Payatrader PayMate Chip & PIN is no longer available for new customers, so the information in this article is no longer updated and likely to be incorrect. New merchants can check our up-to-date comparison of mobile card readers available in the UK.

Small and medium-sized business owners looking for a mobile point-of-sale solution now have an increasing number of options to choose from.

This review takes a closer look at the PayMate Chip & PIN terminal from Payatrader and compares it to the Swedish iZettle chip and PIN reader, which has emerged as the leading UK mPOS solution, overtaking rivals such as Payleven and PayPal Here thanks to its favourable pricing and the number of cards it accepts.

What is the PayMate Chip & PIN terminal?

The PayMate Chip & PIN terminal is the latest addition to Payatrader’s comprehensive range of payment services that include making payments online, by phone, using the call centre or by emailing a payment request to customers. Payatrader has specifically designed its payment services with the trades industries and small businesses in mind.

The PayMate Chip & PIN terminal is a mobile point-of-sale card reader that lets you take credit and debit cards on the move and anywhere you have a data connection. It has also been designed to integrate with Payatrader’s other payment services so transactions made with the Chip & PIN terminal will show up on your online Payatrader statement. The system comes with its own SIM card, so you do not need to have a separate smartphone or tablet.

What does it cost to get started?

There is a significant cost difference for the PayMate Chip & PIN terminal, priced at £118.80 (incl. VAT), compared to the iZettle card reader, which can be bought for £49 (incl. VAT). In addition, there is a £1.50-a-week charge for the SIM card and support charges, which works out at an additional £78 per year, 51 weeks, (£93.60 including VAT). There is also a one-off joining fee of £99 (£118.80 incl. VAT) unlike iZettle, which is free to sign up with.

If you do not wish to buy the PayMate card reader, you can also rent the terminal for a deposit of £50 plus £3.00 per week, which includes the SIM card and support charges. However, over the course of the year, this works out to be £144 (£172.80 incl VAT). If you include the deposit of £50, this is £194 (£222.80 incl. VAT), so it is cheaper to buy a terminal. The difference in price between the PayMate terminal and joining fee compared to signing up with iZettle is £188.60 (and this excludes the SIM and support charges).

Higher transaction fees above £2140 per month in sales

The PayMate Chip & PIN Terminal has a 4-tier scale of fees. This is based on four brackets of weekly (yes, weekly – not monthly) sales revenue:

  • £0–500: 2.90%
  • £500.01–£1,000: 2.70%
  • £1,000.01–£2,500: 2.50%
  • £2,500.01 and upwards: 2.30%

There is a minimum transaction fee of £0.30, and transaction fees are VAT-exempt.

By comparison, iZettle has a sliding scale that ranges from 2.75% to 1.5% and the transaction fees work out to be cheaper, and significantly so the more you earn. For example, sales of £500 per week has a transaction fee of 2.68% compared with 2.90% for PayMate. If your monthly sales are £4,000 iZettle charges 2.12%. If your monthly sales are mostly around £2100, Payatrader and iZettle will end up charging the same at 2.70%.

PayMate’s fee for American Express cards is a standard rate of 2.95% per transaction. Unlike iZettle, it does not accept JCB cards.

Accepting cards on the go – few advantages over iZettle

The comprehensive ways to pay using Payatrader – e-commerce, phone, or emailing invoices for online payment – make it an interesting offering, but if you are simply looking to accept card payments using a mobile point of sale card reader, iZettle is clearly cheaper. This applies both to the start-up costs and the percentage fees per transaction.

In addition, iZettle also comes with analytical and data tools so you can also monitor sales and export data.

There is one scenario where Payatrader might be a suitable choice: where there is no 4G, 3G or WiFi connection. The iZettle card reader connects to a smartphone by Bluetooth, but the phone needs to be connected to WiFi, 4G or 3G to process a transaction. Payatrader PayMate is a standalone mobile card terminal that can function with a GPRS connection.