Our rating(3.8/5)
The inexpensive card reader is convenient in Ireland, with well-oiled account features.
Revolut Reader is a compact card reader that works together with the Revolut Business app. It’s designed for basic, in-person card payments via chip and PIN or contactless tap, but does it work well?
  • Pros: Low domestic card rate. Next-day payouts. Business account features. Consumer trust in Revolut. Dedicated POS app available.

  • Cons: Transaction flow in app a bit awkward. Slow customer support. Domestic rate doesn’t apply to Northern Irish cards.

  • Best for: Small-business merchants who’d like a card reader connected with their Revolut Business account.

MobileTransaction has personally tested Revolut Reader, the business account and service on several occasions over time. We do this to provide an honest take on the product. Opinions are the editor’s own.

What is it? More than just a card reader

Revolut’s QR codes are already used by many Irish businesses, such as hairdressers, to get paid from customers in person.

But Revolut Reader takes this a step further – launched in 2022, this wireless card reader works in conjunction with the Revolut Business app. It accepts contactless and chip cards of the Visa, Mastercard and Maestro brands, as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

All transactions clear in your online Revolut Business account within 24 hours, so you can use it for expenses with the accompanying Debit Mastercard soon after seeing the customer.

Photo: Emily Sorensen (ES), MobileTransaction

Revolut Reader held in hand

The Revolut card reader we tested.

Despite having a European banking licence, Revolut Business is still an e-money account in Ireland, not a bank account. That said, it can be used as a current account with its own IBAN for international transfers. What’s more, you can create different currency accounts to keep EUR, USD, GBP and other currencies separate.

In fact, having the business account comes with many free and optional features like team expenses, bulk payments and integrations with other software. Whether you’re a freelancer or company, there’s a free or paid subscription to suit your size of business.

Accepted cards

VisaMastercardMaestroContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

You can view all transactions and use account features in the Revolut Business app. This includes sending payment links, invoicing, generating QR codes and managing cards and team members.

Our opinion: convenient for Revolut users, potentially cheap

As long as your business serves mainly Republic of Ireland- and EEA-based (unfortunately not Northern Irish) customers with a consumer card, Revolut will probably be a good money-saving option for both irregular and regular payments.

When I first tested the card reader, it was newly launched and still with teething issues, but most of those problems won’t apply to new users. If you do run into problems, customer support may be slow to help. The card reader’s 30-day money-back guarantee and year’s warranty may ease your mind, though.

“I think it’s worth getting the card reader for merchants who regularly use the Revolut Business account and need to accept cards from Irish (not Northern Irish) customers. But someone looking for the best quality card reader can find it elsewhere.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

Given the lack of substantial features like tipping and sales analytics, the Business app is only suitable for simple transactions. Better point of sales features are available in the new Revolut POS app, but this is for iPad only and mostly for simple food-and-drink operations, not retailers or anything complex.

Revolut Reader criteria Rating Conclusion
Product 3.5 Passable/Good
Costs and fees 4.2 Good
Transparency and sign-up 3.7 Passable/Good
Value-added services 4 Good
Service and reviews 3.2 Passable
Contract 4 Good
Revolut Reader
Rating Conclusion
Product 3.5 Passable/Good
Costs and fees 4.2 Good
Transparency and sign-up 3.7 Passable/Good
Value-added services 4 Good
Service and reviews 3.2 Passable
Contract 4 Good

MobileTransaction rates card readers like Revolut’s in six areas: product, pricing, transparency and registration, value-added features, reviews and support, and contract requirements.

Each criteria gets a score between 1 and 5, resulting in an overall star rating reflecting the Revolut card reader’s value for a small business.

A card terminal’s primary function is to accept cards in person, so the quality of the reader and app and flow of card payments have a higher weighting in the rating criteria.

We have tested, communicated with and investigated Revolut as a wider service to establish the scores.

Revolut Business account holders benefit from having a card reader integrated with the account, with next-day settlement and a Mastercard included. The business banking features, online payments and multi-currency accounts are real benefits for borderless freelancers and companies alike.

Eligibility and sign-up – what’s required?

The solution is available for companies, partnerships and sole traders registered in Ireland with a Revolut Business account. You don’t have to be Irish personally, as long as you have a legal residency status in the Republic of Ireland.

If you already have a Personal Revolut account, you still need to apply for a Business Account. To qualify for payment acceptance and the card reader, you also need to apply for an additional Merchant Account after your business account is approved.

The Business Account registration is done online in 10-15 minutes. It requires the following from everyone:

  • Business address
  • Short description of business
  • Intended account usage
  • Photo of passport or national ID

If you’re not a citizen of Ireland, you’ll have to submit proof of your right to reside there. Companies need to also submit a few details about incorporation and identity checks of each shareholder or director. If the applicant isn’t a director or shareholder, a Power of Attorney is required to proceed with the registration.

Additional information or documents may be required, depending on your business. Revolut prefers documents in English, though other languages can be accepted. In some cases, you need to submit a website address for your business to prove its legitimacy (a non-public LinkedIn profile does not suffice – we tried).

If all goes well, the Business Account is verified within a day. You can then apply for the Merchant Account through the Business app or web dashboard. This is quicker and may not require more documents, but Revolut could still ask for extra proof. It can take a day or more for this application to be approved, depending on your type of business.


The Revolut card reader costs €49 + VAT upfront, plus a €5 shipping fee (free delivery is not an option).

The card terminal comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you the option to change your mind for a full refund. A 1-year warranty also covers the cost if it has an internal fault.

You can only order the card reader after the Merchant Account has been verified. That’s because you can’t accept card payments without it, whether online or in person. The order is placed within the account online or in-app.

There are different business account subscriptions depending on the amount of features required, but a free plan is perfectly fine for using Revolut Reader. A Company account costs €0-€100 monthly and a Freelancer account €0-€19 monthly.

Revolut costs
Revolut Reader €49 + VAT
Shipping €5
Business account From €0/mo (depends on plan)
Domestic (excl. Northern Ireland) & EEA* consumer cards 0.8% + €0.02 per chip & tap transaction
Non-EEA** (incl. Northern Ireland) & all commercial cards 2.6% + €0.02 per chip & tap transaction
Refunds Original transaction cost is retained
Chargebacks €15 each
Payouts Free
Commitment None

*Including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, not Northern Ireland/UK. **Including Northern Ireland/UK.

Transaction fees are low at 0.8% + €0.02 for Mastercard and Visa consumer cards issued in the Republic of Ireland or EEA, but high for premium, corporate, commercial and non-EEA cards at 2.6% + €0.02.

All Northern Irish and UK-issued cards qualify for the higher non-EEA rate, which is not great if you get a lot of business from there. If most of your customers are from the Republic of Ireland or within the EEA, the domestic fee is a very competitive rate that’s worth getting the card reader for.

If you decide to refund a transaction, the transaction fees are retained by Revolut, though no other refund fee is applied. Chargebacks incur a fixed fee of €15, should a customer dispute a transaction.

Next-day payouts in your Revolut account are free. You receive funds in the Merchant Account within 24 hours of each transaction, even on weekends. To spend the money, funds have to be moved to the Business Account from the Merchant Account (takes an instant to move), which is either done manually or automatically at the end of each day.

Once in the Revolut Business account, you can spend it immediately on expenses with your free Mastercard Debit card sent to your postal address. You can use it to get cash from ATMs for a fee of 2% of the withdrawal amount. This is more expensive than using a bank card.

It is, however, free to spend funds with the Mastercard online and in stores. If you want to pay in other currencies, Revolut has affordable exchange rates for its multi-currency accounts.

Card reader and accessories

Like other app-based card readers, Revolut Reader is small and wireless. Measuring just 78 mm x 78 mm x 22 mm and weighing 106 g, it has a chip card slot below the screen and accepts contactless cards and mobile wallets over the screen.

The terminal uses the WiFi, 3G, 4G or 5G of your connected iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet to process transactions. It does not work independently.

Photo: ES, MobileTransaction

Revolut card reader next to decals

The card reader seen from behind, next to decals.

The card reader has a small, monochrome touchscreen display surrounded by a black frame and white, plastic casing. Overall, it looks a bit retro like a 1990s gaming device, but the style is in line with Revolut’s other products. Irish customers already familiar with the Revolut logo will trust the card reader when they see the logo etched into both sides.

“To me, Revolut Reader’s casing feels a bit cheap compared with other card reader brands. I’ve also had several technical glitches with it, but maybe that’s because I’ve mostly used it when it was just released.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

The screen activates when connecting with the app via Bluetooth. It shows a contactless logo when ready to accept a payment or virtual PIN pad when a PIN is required, which is when you’d use the touchscreen.

The only other time we used the touchscreen was when we synced the card reader with the Revolut Business app. For security reasons, you have to tap to confirm a code on the terminal screen that matches the one displayed in the app.

Photo: ES, MobileTransaction

Revolut Reader contactless ready screen

Ready to accept a card.

Photo: ES, MobileTransaction

Revolut Reader PIN pad screen

Virtual PIN pad on screen.

What about accessories? It comes with a 1.5 m USB-C charging cable that can be plugged into an adaptor or computer. Once fully charged, it should last you over 200 transactions, which is decent for a card reader with a touchscreen.

It does not connect with a receipt printer, cash drawer or barcode scanner, so it’s unsuitable as a point of sale. It’s just a simple card reader for on-the-go or in-store payments with a physical card or mobile wallet.

Would it suit street vendors and outdoor merchants? If you take the card reader from town to town, unpacking and packing it, we recommend getting a protective case to avoid scratches or cracks in the touchscreen, instead of just throwing it in a bag.

The plastic frame feels like average-quality (more flimsy than durable) plastic, so you do need to take extra care to protect it. It is certainly not waterproof, so any humidity or water could get inside and damage the technology. You can’t increase the screen brightness, so the screen might be hard to read in strong sunlight. In darkness, the display is clearly visible since it lights up like a phone.

App features

Like Square and SumUp, Revolut has a point of sale (POS) iPad app which is mainly for cafés and simple shops. Most users in Ireland tend to use the card reader with their phone, though, through the Revolut Business app (iPhone and Android). No other POS systems work with the card reader, deeming it unsuitable for retailers or merchants who need extensive features like inventory management and loyalty functions.

“The new Revolut POS app for iPad is worth checking out, but my tests found it’s mainly for small food and drink. For impromptu card reader payments, only the Revolut Business app would suffice.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

In the Business app, you have to navigate to the ‘Merchant’ section and create a “Request” for money. In the Request menu, you can choose between creating a payment link, email invoice, QR code, payment page or card reader transaction. All but the card reader option are for payments processed online, whereas the card reader allows you accept a chip or NFC (contactless) transaction electronically. You cannot register cash payments through the app.

Unless you’ve just taken another card reader payment, the first thing that happens when creating a new request is connecting with the reader. This takes a few seconds if automatic, or slightly longer if you need to confirm the security code in the app and on the terminal screen. With leading alternatives like Square Reader, you don’t have to reconnect after a significant break.

Image: MT

Revolut 'request money' menu in app

Payment request options.

Image: MT

Revolut Business app transaction screen with euro amount

Transaction screen.

The payment screen gives two ways to create a transaction. The default option is to add a single EUR amount and short description, which could be the product or transaction reference.

The other is to tap items in a product menu to add to the cart. This requires that you’ve added items already, along with a tax rate, product category, unit type and icon colour. It’s not a fully fledged inventory system that tracks stock levels and analyses what’s selling. It’s just a means of adding items to bills quickly and itemising receipts.

Image: MT

product catalogue in Revolut Business app

Product library.

Image: MT

Revolut Business app export statement screen

Export transactions to CSV.

When the card reader has successfully processed the payment, you have the option to send a digital receipt via a messaging app, email or text message.

Transactions can be exported from the app to a CSV file for accounting, Excel or other spreadsheet software. Revolut doesn’t give you sales analytics like showing best-selling products or times of day you’re selling more, just an overview of transactions.

To refund a payment, you tap on the transaction and input the refund amount (partial refunds are accepted) and refund reason. The amount will then be processed back to the customer’s card.

But here’s what I noticed: you cannot immediately refund a transaction since it is marked as ‘pending’ for a short while after the card payment went through. Only when it is ‘completed’ in your business account can you initiate a refund, and only if you have enough funds settled in the Revolut account to cover the refund amount. This could lead to some awkward moments with customers if they regret a transaction or a mistake was made.

If you’ve team members, you can set up individual user profiles in your account with permissions that let them accept card payments.

There are no other features related to card reader payments.

How it compares with SumUp and other alternatives

Another app-based card reader that’s popular in Ireland: SumUp Solo Lite. How does Revolut Reader compare with that?

For a start, SumUp Solo Lite (and this applies to the competing Square Reader) has a simple, dedicated point of sale (POS) app that’s more efficient for in-person payments. What’s more, both SumUp and Square have a selection of terminals, not just an app-dependent card reader.

SumUp has a higher fixed transaction fee for all cards (1.69%), in contrast with Revolut’s low 0.8% + €0.02 for domestic cards. But the free SumUp Business Mastercard includes 3 free cash withdrawals each month from the online SumUp Business Account, whereas Revolut always charges 2% for ATM withdrawals.

Solo Lite
Revolut Reader SumUp Solo Lite card reader SumUp Solo and Printer
Requires app Yes Yes No
Dedicated POS app No Yes No
Transaction fee 0.8% or 2.6%* + €0.02 1.69%** 1.69%**
E-account settlement 24 hours 24 hours 24 hours
Bank account settlement n/a 2-3 weekdays 2-3 weekdays
Cash withdrawals w/incl. card 2% fee 3/mo free, then 2% fee 3/mo free, then 2% fee
Multi-currency accounts Yes No No

*0.8% for ROI/EEA consumer cards, 2.6% for all others. **Applicable to all cards.

Since Revolut does not yet qualify as a bank account, you’ll have to use any other card machine solution for direct payouts into one. With SumUp, you can choose automatic settlements into the online SumUp account (within 24 hours, including weekends) or a bank account (2-3 working days). Revolut Reader always settles funds in the Revolut Merchant Account first.

Like Revolut, remote and online payments are offered through Square and SumUp, mainly QR codes, payment links, online store integrations and email invoices. If over-the-phone transactions are needed, nearly all other card reader alternatives in Ireland offer this – not Revolut.

When it comes to business account features, Revolut takes the lead with a broad spectrum of features. myPOS comes second with its cross-border payments, multi-currency accounts and complimentary Visa Business card, but Revolut is simply more streamlined and tends to be cheaper to use.

Higher-end, independent card machines can be sought from Yavin, myPOS and AIB Merchant Services (offering Clover). With Yavin, you get similarly low fees as Revolut for domestic cards, but they are more variable and therefore less predictable than Revolut.

Revolut service and reviews

Revolut users can access a 24/7 chat support in the app. There is no phone number or email support, so you have to contend with that.

Our own experience of Revolut support has been slow and inconsistent. We were repeatedly passed on to different people who did not have an answer. It may take days or weeks (like it did for us) to resolve technical issues, but then again, this is a new product that’s still improving on the software side. We were also asked to resubmit proof of our business repeatedly even though it had been approved before.

“I kept having to reverify my account with documentation after a few months’ inactivity, which was a pain as it meant I had to wait until approval to use the payment features again. With regular use, you might not have to do that.”

– Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor, MobileTransaction

I had several technical issues to begin with, but the only problem that persisted was that a different name than my business name appeared on a customer bank statement. This was never resolved.

Image: ES, MobileTransaction

Revolut Reader parcel contents

Box contents of a Revolut Reader package.

Judging from Revolut reviews, we weren’t the only ones experiencing unhelpful responses to issues on the chat. Some have to wait for days or weeks for large transactions to be accessible in their account, while others have issues verifying their account. We’ve also seen issues making the card reader work.

Many reviews are positive about the features, though, particularly around ease of use and the convenience of the service. Revolut is a popular online bank in Ireland where more than 1 in 3 people use the service, which is a good indicator that it’s here to stay. Reviews specifically about Revolut Ireland (not Revolut in general) have tended to be more negative compared with other countries, though.