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Compare Mobile Card Readers

Tide Card Reader
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Revolut Card Reader
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SumUp Card Reader
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Square Card Reader
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myPOS Card Reader
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10 Best Mobile Card Readers in 2024

Editorial Team

If you own a pop-up shop or are a small business on-the-go, a mobile card reader might be for you. They are a great payment accepting alternative for small businesses and freelancers alike because they are portable, tend to be cheaper and generally are all-round more versatile than traditional point of sale machines.

Find the best mobile card reader for your business and start saving today with the latest UK card reader deals.

Tide Card Reader

  • Touchscreen card reader by popular business bank
  • Only available to Tide Business Bank Account holders, monthly fees range from £0 to £49.99
  • Costs £89 plus VAT with free lifetime 4G
  • Competitive transaction fees of 1.5%
  • Get £100 cashback with code CARDREADER100 when you sign up, T&Cs apply
  • Accepting payments from chip and PIN, contactless & mobile
  • Which are cleared into your Tide account in 1-3 working days
  • The reader has an all-day battery life
  • Currently one device per registered business, Tide are working on this to allow multiple machines
Tide Card ReaderWebsiteRead our in-depth Tide review

Revolut Reader

  • The reader only costs £49 & connects to Android or iPhone devices
  • You will need a Revolut Business Account, fees range from £0 - £79
  • Transaction fees start at a low 0.8% for present consumer cards
  • While online payment fees start at 1%
  • Chip and PIN, contactless, VISA, Mastercard, Maestro, Apple, Google, & Samsung Pay are supported
  • All payments are processed in less than 5 seconds
  • Funds are available in your account within 24 hours
  • Connect the reader to Nobly POS, further integrations coming
  • Revolut offer a 30-day money back guarantee if returned for any reason within 30 days
Revolut Card ReaderWebsiteRead our in-depth Revolut review

SumUp Air

  • Popular standalone mobile card reader with the option to go into contract for a better offer
  • Available to all types of businesses & sole traders
  • Costs £39, excluding VAT, with one to three day free delivery
  • Transaction fees are 1.69%
  • Or save 12% with a free SumUp business account & pay 1.49% per sale
  • Get next day access to your money the next working day, on weekends & bank holidays too with SumUp account
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & mobile (Apple, Google Pay)
  • Battery life of 12 hours, from fully charged, so you can use it all day long
  • 30-day-money-back-guarantee from the date of purchase
SumUp Card ReaderWebsite

Square Reader

  • The cheapest reader in this list at £19
  • All transactions cost 1.75% while NCP transactions are 2.50%
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & Mobile (Apple, Google, Samsung Pay)
  • Process payments in seconds
  • Full visibility with bespoke reports that track payments, invoices & inventory
  • Powerful battery that lasts all day
  • See deposits in your bank account as soon as the next business day
  • Comes with a free Square magnetic stripe reader for international cards
  • Connect to Square's POS app
Square Card ReaderWebsite

myPOS Go 2

  • No monthly fees, just a one-off fee of £29, down from £39
  • Transaction fees start from 1.10% + 7p & NCP fees from 1.30% + 15p
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & Mobile (Apple, Google, Samsung Pay)
  • mPOS will try to beat any better deals you may receive
  • Track individual staff sales or easily split tips
  • Marketing tools including gift cards
  • Access myPOS mobile app
  • Get a free e-money merchant account
  • Digital receipts by email or text
myPOS Card ReaderWebsite

Shopify WisePad 3

  • Device costs £49, excluding VAT, start your 14-day free trial today
  • With card fees from 1.70% & CNP fees from 2.50%
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & Mobile (Apple, Google, Samsung Pay)
  • View in-store & online transaction history by customer, product or date
  • Accept multiple payment types in a single transaction
  • Record cash, cheque & IOU payments
  • Battery life of up to 15 hours
  • Charged from empty in 4 hours
  • 24/7 customer support team
Shopify Card ReaderWebsite

Zettle Card Reader 2

  • First reader costs £29, with no monthly fees
  • Card payments are charged at 1.75%, while no card present (NCP) transactions cost 2.50%
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & Mobile (Apple, Google, Samsung Pay)
  • Payments processed in as little as 5 seconds
  • 8 hours active battery life or 100 transactions
  • Payments deposited app-to-bank within 2 working days
  • Send email or SMS receipts
  • Free Zettle Go POS app
  • Payment links for remote payments
  • Charge fully in up 2 hours
Zettle Card ReaderWebsite

Grafterr Go

  • Cheapest card reader on the market, at £16 plus VAT
  • No contracts just a one-off payment with free delivery
  • Enjoy transaction fees from 1.29% for your first three months
  • Charged at 1.49% afterwards, or if you're not new to Grafterr
  • Get paid faster with next day payouts
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & Mobile (Apple, Google, Samsung Pay)
  • Has a battery life of an incredible 15 hours, from fully charged
  • Offer TAP&GO, a way to take payments from your android phone with no card reader
Grafterr Card ReaderWebsite

Barclaycard Smartpay Anywhere

  • Reader costs a one-off hardware cost of £29
  • Card fees charged at 1.60% & CNP fees from 2.50%
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & Mobile (Apple, Google, Samsung Pay)
  • Payments settled in 1 to 2 working days
  • Apply within 15 minutes
  • Proactive security to protect you against fraud
  • Advanced card verification process
  • Track payments in real-time using the app
  • Free Barclaycard Smartpay Anywhere app
Barclaycard Card ReaderWebsite

Lloyds Cardnet mPOS

  • Costs £49 one-off for the reader
  • With all card payments charged at 1.75% & card not present transactions from 1.15%
  • Accepts chip & PIN, contactless & Mobile (Apple, Google, Samsung Pay)
  • 8 hour battery life
  • Can still be used while on charge
  • Process refunds from the app, charged at 50p
  • Secure, point-to-point encryption
  • Choice of email or SMS receipts
  • In-app reporting with real-time & historical data
  • Lloyds is one of the big four UK banks
Lloyds Bank Cardnet Card ReaderWebsite

What is the best mobile card reader?

Here's a summary of what we think are the best mobile card readers, and what for:

  • Best mobile card reader overall: Tide Card Reader · £89
  • Best for cheapest card reader price: Grafterr Go · £16
  • Best for lowest transaction fees: Revolut Reader · £49
  • Best for longest battery life: Shopify WisePad 3 · £49
  • Best for business account combo: Tide Card Reader · £49

What is a mobile card reader?

A mobile card reader is a portable, or mobile, type of card machine that connects to an app on your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to take payments from anywhere, so long as you have a mobile connection.

How much do card readers cost?

The cost of mobile card readers falls between £16 and £49 which is much cheaper than most traditional card machines. However, transaction fees vary from 0.80% to 1.75%, for most consumer cards.

Normally, with mobile card readers, you pay for the reader and then its pay-as-you-go, only paying for transactions. This is what sets mobile readers aside from traditional card machines.

Who can get a card reader?

Most businesses should be able to get a mobile card reader. Some providers have transaction criteria your business must meet in order to use their card reader. Some others are as easy as just ordering online.

Mobile card readers are great for:

  • Taxi drivers
  • Pop-up shops
  • Food vans/stools
  • Festivals

Do you need a business account to have a card reader?

A business bank account is not a necessity, unless your business is registered as a limited company, to have or use card reader. Even then, you usually just need a merchant account for your deposits to be paid into

Now while you may not need to, it is always much more convenient to have and link a business account to your card reader. This is because it makes for quicker and easier settlements but also for better organising and understanding your businesses spend and revenue.

If you did want an all-in-one banking and payments package then Tide, Revolut and SumUp all offer free business accounts.

What to look for when choosing a mobile reader

There are a few things that are important to consider when trying to find the best reader for your business, such as:

  • How many transactions do you make? - This is important because most card readers charge transaction fees for every accepted payment. If you make a lot then you may want to consider a traditional counter-top card reader.
  • What is the most common payment type you receive? - Not all mobile card readers accept all forms of payment so make sure that if your customers frequently pay using American Express or contactless that you can accept it.

Many card reader providers offer complementary POS hardware such as tills, printers, tills and multiple types of readers, should you have more than one checkout option.

You can also integrate many accounting solutions to help with taxes and staying on top of your transactions.

Frequently asked questions

It's not uncommon to have questions when looking in to payments, especially for the first time. These are some of the most relevant questions for mobile card readers:

NCP stands for no-card-present or card-not-present, and refers to online or over-the-phone payments.

POS stands for point of sale. If you were to refer to a POS system then you would like to imagine larger till setups. Much more suited for businesses in static-location retail or hospitality.

Small businesses, startups, freelancers, taxi drivers and pop-up businesses could benefit from the flexibility and ease of mobile card readers.