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Small business owners are often faced with the same issues as their bigger counterparts. However, that’s no excuse for not offering card services to your customers.

Small businesses need credit card machines just as much as any other types and they shouldn’t be punished because of it.

Fortunately, there are some excellent alternatives to big banking institutions if you want to start accepting credit card payments from your small company.

Here are a few top credit card machines for small businesses.

Best Credit Card Machines

We’ve looked at some of the internet’s voluminous data to quickly and efficiently bring you this post - but all-in-all, what matters most is your level of awareness when considering which of these popular credit card machines for small businesses best fits you.


Top Credit Card Machines for Small Businesses (UK) 2022 ๐Ÿง โ€“ Reviews

Service ProviderRating
1. Zettleโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
2. Squareโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
3. SumUp Airโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
4. D&H Paypointโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account


1. Zettle โ€“ Top Credit Card Machines for Small Businesses Who Want Flexibility

Zettle is a Swedish company that specialises in providing payment solutions for small businesses. 

The company has a wide range of products, including a card reader and terminal, as well as an app that helps businesses manage their finances and track their sales.

Zettle has a reputation for being reliable and affordable, and its products are popular with small businesses across the globe.

What are the Specifications of the Zettle Card Terminal?

The Zettle card terminal is available in both chip and PIN versions, as well as contactless versions. It’s compatible with all card types, including signature capture and EMV chip transactions.

The terminal is very compact and lightweight, so it doesn’t take up much space in your cash office, and it’s easy to set up and use. You can easily add items to your account and view your daily sales record with a few clicks.

If you want the best credit card machine for small businesses, you should definitely consider the Zettle Card Terminal. The terminal comes with a free Zeebuddy app that makes it extremely easy to use. You can easily add all your items, view your daily sales, and even export your sale data to Google Sheets or Excel. The app also allows you to customise the card reader for your business, such as adding a logo and custom message. 

The card reader itself is lightweight and easily portable, and it can be connected to an Ethernet or Wi-Fi network. The reader lets you accept cards with either a chip or PIN.

PROS

  • Simple to use
  • No chargeback issues
  • Good transaction rates

CONS

  • Enforces minimum transaction values

2. Square โ€“ Largest Credit Card Machines Provider in the World

Founded by Jack Dorsey, Square is an American provider of mobile credit card machines.

Its also the second-most popular choice for small businesses. 

This is a more recent addition for the UK. Created by the co-founder of Twitter, this provider handles more than £84 billion worth of global payments per year.

Top Square Reader Features

  • Accept chip and PIN cards, mobile payments (eg. Apple Pay [buying Apple shares] and Google Pay), and contactless cards, as well as American Express Mastercard, and Visa.
  • Get deposits in your account from the following business day; see all of this via the free POS app that is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, including tablets.
  • Choose to save cards to file, and use the app for ecommerce, phone and invoice payments; the reader has a wireless connection to your device through Bluetooth. 
  • Overall, the battery lasts the whole day, has many additional features, and costs just £16 (minus VAT).

What Are its Transaction Fees?

Square mirrors Zettle’s fees for the most part, costing you only 1.75% for contactless or chip & PIN payments (this includes Amex cards). 

As for other methods of payment (eg. purchases by phone, invoice, or online), you are charged 2.5% because of the slightly enhanced risks associated with these payment methods. The biggest boon from choosing this reader over Zettle is that there is no minimum transaction value. 

PROS

  • Second-most popular credit card machines provider for small businesses
  • Only 1.75% fees for contactless or chip & PIN
  • No minimum transaction value

CONS

  • 2.5% fees for non-direct card payment

3. SumUp Air โ€“ Cheapest Credit Card Machines Provider

SumUp Air undercuts the competition by offering a fixed (flat) transaction fee of only 1.69%

Overall, this is an ideal card reader for businesses that process relatively small levels of card transactions.

Top SumUp Air Features

  • Accept debit and credit chip&PIN cards, mobile payments, contactless cards (payments by a tap of the card or phone), as well as American Express Mastercard, Maestro, VPay, and Visa.
  • There are no associated monthly costs, you can open an account fully through an online application (with no contracts or paperwork), and  the reader and POS app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, including tablets.
  • The card machine costs just £29 (minus VAT) and there is a printer option with reader,which will cost £149 altogether or the Solo card reader for £99 (so that you don’t need a smartphone).. 
  • Process up to 500 transitions, with the option to go for a business account which includes a prepaid Mastercard.

What Are its Transaction Fees?

SumUp Air undercuts both Square and Zettle’s fees, as you’ll pay only 1.69% for all transactions. This makes them the cheapest top card machine for small businesses in the UK.  

As for other methods of payment (eg. purchases by phone, invoice, or online), as with Square, you are charged 2.5% because of the slightly bigger risks associated with these payment pathways. But there is no fee for payments by QR code.

PROS

  • Cheapest top card machine for small businesses in the UK
  • Only 1.69% fees for contactless or chip & PIN
  • 0% fee for payments by QR code

CONS

  • Best suits businesses with unpredictable transaction volumes

4. D&H Paypoint Network โ€“ Top Credit Card Machines for Small Businesses with 30 Transactions Per Day

The D&H Paypoint Network credit card machine for small businesses in the UK is ideal for those who want a card reader that supports signature capture. 

The card reader comes with free software so you can easily track sales and manage your customers’ accounts. It can process up to 30 transactions per day and can hold up to 25 cards.

In addition, get an optional PIN pad cover, which protects the pad while keeping it easily accessible. The paypoint network card reader also comes with a free subscription to an accounting software solution. It's easy-to-navigate user interface makes it easy to manage your customers’ accounts and track sales. 

The Paypoint Network credit card machine for small businesses in the UK has an intuitive user interface that is easy to navigate. It is also reliable and affordable, making it the best card reader for small businesses in the UK. The paypoint network card reader also comes with a one-year warranty.

PROS

  • Ideal for small businesses
  • Affordable
  • Reliable
  • Easy to navigate
  • One-year warranty

CONS

  • Not suitable for large businesses

Buying Guide

Before you land on your choice, this section will add some background data relevant to the top credit card machines for small businesses. 


What is a Credit Card Machine?

A credit card machine is a piece of hardware that you use to process credit card payments. Credit card machines come with a card reader so you can easily accept credit card payments and send customers invoices when they return your payment. 

Proper credit card machine implementation is crucial to your business. You must purchase a credit card machine that’s compatible with your credit card processing company and meets their security standards.

Credit Card Machine

Which Are the Best Credit Card Machines for SMBs?

There are many credit card machines for small businesses in the UK. In order to help you choose, we have researched the best card readers available and outlined the major features in our best card machines for small businesses in the UK article. Let’s take a look at each of these features in more detail. Versatility: Should you be a large retailer who offers a wide range of products and services or are you a one-man band? 

A credit card machine for small businesses in the UK that supports swiping, terminal printing, and online payment options will make it easy for you to accept cards from a variety of customers. Security: If your business relies on its customers paying with cards, how can you ensure their security is paramount? 

In order to raise awareness of card security, many banks have added a signature requirement for online payment transactions. This is a serious issue for those businesses who accept credit card payments. Thankfully, most modern card machines can still process EMV chip and signature transactions. 

Automation: A credit card machine that can process transactions manually and automatically is essential for modern businesses. However, not all card machines are designed to integrate with software. Take, for example, our best credit card machines for small businesses in the UK article. Some of these card readers come with built-in software that makes it easy to process transactions without scheduling or scripting.


Technical Section: How Do Credit Card Machines Work?

Credit card machines work by reading the magnetic strip on a credit card and converting the data into an electronic format. This information is then sent to the credit card processing company, which processes the payment and sends you a receipt.

When you request a credit card payment, the merchant will swipe the card and feed it into the credit card machine. The information on the card is then read by the credit card machine and converted into an electronic format.

Credit Card Machines

This information is then sent to the credit card processing company, which processes the payment and sends you a receipt. The credit card machine will probably have a sign posted nearby that lists the information that you need to know in order to quickly process credit card payments. 

Most likely, this list will include the credit card machine number, the credit card type (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.), the credit card processing company, and the details of the payment (expiration date, amount, etc.).


How to Accept Credit Cards at a Small Business

The first thing you need to do is sign up for a credit card machine. There are a few different options available, and you should look for one that’s compatible with your credit card processing company.

Once you have a credit card machine, you simply need to buy a reader so you can accept credit cards. You can purchase a cheap card reader for a few dollars or you can spend a little more for a higher-quality reader that’s compatible with your credit card machine.

Credit Card

How to Accept Credit Cards at a Small Business

The first thing you need to do is sign up for a credit card machine. There are a few different options available, and you should look for one that’s compatible with your credit card processing company. Once you have a credit card machine, you simply need to buy a reader so you can accept credit cards. 

You can purchase a cheap card reader for a few pounds or spend a little more for a higher-quality reader that’s compatible with your credit card machine.

Benefits of using top-rated small credit card machines:

  • โ˜‘๏ธ The best thing about using a small credit card machine is that you don’t need to be online to accept payments. 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Credit card machines provide peace of mind for busy business owners who are worried about being offline. 
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Credit card machines also come with low purchase limits, so there’s reduced risk of running up too much debt, which is troublesome with such an uncertain economy
  • โ˜‘๏ธ Credit card machines allow you to accept only certain types of cards, so you don’t end up excluding customers who use non-card payments.

Disadvantages of using even top-rated small credit card machines:

  • โš ๏ธ While credit card machines are extremely convenient and can help you start accepting credit cards, they aren’t always the best option. 
  • โš ๏ธ Credit card machines are usually only available through your bank, which limits your customer base. 
  • โš ๏ธ Credit card machines usually come with low purchase limits, usually £2,000 to £5,000. If you end up spending more than this, you typically won’t be able to make the payment. This can be a huge problem for businesses that rely heavily on credit card payments.

Top Credit Card Machines for SMBs ๐Ÿ“’ โ€“ FAQs

How Do I Get Started?

You’ll need a credit card machine, a reader for the card machine, and a bank account. The best place to get a small business credit card machine is from your bank. You can also find credit card machines online or at a local store.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of a small business credit card machine varies, but typically it’s between £150 and £350.

And if you decide to add additional card members, expect to pay between £350 and £750 a year. 

However, if you decide to invest in the full suite of business credit card features and benefits, these costs can quickly escalate. Some of the most popular business credit cards include American Express OPEN for Business. 

What Cards Can I Accept? ๐Ÿ’ณ

You can accept most credit cards, but some cards may have higher purchase limits than others. For example, you may be able to accept Visa cards with a purchase limit of £5,000, but you may not be able to accept Mastercard cards with a purchase limit of £10,000.

What if I Run Out of Money?

If you run out of money while accepting payments through a small business credit card machine, you may not be able to make the payment. This can be a problem if your business relies heavily on credit card payments.