• SumUp US card reader with SumUp iPad stand
> US > Card Readers > Reviews > SumUp credit card reader – has Square finally met its match?

SumUp credit card reader – has Square finally met its match?

By Lucy Harris|2018-11-14T10:58:34+00:00June 6th, 2018|Tags: |
Our rating(4/5)
Card reader for EMV chip cards, contactless and magstripe cards with a flat rate at 2.65%.
For small businesses, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors wanting the ability to accept payments by card in person, SumUp offers an affordable and effective solution.
  • Highs: Fixed transaction rate of 2.65%. No other ongoing costs. One device works for all cards.
  • Lows: Support mainly by email.
  • Buy if: You need an affordable and easy solution for taking payments.

Best offer

Regular price for the card reader is $69. No monthly fees or contract to worry about. Free delivery in 4-5 days.

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  • SumUp EMV and contactless card reader
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In this review, we take a look at SumUp’s card reader. Why would anyone in their right mind choose an obscure German company over Square, the American payments giant, to handle their card payments? Does SumUp offer anything else than just another me-too service? Join us as we find out what the solution offers a small US business.

Handcrafted German precision

SumUp, a company with a wide presence in Europe, was the first to cross the Atlantic. Featuring the latest in EMV and contactless technology, its latest reader launched in the US is the culmination of years of work. Unlike most competitors, SumUp designs and produces their card readers in-house, resulting in superior reliability, quality and user experience.

In addition to a wide range of cards, today’s vendors are under increasing pressure to accept NFC payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Its contactless card reader features the latest chip technology, swipe and contactless functionality. We like the SumUp reader slightly better than PayPal Here, another all-in-one device.

The battery life is 500 transactions with a fully charged device.

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’re good to go. (Internet connection can be via WiFi or 3G/4G).

SumUp’s wireless EMV card reader connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. The cloud-based processing power contained within the app is what allows it to actually process your payments.

Online registration for a SumUp account is fairly simple. Once that’s out of the way, the card reader will be delivered to you by post. You should receive it within five working days.

How it works

With SumUp, the payment process itself is simple: you firstly key the amount the customer has to pay in to the app, then the customer inserts their card into the reader, or swipes, and confirms payment with their signature on the cell phone or tablet.

SumUp also allows you to predefine products if you wish. You can then click on these in the app and add them to checkout.

The customer can also tap their contactless card or their smartphone with Apple Pay or Google Pay an inch or two from the card reader. Purchases below $20 won’t require a signature.

Once the payment has gone through, an email or SMS receipt can be sent to the customer. SumUp is also compatible with several receipt printers (see below).

In addition to Visa and Mastercard, SumUp accepts Discover, American Express and Diners Club. You can accept international cards, as long as they belong to any of these brands.

The card reader is enabled for contactless cards, as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

SumUp initiates payments to your bank account daily, although it will take 1-2 business days for payments to be credited to your account.

Cards accepted

Transparent fixed transaction fee

Like its competitors Square and PayPal Here, there are no ongoing or monthly fees with SumUp – you only pay a flat rate of 2.65% per transaction – and there is no required minimum transaction volume.

There are no additional charges for foreign cards. Cardholder-not-present transactions are not possible – that means you won’t be able to key in the card details for a higher rate.

Chargebacks will cost you $10 each.

The EMV card reader costs $69 excl. VAT.

Who is SumUp suitable for?

SumUp is a great option for sole proprietorships, small businesses or non-profits preferring a single device for all card transactions. Businesses who require a more sophisticated app with point-of-sale functions will be better served by Square.

For food and beverage outlets, it is hard to beat the POS functions you get with Square.

For businesses with multiple staff: it’s worth pointing out that SumUp does not offer staff account options, where authorization to access certain information for account users are defined by the main account holder. 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’s also possible to set up a multi-user account where different users can log in using their personal details. The available business information in these cases remains the same.

Some accounting functionality

The online dashboard offered by SumUp is a welcome feature for accounting and business decision purposes. Similar to its rivals, SumUp enables you to access sales data and export either your entire sales history, or the history for a particular day, week or month, to an Excel file.

After each transfer to your bank account, SumUp will send you an email with a PDF document of your sales.

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 an extra cost.

The desktop option is Star Micronics TSP100 LAN (similar versions: TSP143 LAN or TSP 650ii), available in white, putty or grey.

It is the most affordable receipt printer on the market at around $190, but will still set you back significantly more than the card terminal.

The most popular mobile printer is Star Micronics SM-L200 connecting via Bluetooth. You can get it for around $250 and has been the go-to mobile POS printer for the last couple of years.

Another great portable option is Bixolon SPP-R210iK/BEGE which connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. This is a lightweight printer at 266 grams including paper roll, which can either be fixed to a belt or slid into a bag. It will cost you around $250.

mobile Bixolon receipt printer

Receipt printer Bixolon SPP-R210iK/BEGE looks good with the SumUp setup. Photo: SumUp

What about customer service?

SumUp offers an online Support Center which will answer the majority of questions users may have.

To contact customer support, email communication is encouraged, although a phone number is also provided for registered customers.

SumUp has made phone support available to registered customers, although it is not provided for presales inquiries. The service is geared towards businesses who do not require much customization.

Our SumUp verdict

SumUp is likely going to be a key player in the years to come, having been launched in a number of countries since it was established in 2012.

Apart from the US, the company is present in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Poland and Portugal.

It has been a successful recipient of venture capital and its backers include BBVA Ventures, Groupon and American Express.

Particularly for merchants valuing having only one credit card reader, SumUp offers a solution that should definitely be considered.

So, has Square met its match? For the payment part, SumUp more than measures up. Its single EMV card reader is ahead of Square in technology and ease. For the point of sale and backend possibilities – not yet. Square is offering much more here. To conclude, it depends on what you need. If you are primarily looking for a way to get paid rather than, say, schedule appointments, manage your inventory and integrate with payroll, SumUp might be enough for you.

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Name of Reviewed Item: SumUp Air USA Rating Value: 4 Review Author:Review Date: