It’s official. Cash is no longer king and in 2016 card transactions overtook cash payments for the first time in the UK. The popularity of contactless cards means that the uptake of card payments will continue to rise, with cards now being used for over half of all UK transactions.
Whether you’re a plumber, greengrocer or accountant: investing in card reading technology is essential. Previously mobile card readers were expensive and cumbersome, creating a barrier for small businesses wanting to accept card payments. Now companies like PayPal & Square have revolutionised card transactions for small businesses with simple to use and affordable hardware and software.
The beauty of mobile card machines is that they are portable. Therefore they can be used by tradespeople, market traders and shop owners alike. Handy if you don’t operate out of a bricks & mortar premises. In this competitive market, transaction fees, reporting and price are all important factors in helping you choose which card payment solution is right for you. Check out our list of some of the market leaders in mobile transaction tech:
The iZettle card reader offers a sleek mobile payment terminal and app for a relatively low price. It can accept an extensive list of debit and credit cards too and supports Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. However, the iZettle does have its drawbacks. The machine is not able to print receipts without a separate printer, which costs extra. You’re also unable to contact phone support past 5pm without subscribing to a monthly service.
Nonetheless, if its an easy user experience, wide payment support and a competitive price that you’re looking for – the iZettle could work for you.
Our rating: 4/5
The Square card reader is ultra-portable. It also comes with an intuitive point of sale application that works with iOS & Android devices.
The Square’s hardware isn’t quite as convenient as its competitors however as you require two separate readers for swiping and chip & pin. It doesn’t accept as many debit & credit card types as the iZettle either; excluding JCB, Diners Club & UnionPay.
Our rating: 3/5
The ‘Here’ allows you to send electronic invoices and create reports through its well-thought-out app. PayPal charge different percentages on transactions depending on how much you process through the machine.
PayPal could work out a lot more expensive for you if you don’t process many card transactions. But if you do process a large amount of payments each month, you may benefit from lower rates.
Our rating: 3/5
As one of the largest card payment businesses in Europe, WorldPay knows their target market well. It’s especially appealing if you need to take payments over the phone as you can process payments using their online portal.
The WorldPay Zinc is not the cheapest option and to secure a competitive transaction rate, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription. Nonetheless, this small monthly outlay will secure you 24/7 phone support and the option to take payments over the phone and by email.
Our rating: 4/5
Welcome to the future!
Now you’ve got a taste of what the market has to offer, are you going to take the leap? Perhaps you already have and could recommend a different card reader. We’d love to hear from you, so why not get in touch with us and share your ideas?
Please note: Small Business Direct are not affiliated or sponsored by any of the businesses included in this article – we’re 100% impartial!