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.
  • Highs: Just one transaction fee. No contract. Works independently anywhere with 3G, GPRS or WiFi.
  • Lows: No out-of-the-box integration with POS systems. Too simple for some merchants.
  • Buy if: You want a friction-free portable card terminal without monthly fees or lock-in.

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Best SumUp 3G offer

  • SumUp 3G £99 offer

Get SumUp 3G for only £99 + VAT. No monthly fees or contractual commitment.

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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.

If you need to print receipts, you can get the SumUp 3G and Printer, which is basically the SumUp 3G reader attached to a printing cradle.

Accepted cards

VisaV PayMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressDiners ClubDiscoverUnion PayContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

For £169 + VAT, you can get the new SumUp 3G + Printer duo. Comes with free SIM, no contract – just a fixed transaction rate.

Read more about it in our review

SumUp 3G printer

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. SumUp has a 30-day money-back guarantee for the card machine in case you change your mind, and one year’s warranty if you keep it.

Payments go “directly into your bank account”, meaning they automatically reach your bank account 1-3 working days after each transaction, minus the transaction fee. Alternatively, the new SumUp prepaid card gives you access to payouts the day after transactions, even on weekends. That is, if you accept cards on a Saturday, you can spend those takings the next day, Sunday.

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).

Costs
SumUp 3G price £99 + VAT
Shipping Free
Monthly fee None
Contractual commitment None
Card transaction fee 1.69%
Payouts Free
Refunds Free within 1-3 days, 1.69% after
Chargebacks £10 admin fee
Costs
SumUp 3G price £99 + VAT
Shipping Free
Monthly fee None
Contractual commitment None
Card transaction fee 1.69%
Payouts Free
Refunds Free within 1-3 days, 1.69% after
Chargebacks £10 admin fee

Refunds are free if done straight after the transaction took place, i.e. before settlement has completed. 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 remote payments can ask SumUp to activate a virtual terminal (for over-the-phone payments) costing 2.95% + 25p per transaction. You can also just use the mobile payment options (QR codes, payment links, SMS), invoicing and online store accessible for all users in the SumUp App – those transactions cost 2.5% each.

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 Go, 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.

Photo: Emmanuel Charpentier (EC), 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.

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.

Photo: EC, Mobile Transaction

SumUp 3G terminal bottom

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

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.

If you need paper receipts, you can get the SumUp 3G and Printer terminal, which comes in two parts: the card reader and a printing-and-charging cradle. When they are attached, the receipt printer is able to print a receipt following each transaction.

It is limited what other more-than-basic functions are hardcoded on the SumUp 3G, 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 works with WiFi or/and 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. With WiFi switched on, it will use wireless internet primarily as this gives faster processing speeds. – otherwise it will default to the phone network.

Tech specs
Dimensions 133 x 71 x 19 mm
Connectivity GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WiFi
Data Unlimited with SumUp SIM card (preinstalled)
Included accessories USB type C cable for charging
Battery life 50+ transactions from full charge
Card technology EMV (chip), NFC (contactless)
Receipts Email, text, paper receipts with 3G Printer
Tech specs
Dimensions 133 x 71 x 19 mm
Connectivity GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WiFi
Data Unlimited with SumUp SIM card (preinstalled)
Included accessories USB type C cable for charging
Battery life 50+ transactions from full charge
Card technology EMV (chip), NFC (contactless)
Receipts Email, text, paper receipts with 3G Printer

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 sub-user 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 sub-accounts will process payments through the main SumUp account, allowing you a full, real-time overview of all your employees’ transactions in your web dashboard.

Photo: EC, Mobile Transaction

SumUp 3G backside

SumUp 3G from the back.

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 Air SumUp 3G
SumUp Air with iPhone app SumUp 3G front side
Price £19 + VAT £99 + VAT
Works without mobile app
Network WiFi, 3G, 4G GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WiFi
Size 8.4 x 8.4 x 2.3 cm 13.3 x 7.1 x 1.9 cm
Battery life from full charge ~500 transactions ~50 transactions
POS system integrations? Yes, with SumUp app and others Can connect with SumUp app, but not intended for it
Receipt printing Connects to compatible Bluetooth printers Requires SumUp 3G Printer cradle
SumUp Air SumUp 3G
SumUp Air with iPhone app SumUp 3G front side
£19 + VAT £99 + VAT
Works without mobile app
Network
WiFi, 3G, 4G GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WiFi
Size
8.4 x 8.4 x 2.3 cm 13.3 x 7.1 x 1.9 cm
Battery life from full charge
~500 transactions ~50 transactions
POS system integrations?
Yes, with SumUp app and others Can connect with SumUp app, but not intended for it
Receipt printing
Connects to compatible Bluetooth printers Requires SumUp 3G Printer cradle

SumUp Air integrates with Bluetooth receipt printers and more advanced POS systems if you need to expand the system. The 3G reader can connect and be synced with the SumUp app, but merely for backup reasons.

SumUp 3G can be purchased with a printer cradle that also acts as a charging stand, called ‘SumUp 3G and Printer’ when purchased together. It is also possible to buy this printer separately if you already have the 3G reader.

There’s a charging stand for the Air reader, but it only keeps the card reader charged and doesn’t print receipts.

Both card readers have no contract, no monthly fees and charge the same card card rate, 1.69%. They also accept exactly the same card brands.

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 to a CSV or XLS file from your SumUp dashboard. Furthermore, transaction history is available on the card machine display.

Credit: Mobile Transaction

  • SumUp dashboard screen
  • SumUp dashboard settings screen

SumUp dashboard analytics, employee management and payout settings.

What 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, but it is a bit faster with a good WiFi connection.

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, are made to integrate with product libraries). If such kinds of 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 usual