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 modern card reader providers now provide 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

Zeller Terminal
$259 (purchase)
No monthly fee
No lock-in

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

Square


Square

Square Reader
$65 (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. Instant settlement possible.

Short online form, quick acceptance:

PayNuts


PayNuts

Verifone T650p
$0 or $29/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fees
0.8%–1.5%
Fee-less plan with surcharging with $10k+/mo turnover, or low variable rates Tailored quote, online registration:

Westpac


Westpac

Ingenico or Verifone models
$27.75- $35/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fees
1.2% and up
Overall best among the Big 4 banks Online registration, possible quote:

Commbank


CommBank

Verifone Carbon Mobile 5
$29.50/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fee
1.1% or custom
Mobile smart terminal without POS integration Online registration, possible quote:

Tyro


Tyro

Countertop or Mobile
$29 or $39* (rental)
Tyro Go
$59.95 (purchase)
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:

Smartpay


Smartpay

Pax D210
No rental fee if minimum is met
1-year contract
Surcharging
rates by negotiation
Surcharging plans, fast onboarding, but with limitations Tailored quote:

NAB


NAB

Ingenico Move 5000
$25/mo (rental)+ $10/mo POS integration
1-year contract
No setup fee

Transaction fees
from 1.15%-2.50%+
Fees competitive, ease of use lacking Online registration, possible quote:

*Excluding GST.

Company EFTPOS
machine
Costs Sign-up Key facts

Zeller


Zeller

Zeller Terminal
$259 (purchase)
No monthly fee
No lock-in

Transaction fee
1.4%
Short online form, quick acceptance:

Lowest fixed fee, surcharging, online account and Mastercard

Square


Square

Square Reader
$65 (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

PayNuts


PayNuts

Verifone T650p
$0 or $29/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

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

Fee-less plan with surcharging with $10k+/mo turnover, or low variable rates

Westpac


Westpac

Ingenico or Verifone models
$27.75- $35/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fees
1.2% and up
Online registration, possible quote:

Overall best among the Big 4 banks

Commbank


CommBank

Verifone Carbon Mobile 5
$29.50/mo (rental)
No setup fee
No lock-in

Transaction fee
1.1% or custom
Online registration, possible quote:

Mobile smart terminal without POS integration

Tyro


Tyro

Countertop or Mobile
$29 or $39* (rental)
Tyro Go
$59.95 (purchase)
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

Smartpay


Smartpay

Pax D210
No rental fee if minimum is met
1-year contract
Surcharging
rates by negotiation
Tailored quote:

Surcharging plans, fast onboarding, but with limitations

NAB


NAB

Ingenico Move 5000
$25/mo (rental)+ $10/mo POS integration
1-year contract
No setup fee

Transaction fees
from 1.15%-2.50%+
Online registration, possible quote:

Fees competitive, ease of use lacking

*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 has already become a top contender in the Australian payment space. And it keeps getting better. Zeller Terminal has no monthly fees – you just purchase the terminal upfront for $259 (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. As opposed to several of the big banks, Zeller does not add an extra fee for surcharging.

Zeller Terminal
Zeller Terminal
EFTPOS machine Standalone, mobile touchscreen terminal
(WiFi, 3G with SIM)
Price (purchase) $259 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) $259 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 evening. This is linked to a business Debit Mastercard (in the package), so you can spend the money from the next morning. We like that the card is activated for Apple Pay. Cards for employees are available. Transactions and payouts are shown in your online web portal and complimentary Zeller App.

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. Alternatively, you can send invoices and accept online transactions through those for 1.7% + 25¢ for domestic cards (including Amex).

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.

The latest functionality is Pay at Table, which is available free of charge for H&L point of sale users. For table service restaurants helps turn tables faster with less human error.  Tipping on the EFTPOS machine is available, but not yet split the bill.

Overall Zeller has evolved into a complete solution for many businesses with EFTPOS, business account, spend management, invoicing and functional integrations with accounting and point of sale.

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

  • Instant transfers 24/7 for an extra 1.5% fee

  • Includes online/remote payments

  • Instalment plan available

Cons:

  • No surcharging feature

  • 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. On top, a free point of sale system makes selling goods and services fun.

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) $65 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 (free) 1-2 business days 1-2 business days
Instant transfers of funds 1.5% 1.5%
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) $65 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 (free) 1-2 business days 1-2 business days
Instant transfers 1.5% 1.5%

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 $65 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.

PayNuts – pay nothing or competitive rates without lock-in

PayNuts
Our rating:
(4.1/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • Fee-free plan without monthly cost

  • Smooth online sign-up

  • No lock-in

  • Integrates with many POS systems

Cons:

  • No monthly fee depends on turnover

  • Few user reviews so far

Previously More Payments, PayNuts offers a range of payment solutions for small businesses, mainly EFTPOS terminals without contractual commitment.

There are no fees for setting up, shipping, contract termination (it is cancellable any time), refunds or payouts. Other fees depend on your chosen plan which is either Pay Nothing or Low Fee EFTPOS.

PayNuts
Verifone T650p card terminal
EFTPOS machine Standalone, mobile EFTPOS machine
Rental plans Low Fee: $29 incl. GST/mo
Pay Nothing: Free with $10k+/mo turnover, $29/mo if less
Transaction fees Low Fee: 0.8%–1.5% (depends on card, turnover)
Pay Nothing: Passed on to customers
Contract No lock-in, setup fee or monthly min. charge
Payouts Next business day in bank account
PayNuts
Verifone T650p EFTPOS machine
EFTPOS machine Standalone, mobile EFTPOS machine
Cost (rental) Low Fee: $29 incl. GST/mo
Pay Nothing: Free with $10k+/mo turnover, $29/mo if less
Transaction fees Low Fee: 0.8%–1.5% (depends on card, turnover)
Pay Nothing: Passed on to customers
Contract No lock-in, setup fee or monthly min. charge
Payouts Next business day in bank account

If you opt for the Pay Nothing EFTPOS plan, you’ll be passing on transaction costs to the customer with a surcharge. Plus, if you make over $10k monthly in card transactions through the specific terminal, there is no cost at all on this plan. No other fees apply, not even for chargebacks or receipt rolls.

The Low Fee plan always charges $29 monthly for EFTPOS rental regardless of turnover, and a mix of extra fees apply for e.g. chargebacks. The exact costs are tailored for your business and on the low side compared with alternatives.

Verifone T650p in hands

PayNuts offers a “pay nothing” plan where transaction fees are passed on to customers.

The Low Fee transaction costs are not as simple as a fixed percentage, but they are lower – between 0.8% and 1.5% depending on your type of business and revenue. This includes GST, the card scheme’s (e.g. Visa, eftpos) variable rates and PayNuts’ merchant service charge. Regardless of how little you earn, you generally get good rates, but the sales volume does factor into it.

At the moment, PayNuts mainly offers the mobile and portable Verifone T650p touchscreen terminal. It integrates with a huge choice of POS systems – over 600 software providers – but can be used independently. As a smart terminal running on Android, we find the touchscreen a pleasure to use.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardJCBUnion PayAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

PayNuts accepts Visa, Mastercard, eftpos, JCB, American Express (with an extra contract) and UnionPay – good for merchants serving tourists with international cards. Buy Now Pay Later options are also available: Afterpay and Zip Pay.

Transactions are deposited into your bank account at any Australian bank the following working day. Same-day funding is available for an additional cost.

Westpac – perhaps best of the bigger banks

Westpac
Our rating:
(4/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • High-quality terminals
  • Choice of simple vs custom fees

  • No commitment

Cons:

  • Requires Westpac business account

  • Monthly fee required

Australian bank Westpac offers one of the best EFTPOS machine packages on the market. They’ve caught up with the fact that small businesses prefer less bureaucracy, modern terminal solutions, simpler fees and no commitment.

Westpac offers most EFTPOS setups you could want, including a mobile touchscreen terminal (EFTPOS Now), portable and desktop terminal (Presto Smart) and stationary machine (EFTPOS Connect).

Photo: Westpac

Westpac smart terminal

The EFTPOS Now smart terminal is attractive-looking. 

EFTPOS Now, a Verifone VX690 model, is a beautiful terminal that works independently in all situations, anywhere with WiFi, 4G or Ethernet. A minus is that it does not integrate with POS systems, but is instead a “mini point of sale” with useful features like tipping, preauthorisations and split bills. It does all this through its fully-touchscreen interface, which will appeal to modern businesses.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardUnion PayDiners ClubJCBAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

The wireless Presto Smart terminal, on the other hand, has a push-button PIN pad which suits some people better ergonomically. It also connects with many POS systems, making it ideal for countertops and shop floors.

The third option, EFTPOS Connect, is an Ingenico Move 5000 model that integrates with even more retail and hospitality software systems. It is used in large stores and allows you to add a logo on the screen for extra professionalism.

The bank charges a monthly rental subscription of $24.75-$35, depending on the chosen terminal. Then you pay a fixed rate of 1.2% per card transaction accepted, or custom fees if your business qualifies for it.

Either way, the costs are best for a steady turnover, and you get same-day payouts with a Westpac bank account. A maximum fee of $550 (incl. GST) is charged if you fail to return the terminal upon ending the contract, or if it gets damaged.

The only free solution is Westpac Air, an app on your smartphone that accepts contactless taps directly on the back of the phone (for 1.4% per transaction).

CommBank – good terminal, limited ease

Commbank
Our rating:
(3.5/5)

Pros:

  • Smart terminal with latest technology

  • Attractive rate for eftpos, Visa, Mastercard

Cons:

  • Business app and digital interface lagging behind

  • Not for those needing a POS system

The latest terminal from Commonwealth Bank (CommBank) is a Verifone Carbon Mobile 5 model named ‘Smart’. It attracts high scores for design and functionality, ideal for businesses on the go who do not have complex inventories. A simplified point of sale (POS) system is included on its touchscreen display.

Apart from that, it is not set up to integrate with other POS systems, making it unsuitable for shops and hospitality in need of advanced functionality.

Photo: CommBank

Verifone Carbon by Commbank

The terminal is a new-generation Android smart terminal, which is a step up in user experience.

There are no setup fees or lock-ins, but the replacement fee of $500 in case of non-return or a broken terminal can be a stressor for some.

The flat, blended fee of CommBank is competitive. As with the other big five banks, though, we have received reports of hidden costs on top of the monthly rental fees.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardJCBUnion PayAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

While the consumer app of CommBank receives praise, the app for business has lagged behind. This means that analysing sales and performing other tasks, such as sending invoices, just won’t be as pain-free as with the providers on top of this list.

A few EFTPOS terminals are available through CommBank (Smart Integrated and Essential Plus) for the same rental and transaction fees. In addition, the Square-lookalike Smart Mini costs $59 upfront to purchase, but requires a very basic phone app to operate.

Tyro – relatively simple rental or affordable card reader

Our rating:
(3.5/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • No lock-in

  • Tyro Bank Account available

  • Affordable card reader available

Cons:

  • Quote must be requested, registration over the phone

  • Old EFTPOS machine models

Tyro offers a countertop and portable EFTPOS machine for rental, or an app-based card reader with a pay-as-you-go rate and no monthly fee.

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. The service is cancellable any time, but you have to return the terminal when you leave the contract.

Go EFTPOS Mobile EFTPOS
Tyro Go EFTPOS reader Tyro mobile EFTPOS terminal
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to mobile app Mobile card machine
(WiFi, 3G)
Cost $59.95 incl. GST (purchase)
No monthly fee
$39 + GST/mo (rental)
Transaction fees 1.6% (incl. GST) 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
Go
EFTPOS
Mobile
EFTPOS
Tyro Go EFTPOS reader Tyro mobile EFTPOS terminal
EFTPOS machine Card reader connected to mobile app Mobile card machine
(WiFi, 3G)
Cost (rental) $59.95 incl. GST (purchase)
No monthly fee
$39 + GST/mo (rental)
Transaction fees 1.6% (incl. GST) 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

Alternatively, the new Tyro Go card reader can be purchased upfront for $59.95 including GST, and there is then no monthly fee, just a fixed transaction rate of 1.6%.

Whatever the choice, there’s no contractual lock-in or setup fee, meaning you can sign up without too much risk.

If your business transacts for less than $20,000 per month and you rent a terminal, 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.

The rented 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.

Smartpay – interesting for surcharging, limited flexibility

Smartpay
Our rating:
(3.5/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • Potentially no fees on one plan

  • 24/7 customer support

  • Fast settlement

Cons:

  • Only one card machine model

  • Min. sales required for Zero Cost plan

  • Fee applies if leaving contract early

Smartpay offers a Zero Cost plan only suitable for some businesses, and it requires surcharging to avoid fees. What’s more, the terminal has limited features apart from basic card transactions.

The company has attracted a solid fraction of Australian small businesses as its customer base with its surcharging plan. Keen to boost its margin, sellers have opted for the “zero cost” plan to pass on the processing fees to customers – but it is not for everyone.

Surcharging (Zero Cost) plan Simple Flat Rate plan
Eligibility Over $10k/mo in card transactions No minimum turnover, less interesting for below $15k/mo in card transactions
PAX D210 terminal Included Included if processing $15k+/mo
Transaction fees Passed on to customer depending on card used, possible for merchant to absorb One flat fee paid by merchant regardless of card
Payouts Next business day Next business day
Contract 12 months, or cancellation fee No lock-in, no setup fee
Surcharging
(Zero Cost)
plan
Simple Flat
Rate plan
Eligibility Over $10k/mo in card transactions No minimum turnover, less interesting for below $15k/mo in card transactions
PAX D210 terminal Included Included if processing $15k+/mo
Transaction fees Passed on to customer depending on card used, possible for merchant to absorb One flat fee paid by merchant regardless of card
Payouts Next business day Next business day
Contract 12 months, or cancellation fee No lock-in, no setup fee

For a start, the smallest businesses accepting less than $10,000 in card payments per month through the card machine won’t qualify. However, the onboarding process is typically faster than that of a traditional bank.

At the time of writing, only one terminal is offered by Smartpay, the PAX D210 model. It is a reliable, mobile card machine, even though its underlying technology is increasingly outdated. It was launched in 2016, and Smartpay New Zealand has already moved on to more contemporary touchscreen terminals. We would expect Smartpay Australia to do the same soon.

Photo: Smartpay

Pax D210 by SmartPay

PAX D210 is stable, but based on older-generation technology.

Fees are negotiated and based on your industry and sales turnover. For premium cards, they can end up on high side compared with other EFTPOS terminal providers.

The standard payment cards accepted include Visa, Mastercard and eftpos. With additional contracts and higher rates, it is possible to accept American Express, JCB, Diners Club and UnionPay. Deposits of funds happen the next business day.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Available with extra contract

American ExpressJCBUnion PayDiners Club

The typical contract offered is 12 months, with exit fees for early termination. Lower monthly rental fees can be negotiated with a longer contract time. With more players on the market offering surcharging without extra fees, the draw of Smartpay is not as strong as it used to be.

NAB – rolling contract, same-day settlement

NAB
Our rating:
(3.5/5)

>> Our review

Pros:

  • Same-evening payouts in most cases

  • Decent mobile terminal

Cons:

  • Surcharging carries extra fees

  • High Amex, JCB, Diners Club fees

  • User-friendliness not great

On paper, the offering from NAB looks fairly competitive. The biggest draw for many is the same-day settlement of funds if you are a NAB business account customer.

Their mobile EFTPOS terminal, Ingenico Move 5000, is hard to fault. It is a well-tested and relatively easy-to-operate card machine, with both a colour touchscreen and a push-button PIN pad.

Photo: NAB

Ingenico Move/5000 from NAB

Ingenico Move/5000 is highly reliable and suited both on a counter and for mobile use.

At second glance, the story is more mixed. For those seeking a point of sale integration, the monthly rental fee is $35, which over the course of a year exceeds the cost of purchasing comparable smart terminals from providers higher up this list.

The flat card processing rate is 1.15%, which is competitive. The downside is that this only applies to Visa, Mastercard, eftpos and UnionPay cards. If a seller wants to offer customers the opportunity to pay with American Express, JCB or Diners Club, rates have to be negotiated individually for separate contracts, resulting in more paperwork and fees at the high end – unless the processing volume is high.

For those wishing to pass on the fee to the customers, surcharging carries an extra fee.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardUnion PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Separate contract, extra fee

Diners ClubAmerican ExpressJCB

Despite fees being a mixed bag, the cost alone is likely not the main reason many businesses wish to look elsewhere. While the NAB consumer banking app is getting mainly positive feedback, the same cannot be said about the ease of the business app, nor the web dashboard. The day-to-day administration of the account just isn’t as good as one would expect from a digital solution.

For existing customers of NAB who have no major complaints, trying to negotiate the lowest possible rates for surcharging can be worthwhile. For potential new customers, other options might be better.

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 unpopular EFTPOS models.

  • Mint Payments – Expensive EFTPOS terminals, hidden fees and a preference for travel-industry merchants.

  • 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, but the EFTPOS market is moving so we hope to see more competition in 2023.

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, Debit Mastercard and useful extras like POS integrations and invoicing.

PayNuts offers the most attractive no-fee (i.e. surcharging) plan on the market, efficient onboarding and no contract. Smartpay, in contrast, offers an older-generation terminal with requirements to sell for at least $10k monthly per EFTPOS machine to qualify for “zero cost”.

The offerings from the ‘big 5’ banks look fairly good on paper. We’ve tested the terminals they offer, and the card machines are difficult to fault in real life. What the big banks still lack is the ease of use of the digital services, and customer service.

Tyro is a popular provider with no contract, but its slow onboarding and outdated hardware have been issues for a lot of merchants.

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
PayNuts No-fee plan or low, variable rates without lock-in
Westpac Good range of EFTPOS solutions for Westpac account holders
Commbank One of the lowest flat EFTPOS rates from a bank
Integrates with most POS systems, well-known brand
Smartpay Potentially no fees with a turnover of over $10k monthly
NAB Same-day settlement for most payment cards