Our reviews are editorially independent. That means that no company can dictate or influence our assessments and ratings. Whether or not we have a referral partnership with a company, does not influence our reviews (see: How we make money).
Our reviews look at certain standard criteria (below), though we also allow our writers to state their own opinion having tested the service. We believe there is no such thing as one objective rating, though we try to reflect the overall value a service as much as possible through our star ratings.
At the end of the day different business have different needs, so we encourage businesses making such an important decision as payment processor or POS software, to look beyond the ratings and see if the features and contractual terms suit their needs.
Ratings are not set in stone. As features are added, rates change, and the market develops, we may change our ratings.
Mobile card reader review criteria
- Time in business: The best providers in this space are young companies. That being said, if a company has been in business less than a year, there are certain risks that will be reflected in our ratings.
- Rates and fee structure: We break down the costs to the merchant and benchmark with the competitive market rates. Contractual terms is a part of the picture, and so is deposit times to your bank account.
- Technology: EMV chip cards, magstripe swipe and contactless tap — surprisingly, some providers are lagging behind in providing the latest technology in their card readers.
- App features: For many merchants this is critical. How good is the product library? What about tipping, split tenders and open tickets? How user friendly is the touch screen flow on an iPad? Can you add staff accounts and restrict information to staff?
- Backend features: How good is the business analytics and accounting? Can you integrate with third party services, like cloud accounting?
- Security: Needless to say, you want the highest level of security when dealing with people’s card details.
- Customer service: How quickly are issues resolved? How can you get in touch with customer services. Is there adequate phone support if you need to talk to someone?
- User feedback: We aim to identify genuine feedback from merchants using a service and their typical complaints and praise.
Why we look at fees and rates
Many review sites say they rely much on rates and fees when they set their ratings. We believe rates and fees are important, essential in fact. We make a big effort to uncover any hidden fees and consider the total cost to the merchant.
That being said, fees are not the only thing that matters. If the service is unreliable and you lose customers because your POS system is down, or your payment provider just wont let you process payments, low rates are not worth much.
Features are of critical importance too. Many businesses can save tons of time and money with the right business analytics, integrations to accounting and payroll and customer loyalty features to name some.