Card payment machines are a must-have for small businesses that take in-person payments. They help businesses stay competitive in a cashless society and avoid losing customers who don’t carry cash.
These devices range from simple push-button keypads that accept PINs, to app-based card readers that connect to smartphones or tablets. They can also be portable or countertop, depending on your business’ needs and budget.
iZettle is an online point-of-sale system for small and micro businesses that combines the best of mobile technology and traditional card payment terminals. The system includes a low-cost credit and debit card reader with a free app that works in conjunction with your smartphone or tablet. It also offers a number of other features, including a payment link option that allows customers to make payments by e-mail or text.
Its card reader won the Red Dot Design Award last year and can take chip and PIN or contactless payments, as well as the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay. It’s small, compact and easy to use. It’s said to work 25% faster than other card readers, and the battery life is excellent – 30% longer than any other credit or debit card reader on the market.
The app has several useful features, including repeat payments, which allow you to set a fixed amount to be charged via contactless, chip and PIN card or wearable tech without having to enter the amount over and over again. This is especially handy for street musicians, charity fundraisers or other ‘one off’ payments where you might not need to enter the same amount for every transaction.
You can also send invoices and payment links from iZettle to your customers, and there’s a handy feature that lets you generate QR codes so your customer can scan them with their mobile phone. These links are secure, PCI-compliant and offer a more convenient way for customers to pay than entering their credit or debit card details.
iZettle offers a wide range of products for different business types, from the iZettle Go (POS app) and iZettle Reader to iZettle Pro, which can be used in hospitality environments. It also offers a variety of payment processing options, including PayPal and credit cards, and can be configured to work with a wide range of hardware.
iZettle is owned by PayPal and complies with all PCI Data Security Standard requirements, protecting your data and your customers’. Its software is tamper proof and self-destructs if it is compromised. There are no monthly fees, commitment or hidden costs and iZettle’s 1.75% transaction fee is competitive with other card payment systems.
Barclaycard is one of the most recognisable brands in the UK and it’s also one of the best merchant services providers for SMEs. It offers a range of card payment machines and readers to suit businesses of all sizes, and its rates are competitive.
There are a few different types of card terminals available, including desktop card machines, portable card machines and mobile card readers. All of them are designed to help you accept payments, and they come with a range of features to make life easier for businesses.
Desktop card machine – These are the most common type of PDQ machine you’ll see at checkouts, usually physically attached to a POS system. They’re great for shops with a fixed checkout, but are also ideal for mobile businesses that take payments out and about.
Portable card machine – These are more mobile than their desktop counterparts, which makes them perfect for taxi drivers, tradespeople and solo traders. They connect to a free app on your smartphone or tablet, so you can manage sales and stock in real-time.
You can also get a virtual terminal to support telephone and mail orders, which works similar to a card reader but instead of plugging it in you type the customer’s details in. Fees are very competitive, and there’s no monthly rental or a long-term commitment, making this an attractive option for small businesses.
If you want to take card payments on the go, the Barclays Flex is an ideal choice. It’s equipped with Bluetooth and GPRS, so it’s as easy to take payments on the move as it is in a shop.
However, the downside is that it comes with a fixed 18-month contract, which can be difficult to work around when you have limited cashflow. There’s also a monthly minimum charge, so it’s worth asking Barclays for a tailored quote to make sure you’re not paying too much in fees.
The company does also have a good reputation for customer service, but reviews on Trustpilot aren’t particularly positive and it can be difficult to find contact details online. Its website doesn’t make it very easy to get in touch with a representative, and the wait times on its helpline are often longer than you might expect.
Tyl by Natwest
Tyl by NatWest is a card payment machine solution that’s designed to suit businesses of all sizes. It offers a range of card readers that can be used in-store, online or over the phone, and comes with a selection of features that help merchants to grow their business.
For starters, it has a loyalty programme that rewards customers who spend with your business. It also has a browser dashboard (Tyl Portal) to track sales and settles for no extra cost.
It also has a PayMe and Split Bill request money feature, which lets you get paid instantly without having to enter your card or account details. This makes it a more convenient option for customers, and helps you to grow your business as well.
The Tyl platform is a collaboration between NatWest and Pollinate, a software company that developed an Android-based card payment system, Clover, for small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. The Tyl offering includes a selection of card payment machines to rent, a virtual terminal, a payment links and an online payment gateway.
To use the service, you’ll need to sign up with NatWest and then choose from one of the machine types they offer. You can choose from an all-in-one card reader, a portable card reader or a countertop machine.
Depending on your business, you’ll need to decide whether you want to take Amex payments as well as Visa and Mastercard. This will affect your fees, so it’s best to ask before you sign up to ensure that you’re not paying more than you need to.
You can also choose to have your invoices delivered via the net method – this means that you receive the value of the transaction into your FreeAgent bank account with the charges already deducted, so you don’t need to increase the amount on each invoice to cover the charges. If you decide to disconnect the service, you can disable it in your FreeAgent account by navigating to ’Connections & Add-ons’, selecting ‘Manage Tyl by NatWest’ and selecting ‘Disconnect Tyl by NatWest’.
The Tyl by NatWest extension is a great way to integrate NatWest’s payment gateway with your Magento 2 store. Once installed, customers can find the payment method on your store’s checkout page and select it to make a secure payment. Then, they’ll be redirected to a hosted payment page where they can complete the payment and then return back to your site. Once they’re done, the full payment details are reflected in their my order section as well as in the Sales > Orders backend grid.
Takepayments is a UK-based card payment machine and online payment provider. It provides credit and debit card processing, merchant accounts, and mobile POS systems for SMEs. The company is a long-time industry favourite and is backed by a team of experienced Payment Consultants across the country.
Unlike other payment providers, takepayments offers local payment consultants who will come out to your business to understand how you take payments and what you need from a card machine. They will then give you a quote and help you choose the right system for your needs.
They offer countertop, portable and mobile card machines that accept all major credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express, as well as contactless and chip and PIN transactions. The mobile options are particularly useful for businesses that need to take payments in a different location, such as restaurants or cafes.
The takepaymentsplus system is a great option for small SMEs looking to add an advanced POS feature to their business without spending the cash on an EPOS solution. It comes with a 4G SIM-enabled card reader and bespoke software that allows you to track sales by time of day, employee, category or product.
It also comes with real-time inventory tracking, so you can see if there is any stock out and instantly update it. This is a great way to keep customers happy and avoid any restocking issues, while making inventory management easy.
Another fantastic feature is that you can quickly set up customised product and category buttons for any item of merchandise your business sells. So if a new trainer line drops in your store, you can add it immediately and set the price. This helps you save money on stock and increase sales.
This is a really helpful feature for small business owners who need to keep tabs on what is selling in their store and how well it’s doing. It’s also a great tool to use when planning new products and promotions, so you can make sure you get the most out of your sales.