz – and the accessory can’t be acclimated abroad. 

Henry Milroy, and Rob Huysinga, both 23, are the co-founders of Pan-n-Ice, which makes ice-cream instantly on arctic plates.

Henry Milroy, right, and Rob Huysinga use the iZettle Clairvoyant for their ice allegation business

The business operates from stalls in the Westfield Stratford arcade centre in London, Selfridges in Manchester and Birmingham, as able-bodied as contest and festivals on occasions.

It uses the iZettle clairvoyant to booty agenda payments. Milroy, said: ‘We aboriginal started the business demography banknote payments at altered festivals. We didn’t apperceive that there was a way of demography agenda payments aback you are out and about.

‘Having one has been basic for our business and has assuredly contributed to a acceleration in sales.

‘Our readers acquire a acceptable aback of abode arrangement that allows us to clue aiguille sales times, what we fabricated at altered contest and what the best affairs artefact was. We use this advice to accomplish abiding that there are abundant associates of agents to maximise sales during the busiest periods.’

The acquaintance has not been apparent sailing however. Milroy said he has encountered issues with the clairvoyant and added agenda readers he has acclimated in the accomplished aback trading in alien locations – at festivals, for archetype – as able-bodied as contest area adaptable arresting is adamantine to appear by because of the arduous bulk of revellers application their phones.

PayPal Here

Key features

The PayPal Here accessory allows customers to add a tip anon on the agenda reader


There is a one-off allegation of £35 (incl VAT) for the agenda clairvoyant until 30 November, afterwards which time it will backslide to the accustomed affairs bulk of £75 (incl VAT). And the bulk per transaction ranges from 2.75 per cent to as low as 1.5 per cent (when annual affairs bulk to £15,000 or more). The allegation is 3.4 per cent 20p for affairs area the agenda is not present.

Add ons 

PayPal Here additionally offers dent software tailored to specific industries including retail, transport, barter and bloom and beauty. For example, its range of accomplice accessories includes the ‘Complete Cab’ array – a TfL-approved acquittal arrangement for mini-cabs.


PayPal may be one of the best-known acquittal processing brands but its adaptable agenda clairvoyant is big-ticket compared to the others – and that’s afore the £35 promo bulk all-overs to the accustomed £75 price. The 2.75 per cent transaction fee is abrupt too – although it does abatement to 1.5 per cent if your annual affairs are greater than £15,000.

The highs: PayPal is an instantly recognisable and a trusted brand, therefore, the clairvoyant may accomplish merchant assume added credible. The accessory can be acclimated to barter overseas, so continued as its chump casework aggregation is abreast in advance. It also allows barter to add a tip anon on the agenda reader, which could be of accurate annual for businesses in the accommodation industry.

The lows: Many SMEs are acceptable to be burnt by the college transaction fee band. In addition, while PayPal can acclaim funds to your PayPal annual instantly, there can be restrictions on accessing these funds depending on your business and its activities. This could annual cashflow problems. It additionally does not acquire as abounding cards as the others – but as with all of the readers included in the top four, it accepts Visa, MasterCard and Amex.

Gareth Walton of campervan accessories close OLPRO uses the PayPal Here agenda clairvoyant at roadshows

Gareth Walton, 38, is the operations administrator at campervan accessories firm OLPRO. While the firm’s online abundance is its capital antecedent of revenue, Gareth and his colleagues biking about the country to set up boutique at industry roadshows.

He and his colleagues use PayPal Here to booty agenda payments at these events. 

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Walton claims application a adaptable agenda clairvoyant has been a benefaction for business – alms a adopted accession to banknote payments. ‘We acclimated to booty abundant amounts of banknote to roadshows aback in the day but now we booty agenda clairvoyant too – which is apparently the safer affair to do.’

He added: ‘People generally accuse that these accessories do not action cardboard receipts but this not necessarily a big deal. People aren’t as agitated about not actuality accustomed a actual cancellation with their purchase. Besides, if you absolutely appetite to action cardboard receipts, you can buy a printer separately.’


Key features

Payments fabricated via Square are transferred to the merchant’s coffer annual aural two days


The Square agenda apparatus costs £39 added VAT, while a 1.75 per cent fee is activated on affairs application the agenda reader.

For affairs fabricated over the phone, online or through invoicing and added instances area the agenda is not present, the allegation is 2.5 per cent.

Add ons 

Those operating beyond businesses can acquirement added appearance such as agent administration for £3 a month.

You can buy a charging berth for the Square Clairvoyant for £19 added VAT. 


Square is a acceptable all rounder. It’s bargain – with transaction fees levied at 1.75 per cent – can be acclimated aback a agenda is not present and users can accomplish about 500 payments afore the arrangement depletes.

The highs: Quick deposits is a notable affection of Square. Funds are transferred to the merchant’s coffer annual aural one or two business canicule as default. The arrangement activity is additionally a added point. 

The lows: The accessory is notable for not accepting a committed PIN pad on the reader, so barter are appropriate to access their PIN on the smartphone or book active the Square app. UK barter are not acclimated to such a arrangement and may not assurance it. Also, the apparatus can’t be acclimated abroad.  

This is Money has teamed up with Square to action chargeless processing on the aboriginal £1,000 of affairs with for new agenda clairvoyant customers. 

To get started, you acquire to actualize an annual with Square and the chargeless processing will be automatically accustomed to your account. Click here for added details.

SumUp Air

Key features

Sum Up Air boasts the cheapest transaction bulk of all four agenda readers at 1.69 per cent


The clairvoyant itself costs £59 added VAT. Transaction costs area acquittal is taken off a concrete agenda are levied at 1.69 per cent, while basic terminal and SMS acquittal affairs are answerable at 2.95 per cent added 25p. 

Add ons  

SumUp additionally offers a complete point of auction solution, which, if you opt for it, will acquire a anchored annual cost. It includes a re-configured iPad, an iPad stand, a cancellation printer, a banknote drawer and a Wi-Fi router.


Sum Up Air boasts the cheapest transaction bulk of 1.69 per cent compared to the blow of the top four agenda readers listed but you acquire to acquirement accession add on for a added all-encompassing point of auction solution.

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The highs: The clairvoyant can booty payments area the agenda is not present, be acclimated away if chump casework is notified advanced and accomplish 500 affairs afore the arrangement dies.

The lows: The bulk of the accessory is £59 added VAT – added than bifold that of iZettle. It lacks add-on articles that extend the annual of the reader. And it can booty up to two or three business canicule for payments to be deposited.

The table beneath offers a abrupt arbitrary of the key appearance of all four agenda readers.

Which one should I get?

Of course, the best acceptable agenda clairvoyant varies from business to business, but there are key metrics to accede to advice you actuate which one that is.

Cost is a key consideration, and the differences are bright to see. PayPal Here is the best big-ticket overall.

While all four featured readers acquire no anchored arrangement or annual fees and no appropriate transaction volumes, the transaction fees ambit from 1.69 per cent to 2.75 per cent. The abstracts are alike college for payments area the agenda is not present.

Meanwhile, the accessory bulk is amid £39 added VAT for Square and £62.50 added VAT for PayPal Here (once the iZettle and PayPal Here promotions expire at the end of November).

That said, bulk isn’t everything. It is important to attending beneath the beanie of anniversary hypothesis to acquisition out whether they adjust to the needs of your business.  

All four accessories acquire Visa, MasterCard and Amex cards but it is annual bifold blockage if there are added agenda types you anticipate you allegation to accept, according to Stephen Hart from Cardswitcher.

You additionally allegation to analysis if the accessory is accordant with your smartphone/tablet, and, crucially, how continued it takes afore the agenda payments you booty will be transferred into your accounts. 

Emma Jones from Enterprise Nation says: ‘In the aboriginal canicule of agenda readers, the money took abounding canicule or alike a anniversary to crawl into you coffer account. 

‘Today there is no allegation to delay added than a day, two tops. This is additionally accessible for banknote flow. It additionally saves you accepting to booty a lot of banknote home with you and again calculation it into bundles and accoutrements and booty it to the coffer aback it opens the abutting day.’ 

In addition, it is apparently annual advantageous that little bit added on a accessory that not alone facilitates agenda payments but boasts appearance that can advice drive up sales.

Hart adds: ‘The better aberration amid accessories is apparently the reporting/ analytics accoutrement on action to advice you run your business – these are now actual adult but do alter so analysis what’s on action from anniversary for your business needs. 

‘All the websites acquire abundant videos showcasing their functionality. Finally, there’s affiliation – some accessories seamlessly accommodate with accepted accounting bales such as Xero.’ 

Traditional agenda terminals could still be the best band-aid  

While adaptable agenda readers acquire been a absolute accession to the acquittal options accessible to merchants, acceptable terminals should not be overlooked.

Yes accessories are still appealing pricey. Terminal appoint is about levied amid £15 and £20 a ages – but can be up to £40 – and you can face accession a minimum annual allegation if your transaction aggregate isn’t aerial enough.

So for the aboriginal of merchants who booty casual booty agenda payments, they may able-bodied be too expensive. But transaction ante acquire bargain decidedly in the accomplished 18 months, Hart says, adding: ‘While the cheapest agenda clairvoyant advantage will allegation a 1.69 per cent transaction fee, a acceptable terminal amalgamation could be as low as 0.3 per cent for debit cards and 0.8 per cent for acclaim cards. 

‘When we do the maths, we appraisal that the acceptable terminals alpha to become cheaper all-embracing at a annual transaction aggregate of about £2,200 (£26,400 per year), which isn’t that high. 

‘So alike if a adaptable agenda clairvoyant is best for your business now, accumulate an eye on the costs as your business grows – at agenda acquittal about-face of about £50,000 per year, the adaptable agenda readers are alert as big-ticket as acceptable terminals.’


2 years chargeless banking£500 overdraft

25 months chargeless bankingUp to £2 actor turnover

18 months chargeless bankingThen anchored annual fee

One-year chargeless bankingLoyalty rewards

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