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.

Traditionally, an EFTPOS terminal was obtained from banks, but there are a few modern card reader providers with simplified pricing, pay-as-you-go fees and no commitment.

Let’s compare the best EFTPOS machines that currently lead among small businesses in Australia.

An EFTPOS machine – also known as a card machine or EFTPOS terminal is an electronic device that accepts credit and debit cards via chip, tap or magnetic stripe. EFTPOS stands for Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale.

There are different types of EFTPOS machines. A card reader connects with an app on a tablet or smartphone to process cards. Then there are traditional push-button terminals grouped into countertop, portable or mobile models. Smart POS terminals have a touchscreen and may work as a portable checkout.

Company EFTPOS
machine
Costs Key facts Sign-up

Zeller


Zeller info

Zeller Terminal
$299 (purchase)
No monthly fee
No lock-in

Transaction fee
1.4%
Lowest fixed fee, complete with online account and Mastercard Short online form, quick acceptance:

Square


Square info

Square Reader
$59 (purchase)
Square Terminal
$329 (purchase)
Option to pay over 3-12 months
No monthly fee
No lock-in

Transaction fee
1.6% or 1.9%
Industry-leading all-rounder with POS and online payment tools

Short online form, quick acceptance:

More Payments


More Payments

Ingenico Move 5000
$0-$29*/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fees
0.8%–1.5%
Low, variable rates without turnover requirements or lock-in Tailored quote, online registration:

Mint Payments


Mint info

Ingenico Move 5000
$35/mo (rental)
Mobile reader
$0 or $11/mo (rental)
1-year contract
No setup fee

Transaction fees
from 1.8%; eftpos: 30¢
Low fixed (not %) eftpos fee, strong ties with travel industry Online registration, possible quote:

Tyro


Tyro info

Countertop
$29* (rental)
Portable
$39*/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fees
from 1.1%*
Old-school EFTPOS packages that work with most POS systems Tailored quote, slow onboarding:

*Excluding GST.

Company EFTPOS
machine
Costs Sign-up Key facts

Zeller


Zeller info

Zeller Terminal
$299 (purchase)
No monthly fee
No lock-in

Transaction fee
1.4%
Short online form, quick acceptance:

Lowest fixed fee, complete with online account and Mastercard

Square


Square info

Square Reader
$59 (purchase)
Square Terminal
$329 (purchase)
Option to pay over 3-12 months
No monthly fee
No lock-in

Transaction fee
1.6% or 1.9%

Short online form, quick acceptance:

Industry-leading all-rounder with POS and online payment tools

More Payments


More Payments

Ingenico Move 5000
$0-$29*/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fees
0.8%–1.5%
Tailored quote, online registration:

Low, variable rates without turnover requirements or lock-in

Mint Payments


Mint info

Ingenico Move 5000
$35/mo (rental)
Mobile reader
$0 or $11/mo (rental)
1-year contract
No setup fee

Transaction fees
from 1.8%; eftpos: 30¢
Online registration, possible quote:

Low fixed (not %) eftpos fee, strong ties with travel industry

Tyro


Tyro info

Countertop
$29* (rental)
Portable
$39*/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fees
from 1.1%*
Tailored quote, slow onboarding:

Old-school EFTPOS packages that work with most POS systems

*Excluding GST.

Mobile Transaction has specific assessment criteria determining the total star rating of each EFTPOS machine.

Most importantly, does it function well as a card machine? Is it hassle-free to accept chip and tap cards in person? Does it have a long battery life, accept many types of cards and include useful features like surcharging?

Our rating criteria take into consideration:

  • Features and build quality of the EFTPOS terminal – is it a great product?
  • Pricing, fees and payout times – is it a good deal for small businesses?
  • Sign-up and transparency – are costs shown online and sign-up easy?
  • Value-added services – are online payments and other tools available?
  • Service and reviews – is support accessible and user reviews positive?
  • Lock-in and cancellation – do you commit to a contract with exit fees?

Zeller – everything in one box, low rate, no monthly fee

Zeller
Our rating:
(4.3/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • Great all-in-one EFTPOS product

  • Fast and free online sign-up

  • Pay as you go, just buy upfront

  • Online account and Mastercard

Cons:

  • Monthly SIM fee (if choosing)

  • No ecommerce integration

Launched in 2021, Zeller is a new entry on the market. Zeller Terminal has no monthly fees – you just purchase the terminal upfront for $299 (includes GST and a 12-month warranty), and it’s yours to keep and use indefinitely. If you’re not ordering it online, Officeworks sells it in store.

There’s no contract lock-in, only a pay-as-you-go transaction fee of 1.4% for chip and contactless card payments. To avoid this, you can activate the surcharge function for fee-free transactions, as long as your customers are happy to pay this fee.

Zeller Terminal
Zeller Terminal
EFTPOS machine Standalone, mobile touchscreen terminal
(WiFi, 3G with SIM)
Price (purchase) $299 incl. GST
Transaction fee 1.4%
Zeller SIM Card (optional) $15/mo
Contract No lock-in, no monthly fee
Payouts Same day in Zeller Account, next business day in bank account
Zeller Terminal
Zeller Terminal
EFTPOS machine Standalone, mobile touchscreen terminal
(WiFi, 3G with SIM)
Price (purchase) $299 incl. GST
Transaction fee 1.4%
Zeller SIM Card (optional) $15/mo
Contract No lock-in, no monthly fee
Payouts Same day in Zeller Account, next business day in bank account

Zeller includes an online account where you can receive transactions the same day. This is linked to a business Mastercard (in the package), so you can spend the money straight away. Transactions and payouts are shown in your online web portal.

Alternatively, you can link a business bank account from any Australian bank, if you want transactions settled there within one business day.

A Zeller EFTPOS terminal comes with an online business account with a linked Mastercard.

The touchscreen card terminal has a built-in receipt printer. Its large display shows a simple checkout where you enter a transaction amount, add a tip or surcharge, then accept the card. Customers can enter their PIN on the on-screen PIN pad. If needed, you can integrate the terminal with a POS system of your choice or Xero for accounting.

For a 1.7% rate, you can accept keyed transactions if your customer is not present. The online account and card are both free and included for all merchants, and there are no ongoing costs, chargeback fees or setup charge.

The Zeller EFTPOS machine accepts Visa, Mastercard, eftpos, American Express and JCB cards via chip, swipe and tap. You can also accept Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay transactions.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

The terminal works independently through WiFi, but a SIM card should be purchased if you want mobile connectivity. The battery can last a whole day from a full charge, but a charging station is available if you keep it on a counter most of the time.

Last but not least, Zeller support is available to phone every day of the week between 9 AM and 1 AM (AET).

Square – comprehensive pay-as-you-go solution

Square
Our rating:
(4.3/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • Fast and free online sign-up

  • Pay as you go, just buy EFTPOS reader

  • Includes online/remote payments

  • Instalment plan available

Cons:

  • Limited support hours

  • No 3G/4G in standalone Terminal

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 looked old-fashioned in comparison. Why? Because Square champions affordable EFTPOS for small business without contractual lock-in, hidden fees or complicated terms.

Square Reader Square Terminal
Square Reader Australia Square Terminal front
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to free phone/tablet app Standalone, portable touchscreen terminal (WiFi)
Price (purchase) $59 incl. GST
or 3 x $20/mo instalments
$329 incl. GST
or 12 x $28/mo instalments
Transaction fee 1.9% 1.6%
Contract No lock-in, no monthly fee No lock-in, no monthly fee
Payouts 1-2 business days 1-2 business days
Square
Reader
Square
Terminal
Square Reader Australia Square Terminal front
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to free phone/tablet app Standalone, portable touchscreen terminal (WiFi)
Price (purchase) $59 incl. GST
or 3 x $20/mo instalments
$329 incl. GST
or 12 x $28/mo instalments
Transaction fee 1.9% 1.6%
Contract No lock-in, no monthly fee No lock-in, no monthly fee
Payouts 1-2 business days 1-2 business days

You simply pay for a card 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.

Photo: Mobile Transaction

Square EFTPOS machines

Square Terminal and Square Reader are great EFTPOS terminals.

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 ecommerce options like an online store.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to Square’s specialised POS systems for retail, hospitality or appointments scheduling.

There is also a mobile card 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 you buy it for $329 incl. GST.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardJCBAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

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 dedicated 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.

More Payments – good card rates without lock-in

Pros:

  • Smooth online sign-up

  • No lock-in

  • Integrates with 540+ POS systems

  • Fee-free plan without monthly cost

Cons:

  • Quote required

  • Monthly rental fee

More Payments 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, just a $25 chargeback fee.

The company offers two plans. The “Business EFTPOS” solution requires $29 monthly for terminal rental and transaction fees between 0.8% and 1.5% (incl. card scheme cost, interchange fee, merchant fee and GST).

More Payments
More Payments EFTPOS machine
EFTPOS machine Standalone, mobile EFTPOS machine
Rental plans Business: $29 + GST/month
Fee-free: Free
Transaction fees Business: 0.8%–1.5% (depends on card, turnover)
Fee-free: Passed on to customers
Contract No lock-in, setup fee or monthly min. charge
Payouts Within few business days in bank account
More Payments
More Payments EFTPOS machine
EFTPOS machine Standalone, mobile EFTPOS machine
Cost (rental) Business: $29 + GST/month
Fee-free: Free
Transaction fees Business: 0.8%–1.5% (depends on card, turnover)
Fee-free: Passed on to customers
Contract No lock-in, setup fee or monthly min. charge
Payouts Within few business days in bank account

The other plan, “Fee-free EFTPOS”, doesn’t have a monthly fee or transaction cost, because you’ll be passing those on to the customer via surcharging.

Both plans provide a mobile Ingenico Move/5000 machine with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. It integrates with a huge choice of POS systems – over 540 software providers, in fact.

Photo: More Payments

More Payments Ingenico 5000

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

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 a fixed percentage, but they are lower. On the fee-free plan of course, the EFTPOS machine is set up to pass on the correct cost of transactions to your customer’s bill.

More Payments accepts 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.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardUnion PayAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Transactions are deposited into your bank account at any Australian bank within a few days.

Dynamic surcharging can be set up on the terminals, should you wish to charge customers for card processing.

Mint Payments – no monthly fee above threshold

Mint Payments
Our rating:
(3.5/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • Decent Ingenico terminal

  • Good for travel agencies (official AFTA choice)

Cons:

  • Contract required

  • Monthly rental fee

  • Difficult and costly cancellation

If you want the (potentially) cheapest way to start taking cards in person, Mint Mobile (mPOS) is a good contender. Since you’re not buying the card 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.

Mobile EFTPOS Move 5000/PAX A920
Miura m010 card reader Move 5000 Ingenico
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to mobile app Mobile card machine
(WiFi, 3G)
Cost* (rental) Below $2k/month turnover:
$11/month
$2k+/month turnover:
$0/month
$35/month
Transaction fees* Visa, Mastercard:
from 1.8%
eftpos: 30¢
Visa, Mastercard:
from 1.3%
eftpos: 30¢
Contract 12 months
No setup fee
$22 monthly min. charge
$110 account closure fee
12 months
No setup fee
$22 monthly min. charge
$110 account closure fee
Payouts 1-3 business days in bank account 1-3 business days in bank account

*Includes GST.

Mobile
EFTPOS
Move
5000, or
PAX A920
Miura m010 card reader Move 5000 Ingenico
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to mobile app Mobile card machine
(WiFi, 3G)
Cost* (rental) Below $2k/month turnover:
$11/month
$2k+/month turnover:
$0/month
$35/month
Transaction fees* Visa, Mastercard:
from 1.8%
eftpos: 30¢
Visa, Mastercard:
from 1.3%
eftpos: 30¢
Contract 12 months
No setup fee
$22 monthly min. charge
$110 account closure fee
12 months
No setup fee
$22 monthly min. charge
$110 account closure fee
Payouts 1-3 business days in bank account 1-3 business days in bank account

*Includes GST.

The Mint mPOS solution comes with a 12-month contract from Fiserv (previously 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.

Mint mPOS review

Mint Payments’ EFTPOS reader is an old model, but works fine.

Visa, Mastercard (from 1.8% incl. GST per transaction) and eftpos cards (30¢ incl. GST per transaction) are accepted. American Express 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

EFTPOSVisaMastercardAmerican ExpressContactless

If a traditional payment terminal is preferable, Mint offers an Ingenico Move/5000 or PAX A920 card machine under similar contractual terms but different fees.

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

Tyro – relatively simple rental without lock-in

Tyro
Our rating:
(3.5/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • No lock-in

  • Tyro Bank Account available

Cons:

  • Quote must be requested, registration over the phone

  • Old EFTPOS machine models

  • Monthly rental fee

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.

Countertop EFTPOS Mobile EFTPOS
Tyro EFTPOS desktop terminal Tyro mobile EFTPOS terminal
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to mobile app Mobile card machine
(WiFi, 3G)
Cost (rental) $29 + GST/mo $39 + GST/mo
Transaction fees Below $20k/mo turnover: from 1.1% + GST
$20k+/mo turnover: tailored
Cross-border fee: 0.4% + 0.4% if using DCC
Below $20k/mo turnover: from 1.1% + GST
$20k+/mo turnover: tailored
Cross-border fee: 0.4% + 0.4% if using DCC
Contract No lock-in, no setup fee No lock-in, no setup fee
Payouts Same day in Tyro Bank Account, 1-2 business days in other bank account Same day in Tyro Bank Account, 1-2 business days in other bank account
Countertop
EFTPOS
Mobile
EFTPOS
Tyro EFTPOS desktop terminal Tyro mobile EFTPOS terminal
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to mobile app Mobile card machine
(WiFi, 3G)
Cost (rental) $29 + GST/mo $39 + GST/mo
Transaction fees Below $20k/mo turnover: from 1.1% + GST
$20k+/mo turnover: tailored
Cross-border fee: 0.4% + 0.4% if using DCC
Below $20k/mo turnover: from 1.1% + GST
$20k+/mo turnover: tailored
Cross-border fee: 0.4% + 0.4% if using DCC
Contract No lock-in, no setup fee No lock-in, no setup fee
Payouts Same day in Tyro Bank Account, 1-2 business days in other bank account Same day in Tyro Bank Account, 1-2 business days in other bank account

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%.

Photo: Tyro

Tyro mobile EFTPOS machine

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

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 look quite outdated compared to most terminals offered today. There have also been technical problems with them in early 2021 , but this has since been fixed.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBUnion PayDiners ClubContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

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

Payouts settle in your bank account within 1-2 business days, whereas a Tyro Bank Account gives you access to funds the same day.

Alternatives that didn’t make the cut

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

This is for a number of reasons, such as not being transparent about costs and terms, outdated software and needing to use a particular bank account.

  • 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.

  • Smartpay – “Zero Cost” plan only suitable for some businesses (and surcharging is required), limited features.

Other terminals in Australia have been discontinued or are less popular, but the EFTPOS market is moving so we hope to see more competition in 2022.

Summary

The EFTPOS solutions with least commitment remain Square and Zeller, since they have no monthly fees or contract lock-in.

Square can get you started with the cheapest card reader, POS apps and many free payment tools. Zeller’s touchscreen terminal has a low rate and comes with a free business account and Mastercard, but doesn’t integrate with POS software.

More Payments has some of the lowest charges, efficient onboarding and no contract. Mint offers the same EFTPOS machine and a mobile card reader, but with hidden fees, older software and lock-in. Tyro is a popular provider with no contract, but slow onboarding and outdated hardware could be issues.

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

Provider Best for Offer
Zeller Affordable touchscreen terminal with online account and Mastercard
Square Cheapest card reader for small business, free extra selling tools
More Payments logo Low, variable rates without turnover requirements or lock-in
Mint Payments Free upfront and potentially no monthly fees, fixed eftpos fee
Tyro Integrates with most POS systems, optional Tyro Bank Account
Provider Best for To site
Zeller Affordable touchscreen terminal with online account and Mastercard
Square Cheapest card reader for small business, free extra selling tools
More Payments Low, variable rates without turnover requirements or lock-in
Mint Payments Free upfront and potentially no monthly fees, fixed eftpos fee
Tyro Integrates with most POS systems, optional Tyro Bank Account