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4 Best Card Machines for Small Business

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Last editedDec 20212 min read

When you’re running a brick-and-mortar business, one of the most important items to get hold of is a card machine. With customers increasingly choosing to pay by card or mobile payment, and particularly with contactless, we are moving towards a cashless society. For this reason, it’s essential to have the right card machine to ensure you can take payments efficiently and easily.

Gone are the days when all shops used the same bulky chip and pin reader. Nowadays, there are a range of different options for you to choose from, all varying in terms of the services they offer and the fees that they charge. So, if you’re wondering “what is the best card machine for small business?”, we’ve put together this list of card machines for small business to help you decide which one is right for you.

SumUp 3G card reader

An excellent card machine for small business thanks to its low transaction fees, the SumUp 3G card reader is incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is insert a SIM card to connect to the 3G network, and there’s no need to connect it with a mobile phone. However, you will need to use the SumUp app to set up the reader.

This is a great small business card machine because of their low rates and flat-rate pricing – transaction fees come at 1.69%, which is the lowest on the UK market. What’s more, it has great customer support and an easy-to-use app that provides basic analytics reports.


Zettle is a highly versatile small business card machine. It has the widest range of accepted cards on the market, and there’s no contractual commitment or monthly fees to pay. All you have to do is pay a fixed rate of 1.75% on each transaction that you make, which is a relatively low amount.

Another key advantage that makes Zettle one of the best card machines for small business is ease of setup. All you have to do is go to the website and fill in some basic details about your business and bank account, and after a quick credit check you are usually immediately approved. There’s also a useful app with analytics and a simple, intuitive interface.

Square Reader

The Square Reader is the smallest card payment machine for small business, and many businesses are drawn in by its lightweight and sleek design. There’s no PIN pad on this reader, so you’ll have to use it with an app on your mobile screen if customers are required to input their PIN.

One thing that makes the Square Reader a great card payment machine for small business is the fact that it has a wide range of POS features. For example, it allows for you to split transactions between cash and card, as well as customisation of receipts. What’s more, the transaction fees are low, and it’s easy to sign up.


If you’re dealing with higher value transactions and wondering “what is the best card machine for small business?”, then Takepayments might be right for you. Fees are slightly more complicated than for the other readers in this list, and you will have to sign up for a 12-month contract minimum. However, if your transactions tend to be higher, then this will probably end up costing you less.

What about online payments?

If you will be taking payments online as well as in person, it’s useful to understand the different online payment options available. Cards aren’t your only option: GoCardless allows you to take both one-off and recurring payments, with an IDC Business Value study showing that businesses save 56% on the total cost of taking payments (including staff efficiencies and cost-per-transaction) when using our services.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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