Our rating(4/5)
The standalone SumUp 3G terminal is extremely easy to get started with – and there’s no lock-in or monthly fees.
SumUp 3G reader is a lightweight card machine accepting the most popular credit and debit cards. It’s ideal for small businesses that want to accept cards anywhere, or as a backup card reader if your main WiFi setup goes awry.
  • Highs: Simple fees. No contract. Works independently anywhere with 3G.
  • Lows: Cannot print receipts. No out-of-the-box integration with POS systems.
  • Buy if: You want a friction-free portable card terminal without monthly fees or lock-in.
SumUp 3GSumUp 3G device at an angle
Card reader price£99 £69 + VAT
Monthly costNone
CommitmentNo contract
Transaction fee1.69%
Payouts2-3 working days
Accepted cardsVisa, V Pay, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express
ContactlessApple Pay, Google Pay
Website
SumUp 3G offer
SumUp 3GSumUp 3G device at an angle
Card reader price£99 £69 + VAT
Monthly costNone
CommitmentNo contract
Transaction fee1.69%
Payouts2-3 working days
Accepted cardsVisa, V Pay, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express
ContactlessApple Pay, Google Pay
Website
SumUp 3G offer

How does SumUp 3G work?

The SumUp 3G card reader is for those who want the simplest possible way to accept cards without any extra features or equipment. With this terminal, you enter the transaction value directly on the keypad, put in the chip card or tap the contactless card, and it will process the payment over the mobile network.

It’s a pay-as-you-go system, so you purchase the card machine, then pay only one fixed card rate for all transactions through the reader. There’s no contract or other fees to commit to, making this an economical solution for price-sensitive businesses, sporadic sales or startups that can’t predict where they’ll be beyond the next few months, or just those who need a mobile terminal to take cards where the customer is.

Emmanuel Charpentier, Mobile Transaction

SumUp 3G terminal from an angle

We have tested SumUp 3G, which is as small as you get a terminal with built-in SIM card.

Fees and settlement

The two things you pay for are: the £99 + VAT one-off cost of the card reader and 1.69% transaction fee for all the payments processed through it. There’s no setup fee or extra charges for foreign cards. Delivery of the card reader is free, and there are no monthly fees or minimum sales volume required, so this is a pay-as-you-go system without hidden costs. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee for the card machine in case you change your mind, and one year warranty if you decide to keep it.

Payments go “directly into your bank account”, meaning they automatically reach your bank account 2-3 business days after the transaction, minus the transaction fee. There are no fixed transaction limits. Instead, SumUp views transactions on a case-by-case basis (e.g. suspicious-looking or large payments may be flagged).

What do you pay?

£99 + VAT card reader

1.69% per transaction (any card)

No monthly fees

Refunds are free if done straight after the transaction took place, i.e. before settlement has completed. However, if payments have already been paid out to your bank account, SumUp keeps the transaction fee for the refund. Chargebacks incur a £10 admin fee.

Those who want to accept phone payments can also ask SumUp to activate a virtual terminal, which would only be accessible in a web browser. Those payments cost 2.95% + 25p per transaction.

This is not an automatic feature – SumUp will look at your sales history (so you need to accumulate card machine payments for some time) and account as a whole and only add the virtual terminal if you pass their internal checks.

Emmanuel Charpentier, Mobile Transaction

SumUp 3G terminal bottom

SumUp 3G has a chip card slot at the bottom.

Of the pay-as-you-go solutions, SumUp is known for having the lowest transaction fees. Their other terminal, SumUp Air, also accepts cards at 1.69% per transaction.

The most equivalent card machine, myPOS Mini, advertises a 1.75% transaction fee, but this is contingent on the card being used. The rate is indicate of Visa and Mastercard transactions, while premium cards like Amex will likely incur a higher fee.

Card machine specs

SumUp 3G is a pocket-sized card machine with an inbuilt SIM card. The terminal is very lightweight and easy to carry around compared to a traditional one, but sturdy enough to be reliable. In contrast to card readers that work in conjunction with a mobile app, there is no SumUp 3G app that the terminal can connect with. Instead, all the software features are hardcoded on the card machine.

You navigate it through the keypad buttons and view the menu and information on the screen above the keypad. For some functions, you can use the display as a touchscreen. For instance, the screen gives you an option to send a text or email receipt after each transaction.

This, of course, requires you to ask the customer for a phone number or email address, or you can ask them to enter it themselves on the touchscreen in this case. There’s no SumUp 3G printer built in like conventional PDQ machines have, nor can it connect to an external one (yet).

It is limited what other more-than-basic functions are hardcoded on the card machine, but food businesses will like that you can add a tip on the machine before payments.

  • SumUp 3G screen for entering email address

SumUp 3G displays for sending a digital receipt.

The card machine makes use of the 3G network via the preinstalled SIM card in order to process card transactions. SumUp provides unlimited data on this card, so you don’t need to top it up. You just need to keep the machine charged in advance of using it and be somewhere with a stable network connection. That said, it doesn’t take much to have a stable connection, since it automatically switches between networks to get the best service. The device does not work with WiFi.

Tech specs
Dimensions133 x 71 x 19 mm
ConnectivityGPRS, EDGE, 3G
DataUnlimited with SumUp SIM card (preinstalled)
Included accessoriesUSB type C cable for charging
Battery life50+ transactions from full charge
Card technologyEMV (chip), NFC (contactless), swipe
ReceiptsEmail, text, no paper receipts
Tech specs
Dimensions133 x 71 x 19 mm
ConnectivityGPRS, EDGE, 3G
DataUnlimited with SumUp SIM card (preinstalled)
Included accessoriesUSB type C cable for charging
Battery life50+ transactions from full charge
Card technologyEMV (chip), NFC (contactless), swipe
ReceiptsEmail, text, no paper receipts

Businesses with multiple staff members can use several SumUp 3G devices under the same SumUp business account. For this to work smoothly, it’s recommended you set up subuser accounts in the SumUp dashboard, so each individual can log in with their email address and password and take payments simultaneously with the other card readers. All of such subaccounts will process payments through the main SumUp account, allowing you a full, real-time overview of all your employees’ transactions in your web dashboard.

Emmanuel Charpentier, Mobile Transaction

SumUp 3G terminal top

SumUp 3G can also accept swipe-only cards through the top magnetic stripe reader slot.

SumUp Air vs. 3G – how are they different?

If you’re looking for a cheaper terminal, SumUp sells an app-based card reader called SumUp Air. This does not work on its own – instead, it utilises the internet connection on a mobile phone or tablet that is paired with the Air through Bluetooth.

To accept a payment on SumUp Air, you open the SumUp app on the mobile device, enter an amount or add products to the cart. When you pick the option to accept a card, the Air reader automatically activates with the right transaction amount ready for processing.

Because SumUp Air only needs battery when the customer uses their card, and not when you enter a payment amount or navigate settings, it lasts for many more transactions than SumUp 3G that works entirely on its own.

SumUp AirSumUp 3G
SumUp Air with iPhone appSumUp 3G front side
Air offer
3G offer
Price£29 £19 + VAT£99 £69 + VAT
Works without mobile app
NetworkWiFi, 3G, 4GGPRS, EDGE, 3G
Size8.4 x 8.4 x 2.3 cm13.3 x 7.1 x 1.9 cm
Battery life from full charge~500 transactions~50 transactions
Integrates with POS system
Connects to Bluetooth printer
Accepted cardsVisaV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressUnion PayDiscoverDiners ClubVisaV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican Express
SumUp AirSumUp 3G
SumUp Air with iPhone appSumUp 3G front side
Air offer
3G offer
£29 £19 + VAT£99 £69 + VAT
Works without mobile app
Network
WiFi, 3G, 4GGPRS, EDGE, 3G
Size
8.4 x 8.4 x 2.3 cm13.3 x 7.1 x 1.9 cm
Battery life from full charge
~500 transactions~50 transactions
Integrates with POS system
Connects to Bluetooth printer
Accepted cards
VisaV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressUnion PayDiscoverDiners ClubVisaV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican Express

Apart from having more payment features through the mobile app, the SumUp Air actually accepts more cards than SumUp 3G: UnionPay, Discover and Diners Club. It also integrates with Bluetooth receipt printers and more advanced POS systems if you need to expand the system.

There’s no SumUp 3G stand available to purchase on the website – only a charging stand for the Air reader. You may be able to find a compatible third party terminal stand online, though, but we have not seen SumUp endorsing any of those.

Both card readers have no contract, no monthly fees and charge the same card card rate, 1.69%.

Reports and dashboard functions

So where do you get a record of all your transactions? As a SumUp customer, you can log in to an online dashboard accessible in any internet browser. Here, you see details like payment history, sales categorised into card types, where payments were made and payout history. If you’ve created multiple user accounts, you can filter sales to focus on individual employees.

SumUp emails you payout PDF reports automatically, and you can export transaction data as a CSV or XLS file from your SumUp dashboard. Furthermore, transaction history is available on the card machine display.

Mobile Transaction

  • SumUp dashboard screen
  • SumUp dashboard settings screen

SumUp dashboard analytics, employee management and payout settings.

Who is SumUp 3G best for?

The compact size and light weight make SumUp 3G perfect for use in market stalls or rural areas where connectivity is basic (it works even with EDGE and GPRS). Furthermore, the tipping feature makes it particularly interesting for cafés and restaurants taking orders at the table, since many food-and-drink places don’t require all terminals to be synced with a POS system anyway.

It cannot register individual products, but only works with payment amounts (other terminals on the market, like SumUp Air, can integrate with product libraries). Secondly, it only sends SMS and email receipts. Those two things can be deal-breakers for some businesses. If those or other POS functions are needed, you might want to consider app-based card readers.

Since there’s no contract, monthly fees or minimal sales volume required, the terminal is ideal for seasonal sales. Just beware that if something happens to the card machine beyond the first year, you may have to purchase a new one, although SumUp claims they usually offer free replacements even after the 1-year warranty period has passed. However, SumUp’s machines should last a while provided you treat it well.

Travelling businesses could benefit from the option to use it in countries where SumUp’s service is available, which is most European countries.

SumUp does not accept businesses taking payments for products or services provided over a week after the transaction. Other restricted businesses include non-profit organisations, door-to-door sales, business seminars, adult entertainment, airlines, pyramid sales, and a range of other businesses, some which are dubious or high-risk in nature.

SumUp card machine with chip card

Customer service

SumUp’s customer support is over telephone and email, weekdays from 8am to 7pm and Saturdays from 8am to 5pm. They have a Support Centre section online too, where most user questions have been answered. We recommend checking answers there first, since SumUp can occasionally take some days to respond over email. If you need an immediate answer or prefer talking, it’s better just to call them during opening hours.

SumUp 3G is an economical solution for price-sensitive businesses, sporadic sales or startups wanting to take card payments without the hassle of complicated contracts.

SumUp is a streamlined service that, because their products are so simple, usually only require minimal contact with their customer support. That said, if you’re having problems with the card machine on a Sunday or out of hours generally, you won’t get help until next working day or Saturday during their stated hours.

SumUp is generally rated highly online, with many saying how valuable the service has been for them. Some users have had connectivity issues, which there could be a number of reasons for, but SumUp puts in the effort to resolve any issues flagged to them.

SumUp

SumUp 3G used in cafe

SumUp 3G is a convenient choice for small cafés and restaurants with table service.

Sign-up process

Lastly, signing up and getting an account is completely online-based. It takes maybe 5-10 minutes to fill in the sign-up pages and order the card machine. Delivery is free and takes up to a week to arrive.

When you sign up, SumUp will perform some basic identity and business checks to make sure your details are legitimate and that your bank account is used by your company.

Verdict

The SumUp 3G setup is one of the simplest – and cheapest – solutions for small-business card payments. You get an affordable card machine with built-in data and software, so all you’re paying for onward is a fixed rate for the transactions, barring potential reasonable fees for chargebacks and refunds.

If all you want is to take cards anywhere and with minimal fuss, SumUp 3G could well be your best choice in the UK.

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Name of Reviewed Item: SumUp 3G UK Rating Value: 4 Image: https://www.mobiletransaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/sumup-3g-box-featured.jpg Review Author:Review Date: