Our rating(3.5/5)
eWay Australia offers an attractive offering for tap and chip/swipe card payment via a mobile phone app. The company provides a solid platform for customer support, as well as a multitude of payment options and same-day settlement. Major disadvantages of eWay’s offerings include the monthly charge and a relatively high fee per transaction.
  • Highs: Same day settlement. Contactless. 24/7 customer service.
  • Lows: Monthly fee. High transaction charge. Miscellaneous fees.
  • Buy if: You want to get started taking payment quickly and don’t care about finding the cheapest provider.

Note: eWAY SmartPOS is no longer offered to merchants, so information in this review is not relevant any more. For similar options, check our other reviews of mobile card readers.

Who is eWay?

eWay is an Australian payment processor with operations in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Singapore and Canada. This privately-held company was founded in 1998 and has since gained a loyal customer base. In Australia, eWay is principally known for its role as an online payment gateway, but there’s more to eWay than just that.

eWay helps more than 20,000 businesses around the world to accept card payments, offering a range of services, including a mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution.

How eWay’s mPOS system works

eWay’s mPOS solutions allow you to process card payments while you are on the go. The payment system works via a mobile card reader that connects to your smartphone or tablet. This mobile payment terminal is both light and highly compact – it actually fits in your pocket!

eWay provides a free mobile app that allow you to operate the mobile card reader and thereby process card transactions. The app is available on both iTunes and Google Play. What’s more, all major cards are accepted, including EFTPOS, Visa and Mastercard.

Below, we offer a brief summary of eWay’s two mPOS services and their principal differences.

Swipe Plan

First up is the “Swipe Plan” which is eWay’s more basic (and cheaper) mPOS offering for small businesses. As the name suggests, this service offers swipe transactions but also chip & PIN payments.

The payment process occurs via a mobile terminal that connects to your smartphone or tablet, for which both Apple and Android devices are fully supported. Unlike with some providers, you do not buy the mobile terminal upfront, but lease it instead.

Tap Plan

The Tap Plan is more or less identical to the Swipe Plan in all respects except for the additional “Tap & Go” functionality offered. And no, this has nothing to do with rugby.

Tap & Go involves the ability to process contactless card payments from customers – a method of payment that has proved to be hugely popular among Australian consumers. Businesses looking to shorten transaction time (and thereby increase volume) might do well to consider getting on board with eWay’s Tap Plan.

What are the fees and costs?

The Swipe Plan costs $19 per device per month, while the Tap Plan comes in at a monthly $29 per device. In all other respects, the two mPOS services are priced identically. The main bad news is the transaction fee, which comes in at 1.95% per transaction for domestically issued cards (Visa and Mastercard). For EFTPOS the fee is 30 cents per transaction.

The charge for international cards is even higher and is quoted upon application. There are also various miscellaneous fees such as a $25 postage and handling fee per terminal and a 24 month $150 cancellation fee (also per terminal). eWay even levies an unspecified amount for “changing details on activated accounts” which seem a little excessive.

Rapid cash flow and customer service platform among the advantages

So what are some of the advantages of using eWay’s mPOS solutions? First off, eWay’s two plans offer the advantage of improved cash flow for small businesses.

Card payments are processed and settled on the same day (for NAB settlement accounts), which represents a significant advantage of this service. You won’t be waiting around for payments to hit your bank account, which will allow you to concentrate on other important business issues. Mint Payments Australia offers next day settlement, so eWay holds a slight edge over its competitor in this respect.

Second, although we have not actually used it, the customer service platform at eWay looks to be quite impressive. Among the options are 24/7 phone line availability, live chat, screen sharing and video-based support. This means that you should be able to get help when you need it.

Finally, eWay also offers a solid range of payment options. As well as Visa and Mastercard (including contactless), EFTPOS and Apple Pay are also supported by eWay.

Transaction charge and various fees are the biggest downside

The ongoing monthly fee is one disadvantage of using eWay. Although there is no setup fee, paying for terminal rental every month does add up over the contract term of two years. However, the 1.95% transaction fee is the biggest downside that we could identify.

Mint Payments (1.75%) is more reasonable in this regard while PayPal Here is comparable to eWay. When you consider the other miscellaneous charges outlined earlier, you might conclude that the fees for the service are a little bit steep. Overall, although eWay describes its own pricing as “simple and uncomplicated”, we feel that there is some room for improvement in the small print.

eWay mPOS: A worthy mPOS solution plagued by too many fees

To conclude this review, we found eWay to be a useful and convenient service. However, as already outlined above, eWay mPOS is on the expensive side and there are too many miscellaneous fees for our taste.

Mint Payments, eWay’s principal competitor, offers a considerably lower transaction fee of 1.75%, while its service features and monthly charge of $29.95 are roughly comparable to the Swipe Plan. For this reason, you should take the time to compare the two services (and possibly Paypal Here) to see which is best for you.