Tyro has long been known to merchants when it comes to EFTPOS solutions in Australia, but a new entry on the market, Zeller, offers a strong alternative to small businesses.

The all-in-one Zeller package with a terminal, Mastercard and business account makes it easy to get started with payments. More established merchants may prefer Tyro’s custom fees and point of sale integrations.

Comparing the two, which is the better EFTPOS solution in Australia? What are their shortcomings and strengths?

Tyro Zeller
Credit card machines EFTPOS machines:
$29* or $39*/mo to rent
Zeller Terminal:
$299 to buy
POS apps Integrates with POS systems No POS integration
Remote payments Ecommerce integrations, keyed payments Keyed payments
Account & card Free bank account, no business card Free online account & Business Mastercard
Deposits Same day in Tyro account, 1-2 business days in other bank account Same day in Zeller account, next business day in bank account
Accepted cards EFTPOSVisaMastercardUnion PayApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Optional/extra cost:
American ExpressJCBDiners Club
EFTPOSVisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBUnion PayApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

*Excluding GST.

Tyro Zeller
EFTPOS machines:
$29* or $39*/mo to rent
Zeller Terminal:
$299 to buy
POS apps
Integrates with POS systems No POS integration
Remote payments
Ecommerce integrations, keyed payments Keyed payments
Account & card
Free bank account, no business card Free online account & Business Mastercard
Deposits
Same day in Tyro account, 1-2 business days in other bank account Same day in Zeller account, next business day in bank account
Accepted cards
EFTPOSVisaMastercardUnion PayApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Optional/extra cost:
American ExpressJCBDiners Club
EFTPOSVisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBUnion PayApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

*Excluding GST.

Card machines

The card machine models of the two companies could not be any more different.

Tyro offers two traditional EFTPOS machines: a countertop model with a fixed checkout and a mobile terminal for portable use around fixed premises or on the go.

Both of them accept swipe, chip and contactless cards including digital wallets like Apple Pay. They also print receipts and can integrate with your choice of a POS system.

Photo: Tyro

Tyro mobile EFTPOS machine.

The portable Tyro EFTPOS machine weighs 380 g and has a rechargeable battery so you can use it wirelessly. It connects with either 3G or WiFi.

The stationary terminal is heavier at 590 g and has to be plugged into a power source at all times. It connects to the internet through Ethernet (cable) or 3G as a backup method. It has PIN shields surrounding the keypad so customers can more easily hide their PIN during entry.

Photo: Tyro

Tyro countertop EFTPOS machine

Tyro countertop EFTPOS machine.

These Tyro EFTPOS machines were subject to a serious outage in January 2021, rendering many small businesses in Australia unable to take cards for that time. We think it is due to the outdated hardware, since they are old Worldline models that look quite dated.

Zeller only has one card machine: the Zeller Terminal with a touchscreen interface. It can be used as a portable terminal or placed in a charging cradle on a countertop. As with Tyro, it accepts chip, tap and swipe cards as well as mobile wallets.

Photo: Zeller

Zeller Terminal in black and white

Zeller Terminal in black and white.

The Zeller terminal has a receipt printer built in and a battery that lasts up to 24 hours (250-300 transactions) from a full charge. It automatically works with WiFi and also GPRS, 3G or 4G if you get a SIM card (extra cost).

The software on Zeller Terminal allows you to enter a payment total and add a surcharge and tip if required. Apart from printing receipts, you can send receipts via SMS or email following each transaction.

Pricing

Neither Tyro nor Zeller have fees for account creation, and there are no lock-in contracts. The similarities more or less end there.

Zeller focuses on simple, transparent fees that apply to everyone: 1.4% per chip, and swipe transaction and 1.7% per keyed-in transaction. The Zeller Terminal costs one upfront price, $299 incl. GST including a 12-month guarantee, and then you own it.

With Zeller, you do have to pay for a SIM card if you want mobile connectivity. Zeller’s own SIM card costs $15 incl. GST monthly for unlimited data, but you can use another SIM card from a different provider.

Tyro only offers rental contracts for its terminals, so you cannot buy one upfront and avoid monthly charges. The countertop model costs $29 excluding GST per month, whereas the portable model is $39 + GST per month. If you want to add health fund claiming, an additional $10 + GST per terminal applies.

Tyro Zeller
Contract lock-in None None
Setup fee None None
Purchase price n/a Terminal: $299
Charging dock: $39
Monthly fees Countertop EFTPOS: $29*/mo.
Mobile EFTPOS: $39*/mo.
n/a
Swipe, chip & tap rate 0.8% – 1.5% 1.4%
Key-in & online rate Base rate + 0.15%* 1.7%
Non-Australian card fee 0.4% None
Currency conversion fee 0.4% None
Settlement Free Free
Refunds Free Free
Chargebacks Free Free

*Excluding GST.

Tyro Zeller
Contract lock-in
None None
Setup fee
None None
Purchase price
n/a Terminal: $299
Charging dock: $39
Monthly fees
Countertop EFTPOS: $29*/mo.
Mobile EFTPOS: $39*/mo.
n/a
Swipe, chip & tap rate
0.8% – 1.5% 1.4%
Key-in & online rate
Base rate + 0.15%* 1.7%
Non-Australian card fee
0.4% None
Currency conversion fee
0.4% None
Settlement
Free Free
Refunds
Free Free
Chargebacks
Free Free

*Excluding GST.

Transaction fees are not transparent with Tyro. You have to contact them for a quote, personalised according to your turnover and business type. The basic rates would be in the region of 0.8% – 1.5% depending on the type of card accepted. Keyed and online transactions have an extra fee of $0.15.

You can automatically accept Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay and eftpos cards with Tyro. American Express, JCB and Diners Club require separate agreements with those card schemes directly, incurring extra costs. Zeller does not require any additional costs to accept Amex and JCB in addition to eftpos, Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay.

When it comes to accepting foreign cards, Tyro adds a transaction fee of 0.4% plus an additional 0.4% if a currency conversion took place. Zeller does not add a fee for accepting foreign cards.

Neither Zeller nor Tyro requires a minimum monthly turnover, so you are free to use the card machines as little or much as needed without paying extra. Payouts, chargebacks and refunds are free to process in both cases as well.

Photo: Tyro

Tyro banking app

Tyro’s bank account and app are free to use.

Photo: Zeller

Zeller includes an e-account and Mastercard.

Payouts, account and debit card

Both Tyro and Zeller can settle transactions in a free business account, bypassing the need to connect with an existing bank account.

In Tyro’s case, you can apply for a full-fledged bank account managed in the Tyro App. This does not come with a physical bank card, so you can’t use it for buying things in person, but it is suitable for bank transfers, BPAY and direct debits.

EFTPOS transactions settle the same day in the Tyro account any day of the week, or within 1-2 business days in any Australian bank account linked to your business.

Zeller Terminal comes with a Zeller Mastercard in the box, linked to your own Transaction Account accessed in a web browser. This can be used for in-person and online payments, money transfers and paying invoices.

Zeller transactions settle in this online account the same day, or you can opt for next-day settlement in an Australian bank account the following business day.

While Zeller does not yet integrate with accounting software, the Tyro bank account can integrate with Xero accounting. Eligible merchants may also apply for a Tyro Business Loan – again, not available with Zeller.

POS integrations

Zeller Terminal does not integrate with any point of sale (POS) software – it is intended as a standalone card payment solution on the go, around premises or as a basic checkout terminal on a counter.

The on-screen Zeller Terminal software allows you to accept cards and process refunds, and that’s it. The web dashboard does allow you to manage your terminal fleet, so you can have a group of EFTPOS machines at different locations.

Photo: Tyro

Tyro-POS integration

Tyro connects with many different POS systems.

Tyro, on the other hand, is built to fit in with nearly any point of sale. Their EFTPOS terminals integrate with over 300 different POS or practice management system (PMS) platforms. This includes Vend, Bepoz, Timely, Pracsoft, Lightspeed and many others geared towards a wide range of industries.

Tyro does not charge extra for integrating a POS system, but costs do apply to your chosen software solution.

Online selling

The only remote selling option available for Zeller merchants is keyed payments, intended for mail order and telephone (MOTO) payments. This is where you manually enter an amount and card details on Zeller Terminal to accept a transaction where the customer is not present.

As of yet, Zeller cannot integrate with ecommerce or invoicing software.

Remote payment method Tyro Zeller
Telephone/keyed payments
Email invoices
Recurring payments
Online store integration
Remote
payment
Tyro Zeller
Telephone/keyed payments
Email invoices
Recurring payments
Online store integration

Tyro has more options for remote payments. You can accept MOTO payments on their EFTPOS terminals or in a web browser, set up recurring payments and send email invoices from an online web portal.

Although Tyro hints at an ecommerce setup, the company is not transparent on which ecommerce platforms it can connect with for online store features. To find out, you need to speak to Tyro for a tailored solution.

Customer service and reviews

Whereas Tyro offers round-the-clock support over telephone and email, Zeller limits the phone and email support hours to 9am-1am AET every day of the week (i.e. there’s no support between 1am-9am). For a service without monthly fees, though, Zeller really goes the extra mile compared to Square that only has weekday support.

Tyro’s onboarding can take two weeks from the initial quote to having the EFTPOS machine set up and ready to use – if all the required paperwork is submitted and you are accepted smoothly.

Photo: Zeller

The pocketable Zeller Terminal is handy for table-service.

In contrast, Zeller’s online sign-up form only takes 5 minutes to complete, and then you’re accepted straight away in most cases, or within a day for more complex businesses. Shipping of the terminal takes anything from 1-11 business days depending on the delivery option chosen. You can also buy the terminal at Officeworks, in which case you can accept payments right after your account is accepted.

We’ve seen many bad reviews of Tyro in 2021 due to their terminal outage early in the year and lacking customer service when help is needed. It seems to be a good service when it works – but when it doesn’t, the consensus on how Tyro handles it is bad.

Zeller is a new company with few customer reviews at this point. The Zeller reviews so far are a mixed bag with reports about payment and service issues, but also praise about its ease of use and reasonable fees.

Our verdict

The least complicated EFTPOS solution is Zeller hands down. The initial cost of the terminal may seem like much, but then you have a complete, affordable pay-as-you-go payment solution that includes an online account and Mastercard.

Once you need more than just a card terminal, though, Zeller falls short. No accounting, ecommerce or POS integrations are available yet, but we’re told Zeller will expand with more features gradually.

The EFTPOS machines of Tyro are not the prettiest, but they connect with pretty much any POS system and link to Xero accounting.

Tyro includes more remote payment options and a full-fledged bank account, but fails to be transparent about online store capabilities and its complicated fees. The monthly cost may also be a deal-breaker for a small business, but transaction rates could make it worthwhile with a consistently high sales volume.

As a service, Tyro has a lot to prove after its recent terminal outage. A new range of EFTPOS machines would seem long overdue to compete with Zeller’s modern touchscreen terminal for small businesses.