Our rating(4.3/5)
Zeller Australia is steadily maturing with more payment features in the EFTPOS package.
Zeller Terminal is an attractive EFTPOS machine linked with an online account for fast transfers. It’s a strong competitor to Square, with lower rates and a more focused offering.
  • Pros: Pay as you go. No lock-in. Low transaction rate. Online account and Mastercard included. POS and Xero integration. Fast deposits.

  • Cons: Terminal not cheap. Monthly SIM fee. Not yet integrated with ecommerce or all POS systems.

  • Buy if: You want the most complete, commitment-free EFTPOS package with a low, fixed rate.

How Zeller works

Launched in May 2021, Zeller is an ambitious new company with a mature EFTPOS product that already ranks highly in the Australian market.

Zeller’s product is simple: for a one-off price, you get a cutting-edge EFTPOS terminal that can be used anywhere with WiFi or mobile connectivity. It comes in a box with a Mastercard linked to an online transactions account where payouts arrive by the business next day.

“We were impressed that right from the start, Zeller got the main thing right: they made it quick and easy to get up and running with an EFTPOS machine and spend funds without a bank account.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

Alternatively, you can settle payments at a similar speed (the next business day) in your bank account at any Australian bank.

Accepted cards

VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBEFTPOSContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

To sign up, a company or sole trader just completes an online registration form that Zeller checks and verifies. The terminal is purchased online or at Officeworks across the country.

Zeller Terminal accepts any chip, swipe and contactless payment through eftpos, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB and popular mobile wallets.

We’ve witnessed the service steadily expanding features to include e.g. contactless card acceptance on a smartphone, invoicing and a savings account – with more to come soon.

Our opinion: a top Australian player, with a few limitations

We see Zeller as a worthy EFTPOS solution that already appeals to many small businesses and sole traders in Australia, despite being a new market entry.

The uncomplicated, but high-quality, EFTPOS machine is particularly useful for retailers, food and drink, professional services and beauty salons, even with teams of staff and multiple locations. We’re relieved to see it integrating with POS systems at last (it didn’t to begin with) and adapt to growing businesses too.

You get everything for taking card payments in one box (literally): a terminal and debit card. This combo gets to the heart of the matter for new businesses that need a consistently fast cash flow and dedicated company account to keep finances in order.

Zeller criteria Rating Conclusion
Product 4.6 Good/Excellent
Costs and fees 4.2 Good
Transparency and sign-up 4.3 Good/Excellent
Value-added services 3.9 Good
Service and reviews 4 Good
Contract 5 Excellent
OVERALL SCORE 4.3 Good/Excellent

MobileTransaction rates EFTPOS machines like Zeller’s in the above key areas that get a score between 1 and 5, This results in one overall star rating reflecting Zeller’s value for a small business.

An EFTPOS machine’s purpose is to take card payments in person, so the device quality and experience of payment acceptance have a higher weighting under the product criteria.

We have thoroughly investigated Zeller Terminal and the company as a wider service to establish scores for the other rating categories.

The lack of lock-in and monthly fees contrast with many Australian banks with EFTPOS machines on a long-term contract, fixed costs and steep exit fees. Zeller’s low rate for all types of cards is especially a good deal compared with alternative fixed-rate providers such as Square.

The only real barrier is Zeller Terminal’s upfront cost of $259 – not everyone can fork that up. But it’s still cheaper than its direct competitor, Square Terminal, which costs $329.

A possible hindrance is the lack of integrations with ecommerce software. Although ideal as a portable all-in-one EFTPOS terminal for those who don’t need more than card payments, it also works with external POS systems (though not all POS systems).

New terminal features and integrations are currently being developed, so it might not be long until Zeller is even more versatile.

Zeller pricing: very fair for no commitment

Zeller charges $259 including GST for Zeller Terminal, which includes a 12-month product warranty. If you change your mind about the purchase, it can be returned for a full refund through free shipping within a limited period of time.

There is no monthly fee, no contractual commitment or other ongoing charges, as you own the EFTPOS machine outright.

The main cost is then a fixed rate of 1.4% (incl. GST) for all chip and tap transactions, no matter the type of card, including American Express. This EFTPOS rate is lower than any other pay-as-you-go solution in Australia. Businesses with an annual card turnover of more than $250K can negotiate lower rates.

Zeller fees
Zeller Terminal $259 incl. GST and shipping
Contract lock-in None
Chip, tap and swipe fee 1.4% incl. GST per transaction
Keyed transactions on Zeller Terminal 1.7% incl. GST (domestic and international cards)
Virtual Terminal/Pay by Link transactions 1.75% + $0.25 incl. GST (domestic and international cards)
Invoice transactions Domestic cards: 1.7% + $0.25 incl. GST
Foreign cards: 2.9% + $0.25 incl. GST
Payouts Free
Refunds Free
Chargebacks Free
Mastercard + Transaction Account Free
Mastercard transactions Domestic: Free
Foreign: Fee applies
Zeller SIM Card $15 price (incl. first month’s data)
$15/mo for unlimited data
Zeller fees
Zeller Terminal $259 incl. GST and shipping
Contract lock-in None
Chip, tap and swipe fee 1.4% incl. GST per transaction
Keyed transactions on Zeller Terminal 1.7% incl. GST (domestic and international cards)
Virtual Terminal/Pay by Link transactions 1.75% + $0.25 incl. GST (domestic and international cards)
Invoice transactions Domestic cards: 1.7% + $0.25 incl. GST
Foreign cards: 2.9% + $0.25 incl. GST
Payouts Free
Refunds Free
Chargebacks Free
Mastercard + Transaction Account Free
Mastercard transactions Domestic: Free
Foreign: Fee applies
Zeller SIM Card $15 price (incl. first month’s data)
$15/mo for unlimited data

If the merchant keys in transactions on Zeller Terminal, for example for over-the-phone payments, it costs 1.7% regardless of the type of card processed. This is cheaper than Square’s fixed rate of 2.2% for all keyed payments.

But if you were to use the browser-based Virtual Terminal (both for telephone payments and sending payment links), the fee is higher: 1.75% + $0.25 per transaction with any card. I should note that charging the same for Virtual Terminal and Pay by Link transactions is unusual – normally, the cost of any merchant-keyed card transaction is higher than when customers complete the transaction online themselves.

Online payments via email invoices cost 1.7% + $0.25 for domestic cards or 2.9% + $0.25 for international cards.

Using the terminal with WiFi doesn’t cost extra, but for mobile connectivity (GPRS, 3G, 4G), you must buy a SIM card. Zeller sells its own SIM card for $15 upfront, whereafter you pay $15 monthly from the following month onwards for unlimited data on the Optus network.

“Mobile data does come at a hidden monthly cost, but you can choose any standard SIM card – it doesn’t have to be Zeller’s. A typical transaction only uses 1kB-2kB data to process, so that should give you an indication of how much SIM data you need.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

If preferred, the terminal can at any time be set to a “fee-free” mode that passes on the transaction fee to customers, either in full or partially. It is essentially a surcharge enabling you to avoid ongoing fees completely – if your customers are willing to pay the fee.

A complimentary Mastercard linked with a free Zeller Transaction account is included in every package. These do not have a monthly fee or transaction charges – only a foreign transaction fee for international purchases with the card.

There’s no cost to closing the Zeller account, which can be done any time. Refunds and chargebacks are free to process, and so are payouts to either the Zeller account or your bank account.

Photo: Zeller

Zeller Terminal and contactless card

Zeller Terminal accepts contactless cards and digital wallets, plus chip and swipe.

Terminal and POS features

Zeller Terminal is a unique, portable EFTPOS machine with a large touchscreen display, built-in receipt printer and long-lasting battery.

It works with WiFi, but connects with 3G through an optional SIM card. The SIM card enables you to use GPRS, 3G or 4G as a backup connection if WiFi fails, or use just generally on the road where WiFi is not an option.

The Android-based card machine software allows you to enter a payment amount – with or without a surcharge and/or tip – and accept cards via chip, swipe or tap. It also accepts digital wallets through its contactless function, and keyed card payments.

Zeller Terminal black white

Zeller Terminal comes in a choice of back or white.

With its built-in camera, Zeller Terminal will eventually be able to scan QR codes for payments.

If you’re not printing receipts, you can send email or SMS receipts after each transaction. Employees can have their own login and permissions so the same EFTPOS machine can be shared between a manager, staff and anyone in between.

What’s more, you can process refunds and view transactions in real time all from the terminal screen. Restaurants also benefit from the option to split payments by the number of guests or transaction value.

The included battery can last a whole day from a full charge. We’ve even seen 24 hours quoted, but this totally depends on who often it is used – for example, a full charge should be good for 250-300 transactions during a day shift. It uses battery every time it accepts a transaction, is on standby etc. so a busy merchant will need to charge it more frequently than someone who only uses it occasionally.

Optionally, you can purchase a charging cradle for stationing the card machine on a counter while it is being charged.

Zeller Terminal specs
Dimensions 84 mm x 144 mm x 60 mm
Weight 0.49 kg
Connectivity WiFi; GPRS, 3G and 4G optional (only with SIM card)
Card technology EMV (chip), NFC (contactless), magnetic stripe
Battery life Up to 24 hours from full charge
Built-in receipt printer Uses 57 x 40 mm thermal receipt paper
Accessories included 15 m receipt roll, power adaptor

As a standalone EFTPOS terminal, Zeller Terminal acts as a portable checkout with no complicated functions. It mainly just processes payments or refunds and lets you monitor transactions, but new functions have gradually been added.

For example, it’s now possible to customise the screensaver to display an image of your logo, a QR code or any other message. Receipts can also be branded with a logo and messages.

“Zeller hasn’t been as quick as Square to add new payment features, but subtle developments on the terminal – like adding your brand logo to the screen – does make the product very attractive.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

You can integrate the terminal with point of sale (POS) systems like Abacus, Erply, Lightspeed Retail, Impos, H&L and OrderMate. Zeller advertises “over 600 different POS platforms”, but it’s not completely true since some of them are for other types of software like payment methods (Zip, Afterpay) or enterprise resource planning (Jim2).

An integrated POS system allows you to push transactions from your chosen POS software to the terminal for a smooth sales flow. It also gives you more complete sales reports – for both cash as well as EFTPOS transactions.

Photo: Zeller

person on the phone sitting with Zeller Terminal

Merchants can accept keyed payments over the phone on the EFTPOS machine.

A card machine fleet can be monitored and controlled remotely from the Zeller account through a web browser, so the solution suits multi-location businesses as well as single-location merchants.

Through the Zeller App, merchants can – in place of the card terminal – accept contactless card or mobile wallets payments directly on their NFC-enabled iPhone or Android device. Referred to as Tap to Pay, we love the convenience of this and have seen it increasingly adopted in real life.

Zeller’s different cards and accounts

Unlike other EFTPOS terminals in Australia, Zeller comes with a free Transaction Account online. This is not the same as a full-fledged bank account, but it acts in place of one.

How so? The account settles your EFTPOS transactions every midnight and you can spend this the morning after with the Zeller Mastercard, just like any other business card. But it’s not possible to receive payments from other people or companies in the account apart from the Zeller Terminal funds.

EFTPOS funds can alternatively settle directly in a bank account, typically the following business day.

The associated Zeller Debit Mastercard can be added to your Google Pay or Apple Pay wallets, but cannot withdraw cash at ATMs. It can be used in online and physical stores, and you can pay invoices and transfer money to other people, e.g. employee bank accounts, from the dashboard.

The new Zeller Corporate Cards do, on the other hand, help companies manage staff expenses better. Business owners can issue several virtual or physical expense cards to help monitor staff spending within their allocated budgets.

That’s not even all – Zeller even launched a free savings account, encouraging you to store business funds there to earn interest over time.

These are all accessed through the browser-based Zeller Dashboard. Here, you can monitor expenses, categorise transactions, oversee sales, manage account settings as well as terminal fleets.

We like the dashboard’s contact directory where you can store, manage and categorise customers or vendors. It lets you monitor purchasing trends, and vendors or suppliers match with your card transactions when reordering stock.

The whole system also connects with Xero accounting software for advanced bookkeeping.

Online and over-the-phone payments

When Zeller launched, the company hardly offered any ways to accept payments remotely or online – this has changed now.

For a start, the browser dashboard has a Virtual Terminal page where you can manually enter and process card transactions while talking to the cardholder over the phone. This is a very straightforward way to take orders or deposits, provided you’re sitting in front of a computer.

It’s also possible to send email invoices free from the dashboard, so that clients can pay online. This is actually quite a good deal, since invoicing apps elsewhere generally charge for the privilege. The design and contents of Zeller’s email invoices are easy to read and sufficient for most merchants.

Zeller Virtual Terminal on a laptop screen

The virtual terminal, as seen in Zeller Dashboard.

Service and Zeller reviews: generally promising

Despite the low-cost nature of the Zeller offering, you still get Australia-based customer support every day of the week (Monday to Sunday) between 9 am and 1 am Australian Eastern Time (AET). You can call the team on a helpline, message them on social media or try to find an answer in a help section on the website.

If there’s a fault with the EFTPOS terminal, you can get express terminal replacement the same day if based in a city. Otherwise, it might take a bit longer to receive a replacement terminal, but Zeller makes an effort to be fast at resolving technical issues.

“Our own experience with the company has been very positive so far. It is our strong impression that Zeller really is trying to remove the usual barriers that merchants in Australia face when setting up a payment system.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

There are relatively few Zeller reviews from real users since it’s a fairly new product, but initial reviews show a general enthusiasm for the product’s ease of use, low fees and helpful support.

Photo: Zeller

Zettle Terminal in holder

Zeller Terminal works with POS systems (like pictured) or alone.

Getting started is easy

Zeller accepts most Australian sole traders, companies, trusts, partnerships and incorporated associations. This even includes certain individuals, schools and other entities that may not have an ABN number, and certain business types others deem as high-risk such as vape shops. Some of these (not all) business entities require specific proof in order to be accepted as a Zeller merchant.

On top of this, you’ll need to attach two types of proof of identity in the form of a passport, Medicare card or driver’s licence. If you only have one proof of ID, Zeller can verify you anyway through additional questions.

To get started, you first need to complete a short online registration form with basic contact information – no phone call is required. This creates the account, but you won’t be able to use it until the next step is completed: adding your business information and accompanying proof (if relevant).

The whole application takes about five minutes to complete, after which Zeller works on verifying it.

If your business is one of the simple ones to confirm, you may be verified immediately so you can use the account straight away. More complicated businesses may take a few hours, sometimes more than a day, to process. It’s best to complete the sign-up before purchasing the terminal to be sure you can use it.