A card machine takes payments and deposits them into your business bank account. It also connects to a payment processor that processes transactions, carries out security checks and facilitates the actual transfer of funds. Card machines can be countertop, portable or mobile and can accept chip and PIN, contactless and Apple Pay transactions.
There are a number of different providers offering card machine services in the UK, with fees and rates varying by plan type and the size of the business. Most providers offer an upfront card machine price and an ongoing monthly fee for using the service. Some providers include the card reader in this price and some charge for a separate card reader. New or very small businesses might be best off with a commitment-free card machine without a monthly fee (like the myPOS Go).
Takepaymentsplus offers an all-in-one package including a PAX A920Pro smart POS terminal and a till app with a large touchscreen and tactile sticker for visually impaired users. It works over WiFi and can be used on the move, making it ideal for restaurants or food trucks. The most popular plan costs PS25 + VAT per month and has an 18 months contract.
Barclaycard Smartpay Anywhere is another major player, and offers a range of countertop, portable and mobile card machines that can be used on their own or integrated with POS systems. Its cheapest plan offers free next-day payouts and no lock-in contract, though it does have a couple of inactivity fees amounting to PS15 per month. card machines uk