SumUp Card Reader Review

Learn all about SumUp.

Updated: May 22, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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When you start accepting payments for your business, you will want the best card reader you can find. Payment processing plays a huge part in online and in-person transactions.

If you have a no or a slow payment system, it can cause a loss of time and earnings.

SumUp is a global finance technology company that supports over 4 million merchants in over 30 markets worldwide.

They provide card readers and other payment solutions.  To help you decide on the most suitable card reader, we will look closer at SumUp's payment software and products.

In this SumUp review, you'll learn all about SumUp, taking card payments at the point of sale with a SumUp reader and more.

What Is SumUp?

SumUp is a card payment solution company for small businesses worldwide and prides itself on providing accessible, affordable, easy-to-use payment solutions.

The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in London since it has grown to help businesses worldwide. SumUp is authorised as a Payment Institution by the Financial Conduct Authority and is PCI-DSS AND EMV certified. So, you will be in ease of mind when using any of SumUp’s payment hardware as it’s secure.

SumUp provides card readers to businesses and other payment processing software for online transactions. SumUp allows you to take payments for your business more seamlessly, from card readers to invoices. It’s an inclusive brand that makes payment technology more accessible regardless of your business size. 

If you work in retail, food and drinks, and large venue markets, you could benefit from SumUp's services. You can choose to use SumUp card readers without signing a contract or partaking in a subscription plan, so the option is all yours on how you want to use SumUp’s services. 

SumUp Products and Services

Although SumUp is aimed towards SMEs, they offer a wide range of features and products to excel in taking point-of-sale payments. Now you know how SumUp came about, it's time to explore the services and products. They offer a wide range of payment solutions.

SumUp offers the following payment solutions:

  • SumUp App: The SumUp mobile app has many features that can aid your business in sales, such as item libraries, item variants, quick-sale move, cash recording, basic analytics, multiple tax rates, Email/SMS receipts, receipt printer connectivity, remote payments like payment links and virtual gifts cards, and QR code transactions.
  • SumUp business bank account: You can open a business bank account with SumpUp integrated with your SumUp credit card processing account. There are no monthly account fees with a SumUp business account, and you'll receive a free SumUp branded Mastercard debit card.
  • SupUp point of sale system: SumUp offers two point of sale systems: the POS lite and the POS pro. They allow you to accept card payments, track cash earnings, control sales, issue payment receipts, and manage your accounts. The Pro comes with more features like customisation, speedier checkouts and more.
  • SumUp Tap First: You can start accepting payments without a card reader. SumUp taps use your smartphone's near-field communication (NFC) to accept contactless payments via the SumUp app. There are no activation costs or monthly fees. The Tap First feature is only available on Android devices, but it is coming to iOS in the near future. 
  • Virtual terminal: SumUp's virtual terminal allows business owners to process card-no-present transactions, such as phone payments. Business owners will need approval to use the virtual terminal as it's unavailable to some businesses.
  • SumUp kiosk: You can add a self-service kiosk to your business's premises. Gone are the days of poor customer service. Free up your employees' time from serving so they can work on other business areas and allow the customers to take shopping into their own hands. A self-service kiosk reduces queues and frees up time for tasks that matter.
  • Mobile payments: A handy feature is being able to accept mobile payments via payment links. So, you can send a customer or client a payment link via text, email or social media, and they can pay you their mobile phone, and you don't have to be present at all.
  • SumUp credit card readers: The SumUp reader allows you to accept card payments in person, anywhere at any time. You can accept debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and other contactless NFC payments. SumUp's card readers are compatible with any iOS or Android device. Two card reader models exist: the SumUp Air and the SumUp Solo.
  • Mobile invoicing software: With SumUp Invoices, the system automatically calculates totals and detects incorrect details on your invoices. The software makes payments more accessible and allows you to manage your books and view documents related to each customer, including any outstanding balances.

Pros and Cons of Using SumUp

You may be unsure if SumUp is the right payment provider for your business.

We've compiled a list of all the pros and cons of choosing SumUp for payment processing.


✔️ No fixed contract: There are no long-term contracts or early termination fees. So, if you want to switch providers later, you don't have to worry about fees for cancelling fixed contracts. If you want a contract, you can sign up for one.

✔️ No monthly minimums: Your business doesn't need to earn a minimum amount to use SumUp's services. No matter what size or how much money your business makes in a month, you can still use SumUp’s card reader and other services. 

✔️ Inexpensive hardware: The pricing plan and transaction fees when using the SumUp card reader are low, making payment processing more accessible for small businesses. We'll dive into pricing plans later, but they're relatively low.

✔️ Flat rate pricing: You will know what you must pay before making any commitments, so there will be no hidden fees or surprises when using your SumUp account. There are fixed transaction fees. If you sign up for other services, you may also be offered lower transaction fees. 

✔️ Tailored solutions: If you process more than £60,000 in card payments a year, you can reach out to the SumUp Sales Team, and together, you can discuss a tailored solution for your business.

✔️ Many payment methods: You can process your customer's transactions in various ways, such as a payment link, card payments, cash payments, credit card payments and more. You can also process international payments.

✔️ Free virtual terminal: If your virtual terminal application is accepted, you can start taking virtual payments over the phone for your business for free. A handy feature for international customers or customers who aren’t local to your business. 

✔️ Free trial: If you’re unsure if you want to do a SumUp subscription plan, you can sign up for free, participate in a free trial or book a free demo. You can try the software before you start your plan, and you won’t be charged for it.


❌️ Limited expandability options: SumUp is ideal for a small business, but you may find the software limiting or basic when your business grows. You may find you need more in-depth reporting down the line. 

❌️ Restricted support times: Phone support is only available Monday to Friday between 9am and 7pm. So, if any issues arise in the evenings or at the weekend, you must wait until the next working day to resolve them. 

❌️ No live chat: You can only contact the support team via telephone or email. There is no live chat support option available. 

SumUp Card Reader Device — Review

There are two types of card readers that SumUp offers: the SumUp Air and the SumUp Solo.

This SumUp review section will explore both and give you our thoughts on how well they'll help your business.

SumUp Air Card Reader

You can purchase the SumUp Air for £39, a modest price for a handheld card reader with the free SumUp App. There are no monthly fees for this device. To accept payments, you will need to use the mobile app. You can easily connect the Air to your smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth.

You can use it on the go with up to 12 hours of battery life. You can process over 500 transactions in this time, and it also comes with an optional charging station for when you're using it stationary. All major credit cards, debit cards and other payments are accepted. There are chip and PIN options or contactless, so your customers pay more comfortably.

If you choose the SumUp Air and a business account combination, you will receive a 12% fee discount and a free mastercard. The standard transition fee is 1.69%, but with a business account, you can reduce this to 1.49%.

You will need the mobile app to use this reader, as both are required to process payments smoothly.

SumUp Solo Card Reader

The SumUp Solo is a compact card reader that's pocked-sized; it's a standalone device ideal for payments on the go or taking mobile payments at a table. The device has an intelligent user interface with an intuitive touch screen.

The downside to the touchscreen device is that there is no chip and pin feature; you can only accept contactless payments, which can be limiting for your customers.

The device works with WiFi, and it comes with free unlimited mobile data with a built-in SIM card, so even if you're making sales in a place with no WiFi, your business doesn't have to suffer; you can confidently take all contactless payments.

The card reader has a charging station with up to eight hours of battery life, and a non-intrusive tipping feature allows your customers to tip their server.

The SumUp cost of the Air is £79 with no additional monthly fees. There is a 1.69% transaction fee, but if you open a business account with SumUp, you can benefit from a 12% discount.

How Easy Is the Setting Up of a SumUp Card Reader

Knowing all the features of a card reader is excellent. You must know what you’re paying before you make the purchase. Sometimes, when you buy tech, you never know what you’re getting yourself into when setting up is concerned. Setting up a system can be challenging, so we wanted to share our thoughts on setting up a SumUp card reader. 

Firstly, let’s begin with the Air reader. You can set up the Air reader in a few simple steps:

  1. Turn on your Air reader using the button on the right-hand side.
  2. Download the SumUp app and log in or create an account. 
  3. Tap the profile icon in the top corner of the screen.
  4. Select “card reader” and ensure the toggle for “accept payments with card reader” is enabled.
  5. Tap “connect card reader” and check if the three-digit number on the app matches the serial number on the back of the reader.
  6. Confirm the connection, and you should see the Air’s LED light flashing to confirm the connection. You can now sync it with your mobile device.

The setup process is quite simple and accessible. It isn’t too complicated, so if you’re not all that tech-savvy, you shouldn’t struggle with setting up the Air reader.

The Solo card reader is even easier to set up; it goes as follows:

  1. Using the power button on the right-hand side of the solo card reader, turn the device on.
  2. Select your preferred language and tap “Let’s start”.
  3. Sign in using your SumUp login details.
  4. Connect to a WiFi network. The Solo only connects to secure networks, so be careful which ones you’re pairing it with.
  5. Install any potential software updates, and you’re ready to go. 

So, setting up a SumUp reader is quick and straightforward. You don’t need a tech team behind you to get started, but if you need any help, you can contact the SumUp support team to talk you through the process if any issues arise. 

The Pricing Plan for All SumUp's Products and Services

Pricing plans and transaction fees will vary depending on which SumUp services you use.

You must look at transaction fees, card reader and POS system pricing. No monthly fee for any of the following products unless you subscribe to a specific plan. You pay for the necessary equipment and the transaction fee for your customers' purchases.

Some fees may vary depending on whether you choose to have a contract or not. Transaction fees include:

  • In-person card payments: 1.68% transaction fee.
  • Remote payments: 2.5% transaction fee for payment links, online store and gift card transactions.
  • Invoice transactions: 2.5% transaction fee.

If you're subscribed to a plan, you may get a reduced price on the readers, but we've provided the standalone prices here. Card reader pricing includes:

  • SumUp Air card reader: £39 each for the card readers. If you'd like the charging station too, there is a £49 bundle.
  • SumUp Solo card reader: £79 for the solo reader.
  • SumUp Solo and printer: £139 for a solo and printer system.

POS system pricing includes:

  • POS Lite system: £349 for the accessible Lite POS system.
  • POS Pro system: Bespoke price determined by your business needs.

There is a monthly subscription option available that you may also be interested in.

  • No contract: No monthly charges or contractual obligations. You pay a transaction fee between 1.69% and 2.5% when taking payments using SumUp products.
  • The SumUp One subscription plan: The SumUp cost is £29, and you can get the Solo card reader at a reduced price of £29. Card reader transactions and online payments will only be 0.99% of the transaction, and the payout time is 7 a.m. every day, including weekends and public holidays. Subscribing is optional.
  • POS Pro: Benefit from a bespoke plan for an all-in-one POS system with custom fees and monthly costs. The plan comes with integrations, table management and complete reporting. The monthly costs start from £49.99.

The prices stated above were as of October 2023 and do not include any VAT charges. VAT and other additions you add to the above packages may change the overall checkout price. 

How Does SumUp Compare to Its Competitors

SumUp is only one of many payment companies; others include Revolut, Zettle by PayPal, Square and Tyl by NatWest, and Stripe.

You may wonder how SumUp compares to the other companies, so we’ve listed its competitors' transaction fees and best features to give you a broader idea of the market.

SumUp’s Summary

  • Transaction fees: 2.5% online and 1.69% in-person.
  • Best feature: Optional contractual obligations.
  • Pricing: From £39 plus VAT.

Revolut's Summary

  • Transaction fees: 1% plus 20p for online and 0.8% plus 2p for in-person.
  • Best feature: Low transaction fees.
  • Pricing: £49 plus VAT.

Zettle by PayPal Summary

  • Transaction fees: 2.5% online and 1.775% in-person. 
  • Best feature: Convenient for businesses with a PayPal business account.
  • Pricing: From £59 plus VAT.

Square Summary

  • Transaction fees: 2.5% online and 1.75% in-person.
  • Best features: Fast payouts.
  • Pricing: From £19 plus VAT.

Tyl by NatWest Summary

  • Transaction fees: 1.50%.
  • Best features: Low-cost hardware.
  • Pricing: From £6.99 monthly plus VAT.

Stripe Summary

  • Transaction fees: Online transaction prices are customised, and in-person ones are 1.4% plus 20p. 
  • Best features: Advanced reporting features.
  • Pricing: From £49 plus VAT.

When deciding which system to choose, you must consider what is best for your business. Are you looking to save money on transaction fees or need hardware or a low-cost? Whatever you’re looking for, you should keep that in mind when searching for the most suitable hardware for your business needs. 

Accepting Payments With the SumUp: The Verdict

SumUp offers affordable card readers with a low transaction fee. So, if you're a small business looking for your first SumUp reader or a company looking for a change in payment processing software, SumUp's products are accessible.

SumUp readers are ideal for small to medium-sized businesses; if you have a large business, you may be better off looking for other card reader services. 

The hardware is a reasonable price and easy to set up, and you don’t have to participate in a subscription plan if you don’t want to. The transaction fee improves if you open a SumUp business bank account, so this is something to consider if you decide a SumUp card reader is the best option for your business.

Related Guides:


What Is the SumUp Card Transaction Fee?

What Are SumUp's Monthly Fees?

Do You Get a Bank Card With SumUp?

What Are the Drawbacks of Using SumUp?

Is It Easy to Accept Payments With the SumUp Card Reader?

What Are the Benefits of Using a SumUp Card Reader?

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