FinancesFive Top Small Business Credit Card Processors

Five Top Small Business Credit Card Processors

Accepting consumer payments for products and services is crucial to every successful company. Online credit card payments rely on the cooperation of many different entities, including the consumer, the seller, the payment processor, the online payment gateway, the customer’s bank account, and the merchant account. Hence, you cannot accept credit card payments without having a credit card processing service.

The payment system must be quick, safe, cheap, and simple. A business has to work with an external payment processor, which acts as a liaison between the buyer and the bank or credit card company when accepting credit card, debit card, or digital wallet payments such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

What factors are most important, and which ones may be ignored when beginning with credit card processing services for small businesses?

We’ll examine the UK’s top small business credit card processors and explore the most important features.

Best Online Credit Card Processing Companies for Small Business

  1. SumUp Air – Best Credit Card Processing Company
  2. Square – Best Small Business Payment System
  3. Zettle By PayPal – Best E-Commerce Payment Processing
  4. Takepayments A920 – Best for POS System
  5. WorldPay – Best UK Card Reader

1.  SumUp Air

SumUp Air is a credit card machine supplier that stands on its own. Thus, SumUp 3G, one of the finest card machines for costs, comes out on top since it charges among the lowest transaction costs you can discover in the UK (just 1.69%). Additionally, the price is consistent and straightforward, so you’ll always know where you are financially.

So, if you’re looking for a card reader with reasonable monthly fees, go no further than the SumUp Air 3G. This card reader is great for novice company owners and seasoned entrepreneurs who want to streamline operations and save expenditures. SumUp Air features long-lasting battery cells, making it ideal for in-store mobility and mobile food vending.

It’s easy to see why this card reader has become so common among new firms. SumUp’s customer service is top-notch and essential when selecting a card reader, and the interface is intuitive and clutter-free.

You receive a business-ready card reader and stripped-down software with all the essentials for expanding your company, but don’t expect any frills or customizations.


  • Open pricing structures
  • Quickly set up
  • Simple to launch a webshop
  • Positive reputation for handling customer service issues
  • transaction processing time of 1-3 days


  • Fees are not cost-efficient for large numbers of transactions.
  • Offers the payment gateway solution only for its ecommerce platform

2.  Square

Second, the American firm Square is the market leader in portable credit card processing terminals and readers. Despite their youth in the UK market, they have swiftly risen to become the second most sought-after alternative by local firms doing research online. One of the most widely used payment processing systems, Square offers a free card reader that can be plugged into a smartphone or tablet, a mobile app, and a straightforward price structure. With Square’s pay-as-you-go model, even small companies that wouldn’t normally be able to purchase a merchant account may start accepting credit cards.

Over £84 billion in annual payments are processed by the company, which was co-founded by Jack Dorsey, who is also the co-founder of Twitter. Thus, it can accept payments from various countries and currencies.

There is no limit on the smallest possible purchase. You may obtain one of the greatest rates available today with fewer limitations if you only use it as a card machine. Compared to other mobile credit card readers, Square presently offers the most in the way of extra features and functionality. Square’s Reader is the company’s primary device for accepting payments, but it’s more than simply a credit card reader. Square could handle your company’s payment processing if you so desire.


  • Reputable merchant account provider
  • The free POS app is accessible in the App Store and on Google Play
  • Offers an instant deposit option for a 1% charge
  • No limitations on the number of purchases


  • Not able to print paper receipts

3.  Zettle by PayPal

Bus shelters and subway stations have been plastered with ads for Zettle, which promises to let anybody quickly turn an idea into a profitable company.

As long as you have access to a smartphone, the Zettle by PayPal card reader may serve as a secure and rapid payment processor. Alternatively, a new delivery-driving outfit needs a quick payment system.

The card reader syncs with portable devices like tablets and smartphones to facilitate card payments on the go. All you need is the customer’s email address for those who want a receipt.

On the other hand, the Zettle card reader is the best online payment gateway for small business UK. This card reader may be combined with other POS components, such as cash drawers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners, to build a fully functional POS system for a brick-and-mortar company.

However, the Zettle card reader works best for straightforward payment processing, and its customer support is also inadequate. Only during the working week and business hours can you reach a representative.

In terms of pricing, they’re towards the bottom of the barrel. Zettle by PayPal is a great replacement for traditional cash registers.


  • Compatible with both iOS and Android
  • Maximum runtime of 8 hours on a single charge
  • Quick transaction processing fees
  • Reasonable monthly fee


  • Inability to set up an online shop through an app.

4.  Takepayments A920

Most of the best card machines in the UK need a minimum contract length of 18 months, but with Takepayments, you can compete at the same level for just one year.

Moreover, suppose you require a mobile money tender. In that case, the touchscreen A920 portable terminal is an excellent choice since it has a multiple POS system that enables up to six employees to utilise it. One neat option is to distribute tips fairly so your customers’ daily total is split roughly equally.

As for charges, they are most cost-effective for businesses with a median volume of orders. Variables such as the customer’s spending habits, the accepted card types, and your business’s overall income might drive these costs as high as 2.5% per sale. There are no initial or recurring payments, but you’ll have to fork up the cash for the contract balance if you decide to leave before the two months are up.

The A920 comes with advanced analytics that assists in analysing staff performance and attrition over time, as well as helping identify customer patterns via live reporting and comprehensive sales insights.


  • Professional onboarding assistance
  • No fees for either leaving or joining
  • Great customer service, as seen by the abundance of five-star Trustpilot ratings


  • EPOS terminals can only accept card payments
  • Costs associated with chargebacks and refunds

5.  WorldPay Cards Reader

Worldpay stands out among the best small business payment terminals in the UK because it gives merchants greater flexibility in terms of transaction fees, contract durations based on monthly revenue, and card readers. This is one of the most reputable credit card processing companies.

You can choose the Simplicity plan, which lasts for 15 months and reduces transaction costs to 1.5 per cent from 2.5 per cent, saving you more money than even SumUp, the card reader with the lowest rates in our list.

The enterprise-level cyber protection from Worldpay and its complete PCI compliance make it a top choice for organisations concerned about safety. In addition, assistance is available seven days a week, round the clock, for your company’s convenience.

Worldpay has covered you with a wide range of high-tech options, whether you’re in the market for a portable POS system or a stationary countertop terminal.


  • Widely reputable among local companies
  • Compliance and safety measures that are very stringent
  • Potentially low fees


  • Average customer service


We have rounded up the best small business credit card processors to help you quick-start your small business.

We suggest Worldpay if you’re willing to commit to a 12-month contract and need a scalable, all-in-one solution that can handle sudden spikes in transaction traffic.

If you can get your brain around Zettle through PayPal’s price structure, you’ll find that the service is well-suited for small enterprises and accepts payments worldwide.

SumUp is a great option for new businesses since it has a minimal feature set and can be used with a mobile card reader and an accompanying app. It can also handle online payments, albeit it is not cost-effective for very frequent purchases.

If you’re just starting, you should look for a credit card processor that doesn’t need you to sign a contract at the outset. Options like WorldPay are also available, as are Square and SumUp.

WorldPay is viable if you’re searching for a more advanced payment solution from the get-go. These financial transaction establishments give cutting-edge safety features, insightful data platforms, and convenient digital and conventional payment options.

You should be certain that you’re hiring the correct supplier for your company, particularly if lengthy contracts are involved, even if we’ve detailed some of the top credit card processing firms for you to compare.

Written by

Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson is one of our expert writers. Mark is our lead researcher and editor who writes our main guides and expert topic coverage. He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses with practical advice delivered clearly. Mark’s worked for a number of business magazines and titles and has started two small businesses himself, so has first-hand experience in setting up, managing and growing a small business and shares his expertise with our readers.

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