Mobile card readers are the latest ‘must have’ accessory to businesses looking to capitalise on a growing need for cashless services. A mobile card reader allows small businesses to process payments using their mobile devices, whether it is a face-to-face or on-the-go transactions.  The card reader is either attached to the mobile device, such as a phone or a tablet or connected wirelessly using a Bluetooth connection.

Compared to traditional card readers, mobile card readers need a connection to a phone or table to be usable. However, they definitely work well for small businesses and start-ups as they can work anywhere where there is mobile signal and they have no rental costs.

Here are four popular mobile card readers options available for UK businesses:

PayPal Here

PayPal Here is a mobile card reader that is integrated with the merchant’s PayPal business account and accepts contactless payment, chip card, and magnetic swipe.

Pros: PayPal is one of the most well-known and trusted brand names in online transactions. Paypal’s brand gives credibility to any merchant utilizing its services. Funds are automatically credited to the merchant’s PayPal account. There are no set-up fees, no monthly fees, and no contract required. Lastly, PayPal Here can be used for both online and in-person transactions. PayPal Here accepts PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Amex, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Cons:  The fees structure is not competitive, quite complex, and varies depending on factors like the volume of transaction and card type.


iZettle, the leading payment processing service in Europe, combines the free mobile app and the card reader to process payments on the go. iZettle accepts contactless payment, chip card, and magnetic swipe. Funds are deposited to the business’s bank account within 1-2 business days.

Pros: iZettle accepts Mastercard, Visa, Amex, JCB, Diners Club, Union Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. There is no set-up fee or monthly fee, but there is an upgrade option for additional features. iZettle has a competitive 1.75% flat rate for all cards. iZettle has an all-day battery life which is 30% longer compared to other mobile card readers.

Cons: No payments can be made over the phone as the machine needs the card to be present to process payments.


SumUp, one of the cheapest and simplest card readers around, accepts contactless payment, chip card, and magnetic swipe payments.  Payment receipts can be sent via email or SMS. Payouts take 2-3 business days.

Pros: SumUp charges a low flat rate processing fee of 1.69% with no set-up, no contracts or monthly fees. SumUp also enables businesses to take payment without needing to have the card physically present through its virtual terminal and SMS payment, however, it entails 2.95% transaction fee. SumUp supports Visa, VPay, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Cons: SumUp’s simplicity also means fewer functionalities and features.  SumUp does not have tipping feature which is a letdown for businesses in the hospitality industry.


Introduced in the UK last year, Square applies 1.75% flat transaction fee (transactions made without the presence of the card carries 2.5% charge) and accepts contactless payment, chip card, and magnetic swipe payments. Payouts to businesses take about 1-2 business days.

Pros: the Square app offers more free features not found in other competitors’ apps. Merchants can take payment over the phone with Virtual Terminal and eCommerce integration. Square has a long battery life which translates to about 500 payments before the battery dies. Square supports  Visa, Mastercard, VPay, Maestro, Amex, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.

Cons: To be able to accept magnetic card payment merchants need to use a separate reader. Also, instead of PIN pad, customers enter their PIN on the screen of the merchant’s smartphone or tablet.

There are some great options out there for small businesses to provide more flexible payment options to customers. If you haven’t, why not check out whether a mobile card reader could be a great asset to your business.



Note: All information is correct at the time of publication. Blue Ninja Business Support takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information at the time of viewing this article, nor does it take any responsibility for any changes made by these companies to their fees and costs. Any transaction information should be checked directly on the company’s website for the latest details.