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SumUp review

SumUp is the mobile card reader without a contract

(Image: © SumUp)

Our Verdict

SumUp is a no-nonsense credit card machine provider that allows you to take payments without any complications or contracts, and all using the power of mobile connectivity.


  • Simple but effective
  • Minimal charges
  • No contract
  • Good card reader


  • Not so good for high volume sales
  • Charge for the reader

SumUp is another addition to the range of card payment processing services that have appeared on the market in recent years. Being able to take card payments anywhere and everywhere has been a game changer for small business, and SumUp hits the note if you’re running a startup, or indeed a blossoming concern that’s really starting to go places. 

SumUp has plenty going for it, with the capacity to accept all debit and credit cards, without monthly costs and you can sign-up in fuss-free fashion online without any kind of contract being implemented. From there the overheads are refreshingly minimal too.


SumUp uses a simple but effective card reader and your phone or table to process payments (Image credit: SumUp)


SumUp keeps things simple with its charges currently set at one fee per any transaction with a 1.69% transaction fee, or 2.65% if you’re going via the US site. The company doesn’t charge a monthly fee either. 

Meanwhile, cards accepted are many and various including Visa, V Pay, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Diners Club, Discover and UnionPay. And, as SumUp explains on its website, whichever means of payment you’re taking there’s that useful bonus of no rental contract, plus you get a 1-year warranty on the reader and there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee for added piece of mind. 

On top of that there’s free delivery for the kit, while the iOS and Android app is gratis and you also get dashboard and reporting services plus telephone and email support for nothing too.


Convenience lies at the core of the SumUp concept (Image credit: SumUp)


It’s all about the convenience factor with SumUp and, thankfully, the service manages to tick all the boxes for business folks who want to minimize stress. 

The SumUp card reader range makes the process of accepting contactless payments via a card tap or interaction with a mobile phone as easy as it comes. In addition, there’s also the capacity for accepting payments via Chip and PIN, as well as a good old swipe of a magnetic card. 

SumUp has two card machines to choose from currently, with the £29/€39 (+VAT) SumUp Air card machine along with a SumUp 3G Card Reader, which is costlier at £99/€99 (+VAT) but you can use it without the presence of a smartphone that’s needed to complete transactions with the former option. 

There is also point of sale hardware for those not needing mobile freedom.


Fees are based on a per transaction basis plus there's no monthly charge (Image credit: SumUp)


SumUp offers a zingy way to process payments, quickly and securely. It uses a series of steps, which involves inputting the amount into the SumUp app, connecting the customers card with the card reader and then emailing them with a digital receipt post payment. 

This can be done via email or text, which offers a super convenient way of confirming a purchase, without the faff of printing out physical receipts. That makes SumUp a slick performer, without doubt. And, the fact that the SumUp Air card reader works with your smartphone and tablet means that there’s very little to go wrong. 

You can recharge the reader using a microUSB connection by the way, though SumUp reckons you can get around 500 or so transactions between charges.


SumUp can accept most cards including the more obvious ones such as Visa and Mastercard (Image credit: SumUp)

Ease of use

SumUp follows a similar path to iZettle in that there is very little to be done in order to get up and running. And, once you’ve got your reader, your account and have mastered how it all works together, the procedure for processing payments should be fault free. 

This is further compounded by knowing that there is just a  simple, flat fee no matter what sort of price you’re charging for goods and/or services. During operation the card reader connects using the power of Bluetooth and mobile, assuming you have access to a signal of course, and physical customers who are present simply need to tap with their card or phone in order to pay.


SumUp is comprised of a neat little card reader and a companion app (Image credit: SumUp)


Simplicity lies at the root of SumUp and so you should find it pretty straightforward to get the hang of. Nevertheless, SumUp has cleverly anticipated most if not all of the potential queries you might have along the way. 

As a result there is a very comprehensive SumUp support centre online, that should get you back on the straight and narrow if you run into difficulties. There’s also email support and you can get them on the phone too, Monday to Friday from 8 to 7 and Saturday from 8 to 5.


You can choose from two handy variants of the SumUp card reader (Image credit: SumUp)

Final verdict

There’s plenty to enthuse about when it comes to SumUp. The fact that you don't need a contract is a win, while the set 1.69% UK fee per transaction (it’s 2.65% US if you’re in the USA) for either credit or debit cards makes great sense too, especially if you're a small business owner. It doesn't matter either if you’re submitting a few transaction or processing thousands. 

However, as it involves manual intervention SumUp is going to be less appealing to big businesses, for obvious reasons. Smaller ventures, though, will find it of much use, with payments on transactions going into your account in 2 to 3 days. The hardware in the shape of the reader seems solid enough, while the app performs as it should too. 

SumUp is also suitably security conscious, with PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and SSL sitting at the core of its operation. It has competition, but SumUp is definitely one to consider.