Payment Processors and Card Readers – Which are Best for Your Business?

Card readers

If your small business is ready to start taking card payments, you may well be wondering which payment processors are the most suitable and if it’s best to hire or buy payment card readers. Whilst most offer the same basic function, it could be the detail in the feature, the hidden costs or the type of payment which help you make a final choice. Let’s explore some of the top card readers.

Is it best to rent or buy payment processors?

With most small businesses looking to lower costs, many owners will want to know if it is worth investing in payment processors or whether it’s possible to hire them as required.

Rental card readers are a good idea if you have a seasonal or pop-up business, or if you’re exhibiting at a show. Rental providers of payment systems are good at meeting demand at short notice and will quickly sort out any problems that you may have.

The downside to hiring card payment processors is that there could be issues with hidden fees, and it is your responsibility to ensure that the card readers you hire are kept in good working order.

7 of the best payment processors to buy

If you are going down the route of buying your own card reader, there is quite a choice. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular.

1. Zettle by Paypal

Zettle is compatible with Samsung, Google and Apple Pay. With Zettle, you can send online invoices and set up and accept gift cards. The platform integrates with Intuit Quickbooks and other online accounting software.

The cost for pairing to your mobile device is £29 plus VAT. There are no monthly fees, but fees are 1.75% per transaction for PayPal and QR codes, and 2.5% for payment links.

2. SumUp Air

SumUp Air has the lowest fixed transaction rate of 1.69%, or 2.5% if the card isn’t present, and there are no monthly fees. It can process over 500 transactions on a single charge and has 12 hours of battery life.

Cost for the card reader is £39. It connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet.

3. Square

Payment systems by Square connect to Apple and Android devices via Bluetooth and are charged at £19 plus VAT with no monthly fees.

Transaction fees are 1.75%, or 2.5% for manually entered transactions or non-UK cards.

4. Dojo Go

Dojo Go card readers are priced at £20 per month. Transaction fees are calculated according to turnover, costing 1.4% plus 5p for turnover up to £150,000, and a custom rate for anything over this. The card reader fee is £15 per month. A bonus with Dojo Go is that you’ll receive your funds the next day, and they may pay up to £3,000 in exit fees when you leave an existing provider.

5. Barclaycard Flex

Card readers by Barclaycard Flex are priced at £10 plus VAT per month for an 18 month contract. Fees are 1.6% per transaction. The reader connects via Bluetooth, takes up to 700 sales a day, and payments can be in your account the next day.

6. Tyl by NatWest

The Tyl reader costs £14.99 plus VAT for Wi-Fi only, or £16.99 plus VAT for Wi-Fi and 4G. Transactions are charged at 1.5%, or more for American Express payments. Provides 8 hours of battery life and works by fingerprint recognition.

7. WorldPay

WorldPay offers three payment plans for card readers to suit your needs. The standard package starts at £19 per month and includes 350 transactions with no set-up fees.

The Advanced plan at £45 per month allows international payments and alternative payment methods such as Apple Pay, and includes 850 transactions. The Bespoke plan includes many of these features, is fully customisable and offers 24/7 support.

Which payment systems are best for small businesses?

As we move ever faster into a cashless society, it makes sense for small businesses to introduce payment processors as a fast and effective way for customers to pay.

When deciding which payment processor is the best for your business, you will of course want to bear in mind costs, including both the monthly and transactional charges and any hidden extras. But you’ll also want to consider which is best in the long term for your business. For example, is it more important that your customers have the flexibility to pay using the likes of Apple Pay? Or are international sales likely to be a priority?

Many small businesses worry about cashflow, so being aware of how long it takes for your business to receive the funds into your account might be high on your list of things to think about.

We suggest making a list of your most important criteria to help shortlist the most suitable payment processors for you and your business.

To discuss how card readers could help improve your service offering and cashflow, and for help with bookkeeping, budgeting and cashflow management, you are welcome to get in touch.

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