For a small business, choosing the wrong EFTPOS machine can turn out costly, particularly when margins are tight and you don’t know 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 level of sales.

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

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

EFTPOS
provider
Upfront
cost*
Ongoing costsWebsite
Square$59 (purchase)No monthly fees or lock-in
Transaction fee: 1.9%
More PaymentsNo setup fee (rental)$29* or $39*/mo, no lock-in
Transaction fees 0.8%–1.5%
Mint mPOSNo setup fee (rental) $0/mo, or $11/mo if less than $2k sales/mo, 1-year contract
Visa/Mastercard: 1.86%, eftpos: 33¢
TyroNo setup fee (rental)$29* or $39*/mo, no lock-in
Transaction fees from 1.1%*
PayPal Here$90 (purchase)No monthly fees or lock-in
Transaction fee: 1.95% + fees for currency conversion & payouts

*Prices exclude GST.

EFTPOS
machine
CostsOffer
Square$59* (purchase)
No monthly fees or lock-in
Transaction fee: 1.9%
More PaymentsNo setup fee (rental)
$29* or $39*/mo
No lock-in
Transaction fees 0.8%–1.5%
Mint mPOSNo setup fee (rental)
$0/mo, or $11/mo if less than $2k sales/mo
1-year contract
Visa/Mastercard: 1.86%, eftpos: 33¢
TyroNo setup fee (rental)
$29* or $39*/mo

No lock-in
Transaction fees from 1.1%*
PayPal Here$90* (purchase)
No monthly fees or lock-in
Transaction fee: 1.95% + fees for currency conversion & payouts

*Prices exclude 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 the EFTPOS reader or happy to rent and return it once the contract is cancelled?

  • 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 + GST (purchase)

  • Square card rate: 1.9%

  • Accepts eftpos, Visa, Mastercard, Amex

  • Includes complimentary tools like virtual terminal, invoicing & ecommerce

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 for small businesses 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 through the mobile device’s 3G, 4G or WiFi. It costs $59 + GST and the transaction rate is fixed at 1.9% for all card payments 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 functions without a connected mobile device and has a touchscreen display with more or less the same features as Square Reader’s POS app, hard-coded directly on the terminal. Card transactions cost a fixed 1.6% through Square Terminal, but then you purchase it for $439 + GST.

With any of the EFTPOS readers, you can split the purchase cost into instalments paid over 3, 6 or 12 months. Key-in payments via the free Square app, Virtual Terminal or Online Store 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
Tyro mobile EFTPOS terminal
Our rating
  • Terminal rental without contractual commitment

  • No setup fee

  • No monthly minimum turnover required

  • Countertop terminal: $29 + GST
    Mobile terminal: $39 + GST

  • Transaction fees between 0.8%–1.5% (depend on card, turnover and revenue)

  • Accepts Visa, Mastercard, eftpos, UnionPay, Diners Club, Alipay + Amex & JCB acceptance via More Payments at no extra cost

More Payments has partnered with Tyro to provide EFTPOS terminals without contractual commitment. There is no shipping or setup fee, no termination fee (it is cancellable any time), and no fee for refunds, chargebacks or payouts.

The only things you’re paying are: 1) the monthly rental cost of $29 + GST for the desktop terminal or $39 + GST per month for the mobile EFTPOS machine provided by Tyro, and 2) transaction fees ranging between 0.8% and 1.5% including the card scheme cost, interchange fee, merchant fee and GST.

Photo: Tyro

Tyro countertop card machine

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

The countertop machine works via 3G or Ethernet and the portable EFTPOS terminal through 3G or WiFi. They can both integrate with a huge choice of POS systems – over 300 software providers, in fact.

Accepted cards

EFTPOSVisaMastercardUnion PayDiners ClubAmerican ExpressJCBContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Transaction fees are negotiated based on your monthly turnover, revenue and business sector. The total rate includes the card scheme’s (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, eftpos) variable rates and Tyro’s/More Payments’ negotiated merchant service fee added on top. It doesn’t matter how little you earn – you can still generally get good rates, but your sales volume will factor into the total transaction fees decided by More Payments.

The rates for transactions are not as simple as Square’s fixed percentage, but they are lower. More Payments also accepts more cards – good for merchants who get lots of tourists with international cards. Apart from Visa, Mastercard, eftpos, UnionPay and Diners Club, More Payments can settle Amex and JCB transactions in your bank account at no additional cost.

You can get same-day settlement into a free Tyro Bank Account unless it’s more convenient to use another bank account. 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 on tablet/phone

  • No setup fee

  • 12-month contract subject to cancellation fees

  • Monthly fee: $0 if making over $2k per month, $11 for months where sales are less than $2k

  • 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 minimum fee applies.

Mint Payments 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 through First Data. To cancel, you have to provide a minimum of 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.

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

The card reader works in conjunction with a mobile app on your phone or tablet, but features are quite basic and the software is very 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 + GST
    Mobile EFTPOS: $39 + GST

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

  • Alipay can be accepted for 1.3% fee

  • Amex, JCB & Diners Club extra cost

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

There’s no contractual lock-in or setup fee, meaning you can get started 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 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. By default, 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.

If you make more than $20k monthly in card transactions, you can get custom fees with Tyro.

So how is this different from More Payments that also rents out Tyro terminals? The card rates will differ, particularly in terms of what you pay with a smaller turnover. More Payments also offers settlement for JCB and Amex at no extra cost, whereas Tyro requires a different arrangement.

Tyro’s EFTPOS machines are hard-wearing and look professional on a countertop or outside, though they are a lot bigger than an app-based EFTPOS terminal.

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% each regardless of whether it’s a credit, debit or a foreign card. The only card-related fee you pay extra for 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 go directly to your online PayPal account, not a bank account. To transfer money to a bank account, you have to pay 1% of the transfer amount when you do the manual transfer.

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.

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

  • NAB MPOS – Expensive card reader with outdated payment app, requires a NAB bank account.

  • 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:

ProviderBest forOffer
SquareCheapest EFTPOS machine for small business, best-value features
More Payments logoLow, variable rates without turnover requirements and without lock-in
Mint PaymentsNo upfront cost and potentially no monthly fees, fixed eftpos fee
TyroIntegrates with most POS systems, expandable choice of accepted cards
PayPal HereConnected to online PayPal account with no contract or monthly fees
Provi-
der
Best forTo site
SquareCheapest EFTPOS machine for small business, best-value features
More PaymentsLow, variable rates without turnover requirements and without lock-in
Mint PaymentsNo upfront cost and potentially no monthly fees, fixed eftpos fee
TyroIntegrates with most POS systems, expandable choice of accepted cards
PayPal HereConnected to online PayPal account with no contract or monthly fees