The latest SumUp card machine, SumUp 3G, promises an easy way to accept cards, similar to myPOS Mini that has been around for longer.
The pay-as-you-go card machines are purchased at a one-off price and card rates are fixed percentages, but payouts work differently. Let’s compare the two options.
|SumUp 3G||myPOS Mini|
|Price||£119 + VAT|
|Transaction fee||1.69% for all cards||1.75% for Visa & Mastercard, more for others|
|Commitment||No contract||No contract|
|Settlement||2-3 working days in bank account||Immediate in online account|
|£119 + VAT|
|1.69% fee for all cards||1.75% fee for Visa & Mastercard, more for others|
|No contract, no monthly fees||No contract, no monthly fees|
|2-3 days’ settlement in bank account||Immediate settlement in online account|
Card machines are similar
SumUp 3G and myPOS Mini are very similar card machines. They’re both pocket-sized, with a SIM card using the local 3G network over which payments can be processed. The software is hardcoded on the device, so you have a basic settings menu and card payment screen, navigated with keypad buttons.
Both accept chip and PIN, contactless and swipe cards and mobile wallets via NFC. Tips can be added, and the admin can create multiple staff accounts if using more than one card machine in the company.
myPOS has a few add-on features, including mobile top-ups, gift cards and payment requests for remote payments.
Neither has an inbuilt receipt printer or connects with an external receipt printer, but they can send digital receipts via text or email.
myPOS has three other card machines with inbuilt receipt printer: the Combo, Smart and Smart N5 models. These are more expensive, in part because they also have the option for more features via additional apps. SumUp’s other card reader, Air, is considerably cheaper and without receipt printer, but works in conjunction with a mobile app on a phone or tablet, with more free features than SumUp 3G and myPOS.
SumUp fees are predictable and lower
How do the costs stack up? SumUp definitely wins the battle of simple, hands down. The 3G model normally costs a one-off £99 (on offer for £69) + VAT, after which you just pay the fixed-percentage card fee of 1.69% for all payments, including American Express. Chargebacks cost a £10 admin fee each. There are no monthly fees or contractual lock-in.
If you want to pay even less, the SumUp Air card reader is a great alternative for £29 (£19 on offer). The Air accepts more card brands (Diners Club, UnionPay and Discover) than SumUp 3G. Apart from the terminal cost, all other charges are the same for both devices.
myPOS Mini costs £119 + VAT, and like SumUp, you get to keep the device without any monthly fees or contractual obligations. The card rate, on the other hand, varies depending on “business activity, geographical location and other factors”. Precise quotes are given by myPOS directly after sending a request form, but Visa and Mastercard credit and debit card transactions typically cost 1.75% each. Internationally-issued and premium cards like Amex will cost more.
|Fixed monthly fees||None||None|
|Visa, Mastercard (from within EEA) fee||1.69%||1.75% (estimated)|
|Premium, international card fee||1.69%||2-2.5%+ (estimated)|
|Settlement in UK bank account||Free||£1.50 per transfer|
|Chargebacks||£10 each||£15 each|
|Account closing redemption fee||None||£15|
|Fixed monthly fees|
|Visa, Mastercard (from within EEA) fee|
|Premium, international card fee|
|Settlement in UK bank account|
|Free||£1.50 per transfer|
|£10 each||£15 each|
|Account closing redemption fee|
SumUp doesn’t charge anything for bank account settlements, but myPOS does. Firstly, you receive transactions, minus transaction fee, in your online myPOS account for free. Then for a UK domestic transfer to your bank account, you pay £1.50 (other fees apply to other kinds of transfers). Withdrawing cash from the myPOS online account with the myPOS debit card costs at least £2 each time. There may also be other charges related to text messages, account statements and so on, so not overall that transparent compared to SumUp. Upon closing a myPOS account, you have to pay £15 to redeem the remaining E-money in it.
SumUp clears to bank account, myPOS to online account
A big difference between the systems is where transactions are cleared. SumUp settles money directly in your bank account, which is free and takes two to three working days. Payouts can be scheduled daily – i.e. once a day, SumUp sends the day’s transactions to your bank account – weekly or monthly.
myPOS does not settle money in your bank account. Instead, they clear transactions in an online E-money Account. From here, you can manually transfer it to a bank account. This account comes with its own IBAN numbers, so you can use it as a central, international business account ideal for cross-border payments.
myPOS Business Card with app to manage the online account. Photo: myPOS
myPOS transactions can be accessed in a mobile app or online dashboard in a browser. SumUp also has an online dashboard where you can view transactions and print reports.
myPOS offers a Visa debit card
Rather than paying to transfer from the myPOS E-money Account to bank account, you can use the complimentary myPOS Business Card for direct access to funds currently in the E-money Account. It is basically a Visa debit card that can be used anywhere accepting Visa, and you get ten cards for free with no monthly fees. You can also withdraw cash, but this costs per ATM withdrawal.
SumUp offers no such debit cards since they don’t have an online SumUp account.
myPOS accepts more cards and mobile wallets
SumUp 3G accepts the most popular cards in the UK, including Visa, Visa Electron, V Pay, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay. These are more than enough for most merchants, but touristy shops may want myPOS’s additional options too: JCB, UnionPay, Samsung Pay, Bancontact and iDEAL.
The latter two are Belgium- and Holland-based mobile wallets respectively. They are primarily used in mainland Europe, but British merchants can still accept them.
Both can be used abroad, but need permission with SumUp
By default, a British SumUp account works within the UK border only. That said, you can notify SumUp’s customer service of any travels to another European country where they are offering services as well. You may then be granted permission to use the card machine in that country during the time you’re away.
As an openly European company, myPOS doesn’t require such an arrangement. The SIM card in the card reader automatically works in all EEA countries.
Sign-up is easier with SumUp
Sign-up is a simple, 5-minute process through SumUp’s website, and then you just order the card reader while your bank account and business are verified within a few days. It cannot be any easier, although receiving the card reader can take around a week.
After the initial sign-up form on the website, myPOS additionally requires an identification check over video and submission of paperwork. This whole process can take some days.
SumUp 3G used in a café. Photo: SumUp
Which is best for whom?
Both providers are catering to startups, sole traders and small businesses that just want to get paid as easily as possible. They are affordable pay-as-you-go terminals with no long-term contracts, unlike many other card machines that come with rental lock-in and monthly fees.
The mobility of the devices makes them ideal for restaurants and cafés for table service, but any small shop or mobile business can use them as a lightweight solution to payments anywhere. Taxi driver may prefer myPOS Mini, since it can integrate with dispatch software for cabs.
If it is not important to manage card revenue via your business bank account, myPOS has a clear advantage in providing immediate access to payments processed through the card machine. The myPOS Business Card can be a lifesaver for cash-strapped businesses waiting to buy more stock as soon as they sell something (with SumUp, it takes a few days to get the money).
Both card payment solutions work out as good, commitment-free alternatives to rented terminals, but SumUp takes the prize of being cheapest, easiest and most transparent.
myPOS can be convenient for international businesses with its online account and instant access to funds online, but there are more fees, some of which are less than clear. Although myPOS’s card rates are specific to your business, SumUp’s free bank account settlement and fixed percentage for everyone and all cards are the most low-cost solution.