SumUp vs Zettle: Which is better for taking payments?

With both SumUp and Zettle as leaders of the European payment processing market, which of these card reader titans is better for your company this year?

Our Research

Our expert team of writers and researchers worked to identify the best payment processing and merchant account providers by focusing on the factors small businesses care about most – value for money, including fees and hidden extras; security protocols and fraud protection; customer support, and ease of access across platforms including mobile.
Written and reviewed by:

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Our team of professional and independent researchers have awarded Zettle as the winner between SumUp and Zettle for 2024. Although it’s a little pricier when putting the POS system costs head to head, Zettle comes with more integrations, better scalability, and slightly better quality overall – so it wins out as the better value POS system, between the two.

But when it comes to choosing the right payment processor for your business, it’s never been more important to choose a provider that offers the best value and features for you, that will fit your unique business needs.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the various merits and drawbacks of each of these POS providers, helping you to understand which is the best choice for your own business needs. We’d also highly recommend taking just a moment to compare costs on POS systems using the simple tool, below. After answering just a few questions, you’ll be able to compare setup, hardware and transaction fees from top providers:

How many payments does your business process per month?

Compare Costs

Of course, neither SumUp nor Zettle are the only game in town when it comes to POS systems. Below, we’ve ranked some of our other top choices for you to consider when picking a system for your own business:

How do SumUp and Zettle compare to rivals?

It’s worth taking a moment to see how we rank each against other key competitors:

  1. Square: Best overall POS option, with a great free plan
  2. Zettle: A solid free POS plan that’s great for mobile devices
  3. SumUp (Goodtill): A highly customisable POS system
  4. Lightspeed: A great free trial and excellent value plans
  5. Vend: An excellent free plan from a brand that’s now owned by Lightspeed

Click any of the links above to begin comparing costs on POS Systems for your own business’s size and needs.

SumUp vs Zettle: Overview

Both Zettle by PayPal and SumUp’s card readers are among the best card machines for small businesses.

However, there are a few differences between the two products and how a POS system works which may make one more suitable for you than the other:

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0 out of 0

Zettle by PayPal


Software cost


Software cost


Hardware cost

Starting from £29 + VAT

Hardware cost

Starting from £29 + VAT

Transaction fees
  • 1.75% for all contactless or card payments
Transaction fees
  • 1.69% for all contactless or card payments
Includes payment software?


Includes payment software?


Online store?


Online store?



12 months


12 months

Money-back guarantee

Yes, if returned within 30 days

Money-back guarantee

Yes, if returned within 30 days


4G and Wifi


4G and Wifi

Payment gateway


Payment gateway

Available through integration with WooCommerce

PCI compliance

Free – Zettle handles this

PCI compliance

Free – SumUp handles this

Other fees
  • Up to £250 chargebacks/month covered for free
  • No refund fees
Other fees
  • No monthly fees and no contractual obligations

*Pricing correct as of August 2023

SumUp vs Zettle: Pricing

The Sumup card reader at Jerry's, London

We observed the SumUp card reader taking payments at Jerry’s, London

Card readerSumUp Air £29
SumUp 3G £99
£59 (often reduced to £29)
Paid software planNone availableNone available
Card present fees1.69%1.75%
Card not present fees2.5%2.5%

Key Takeaways

SumUp is the cheaper product, due to its lower transaction fees, and a cheaper card machine. 

But as the saying goes “you get what you pay for” and business owners looking to scale quickly may need to look at a card processing company or point of sale provider that offers more in the way of software features and expandable hardware sets. 

For business owners looking for a cheap and cheerful way to take card payments, the cost of the SumUp card reader and the lower transaction fees are ideal.

Zettle is a tad more expensive, but business owners do get more bang for only a little more buck, including the option to integrate the best accounting software for small businesses such as QuickBooks, Xero and more – and sales analytics. 

SumUp vs Zettle: Features

We observed The Zettle card reader taking payments at Shrubs And Dubs in London


(Cellular with SumUp 3G card reader)
Offline paymentsNoNo
Processing rate1.69%1.75%
Chip and pinYesYes
Virtual terminal (ecommerce)Yes (2.5% fee)Yes (2.5% fee)
Compatible with other POS softwareVend, Nobly, KountaVend, Lightspeed, and more

Key takeaways

SumUp charges small businesses 1.69% per transaction – that’s one of the lowest rates you can expect to find among merchant services for small businesses.

And for small businesses that often take to the road, the SumUp 3G card reader offers the easiest way to keep business costs and personal costs separate – because a mobile hotspot uses mobile data, while the SumUp card reader has its own mobile reception.

While Zettle charges higher fees, as we go deeper into our Zettle review and SumUp you’ll discover there’s a reason for that. 

Ultimately, when it comes to making your decision on which payment provider to choose, it’s the details that matter.

SumUp vs Zettle: Point Of Sale Equipment

London cafe The Rugged Bunch also spoke to us about their Zettle card reader

All POS accessories availableNoYes
Branded POS equipmentSumUp 3G with printerNo
Integrates with other POS softwareYesSome
Offline modePartialPartial
Complete kits availableNoYes

Frederico is the owner of Rugged Brunch, a cafe in North London. He opened the cafe in 2020, and has had the Zettle card reader since then. He notes: “I find Zettle easy-to-use and straightforward. It has everything we need. I haven’t considered switching to a different device and don’t plan to any time soon.”

“That said, to make it even more customer-centric, the Zettle could have a larger display screen. Some of my customers also prefer buttons to input their data rather than a touch-screen.”

Key takeaways

To benefit from SumUp’s card machine and low processing fee alongside a complete POS system, you’ll need to use the SumUp card machine alongside compatible third-party POS software, like Vend or Kounta.

If you’d rather stick to the basics, SumUp does offer its 3G card reader alongside an integrated printer which, combined with a mobile phone or tablet, gives businesses a fully operational point of sale system. 

On the other hand, Zettle’s software does integrate with third-party Bluetooth-enabled point of sale equipment, making it a fully scalable solution in its own right. This means you’ll be able to hook up printers, cash drawers, and even barcode scanners.

SumUp vs Zettle: E-Commerce

The Sumup card reader at Jerrys, London

SumUp OnlineZettle
Suitable for retail and hospitality?YesYes
Transaction fee2.5%2.5%
Free option?YesNo (standard £29/month)
Third party ecommerce integrationsShopify onlyShopify only
Accepts PayPalNoYes (2% transaction fee)

Key takeaways

SumUp and Zettle enable businesses to get their products online, thanks to easy to set up online stores. 

With Zettle and SumUp, all it takes is taking some high quality photos of your products, deciding on product categories, allocating products to categories and entering price details to get your store up and running.

Neither Zettle’s nor SumUp’s ecommerce offerings integrate with delivery apps like Deliveroo, but they do give you the means to take orders online and deliver using your own delivery team.

While both providers offer this service for free, they do charge a higher processing fee of 2.5% per transaction. 

It’s also worth noting that thanks to Zettle’s pairing with PayPal, you’re only charged 2% if customers choose to pay through their PayPal account.

Both of these ecommerce options are fairly basic, which is fine if you’re looking to guide customers from your social media pages or run a simple site. 

For those looking to take their online store to the next level, it’s handy to know that both SumUp and Zettle integrate with Shopify, which offers businesses more scope when it comes to marketing and managing your website and online presence. Learn more about creating online stores with our Shopify review.

SumUp vs Zettle: Security

When it comes to security, neither SumUp nor Zettle mess around. Both payment processors adhere to the latest PCI standards, and both take extra measures when it comes to protecting your data. 

SumUp promises that it never secures sensitive data on your mobile device and all data secured on its servers is encrypted.

Zettle goes even further. Its card reader is tamper-proof and self-destructs if it gets in the wrong hands, so you can start building a successful business knowing you’re not going to get stung in the future.

SumUp vs Zettle: Customer Support

Business owner Jerry taking payments with a SumUp reader

Customer support channelsPhone, email, live chatPhone, email, live chat
Internet supportYesYes
Phone support hoursWeekdays 8am-7pm
Weekends 8am - 5pm
Weekdays 9am-5pm
TrustPilot rating4.34.1

Jerry’s is a store in Angel, London that uses the SumUp card reader. When asked about his experiences of using the machine for eight months, owner Jerry told us that, on the rare occasions customer service is needed, “it’s not too difficult to communicate with a human being, which is quite nice”.

Key takeaways

When it comes to customer support, SumUp does have the edge because it offers its customers weekend support. 

The customer review outlook is positive for both suppliers, with fairly high TrustPilot ratings indicating generally satisfied customers. 

SumUp customers often praise its efficient service and ease of use, while Zettle’s slightly slower response time seems to account for its slightly lower score.

SumUp vs Zettle: Setting Up

The Zettle card reader being used to take a payment at Shrubs And Dubs

When it comes to setting up Zettle and SumUp payment systems, it’s all fairly simple. You’ll need the app – both are available in the Apple and Google Play store – and the card machine. 

Initial Setup

Before you pair your software and your card machine, you’ll need to set up and account with your chosen provider. They’ll ask you for some basic information on your business, and the details of your business bank account. 

(Neither SumUp nor Zettle require you to have a merchant account – simply a business bank account in the name of the person setting up the payment system.)

Once you’ve provided all the information, you can pair your card reader.

Pairing Your Equipment

Zettle and SumUp’s card readers are Bluetooth-enabled, so before you start taking payments, you’ll need to pair them with the device that hosts the accompanying software – this is either your tablet or smartphone. 

To do that, you simply head into the software app of your choice, tap into settings and select which device you want to pair. Then hold down the sync button on your card reader and the technology will do all the hard work. 

Syncing any additional hardware to your Zettle POS system follows the same process. Select the device you’re looking to pair on the app and hold down the sync button on the device.

SumUp vs Zettle: The Verdict

Our comparison of Zettle and SumUp has revealed that Zettle is the best value choice for small businesses, with a score of 5 out of 5 overall

SumUp is a great choice for small shops and pop-up stalls, offering business owners a quick and simple way to start taking card payments. And, if you start to need more from your point of sale system, you can always integrate SumUp with a software product like Vend (though this will incur its own charges).

But those looking to scale their business in significant ways should choose Zettle, as it offers business owners the tools and data collection they need to make informed business decisions, without the need to use any additional third party providers. 

Compare POS Costs in Moments

To save yourself time and money, we’ve developed a simple 🔍POS cost comparison tool, which you can use for free. You just need to answer a few simple questions about the needs of your business, and you’ll be given personalised quotes from top brands in the POS market. is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the difference between SumUp and Zettle?
    While SumUp is more of a customer favourite due to strong branding, Zettle is known to have better customer support, as well as cheaper hardware and a more flexible range of third-party integrations.
  • What is better than SumUp?
    Our team of professional and independent researchers believe Zettle to be better than SumUp overall, and have awarded Zettle as the winner between SumUp and Zettle for 2023. However, this can all depend on a businesses' individual needs and priorities, so it's always best to consider all features.
Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.
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