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Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal for Your Industry 1Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal for Your Industry 2Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal for Your Industry 3Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal for Your Industry 4Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal for Your Industry 5

Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Card Payment Terminal for Your Industry

As a small business owner in the UK, you understand the importance of accepting card payments from your customers. Choosing the right card payment terminal for your industry can make all the difference in providing a seamless experience for your customers and boosting your bottom line. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share expert tips and advice on finding the perfect card payment terminal tailored to your industry’s needs. So, let’s dive in!


Understand Your Business Needs


Before exploring the available payment terminals, you need to understand your business’s specific requirements. Consider the following aspects:

  • Transaction volume: Estimate the number of card transactions your business processes daily, weekly, or monthly. This will help you determine the type of terminal that can handle your volume efficiently.
  • Payment methods: Assess which payment methods your customers prefer, such as credit/debit cards, contactless payments, or mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Ensure the terminal you choose supports these methods.
  • Industry-specific features: Depending on your industry, you may require unique features to streamline your operations and enhance the customer experience.
  • Budget constraints: Determine the budget you’re willing to allocate for a payment terminal, including upfront costs, transaction fees, and monthly service fees.
  • Integration with other business systems: Ensure the terminal you choose can integrate seamlessly with your existing systems, such as point-of-sale (POS), accounting, and inventory management.


Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal for Your Industry 6Evaluate Card Payment Terminal Types

There are several types of payment terminals, each with its pros and cons. Here’s an overview of the most common options:



Countertop Card Machines

These terminals connect to your phone line or broadband and are suitable for businesses with a fixed point of sale, such as retail shops and restaurants. Countertop card machines offer reliable connectivity, fast transaction processing, and are often more affordable than portable or mobile options. However, they lack the mobility needed for businesses requiring flexible payment locations.



Portable Card Machines

These wireless devices allow you to take payments from customers within a limited range, making them ideal for businesses like cafes, bars, or restaurants with table service. Portable card machines use Wi-Fi or GPRS connectivity, enabling staff to process payments anywhere within your establishment. The main advantage is the convenience and improved customer experience, but they may be more expensive than countertop machines.



Mobile Card Machines

These terminals connect to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, allowing you to accept payments on the go. They’re perfect for businesses like market traders, delivery services, or pop-up shops. Mobile card machines offer the greatest flexibility and mobility but may have higher transaction fees and require a compatible smartphone or tablet.



Compare Top Card Payment Terminal Providers

Once you have a clear understanding of your business needs and the types of terminals available, research the top payment terminal providers to find a solution that matches your requirements. Some of the leading providers in the UK include:

  • Worldpay: One of the largest payment processing companies globally, Worldpay offers a range of terminals, including countertop, portable, and mobile options. They provide competitive pricing, 24/7 customer support, and a comprehensive suite of features for businesses of all sizes.
  • Barclaycard: As one of the UK’s leading banks, Barclaycard offers a variety of payment terminals with flexible pricing options. Their terminals cater to a wide range of industries and include features such as contactless payments, mobile wallet support, and easy integration with other systems.
  • Paymentsense: This provider specializes in payment solutions for small businesses, offering a selection of countertop, portable, and mobile terminals. Paymentsense provides competitive pricing, short-term contracts, and a dedicated support team to help businesses navigate the payment processing landscape.
  • iZettle: Known for its mobile card reader, iZettle caters primarily to small businesses and sole traders who require a flexible and mobile payment solution. Their iZettle Reader 2 supports a wide range of payment methods, offers quick setup, and integrates with popular POS and accounting systems.
  • SumUp: SumUp’s Air card reader is another popular mobile payment terminal option for small businesses. With a simple fee structure, no monthly costs, and an easy-to-use mobile app, SumUp is an excellent choice for those seeking a straightforward and affordable payment solution.

When comparing providers, consider factors such as pricing, contract length, customer support, and available features.



Consider Industry-Specific Features

Some industries have unique payment processing needs, so it’s essential to choose a payment terminal with features tailored to your sector. Here are a few examples:


Retail businesses may require terminals with inventory management integration, barcode scanners, and receipt printers. These features help streamline the checkout process and keep your inventory up to date.

Restaurants and Cafes

Terminals with tip management, tableside payment processing, and integration with kitchen display systems are beneficial for restaurants and cafes. These features enable efficient order processing, allow customers to pay at their table, and ensure tips are distributed fairly among staff members.

Service Providers

Service providers such as plumbers or electricians might need terminals with invoice generation, recurring payment capabilities, and mobile payment options. These features simplify billing and allow you to accept payments on-site or set up regular payments for ongoing services.



Ensure Security and Compliance

Security is a top priority when selecting a payment terminal. Ensure your chosen terminal is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and supports EMV chip and PIN transactions, as well as contactless payments. Additionally, consider terminals with point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization for added security.



Review Integration Capabilities

It’s essential to choose a payment terminal that integrates seamlessly with your existing business systems, such as your point-of-sale (POS) system, accounting software, or inventory management system. This will help streamline your operations and improve overall efficiency.



Assess Pricing and Contract Terms

Payment terminal costs can vary significantly depending on the provider and your specific needs. When comparing pricing, consider:

  • Terminal purchase or rental fees
  • Transaction fees
  • Monthly service fees
  • Setup and installation costs
  • Contract length and termination fees

It’s crucial to find a payment terminal that fits your budget while still meeting your business requirements. Look for transparent pricing structures and flexible contract terms to avoid any hidden costs or long-term commitments.



Top 5 Payment Terminals for UK Small Businesses

To help you make an informed decision, here’s a list of the top 5 payment terminals for small businesses in the UK:

  1. Worldpay Reader: A versatile terminal that supports a wide range of payment methods and offers robust security features. Suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.
  2. Barclaycard Anywhere: A reliable payment terminal from a trusted bank, offering flexible pricing options and excellent customer support.
  3. Paymentsense Move: A portable terminal designed for small businesses, featuring short-term contracts and competitive pricing.
  4. iZettle Reader 2: A popular mobile card reader with quick setup, easy integration, and support for various payment methods.
  5. SumUp Air: An affordable mobile payment terminal with a simple fee structure, no monthly costs, and a user-friendly mobile app.

Consider the features, pricing, and industry-specific capabilities of each terminal to determine which one best suits your business needs.



Choosing the right PDQ card payment terminal for your industry is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your business’s success. By understanding your business needs, evaluating different terminal types, and comparing top providers, you can find the perfect payment solution tailored to your industry. Remember to consider industry-specific features, security and compliance, integration capabilities, and pricing when making your decision.

Ready to find the ideal payment terminal for your business? Get a free comparison quote through our quote form and take the first step towards a seamless payment experience for your customers!