If you’re a self-employed taxi driver, you may need to install a card machine, and so do taxi fleet owners employing their drivers. In any case, most taxis today would make more money with a card terminal so all passengers can pay the way they prefer. But what’s the best credit card machine for taxi drivers?

Black cabs, private hire taxis and other licensed cab drivers in London have to abide by different rules than outside the city, which we’ll cover in the last section. The rules mean not all the card machines on this list are approved for London, for example the latest iZettle Reader and SumUp are not currently accepted. Still, all the options included here are ideal for taxis throughout the UK.

Mobile Transaction’s top pick of card machines for taxis:

Card machine / providerUpfront cost*Ongoing costs*Offer
SumUp Air£29 £19No monthly fee, just a 1.69% card rate
iZettle Reader£59 £19No monthly fee, just a 1.75% card rate
CabCard Pocket 3G Terminal£99No monthly fee, card fees 1.5%-2.5% + 5p
myPOS Combo£199 + £15 deliveryCard rates from 1.75%, payout fees
Payzone mobile card machineNoneVarying costs
PayPal Here£45No monthly fee, 2.75% – 1% + fixed card fee
Payataxi card reader kit£75-£374 (whole kit)Different pricing options

*Prices exclude VAT.

TopTerminal
price*
Offer
SumUp Air£29 £19
No monthly fee, just a 1.69% card rate
iZettle£59 £19
No monthly fee, just a 1.75% card rate
CabCard Pocket 3G Terminal£99
No monthly fee, card fees 1.5%-2.5% + 5p
myPOS Combo£199 + £15 delivery
Card rates from 1.75%, payout fees apply
Payzone mobile card machineCustom pricing
PayPal Here£45
No monthly fee, 2.75% – 1% + fixed card fee
Payataxi card reader kit£75-£374 (whole kit)
Different pricing options

*Prices exclude VAT.

SumUp Air – best value without contract

SumUp logo
SumUp Air with iPhone app
Our rating
  • Not generally approved in London, but ideal for other taxis
  • Works with mobile payment app

  • Requires Bluetooth printer for paper receipts

  • No contractual lock-in

  • No monthly fees

  • Card reader: £29 £19 + VAT (offer here)

  • Fixed card rate: 1.69%

SumUp Air is perhaps the cheapest card payment machine for taxi drivers. For only £29 + VAT (£19 + VAT through this special offer), you buy it upfront, then pay only a fixed transaction fee of 1.69% for any card accepted. There’s no contractual commitment or monthly fees.

Photo: Emmanuel Charpentier, Mobile Transaction

SumUp Air is a low-cost mobile credit credit card machine for taxi drivers.

The card reader connects with a SumUp app on your phone or tablet, using the mobile device’s 3G or 4G network to process payments over the internet. The app is very easy to use, with standard features like adding VAT and viewing past transactions. Payments are automatically cleared in your bank account within 2-3 working days for no extra charge.

SumUp accepts contactless and chip and PIN cards by Visa, V Pay, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, UnionPay and Discover, as well as the mobile wallets Apple Pay and Google Pay. The wide range of foreign cards makes it a good choice for taxis serving lots of tourists.

The SumUp app allows you to send a digital receipt via email or text after each transaction. To print a receipt, you need to buy a compatible receipt printer and connect it with SumUp Air over Bluetooth.

Accepted cards

VisaVisa ElectronV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressDiners ClubUnion PayDiscoverContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

SumUp Air works best handheld, as there is no official card reader mount to install in the passenger compartment. This makes it unsuitable for licensed taxi drivers in London, where it is a requirement to have a fixed card terminal with the passenger. However, Free Now (or MyTaxi, as it used to be called) may provide SumUp Air to Londoners under certain circumstances. We suggest inquiring directly with Transport for London for more info.

If you prefer a standalone card reader, the SumUp 3G terminal works without a mobile app. It has the same card fees as Air, but doesn’t accept UnionPay, Diners Club or Discover.

SumUp’s customer support is available every day of the week, between 8am and 7pm on weekdays and 8am to 5pm on weekends.

Learn more: SumUp Air review – easy-to-use with an affordable card rate

iZettle Reader – most functions for the lowest price

iZettle logo
iZettle Reader with iPhone app
Our rating
  • Not approved in London, but ideal for other taxis

  • Works with mobile payment app

  • Requires Bluetooth printer for paper receipts

  • No contractual lock-in

  • No monthly fees

  • Card reader: £59 £19 + VAT (offer here)

  • Fixed card rate: 1.75%

iZettle Reader is another low-cost card reader that works in conjunction with a mobile app. It costs just £59 (£19 on offer), and then you only pay a fixed transaction rate of 1.75% for any card accepted. There are no monthly fees and no contractual lock-in.

Photo: Emmanuel Charpentier, Mobile Transaction

iZettle Reader is a modern-looking mobile card machine for taxi drivers (it comes in black too).

iZettle accepts the widest choice of credit and debit cards out of all options on this list. That includes Visa, V Pay, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, UnionPay, JCB, and the digital wallets Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Payments go directly into your bank account within 1-2 working days – there are no payout fees.

The card reader connects via Bluetooth with a compatible iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet with the iZettle Go app installed. You enter the fare amount in the app, and the card reader switches on, ready to accept a contactless or chip and PIN payment.

Receipts are sent via email or text from the app, but it’s also possible to connect a mobile receipt printer for paper receipts.

The payment app functions like a simple point of sale (POS) system, with extra features like email invoices and tipping. You can also send payment links via text message or social media, which could be used to secure an advance payment from a taxi booking. All remote and keyed-in card payments incur a higher fee, namely 2.5%.

iZettle’s customer service team is only available on weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

Accepted cards

VisaVisa ElectronV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressDiners ClubJCBUnion PayDiscoverContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Similar to SumUp Air, there is no official card reader mount to secure iZettle Reader in the passenger compartment. That means you can only use it handheld in the cab, so it is currently not approved by Transport for London.

Learn more: iZettle Reader review – leading card reader with POS app

CabCard – low-cost card payments with 24/7 support

CabCard logo
Our rating
  • Not approved in London, but ideal for other taxis

  • Terminals work independently, SIM card and data included

  • Settlement in bank account or prepaid Visa card

  • Individual drivers: card reader £99 + VAT, transaction rates 1.5%-2.5% + 5p, no monthly fees

  • Taxi fleets: tailored package, spread the cost of hardware over a contract term

CabCard Services is a UK-based company specialising in card terminals for taxi drivers. Over 10,000 taxi drivers use CabCard, and we can see why: the pricing is uncomplicated and very affordable, and it includes dedicated 24/7 customer support via phone, email and web chat.

Photo: CabCard

CabCard Services Pocket 3G Terminal

The 3G terminal by CabCard is a simple, handheld machine with some of the lowest fees in the taxi sector.

Taxi drivers and fleet owners can choose between two card machine models: a larger terminal with receipt printing, and the Pocket 3G Terminal. The latter is the model featured for individual drivers.

CabCard Pocket 3G Terminal costs 99 + VAT upfront. It works independently (i.e. doesn’t require a connected smartphone like iZettle), processing payments through the local 3G network through the built-in SIM card with data included. You can add tips directly on the card reader.

There are no monthly fees for this card machine, and the daily or weekly (your choice) bank account settlement is also free of charge. Instead of clearing transactions in a bank account, you can choose to process payouts to a prepaid Visa CabCard card.

For individual taxi drivers, all transactions incur a 5p authorisation charge in addition to the following rates:

  • Personal Visa/Mastercard debit and credit cards issued in UK/EEA: 1.5%
  • Business Visa/Mastercard debit cards issued in UK/EEA: 1.5%
  • Business Visa/Mastercard credit cards issued in UK/EEA: 2.5%
  • All non-EEA/UK Visa/Mastercard: 2.5%
  • All Amex: 2.5%

Accepted cards

VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

Taxi fleet owners can get special card rates (1% or less), the option to spread the cost of hardware over a contract term, and no setup or upfront charges. This includes software allowing you to monitor your fleet’s sales and driver performance in real time from the backend account. Fleets can get their contract tailored in different ways, e.g. by deciding how drivers get paid through the CabCard system.

Self-employed taxi drivers also have access to view transactions and payout times in a CabCard dashboard on a tablet or smartphone.

CabCard is currently seeking approval from Transport for London to get their Pocket 3G Terminal accepted in London’s licensed taxis. As of yet, this approval has not been obtained, but when/if it does, it will be able to connect to a receipt printer (currently, it cannot).

myPOS Combo – with receipt printing and e-money account

myPOS logo
myPOS Combo
Our rating
  • Not approved in London, but ideal for other taxis

  • Works independently via inbuilt SIM card

  • Built-in receipt printer

  • Payouts in e-money account, bank account settlement costs extra

  • No contractual lock-in

  • No monthly fees

  • Card machine: £199 (+£15 shipping) + VAT

  • Card rates from 1.75%

myPOS sells a whole range of card terminals without contractual commitment or fixed monthly costs. The myPOS Combo model is one of their bestsellers, and probably the best suited for taxis as it is independent, has an inbuilt receipt printer and comes with a SIM card with unlimited data for card processing. It costs £199 + VAT plus a £15 + VAT delivery charge.

Photo: myPOS

myPOS Combo box contents

myPOS Combo comes with a Visa card linked to the online myPOS account.

myPOS is more of a European company than UK-based. Their terminals work across the EU without having to put in a special agreement, so private hire drivers and taxis operating around the border (e.g. Northern Ireland/Ireland) could benefit from that flexibility.

Transaction rates are determined by your estimated card turnover, business sector, card type and region. You can expect personal Visa debit and credit cards issued in the UK to cost around 1.75% per transaction, while other cards have higher fees.

Payments are settled immediately in an online myPOS e-money account, and you can access this money straight away through the complimentary Business Visa card. Transferring money from the e-money account to your bank account costs £1.50 for each payout.

Accepted cards

VisaVisa ElectronV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressUnion PayJCBContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Getting started with myPOS is not as simple as with SumUp, iZettle or CabCard, as you need to e.g. submit paperwork and have an identity verification video call before the account is set up. In the UK, myPOS offers round-the-clock customer support every day of the week.

If you like the idea myPOS’s online merchant account, but look for a cheaper terminal, the myPOS Go card reader costs just £29 + VAT. It’s cheaper because it has fewer features and lacks receipt printing.

Learn more: myPOS: pay-as-you-go terminals with online business account

Payzone – industry-leading card machines with a year’s contract

Payzone logo
Payzone mobile card machine
Our rating
  • May not be approved in London, but ideal for other taxis

  • Choice of Ingenico card terminals

  • Works independently via inbuilt SIM card

  • Built-in receipt printer

  • 12 months’ contract

  • Amex acceptance costs extra

  • From £20 + VAT/month

  • Card rates: 0.6%-2.5% + flat fee

  • Monthly minimum charge applies

Payzone is a UK company offering card machine contracts of just 12 months (the industry norm is 18+ months). A range of standalone mobile terminals with SIM card included are recommended for taxi drivers, each with a monthly rental fee starting at £20 + VAT. Card rates are based on your expected turnover, business area and type of cards accepted. If you want to accept Amex, you’ll need to pay for an extra contract with American Express.

Payzone taxi card machine

Payzone offers a range of Ingenico card machines for taxi drivers.

A downside for self-employed taxi drivers working uneven hours is the monthly minimum sales volume charge – if you don’t make a specific minimum (determined at the start of your contract) for a month, you pay a charge. Although there’s no setup fee, if you decide to leave a contract early, you pay an early termination fee if you want to leave before the 12 months are up.

As with most other merchant service providers, transaction rates vary between payment cards. The range of fees is typically 0.6%-2.5% with the lowest fees attributed to domestic, personal Mastercard and Visa cards. Foreign, premium cards usually have the highest fees. You also pay a flat authorisation charge on top of the percentage.

Payzone likes to get to know its merchants before signing them up, and it is during this conversation that you can inquire about card machines.

Accepted cards

VisaMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

Since London taxis only approve of certain terminal models (e.g. Ingenico IPP350 or ICT220), London drivers should get this straight upfront. Each will have a receipt printer built in, so there’s no need for a separate receipt printer in the cab.

Payzone’s customer support is available to contact every day of the week, but only within opening hours: weekdays between 8am and 7pm, Saturdays 9am to 5pm, and Sundays between 9am and 1pm.

Learn more: Payzone review: traditional terminals with a fairly affordable contract

PayPal Here – varying fees, approved in London

PayPal Here logo
PayPal Here UK card reader
Our rating
  • Approved for London taxis

  • Works with mobile payment app

  • Requires Bluetooth printer for paper receipts

  • Payouts in e-money account, no automatic bank account settlement

  • No contractual lock-in

  • No monthly fees

  • Card reader: £45 + VAT

  • Card rates depend on sales volume, typically 2.75%–1.0% + fixed fee

PayPal Here is a card reader that works with a payment app on your phone or tablet – it does not work on its own. The terminal accepts chip and PIN, contactless and swipe card payments, clearing transactions immediately in your online PayPal e-money account. Transferring payments to a bank account can only be done manually from your online dashboard or PayPal app.

PayPal Here reader cab bundle

PayPal’s cab bundle includes the Miura M010 card reader, terminal mount, receipt printer and power converter for the printer.

There is no contractual commitment or ongoing fees, making this a good solution for the occasional cab driver. The card rates are, however, not the lowest or simplest. Every month determines the card rate for the following month – the higher the monthly sales volume, the lower the card fees the following month. That means the first month will always incur the highest fees because you haven’t qualified for the lower fees yet.

Furthermore, Amex rates are always high (at least 2.75%). The other fees are:

  • Visa/Mastercard chip or contactless: 1%-2.75% (2.75% with monthly turnover below £1,500, 1.75% with a £1,500.01–£6k monthly turnover)
  • Visa/Mastercard/Amex manual entry or swipe: always 3.40% + 20p

To benefit from lower fees, you have to accept over £1,500 in card payments a month. If you go lower than that one month, you will go back to the highest fees the following month until the next time you qualify again.

Accepted cards

VisaVisa ElectronMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

Since the card reader does not print receipts, you need to connect it via Bluetooth to a portable receipt printer. The PayPal Here cab bundle includes a compatible printer along with a card reader and mounts for securing the terminal in the passenger compartment – and it’s approved by Transport for London.

Customer support is available to phone Monday-Saturday between 8am and 8.30pm and Sundays between 9am and 8.30pm.

Learn more: PayPal Here review: how does it compare with iZettle and SumUp?

Payataxi – flexible card payment options

Payataxi logo