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How much is a chip and pin machine?

Finally understand card machine costs, and find out which chip and pin machine is right for you

Chip and pin machines are a key piece of equipment for most small businesses – whether you run a restaurant, a shop, or any business in which you need to process card payments.

If you’re interested in getting a chip and pin machine for your startup, you’re likely to want to know how much to budget for it.

So, how much is a card machine? In this article, we explain what’s included in the card machine price and break down any other chip and pin machine costs, plus we walk you through the credit card machine rental costs.

For a quick-fire look at the cost of a card machine, here are the three cheapest options on the market:

Card readerDevice costTransaction fee
SumUp£291.69%
PayPal£341-2.75% (depending on sale value)
Square£391.75%

To compare quotes and find the right card reader for your business, be sure to use our handy online form to be put in touch with the right supplier for your business.


How much is a chip and pin machine?

The cost of a card machine can be anything from £30 to £300. The  price will depend on several factors, including what kind of card machine and card payment features you need for your business.

The total chip and pin machine costs will include the transaction fees, which will vary according to the sales you bring in each month (some card processing companies like PayPal charge different rates for different sales volumes) and any monthly costs in your contract (usually for services like chargebacks and invoices).

To calculate the cost of a chip and pin machine, you just add the card machine price to the credit card processing charges involved.


Card machine prices

The chip and PIN machine price range range spans between £30 and £300. This is dependent on whether you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful or for a state-of-the-art PDQ machine with all the bells and whistles. On average though, you’re looking at forking out around £50 for a new chip and pin machine.

Here’s a breakdown of the price ranges you can expect to encounter:

  • Basic chip and pin machine cost – £30 to £80
  • Mid-level chip and pin machine cost – £80 to £180
  • Advanced chip and pin machine cost – £180 to £300

For more information, be sure to take a look at our page that goes into detail on some of the best small business credit card machines on the market today.


Transaction fees

Credit card transaction charges usually sit between 1% and 3%.

But, what is a transaction fee?

A transaction fee refers to the small charge (usually of not more than 3%) that’s applied every time you take a credit or debit card payment via your chip and pin machine.

Major banks like NatWest apply a fee of 3% per transaction, whereas iZettle or Square have a flat rate of 1.75%.
Transaction fees will also vary according to the type of card and the payment method used. For example, Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly used debit cards, to which the base rate transaction fees within the contract are applied.

American Express, on the other hand, is often more expensive as the transaction fees applied to such credit cards are usually higher – making American Express costly for small businesses to accept (unless you have an iZettle or Square card machine, as they have flat rates).

To read a more detailed account of what credit card processing fees are, and how they might affect your profits on the day-to-day, take a look at our page specifically dedicated to credit card processing fees.


Monthly fees

Monthly fees don’t always apply, but when they do, they depend on the type and number of chip and pin devices you have, as well as the nature of the contract with your processor.

You may have a minimum amount you will be charged each month, even if your transactions do not raise much in fees. Typically, this will fall within the region of £10 to £20 per month.

There’s more to card machine costs than meets the eye. Don’t forget to budget for any upfront costs, transaction fees and usage fees.

Here is a summary of the main card machine fees:

  • Upfront costs – These are almost always just the cost of your chip and pin machine
  • Monthly fees – Monthly fees don’t always apply, but when they do, they depend on the type and number of chip and pin devices you have
  • Usage fees – How much it costs to use a chip and pin machine is outlined in your contract, and includes minimum monthly charges and chargeback fees

You’ll need to talk directly to your device provider to come up with exact chip and pin machine quotes for your small business, to do so, simply fill in the form at the top of this page and we’ll find some tailor-made quotes, designed with your business in mind.


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Cheap chip and pin machines

We’ve tracked down some of the cheapest card machines in the UK.

Small businesses and startups want to be keeping as much of their hard-earned cash as possible, and have the flexibility to chop and change contracts according to their growing businesses.

Chip and pin terminals from the likes of iZettle, Square, SumUp, Worldpay and PayPal are now making it cost-effective even for start-ups and low volume businesses to take card payments.

Here are five chip and pin providers perfect for businesses on a budget:

Card readerDevice costTransaction fee
iZettle£591.75%
Square£391.75%
SumUp£291.69%
WorldPay£691.95%-2.75%
PayPal£541%-2.75%

For a more precise and financially accurate figure, fill in our form and we’ll provide you with a range of tailor-made quotes from providers suited to your startup.


Card machine price comparison

Bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to chip and pin machine providers, so it’s a good idea to check out our full list of the UK’s best card machines for small businesses.

Hypercom Optimum T4210
£150
  • Ultra-speedy mid-range card payment terminal
  • Includes a printer and keypad
  • Quality screen with easy-to-use buttons
Compare
EFT Vega3000 countertop
£300-£400
  • Flexible enough to be used in a wide range of businesses
  • Colour screen and large, user-friendly buttons
  • Security features built into machine and account
Compare
Ingenico iWL250 wireless
£350
  • Leading card processing provider
  • Robust reader at the top end of the quality scale
  • Perfect for helping businesses take payments flexibly
Compare
iZettle
£19
  • iZettle combines an easy-to-use device
  • Free is the iZettle app for Android and iOS included
  • Daily reports and customer phone support
Compare
Square card reader
£39
  • One of the cheapest card machines
  • Affordable transaction costs of 1.75%
  • Inserting, swiping or contactless card payments
Compare
Worldpay
£69
  • UK’s number one card reader
  • Transaction charges are less competitive at 2.75%
  • Use without wifi - payments processed once online
Compare

Chip and pin machines: Buying vs renting

Whether it makes sense to buy or rent a card machine depends on your appetite for flexibility as well as your individual business set-up.

Buy a card machine?

Chip and pin machines don’t have to cost the earth, and getting your own device will often save you in the long term with no monthly commitment or exit charges.

These are the pros and cons of buying a chip and pin machine:

Pros:

  • No monthly commitment
  • Cheaper in the long-term
  • Pairs with EPOS systems
  • Your device, your rules
  • Competitive advantage

Cons

  • Initial costs
  • No replacements
  • Can go out-of-date

Rent a card machine?

Long or short term card machine hire is a popular option for small businesses. Perhaps you only work seasonally, or you just like the added maintenance and support that comes with renting equipment.

These are the pros and cons of card machine hire:

Pros:

  • No purchase costs
  • Maintenance included
  • Ideal for short-term
  • Support team on hand
  • Latest device renewals

Cons:

  • No ownership
  • Higher costs long-term
  • Contract lock-ins
  • Possible exit fees

Chip and pin machine costs: In a nutshell

Chip and pin machines can be as cheap or as features-packed as you want them. The average card machine cost is £50, but we at Startups can help you get the best deal.

By reading this article, you’ve learned more about card machine prices and the other related chip and pin machine costs. Plus, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of buying or renting card machines and profiled some of the cheapest card machine providers available.

If you’re ready to compare card machines, we’ve made a personalised quote-finder for our readers at the top of this page.

Next Steps: Compare card machine prices

To get custom quotes from some of the UK’s best chip and pin machine providers, check out our easy quote-finder.

If you’re keen to find the best chip and pin machine for your business, the next step is to get talking to suppliers – and Startups can connect you.

It’s free to find your best card machine providers: just tell us what you’re looking for, and your card machine matches will get back to you personally with their best offers, so you can compare all your options. Compare quotes for free today to find the best service and products.

Compare Card Payment Quotes Today. Compare and save.

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Bryn Glover
Bryn Glover

Editor

As Editor of Startups, Bryn runs content strategy and our annual campaigns. A lover of small business, you can find him writing about exciting entrepreneurs and UK industry trends.

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