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Est. 2004

Card payment machine

Anyone on here have experience of card payment machines and the costs involved?

I need to get a mobile machine for work and see that some have receipt rolls and their own sim, others connect through your smart phone and issue email receipts.

What are your experiences?

I know a few people using Sumup. They seem happy with it.

This site lists some of the option’s 7 Best Card Machines for Small Businesses in the UK

If you’ve already got a business bank account, might be worth seeing if they offer a option.

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My wife has a Zettle for very occasional use, connects to her phone so can be used anywhere, I think it was about £30 and charges 1.75% per transaction. It must be simple to set up because she’s not particularly tech minded.
It can be used by other people as well because the kids school used it the other week, I guess you just set up the account on your phone.

I see the canteen at work used one too so I guess it makes sense for regular use (it’s a site canteen on a building site with 500+ people working on it).

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Sumup can be bought at screwfix

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Some of them are free because they charge more for transactions, watch out for that.

Also make sure American Express cards are blocked. They’re very expensive on fees. Times at work the fee has exceeded the profit made on the sale.

We have Worldpay ones at work and they come with multisim chips that jump between all the major networks to find the best signal.

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Thanks for the advice. I suppose I’m trying to find a way of being paid that doesn’t involve me giving away a percentage of my business to someone who doesn’t provide value to that extent. I also don’t feel I or my customers should have to pay to get access to our money, banking after all isn’t free already.

Just imagine, you could sell a device, set up an electronic payment chain then take a percentage or two of someone’s business (gross!) without doing any work.

They should invent a way of transferring funds in a format that you can carry in your pocket, folded up, no charges made for the transaction.

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I think that’s quite unfair. You’re grossly underestimating quite how much hard work would have to go into defining that transaction system, working with the connecting parties to agree how it will work, then building it, then getting it accredited/approved by regulators, then launching it, then scaling it, then providing support for it, then providing customer service for it, then changing it when regulations or other peoples systems change, ten changing it again as new features are needed, then rebuild it every few years as dependent technology goes out of support and thus end of life, etc. The list goes on.

Software and systems are not just build it and then do nothing things. They’re incredibly complicated and require the full-time commitment of dozens, sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands of people to make it a continued reality.

The people that make transactions between banks happen, are not doing nothing, not by a very, very long shot.

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Starling Bank’s business account is free for basic use, as is NatWest.

Revoult does QR code payments

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Ignoring the obvious, which you can absolutely require of your customers, most bank apps let you do a direct transfer with no fees. Obviously, it is less convenient for consumers, and as a business you have no protection. But it is free.

I believe Cash App allows transferring money without fees too, just so long as you are happy for the payment to take a couple of days to reach your account. I guess they earn interest from holding it for a few days in lieu of the fee. Though I am not sure if it allows business use.

Obviously those are not as convenient as using a card processing service. But they need to handle transmitting data between the card reader and themselves securely, and take on the liability for that, and then handle the processing on their own servers. So even apart from all the upfront costs that Jay described which need recouping, there are also ongoing costs of them doing nothing that need to be covered…

Incidentally, WorldPay offer a choice of paying a fixed monthly fee (up to a certain transaction limit) instead of a per transaction fee for small business where it would make more sense. I would expect other service to do likewise.

I do get that a large amount of work goes into these systems but they are not bespoke to the customer and are standard products available to a wide audience. It is no surprise that having started looking for a provider I’ve been inundated by firms trying to sell me their machine. They know that once they’re in they get to be a shareholder without any of the risk, their share is gross and is collected straight from my customer. In a low margin business such as my old model this stuff all adds up.

We pay for banking one way or another but I see this as a contribution to inflation and an added cost that I need to keep to a minimum, as per my original post.

I’m not sure if the nonsense around handling cash during covid was a strategic move to make us pay to use money or just lucky happenstance for the banks.

I need to receive payments by card and have I reckon two weeks to get it sorted.

Be good to know what solution you choose, I know a few others trying to decide what’s best.
I’m lucky enough to trust my clients to paying via bank transfer, but if I did more Joe Public work I’d prefer a CC machine to get the money there and then rather than having to chase.
I’d look at it as saving time and hassle in the long run to make sure you get paid quickly.

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