It’s common for short-term hire specialists to offer two payout options: a temporary merchant account created just for the hire duration, or connecting payments to an existing merchant account you already use for another card machine. The costs can vary because of this, and there may be fees for bank account settlement. With the purchased card readers, transactions are cleared for free in your bank account.
Generally with short-term hire, there may be hidden costs such as setup fee, return fee, service contract (for quick replacement if the machine breaks down) and authorisation fee for transactions. You also have to factor in receipt rolls for the inbuilt receipt printer, which iZettle and SumUp do not have. Square Terminal (£199 + VAT) is an option with built-in POS features and receipt printing.
The key thing to remember is that short-term rental always has a unique quote based on number of terminals, projected card turnover, length of hire, and more. Wireless Terminal Solutions is a popular provider of such solutions, but other companies offer similar pricing. iZettle, SumUp and Square have the same pricing for everyone joining.
So is it cheaper to rent short-term than buy a card reader? It might be if you get a better quote than Wireless Terminal Solutions’ above. Otherwise, buying a card reader is noticeably cheaper, as you see in the table below.