Mobile payment companies Payleven and SumUp merged in April 2016. The combined company trades under the name SumUp. While existing merchants are not affected by the merger, we give a run-down of four Payleven alternatives for those considering accepting card payments on mobile devices.
|Contactless reader + an app + simple rates|
|Contactless reader + functionally-rich app + sliding scale rates|
|basic Chip and PIN device + basic app + telephone payments possible + two rate options|
|Contactless reader + an app + complicated rates and payment terms|
SumUp – affordable fixed fee
SumUp offers a its contactless SumUp Air terminal at £59 + VAT (Mobile Transaction readers get it for £19 + VAT here). There is a one-off cost for this reader with no ongoing contract or fees.
A 1.95% transaction fee is charged for all credit and debit card payments. Payment is received in 3-6 business days.
The SumUp Air reader is compatible with a range of Apple and Android phones and tablets, running a minimum of operating system iOS 7.0 for Apple or Android 4.4 with Bluetooth 4.0.
The app allows you to enter a sale, create a product list with pictures and prices, issue receipts via e-mail, SMS or printed, review sales history, export sales history in Excel or CSV format, check payout date.
Pros: a good, basic, know-where-you-stand offering with competitive rates
Cons: it can take up to 5 business days to receive funds, although you can easily check the payout date and status via a dashboard
iZettle – the most feature rich
The iZettle Reader has an appealing look and feel, and as SumUp, comes with no ongoing contract or fees.
The iZettle Reader costs £59 + VAT (but you can get it for £25 here). It connects to an app on your mobile device via Bluetooth. You can get the charging Dock pictured for an additional £24.
As an added bonus, you get a free Point of Sale system, making it more affordable than ever to dive into the new world of cloud based iPad POS.
It accepts the widest range of card for any pay as you go payment solution in the UK: Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express and Union Pay. The device accepts contactless cards, as well as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
Transaction fees are charged on a sliding scale depending on your monthly sales volume. Rates range from 2.75% to 1.0% (calculate your rate here). Payment is received in 2-3 business days.
The iZettle Reader is compatible with a range of Apple and Android phones and tablets, running a minimum of Apple OS 8.0 or Android 4.1.
The app offers the basics (e.g enter a sale, create products with pictures, issue receipts, review sales history). The app also has more advanced features such as printing receipts to the kitchen and integration with accounting software Xero. It is possible to set up multiple staff or multiple devices to accept payment simultaneously.
Pros: industry leader in cloud based payments, adapts to the way you trade with the ability to set up additional staff or devices as your business grows
Cons: higher rates for low-volume traders. If you take less than around £2,000 per month on cards, you’re looking at a fee of around 2.75% per transaction.
WorldPay Zinc – telephone payments enabled
WorldPay Zinc offer one type of card reader and PIN pad at £39.99 including VAT. There is a one-off cost for this reader.
There are two types of payment plans: pay as you go and pay monthly.
With the pay as you go plan, there is no monthly fee and a 2.75% transaction fee.
With the monthly plan, there is a £5.99 monthly fee and a 1.95% transaction fee.
Payment is usually received within four business days.
The WorldPay Zinc reader is compatible with a range of Apple and Android phones and tablets. For Android, your device must run a minimum of Android OS2.3.x or 4.x.
The app is basic and the least developed of the four alternatives featured in this article. There is no product library, employee account option or advanced reports.
It is possible to take telephone payments as well as face-to-face card sales on your reader. This is ideal for businesses based at home or needing to take deposits.
Pros: a choice of pricing plans and the ability to take telephone payments.
Cons: higher rates on the pay as you go plan of 2.75%, Amex cards are not accepted, and the app is very basic.
PayPal Here – complicated rates
PayPal Here contactless card reader and PIN pad costs £75 including VAT. There is a one-off cost for this reader with no ongoing contract or fees.
The rates and payment terms are the most complicated out of all four providers. There are different rates depending on how you process payments (contactless, chip or magnetic stripe). Cross-border fees also apply for non-domestic cards.
Transaction fees are charged on a sliding scale depending on your monthly sales volume. Rates range from 2.75% to 1.9% + 20p.
It is difficult to know when you will receive payment in advance of signing up, because PayPal operates a system of rolling and limited reserves. This is where PayPal holds back a percentage of your sales to cover their liabilities, and releases this only after a set period. The rolling and limited reserves are assessed on a case by case basis and communicated to customers via e-mail.
The PayPal reader is compatible with a range of Apple and Android phones and tablets, running a minimum of Apple OS 7.0 or Android 4.0.
The app offers the basics (e.g enter a sale, create a product list, issue receipts, review sales history). It is also possible to record cash and cheque payments, issue invoices, set discounts and add tips.
Pros: the functionality of the app
Cons: the unclear rates and extra fees especially if you accept a high proportion of foreign cards in your business (e.g. from tourists or visitors to the UK). The unclear payment terms complicate cash flow and budgeting.