It’s now easier than ever to accept credit and debit cards in the UK. Forget costly card machines. You can now get a Chip & PIN card device – a contactless one, even – that’s able to process payments with a smartphone or tablet, via the use of a free and easy-to-use app.

In 2017, the race between the most popular mobile card readers in the UK is hair-splittingly close. For low-volume merchants, SumUp offers a particularly attractive fee structure. Meanwhile, iZettle and Payleven offer competitive transaction rates for card payments totaling more than £5,000 per month. iZettle is the first mobile point of sale provider in the UK to offer a contactless reader. Its devices also accept the broadest range of credit card brands.

iZettlePaylevenSumUp
iZettlePaylevenSumUp

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Solution typeWireless Chip & PIN reader, contactless + mobile appWireless Chip & PIN reader, contactless + mobile appWireless Chip & PIN reader, contactless + mobile app
Device price (upfront cost)£59 £25 + VAT (link to offer)£59 £29 + VAT (link to promocode)£59 £29 + VAT (link to sign-up)
Debit/credit card transaction cost1.0-2.75% depending on volume
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1.50-2.75% depending on volume1.95%
Monthly feeNoneNoneNone
Minimum revenue requirementNoneNoneNone
Confirmation methodPIN and contactless tapPIN and contactless tapPIN and contactless tap
Supported cardsVisaVisa ElectronV PayMasterCardMaestroAmerican Express

Diners ClubJCB
VisaVisa ElectronV PayMasterCardMaestroAmerican ExpressVisaVisa ElectronV PayMasterCardMaestro American Express
Transaction limitsMinimum £1, maximum £200,000/day for business account, and £5,000 per card and transaction. £100 daily for transactions using the magnetic stripe.Minimum €1, maximum limit varies individually.Minimum £1, maximum limit varies individually.
Backup methodsMagnetic stripe readerMagnetic stripe readerMagnetic stripe reader
ConnectionBluetooth to smartphone/tablet with 3G/4G/WiFiBluetooth to smartphone/tablet with 3G/4G/WiFiBluetooth to smartphone/tablet with 3G/4G/WiFi
Printer supportSupports several printers and AirPrintBixolon mobile thermal printerStar Micronics TSP-100 and Bixolon SPP-R200II
Staff accountsYes, can define information access and authoritiesYes, can define information access and authoritiesYes
Product libraryYesYesYes
Operating systems
Settlement delay3 business days in most cases4 - 7 business days3 - 6 business days
ReceiptsPrint, sms or emailPrint or emailPrint or email
Tips/gratuitiesNoNo (disabled in latest version of app)No
Transaction overviewGreat statistics and business analytics both in app and on iZettle websiteIn app and on account area on the web.In app and on account area on the web.
Use abroadNoCan be activated if customer service is informed in advance.Can be activated if customer service is informed in advance.
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All three systems share characteristics that make them very attractive to small merchants. Initial set up costs are very low, there are no fixed monthly rental fees and no required transaction volumes. Payleven, SumUp and iZettle are therefore all suitable for infrequent use, as well as for processing multiple transactions daily, as a main POS solution.

iZettle currently accepts the most payment cards. Both iZettle and Payleven offer an incentivized transaction rate scheme – the cost comes down with higher volumes. On the other hand, SumUp is now offering the best fixed-fee structure in the UK at 1.95%. The iZettle app tends to be ahead of the game, with slightly more features than the competition.

For more information on these popular mPOS systems read our comprehensive and thorough individual reviews: Payleven, iZettle and SumUp.