Our full-fat review of SumUp, including its card reader, and ecommerce potential
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SumUp review overview
This no frills payment processor has been going strong since 2011, with businesses attracted to its low processing fees and free point of sale (POS) software.
Its software and the ergonomic SumUp Air card reader team up to create the perfect payment taking package for small businesses, while its payment links, invoicing, and ecommerce features allow you to make sales through multiple channels.
With a lack of management features and minimal integrations, SumUp remains a firm favourite with businesses looking for simplicity over sophistication.
Businesses catered to: Popup food and drink establishments, small retail stores, service companies
SumUp Air card reader review
The SumUp Air card reader uses Bluetooth to pair up with the device hosting SumUp’s software, offering small business owners a simple way to take card payments and process transactions.
You’ll need to make sure that the phone or tablet you choose to pair with the SumUp Air card reader has either a mobile internet or wifi internet connection at all times.
The SumUp Air card reader enables you to take contactless and chip and pin payments, in addition to mobile payments from the likes of Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Is the SumUp card reader easy to set up?
In order to set up the card reader, you need to download the SumUp app onto your chosen device. Unlike Square and iZettle, SumUp requires you to input your business details, personal details, and bank details before you can access the app.
SumUp has easy to follow instructions on its website, which explain how to set up your card reader in four simple steps.
How does the SumUp card reader work alongside the SumUp app?
To make the transaction process super-smooth, enter all of your products into the SumUp app. This’ll allow you to print or send itemised receipts. Alternatively, you can tap in the cost of the transaction directly into the keypad using Quick Sale mode.
Once you press Charge, the SumUp card reader will display the transaction. Your customer can choose to pay by contactless, chip and pin, or mobile payment.
The SumUp app doesn’t integrate with third party receipt printers, so should the customer request a receipt, you can send them one via text or email. Another option is to invest in the SumUp 3G card reader with integrated receipt printer – we’ll tell you more about this device later!
Does the SumUp card reader enable online payments?
The SumUp app gives businesses the means to set up an online store. A SumUp online store is by no means a Shopify or Square Online store – it uses an incredibly basic template, and doesn’t leave much room for customisation.
Rather than having your own website address, customers can access your store via a generated link that contains your shop name. You then place this link on your social media accounts.
That said, the SumUp store allows you to set up fairly sophisticated delivery management, and allows you to keep track of all of your transactions in one place.
SumUp invoicing and mobile payments
SumUp isn’t a payment processor purely for those who have bricks and mortar businesses.
Thanks to its invoicing and mobile payments features, those who run service businesses or want to sell products remotely can also take card payments on the go.
SumUp Invoices is an invoicing function that works via the app, or via a desktop URL. The template enables you to personalise your invoice with your business logo and company details.
Every time you generate an invoice, simply enter the customer and transaction details. The customer then pays via the link. SumUp charges 2.5% for this transaction.
Similarly, SumUp’s mobile payments function allows you to generate payment links, so if a customer calls up to purchase a product, you can send them a payment link via text or email straight away.
SumUp POS equipment review
If you’re looking for a sophisticated point of sale setup, SumUp isn’t the payment provider to go for.
Its offering is fairly basic, with a tablet stand and SumUp 3G – its card reader-come-receipt printer device – about as sophisticated as it gets.
That said, its sustainably produced tablet stand could make an attractive centrepiece to your point of sale display, and its integrated card reader and receipt printer costs just shy of £100 – far cheaper than a standard Bluetooth printer.
SumUp also gives you the option to purchase a charging station for the Air card reader, helping you to create a neat, tidy, and professional-looking point of sale area.
Unlike software from other point of sale providers, SumUp’s software doesn’t require endless hours to input your inventory. It literally is a simple case of creating categories, then placing items into each category. For each item, you have the option to add an image and a price. You can also add determiners, such as colour, size, or whether the customer requires optional extras.
Compared to other analytics tools from the likes of iZettle and Square, SumUp’s analytics offering is basic, but very functional. It displays data from all of your payment methods – in-store, ecommerce, invoices, and payment links – so you know what your sales, refunds, and closing figures look like.
SumUp software doesn’t offer businesses much when it comes to customer loyalty features. In fact, aside from allowing you to link to an online store through your social media accounts, SumUp isn’t designed to help you build relationships with your customers.
That said, if you want to invest more time into building customer loyalty, you can integrate your SumUp card reader with a compatible alternative POS software, such as Vend.
SumUp customer reviews
With a TrustPilot rating of 4.3 out of five stars, SumUp fails to reach iZettle’s impressive 4.6 rating, but draws level with its other rival Square.
Generally, customers are impressed with its simplicity, and find its customer service reliable.
SumUp customer case study
Startups.co.uk asked florist owner Natasha Barlett-Twivey to tell us about her experience of SumUp. She explains
iZettle (now rebranded as Zettle by PayPal) and Square are SumUp’s main competitors, offering more sophisticated software and point of sale setups. This makes them better suited to businesses that are looking for a payment processor that can assist them in achieving high growth.
The other option is to choose a payment processor that’s attached to a bank, such as Barclays. However, these arrangements are better suited to businesses that take a higher number of sales.
Take a look at the table below to compare payment processor providers.
|Card reader provider||Best for||Device cost||Transaction fee (contactless and chip and pin)|
|Cheapest card reader||£19 (+VAT)||1.75%|
|Integrates with alternative POS software (iZettle recently rebranded to Zettle by PayPal but product offering remains the same)||£59 (+VAT)||1.75%|
|Lowest debit card transaction fee||£69 (+VAT)||Debit cards - 0.75%
Credit cards - 2.75%
|Best for businesses with higher transaction volumes||£45 (+VAT)||2.75% - 1% depending on volume of transactions|
|Lowest overall transaction fees (with Barclays merchant account)||£29 (+VAT)||1.6%|
SumUp review: the verdict
SumUp is the ideal payment processor for any small business owner looking for a simple way to take card payments. Unlike other payment processors, SumUp's free invoicing function makes it the perfect choice for tradespeople, while its simple ecommerce store allows freelancers and hobbyists to sell their products easily and remotely.
For businesses looking for management features or functions that’ll help them to maximise individual sales, SumUp isn’t the best option. Instead, look into iZettle and Square, which offer more sophisticated software packages for a slightly higher processing fee. Why not check out our iZettle vs Square review to ensure you choose the right payment processor for your business?