- Highs: Affordable fixed transaction rate of 1.95%. Pay-as-you-go: no contractual lock in, monthly fees or set up costs to worry about.
- Lows: Phone support limited to working hours (Mon–Fri 9 am to 6 pm).
- Buy if: You need a hassle-free and affordable solution for taking payments.
SumUp – the low-down
Accepting card payments is a must in today’s just about cashless society. Payments on debit or credit are the norm in Ireland since a few years ago, and there is no way back. Increasingly, vendors need to be able to process a broad range of cards, anywhere, at any time.
Still, the cost of a card machine can be prohibitive for small business or for those just starting to trade, and many Irish entrepreneurs are beginning to see mobile point of sales (mPOS) as their best alternative, leaving the cash till & debit/credit card terminal system in the past.
One of the mobile point of sale (mPOS) solutions for small businesses growing fast in Ireland is SumUp. Similar to Payleven, it has no fixed monthly fees or minimum transaction volumes, being contracted in a pay-as-you-go system.
SumUp – how to get started
To start accepting cards with SumUp, you firstly need a smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth.
Add the company’s free app for iOS or Android and an Internet connection, and you are good to go! (Internet connection can be via WiFi or 3G/4G).
SumUp’s wireless PIN+ card reader connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth 4.0. The cloud-based processing power of the app is what allows it to process your payments, and transform your device into a card terminal for iPhone or Android.
SumUp – how it works
With SumUp, the payment process itself is simple: you firstly key in the amount the customer has to pay into the app. The customer inserts their card into the reader and confirms payment with their PIN code.
Once the payment has gone through, an email or SMS receipt can be sent to the customer.
In Ireland, SumUp mobile reader accepts payments with Visa, V Pay, Maestro and MasterCard.
Affordable fixed transaction fee
|Set up fee||€ 100|
|Monthly fee|| ||€ 10|
|Credit card fee||1.95%||2.25%|
|Debit card fee||1.95%||35 c per transaction|
As you can see from the table above, SumUp Pin+ is much cheaper than Pogo, AIB’s mobile reader. Even though Pogo is a much more affordable than a regular cash till & debit/credit card terminal system, it still charges set up and monthly fees. Plus, Pogo requires that you have a business account with AIB – meaning, if you already have an account with some other bank, or just a personal account with AIB, you will still have to open a brand new business account and deal with its fees on top of everything else.
On the other hand, like its competitor Payleven, SumUp has no ongoing or monthly fees. It only charges a flat rate of 1.95% per transaction, and the PIN+ card reader costs €79 excl. VAT. This is all that you will have to pay to be able to take payments with credit or debit cards.
SumUp’s 1.95% transaction fee is technically the cheapest fixed rate currently available in the Irish POS market. However, it is worth pointing out that if you are a high volume merchant, SumUp’s competitor Payleven is offers more affordable charges. This is because they operate a sliding scale transaction rate system, with fees coming down below 1.95% to as low as 1.50% for those with higher monthly transaction values.
Who is SumUp suitable for?
SumUp is a great option for sole traders, small businesses, clubs and societies requiring a single mobile card reader – as opposed to multiple readers and staff accounts.
For lower-volume traders and businesses, SumUp’s flat fee of 1.95% is competitive. As already mentioned, if your monthly card sales total is high, you may be better off with a competitor.
In principle, SumUp is for registered businesses and non-profits such as clubs, societies, schools and universities only. However, accounts for private individuals are considered by the company on a case-by-case basis.
Some accounting functionality
The online dashboard offered by SumUp is a welcome extra feature for accounting and business decision purposes. Similar to its rivals, SumUp enables you to access sales data and to export either your entire sales history, or the history for a particular day, week, or month, to an Excel file.
SumUp also allows you to pre-define products if you wish. You can then click on these in the app and add them to check out.
SumUp does not offer the option of staff accounts, so the account owner cannot define access to information and privileges for additional account users. Yet if you need to have more than one person accepting card payments, it is possible to link more than one reader to the main account. It is also possible to set up a multi-user account where different users can log on using their personal details. The business information in these cases remains the same.
SumUp compatible receipt printers
Receipts can be sent by email or SMS, however for those who want to offer paper receipts, compatible printers are available at extra cost. The desktop option is Star Micronics TSP-100, available in white, putty or grey. It is the most affordable receipt printer on the market at around £125, but will still set you back significantly more than the card terminal.
The mobile option is Bixolon SPP-R200II, which connects to your smartphone or tablet via WiFi or Bluetooth. If you’re using the card reader with an iPhone or iPad, make sure to get the MFi version. It is a rugged, yet lightweight (at 236 grams) portable printer that can either be fixed to a belt or slid into a bag. It will cost you around £190.
What about customer service?
SumUp offers an online Support Centre which will answer the majority of questions users may have.
To contact customer support, email communication is encouraged, though a phone number is also provided for registered customers.
To Sum up, on SumUp
SumUp is likely to be a player in the years to come, having been launched in 14 countries since it was established in 2012.
Apart from Ireland, the company has rolled out services to the UK, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Russia.
It has raised a respectable amount of venture capital and its backers include BBVA Ventures, Groupon and American Express.
Especially for lower-volume merchants, SumUp offers a mPOS solution worth a serious consideration.