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> UK > Card Readers > Comparisons > Square vs iZettle vs SumUp: compare the three best UK card readers

Square vs iZettle vs SumUp: compare the three best UK card readers

By Oliver Wastie|2018-09-25T16:53:00+00:00September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

It’s now easier than ever to accept credit and debit cards in the UK. Forget the costly card machines of yore. Instead, check out these contactless card readers that can process payments with a smartphone or tablet through easy-to-use POS apps.

In 2018, the race between the most popular mobile card readers in the UK is really close. On our top three card reader list, Square has replaced PayPal Here, as it simply offers more features at better rates. For cost-conscious start-ups, SumUp has the most attractive flat rate, while iZettle and Square have the most superior free POS software, and the option to branch into ecommerce.

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SumUp Air terminal
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Solution typeCard reader + mobile appCard reader + mobile appCard reader + mobile app
Card reader price£59 £19 excl. VAT (offer)£29 £19 excl. VAT (offer)£39 £19 excl. VAT (offer)
Transaction fee1.75%1.69%1.75%
Transaction fee card not presentInvoicing, e-commerce: 2.5%Virtual terminal: 2.95% + 25pKey-in, invoice, virtual terminal: 2.5%
Monthly feeNoneNoneNone
Min. sales volume?NoneNoneNone
Cards accepted        
Bank acc. settlement1-3 business days2-3 business days1-2 business days
PIN methodOn card reader PIN padOn card reader PIN padIn-app on mobile device
Compatible receipt printersStar Micronics, Epson, AirPrintStar Micronics, BixolonStar Micronics, Epson
Digital receiptsText and emailText and emailText and email
Staff accountsYesYesYes
Product libraryYesYesYes
AccountingCSV/Excel, Xero or Debitoor integrationTransaction and payout reportsCSV/Excel, Xero or Enterpryze integration
Use abroadNoYes, if SumUp is notifiedNo
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iZettle logoSquare logo

All three systems share characteristics that make them very attractive to small businesses. Initial setup costs are very low, and there are no fixed monthly rental fees and no minimum transaction volumes required.

SumUp Air, iZettle Reader, and Square Reader are therefore all suitable for infrequent use, as well as for processing multiple transactions daily as a primary POS solution.

As opposed to traditional card machines, you purchase the card readers for a low price with no future rental charges or lock-in to worry about.

Cards and charges

iZettle currently accepts the most payment cards. On top of Visa, Mastercard and American Express included by all three, iZettle can handle Diners Club, JCB and UnionPay. SumUp has recently started accepting Diners Club too, and accepts as the only one Discover cards.

iZettle used to offer an incentivised transaction rate scheme but has opted for a fixed percentage. SumUp offers the best flat fee in the UK at 1.69%, beating iZettle and Square by 0.06 percentage points.

However, iZettle and Square will deposit your funds in your bank account slightly faster – expect them to appear within one or two business days. With SumUp, you are more likely to get your funds after three business days.

The iZettle and Square apps are ahead of the game, with more features than SumUp’s app.

For more information on these mobile card readers, read our comprehensive reviews on each: iZettle, Square and SumUp.