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Our rating(4.5/5)
Low-cost card readers for chip, contactless and swipe cards with a fixed rate of 2.75%.
Small businesses, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors can accept card payments in person with SumUp’s very affordable solution. The sign-up is easy, free and designed to put merchants at ease with only the cost of a card reader and transactions.
  • Highs: Competitive transaction rate without monthly fees. One reader works for all cards. Very easy to use. Remote payments included.
  • Lows: Customer support slow by email. App doesn’t have that many features. No accounting integration.
  • Buy if: You need an affordable and straightforward solution for taking card payments on the go.

Looking for the UK review of SumUp? Or the Irish SumUp review?

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Card reader specs

Why would anyone in their right mind choose an obscure German company over Square to handle their card payments?

SumUp card readers are the result of years of work, designed and produced in-house. They are good quality with the latest EMV (chip), magnetic stripe and NFC (contactless) technology in the same device, yet come at a very low price.

Cards accepted

VisaMastercardMaestroDiscoverAmerican ExpressDiners ClubContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

In addition to a wide range of accepted cards including Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Discover and Diners Club, it accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Payments can only happen while connected via Bluetooth to a mobile device running the SumUp app, so you do need an iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone or tablet too.

The original SumUp Lite reader looks a lot like Square Reader for contactless and appears slightly better than PayPal Here’s tap, dip and swipe reader, while the newer SumUp Plus is superior with its keypad and longer battery life at 500 transactions from a full charge.

Transparent, fixed card rate

SumUp doesn’t have monthly or other ongoing fees – you simply pay a fixed rate of 2.75% per card transaction. All card types incur the same transaction fee, even premium and foreign cards. Cash payments are free to process.

If you don’t sell anything, there are zero costs. Neither is there a requirement for a monthly minimum card volume like many payment companies have.

Whether you choose the Lite or Plus model, a SumUp card reader costs $19 through our link.


SumUp Card Reader: $19

Chip, tap, swipe transaction fee: 2.75%

Virtual terminal, QR code, link, gift card transaction fee: 3.25% + 15¢

Invoice transaction rate: 2.9% + 15¢

Refunds & chargebacks: Free

No monthly subscription, no setup fee, no minimum monthly sales required

All SumUp merchants get a virtual terminal for over-the-phone payments in the app and web dashboard. You also get access to mobile payment methods at checkout including QR codes and payment links via SMS, email or social apps. Electronic gift cards can be sold and redeemed as well. These remote payment methods all cost 3.25% + $0.15 per transaction.

Alternatively, you can send unlimited email invoices for clients. The only charge for that is 2.9% + $0.15 per transaction.

Refunds are free to process. There is no chargeback fee, in the event a customer or cardholder’s bank disputes a payment.

How to get started

The online registration for a SumUp account is quick and easy. After completing the online form, it takes a few days for SumUp to approve your business and bank account. You can order the card reader in the meantime, delivered by post within five business days.

Then download the free SumUp app for iOS or Android. SumUp’s wireless card reader connects to your cell phone or tablet via Bluetooth. The app then uses the internet (3G, 4G or WiFi) to process card payments while connected to the card reader.

How payments works

The credit card processing is straightforward. First, enter a payment amount in the app. You can also add products to a simple inventory library in the app (best done before any transaction), allowing you to quickly tap on items in the app to add them to the bill.

Credit: SumUp

SumUp App on iPad

SumUp App’s product menu is easy to understand intuitively.

After picking card as payment method, the customer can dip an EMV (chip) card into the reader – or swipe a magnetic stripe card – and confirm with a signature on the cell phone or tablet screen. Alternatively, tap a contactless card or smartphone with Apple Pay or Google Pay an inch or two from the card reader. Purchases below $25 won’t require a signature or PIN code. Tips can be added during this process as well, if activated in settings.

Cash transactions can be accepted instead of cards in the app, in which case you enter the amount received. The app then shows you the amount to hand back to the customer. Cash sales are included in sales reports so you get a complete overview of all transactions.

When the payment has gone through, an email or SMS receipt can be sent to the customer, or you can print a receipt from a connected printer.

Payouts – minus the transaction fee – are initiated daily, although the SumUp deposit time to your bank account is about 1-2 business days.

Receipt printers

Receipts can be sent by email or text message straight from the app. Those who want to offer paper receipts need to buy a compatible Bluetooth printer.

SumUp recommends three mobile receipt printers. The most popular one is Star Micronics SM-L200. You can get it for around $260 and has been the go-to mobile printer for SumUp over the last couple of years.

Another great portable option is Bixolon SPP-R210iK/BEGE. 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 also cost you around $260.

The Bixolon SPP-R200lliK/BEGE is another mobile receipt printer, which you can find for around $230.

Photo: SumUp

mobile Bixolon receipt printer

Receipt printer Bixolon SPP-R210iK/BEGE looks good with SumUp.

SumUp US is not yet geared towards connecting with a cash drawer or barcode scanner, though. If you’re looking for a checkout with more than a portable receipt printer, we recommend looking for another card reader company.

Some reporting functionality

The online dashboard is a nice feature for accounting and business decisions, but it is also a given with any kind of card reader today. You can view sales data and export your entire sales history – or daily, weekly and monthly reports – to Excel.

After each payout, SumUp will send you an email with a PDF attachment of your sales. You can also view sales and payouts in the SumUp App instead of logging into your web dashboard.

You can’t integrate SumUp transactions with accounting software like most other card reader platforms allow.

Customer service and SumUp reviews

SumUp offers an online Support Center answering the majority of questions. To contact customer support, emailing is encouraged, though a phone number is also provided. The opening hours for customer service are 9am – 7pm (EST) on weekdays.

Non-urgent queries over email tend to take days, sometimes over a week, to get an answer to, so it does require patience to deal with SumUp support. The service is geared towards businesses who do not require much in the way of customization. For that reason, the support is mainly geared towards technical queries, payment issues and matters pertaining to your account.

It is limited how many customer reviews there are in the US, but common complaints have alluded to Bluetooth connectivity issues and the inconvenience of requesting a signature for some transactions. Moreover, some merchants have experienced withheld funds due to SumUp’s security protocols, or later-than-expected payouts.

Who is SumUp best for?

Merchants who want the cheapest credit card reader that also accepts contactless cards and mobile wallets should look to SumUp Card Reader. Other payment companies tend to give away credit card swipers and charge the most for a swipe, chip and NFC (“all-in-one”) reader, but SumUp keeps the price down for its all-in-one readers.

The pay-as-you-go structure make it the perfect option for delving into card payments as a new startup, cautious sole proprietor, small business and non-profit organization.

SumUp Card Reader with iPhone

SumUp Lite is ideal for on-the-go merchants. Photo: SumUp

It can feel daunting to venture into card payments for the first time, but SumUp is made to put any newbie’s mind at ease with its user-friendly app and no-fuss pricing.

Square will better serve businesses needing a more sophisticated app with point-of-sale features.

For example, SumUp does not connect with a cash drawer, nor can it produce (or even integrate with) advanced sales reports beyond the bare minimum requirements for accounting purposes.

Instead, SumUp is very good for traveling merchants like at market stalls or professionals providing services at the client’s location. On the other hand, it can be used with a team of employees by creating different user logins for the same SumUp account.

Our verdict

SumUp has a broad presence in Europe and was the first mobile card reader to cross the Atlantic. Does that mean Square has met its match? For the payment part, SumUp more than measures up. The single all-in-one reader leads with its technology and ease of use. As for advanced features and integration possibilities – not yet.

That being said, recent developments in socially distanced payments like mobile payment links, gift cards and key-in transactions are signs that SumUp is keeping up with the world, so it will be interesting to see how fast new features are added over the next year.

But it really depends on what you need. If you are primarily looking for a way to get paid rather than, say, schedule appointments, manage inventory and integrate with payroll, SumUp wins the prize of simple and cheap, hands down.

Name of Reviewed Item: SumUp Card Reader Rating Value: 4.5 Image: https://www.mobiletransaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/sumup-card-reader-with-iphone.jpg Review Author:Review Date: