Choosing a card payment machine for your business

According to the latest data from Link (which operates the biggest network of cash machines in the UK), cash machine transactions reduced by 62% year on year at the start of the UK’s lockdown. Whilst people have started to withdraw cash again, due to businesses reopening, it’s thought that there will not be a big bounce back, according to Link’s Chief Executive – John Howells.

It was also reported in The Guardian back in June, that pre-lockdown, the number of people in the UK who are living an almost cashless life had doubled in the last year to 7.4m. And this year is likely to have accelerated that further.

With more businesses choosing to go cashless, we explore some of the card payment machines available and the things to think about before you sign up.

Things to consider

The merchants have different transaction fees, so you’ll need to consider what is right for your business. If you’ve got a high volume of transactions, some merchants will offer slightly lower transaction fees. Others have set fees. Then there is the cost of the card payment machine itself – some you can buy outright and others are on a rental basis. And finally, think about the types of cards you’ll want to accept and contactless options – with COVID-19, this will be more relevant to your customers or clients.

Square – has a transaction fee of 1.75%, it offers mobile payments and digital receipts. The card payment machine has lots of features and a highly rated app. It accepts all major credit and debit cards (Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, American Express) and allows customers to tap in their pin on the glass screen and the device can be found for £29. It’s another great option for start-ups or small businesses.

iZettle – proudly boast that it’s quicker than other mobile card readers and has won awards and rated highly on the app store. With a flat 1.75% transaction fee, it accepts all major cards and contact less payments including Apple Pay and Android Pay. It can also work as part of a complete POS systems as works with barcode scanners and receipt printers. Whilst it’s a great mobile device, battery life is limited to 8 hours.

SumUp – has a transaction fee of 1.69%, no monthly fees and accepts all major credit and debit cards (Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, American Express and V-Pay). This is ideal for start-ups and small businesses with the device itself costing just £19. It’s backed up by excellent customer services. What it doesn’t offer however, is ‘card not present’ transactions.

WorldPay – offers you a range of card payment options, from countertop, mobile or virtual readers with flexible contracts. They don’t rely on wifi, so you can have confidence in taking payments. It’s great for fraud prevention, but it does come with a higher transaction fee of 2.75%. It accepts Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, American Express and PayPal.

PayPal Here – a rapidly growing option for small businesses having proven itself in the digital payments sector, this card payment device means the money lands into your PayPal account almost immediately. Transaction fee ranges from 1-2.75%, so for businesses with high transaction volumes, this could very well be your cheapest option. The device can be purchased for as little as £34.

Barclays – a mobile, easy to use card reader and the cheapest from a high street bank although it does come with a transaction fee of 2.6%. You will need a Barclays account, which you’ll benefit from Barclays phone support. It accepts all major cards (Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club International, Discover and American Express).

With the ever increasing cashless payments, this could be the right time to move to a card payment machine. Not only will it enhance the professional look and feel of your business, it provides your customer or clients the added flexibility around how to pay. If however, you’ve been used to using one particular card reader, now might be the time to review how much you’re paying and whether it continues to be the right option for your business.