For a small business, choosing the wrong EFTPOS machine can be costly, particularly when margins are tight and it’s unclear where you stand in a couple of years. You don’t want to tie yourself to a longer-than-necessary contract, and transaction fees and monthly costs (if any) should be fair for your sales volume.

In Australia, a lot of EFTPOS readers come from banks, but there are a few modern terminal providers offering simplified pricing with pay-as-you-go fees and no commitment.

Let us look at the five portable EFTPOS machines we believe are the best deals for small businesses in Australia.

EFTPOS machine Costs Website

Square Reader

Purchase
$59
No monthly fees or lock-in
Transaction fee
1.9%

More Payments

Rental
$25*/mo
No setup fee or lock-in
Transaction fees
0.8%–1.5%

Mint mPOS

Rental
$0/mo, or $11/mo if less than $2k sales/mo
1-year contract (no setup fee)
Transaction fees
Visa/Mastercard: 1.86%, eftpos: 33¢

Tyro

Rental
$29* or $39*/mo
No setup fee or lock-in
Transaction fees
From 1.1%*

PayPal Here

Purchase
$90*
No monthly fee or lock-in
Transaction fees
1.95% + currency conversion & payout fees

*Excluding GST.

EFTPOS
machine
Costs
Square Reader



Purchase
$59
No monthly fees or lock-in
Transaction fee
1.9%
More Payments



Rental
$25*/mo
No setup fee or lock-in
Transaction fees
0.8%–1.5%
Mint mPOS



Rental
$0/mo, or $11/mo below $2k sales/mo
1-year contract (no setup fee)
Transaction fees
Visa/Mastercard: 1.86%, eftpos: 33¢
Tyro



Rental
$29* or $39*/mo
No setup fee or lock-in
Transaction fees
From 1.1%*
PayPal Here



Purchase
$90*
No monthly fees or lock-in
Transaction fees
1.95% + currency conversion & payout fees

*Excluding GST.

When you decide which credit card machine is best, you should consider the following:

  • Do you want to lock in to a long-term contract?

  • Do you prefer a pay-monthly or pay-as-you-go solution?

  • Do you want to own or rent and return the EFTPOS reader?

  • Do you want to accept eftpos payment cards?

  • Do you intend to add a surcharge?

We will highlight these aspects for each option.

Square – best value pay-as-you-go solution

Square
Square Reader Australia
Our rating
  • No contractual lock-in

  • No monthly fees

  • Choose app-based card reader or standalone touchscreen EFTPOS terminal

  • Square Reader: $59 (purchase)

  • Transaction rate: 1.9% (any card)

  • Accepts eftpos, Visa, Mastercard, Amex

  • Free extras: online store, payment links, QR codes, virtual terminal, invoicing

Square was the first company in the world to release a card reader for mobile phones. Since its arrival in Australia, the local banks and other payment providers look old-fashioned in comparison. Why? Because Square champions affordable EFTPOS for small business without contractual lock-in, hidden fees or complicated terms.

Photo: Square

Square Point of Sale EFTPOS machines

Square Point of Sale is, hands down, the most hassle-free payments platform in Australia.

You simply pay for an EFTPOS reader upfront, which you then own forever, and pay only a fixed transaction rate for the card transactions processed. There are no monthly fees or other ongoing costs to worry about, nor do you have to return the hardware if you decide to stop using it.

Square Reader works in conjunction with a free Point of Sale (POS) app on your phone or tablet connected to 3G, 4G or WiFi. It costs $59 including GST and the transaction rate is a fixed 1.9% for all cards incl. foreign, premium and eftpos cards.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

The app has a wealth of features for most face-to-face merchants, e.g. product library, tipping, taxes, employee accounts and a customer library. On top of this, you get invoice tools, a virtual terminal for over-the-phone payments and the option to subscribe to ecommerce.

There is also a mobile EFTPOS machine called Square Terminal, which only works through a secured WiFi connection. It doesn’t need a connected mobile device and has a touchscreen display with almost the same features as Square Reader’s POS app, hard-coded on the terminal. Card transactions cost 1.6% on Square Terminal, but then you purchase it for $439 incl. GST.

With any of the EFTPOS readers, you can split the purchase cost into instalments paid over 3, 6 or 12 months. Online payments and key-in payments via the free Square app or Virtual Terminal cost 2.2% per transaction.

There is no purpose-built surcharging feature, but it is possible to calculate and add surcharges to each transaction individually. Payouts are free and automatically reach your bank account in 1-2 business days.

Square Reader and POS app review: Cheapest EFTPOS machine for small business

More Payments – good card rates without lock-in

More Payments logo
More Payments EFTPOS machine
Our rating
  • Terminal rental without contractual commitment

  • No setup fee

  • No monthly minimum turnover required

  • Mobile EFTPOS terminal: $25 + GST/month

  • Transaction fees: 0.8%–1.5% (depending on card, turnover, revenue)

  • Accepts Visa, Mastercard, eftpos, UnionPay and Afterpay; Amex acceptance possible with extra contract

More Payments has partnered with Till Payments to provide a range of payment solutions for small businesses. This includes the rental of EFTPOS terminals without contractual commitment. There are no fees for setting up, shipping, contract termination (it is cancellable any time), refunds or payouts, only a $25 chargeback fee.

You’re mainly paying for: 1) the monthly EFTPOS machine rental which is $25 + GST, and 2) transaction fees ranging between 0.8% and 1.5% including the card scheme cost, interchange fee, merchant fee and GST.

Photo: More Payments

More Payments Ingenico 5000

More Payments can get you a good price plan without lock-in.

More Payments offers a mobile Ingenico Move/5000 machine that works through 4G, WiFi or Bluetooth. It can integrate with a huge choice of POS systems – over 450 software providers, in fact.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardUnion PayAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Transaction fees are based on your monthly turnover, revenue and business sector. The total rate includes the card scheme’s (e.g. Visa, eftpos) variable rates and More Payments’ merchant service charge. Regardless of how little you earn, you generally get good rates, but the sales volume factors into it.

The transaction costs are not as simple as Square’s fixed percentage, but they are lower. More Payments also accepts more cards, including Visa, Mastercard, eftpos and UnionPay – good for merchants serving tourists with international cards. A Buy Now Pay Later option is also available: Afterpay. Amex can be accepted with an additional contract.

Transactions are deposited into your bank account at any Australian bank. Dynamic surcharging can be set up on the terminals, should you wish to charge customers for card processing.

More Payments review: Commitment-free, with competitive EFTPOS rates

Mint Payments – no monthly fee above threshold

Mint Payments
Our rating
  • EFTPOS reader works with mobile app

  • No setup fee

  • 12-month contract subject to $110 account closure fee

  • Monthly fee: $0 if making over $2k/month, $11 if sales are below

  • $22 monthly minimum charge

  • Transaction fees: 1.86% for Visa & Mastercard, 33¢ for eftpos cards

  • Additional costs for Amex acceptance

If you want the (potentially) cheapest way to start taking cards in person, Mint mPOS is a good contender. Since you’re not buying the EFTPOS reader upfront and the monthly cost is $0 as long as you’re making at least $2,000 that month, you can end up paying only transaction fees from the first month.

For the months you are making less than $2,000, however, a $11 (incl. GST) monthly fee applies. And if you don’t accept enough cards to pay $22 in transaction fees during a month, a monthly minimum charge of $22 is added on top.

Mint mPOS review

Mint Payments’ mPOS reader is the same model as PayPal Here’s EFTPOS reader.

The Mint mPOS solution comes with a 12-month contract from Fiserv (previously called First Data). To cancel, you have to provide at least 60 days’ warning before the end of the contract, meaning if you decide to end the service in the 11th month, the contract will roll into another year’s term.

If you want to cancel before the fixed contract, you pay the equivalent of 80% of the remaining costs you would have paid if staying until the end. A $110 account closure fee applies regardless of when the account is closed.

Visa, Mastercard (1.86% incl. GST per transaction) and eftpos cards (33¢ incl. GST per transaction) are accepted. American Express acceptance requires a separate contract with additional costs.

The card reader works in conjunction with a mobile app on a phone or tablet, but features are quite basic and the software rarely updated which is a concern. If you want to add a surcharge, you can do that in the app.

Accepted cards

VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressContactless

Transactions are processed fast with Mint Payments’ next-day payouts in your bank account.

If a traditional payment terminal is preferable, Mint offers an Ingenico Move/5000 machine under similar contractual terms but different fees.

Learn more: Mint Payments review – basic mPOS reader with 1-year lock-in

Tyro – relatively simple rental without lock-in

Tyro
Tyro EFTPOS desktop terminal
Our rating
  • Terminal rental without contract lock-in

  • No joining fee, no annual fee

  • Countertop EFTPOS: $29/month+ GST
    Mobile EFTPOS: $39/month + GST

  • Transaction fee with turnover below $20k monthly: 1.1% + GST for eftpos, UnionPay, domestic Visa & Mastercard (international cards 0.4% extra fee + further 0.4% if using DCC)

  • Alipay can be accepted for 1.3% fee

  • Amex, JCB & Diners Club at extra cost

Tyro offers a countertop and portable EFTPOS machine for rental. You pay $29 + GST per month for the stationary terminal or $39 + GST monthly for a mobile terminal that works on 3G or WiFi. Either can integrate with most POS systems.

There’s no contractual lock-in or setup fee, meaning you can sign up without too much risk. The service is cancellable any time, but you have to return the terminal when you leave the contract.

Photo: Tyro

Tyro mobile EFTPOS machine

Tyro EFTPOS machine is ideal for merchants who want a traditional device on a simple rental plan.

If your business transacts for less than $20,000 per month, your transaction rates are the following excluding GST: Tyro accepts domestic Visa and Mastercard for 1.1%, with an added 0.4% for international cards and a further 0.4% if using DCC. Eftpos and UnionPay cards cost 1.1%.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBUnion PayDiners ClubContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

It’s absolutely possible to accept American Express, JCB and Diners Club, but you need separate agreements with associated costs, plus Tyro’s additional switching fee of 0.1% per transaction with one of those cards. Alipay can also be accepted for 1.3% per payment.

Tyro EFTPOS fees can be customised if you make more than $20k monthly in card transactions.

Tyro EFTPOS machines, manufactured by Worldline, are hard-wearing and look professional on a countertop or outside, though they are a lot bigger than an app-based card terminal. There have also been technical problems with them in early 2021 , but this has since been fixed.

If you’re planning to use surcharges, the dynamic surcharging feature on the EFTPOS machines is perfect for whichever kind of fee you’re going for.

PayPal Here – convenient for PayPal merchants

PayPal Here
Our rating
  • No contractual commitment

  • No monthly fees

  • Payouts in e-money account, transfers to bank account cost 1%

  • EFTPOS reader connects to app on phone or tablet

  • Card reader: $90 + GST

  • Card transactions: 1.95%
    + 3% above the base conversion rate for foreign currency cards

  • Does not accept eftpos cards

PayPal is best-known for its online payments, but its app-based card reader PayPal Here is a very good mobile EFTPOS machine compared to most competing services in Australia. It is pricier ($99 including GST) than Square Reader, but the card reader is yours after purchase and has a physical PIN pad.

The PayPal Here reader is linked to an online account.

Card reader transactions cost 1.95% regardless of whether a credit, debit or foreign card was used. The only extra card-related fee is currency conversion: it costs 3% above the base conversion rate to accept a transaction from a foreign-currency card.

In the PayPal Here app, it is also possible to key in payments for 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

Payouts settle in your online PayPal account, not a bank account. To transfer money to a bank account, you have to pay 1% of the transfer amount and it has to be initiated manually.

If you depend on money reaching your bank account regularly, PayPal Here is therefore not the cheapest option. That being said, the fast payouts in the online account could be beneficial for merchants needing quick cash flow to spend on online purchases.

Accepted cards

VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

PayPal Here does not accept eftpos cards, so customers have to use Visa, Mastercard or American Express. It is possible to add a surcharge manually to each transaction.

The mobile/tablet app connected to the EFTPOS reader has a good range of simple POS features like a product library, registering cash payments and sending email receipts. You can also send email invoices (keyed-in payment fee applies).

Learn more: PayPal Here Australia review – is it better than the competition?

Summary

We have also reviewed the following Australian terminals on our site, but none of them quite lived up to our list above.

  • NAB EFTPOS – Mobile card machine with rolling contract, same-day settlement with NAB account.

  • Westpac EFTPOS – Fees best for a steady turnover, good POS integrations, same-day payouts with Westpac bank account.

  • Albert EFTPOS – Tablet EFTPOS terminal that’s a bit expensive (and not the newest technology) for a small businesses.

  • Quest Pocket Pay – Very expensive for a subpar card reader, and the contactless function costs extra.

Other terminals in Australia have been discontinued or are less popular.

Here’s a rundown of the best EFTPOS for small-business owners:

Provider Best for Offer
Square Cheapest EFTPOS machine for small business, best-value features
More Payments logo Low, variable rates without turnover requirements or lock-in
Mint Payments No upfront cost and potentially no monthly fees, fixed eftpos fee
Tyro Integrates with most POS systems, expandable choice of accepted cards
PayPal Here Connected to online PayPal account with no contract or monthly fees
Provi-
der
Best for To site
Square Cheapest EFTPOS machine for small business, best-value features
More Payments Low, variable rates without turnover requirements or lock-in
Mint Payments No upfront cost and potentially no monthly fees, fixed eftpos fee
Tyro Integrates with most POS systems, expandable choice of accepted cards
PayPal Here Connected to online PayPal account with no contract or monthly fees