2019 REVIEW: SumUp card reader

29 June 2019
By Elaine Murphy


COUPON CODE/DISCOUNT CODE: Click here to order a SumUp card machine

If you run a business then a key point is getting paid by Your customer, and as quickly as possible! you may currently be limited to accepting cash, cheques, and credit transfers, but customers now don’t carry much cash, and cheques can bounce. Bank credit transfers to new accounts tend to require the sender to use their code generator, which is clunky. Solution? accept credit and debit cards. If you are in Ireland you are no longer limited to using the domestic banks for card processing. There is a German firm called SumUp who offer a device that uses the internet to authorise payments.


  • No standing charge
  • Quality looking card reader
  • No monthly minimums
  • No additional fees for foreign cards
  • Virtual terminal included also, for ‘cardholder not present’ payments
  • Ideal for low-volume merchants
  • Chip & Pin, NFC
  • Accepts Visa, MasterCard, and even American Express and Diner’s Club (which almost no one in Ireland does!)
  • No contract


  • Bluetooth connection between reader and phone/iPad is sporadic
  • Fee for debit card transactions is the same as credit cards
  • 2.75% transaction fee (which is higher in Ireland than the UK, although in practice many older grandfather accounts enjoy 1.75%)
  • No in-app invoicing
  • Limited reporting
  • No ability to add a boilerplate message to email receipts (so customers routinely contact us asking whether or not VAT was included)

Accepted Cards
Accept any credit or debit card (including international cards) that displays the following logos:

  • Visa Credit & Debit
  • MasterCard Credit & Debit
  • American Express
  • Diner’s Club

Our thoughts

Physically you won’t find a device much better than SumUp’s Air Card Reader, it has a beautiful design worthy of an Apple product, it is even white in colour! Customers are not more aware of the device, whereas in previous years a merchant would be questioned as to why there is no paper receipt.

Beyond that, it really comes down to the supporting payment and software features you need, in addition to your card reader, and this is where iZettle may start to pull ahead. Then you have Square, which doesn’t quite match SumUp or iZettle in the card reader department but offers incredible supporting software via its free mobile app.

If these features aren’t important to you and you simply want the lowest transaction fees for a low volume of card payments, then SumUp is the easy winner. However, your decision becomes a little trickier if the more advanced payment and businesses management features available elsewhere are of value to you.

Who SumUp won’t accept

We have highlighted the ones that are unusual to see on such a list

The following high-risk businesses will need to seek special approval before using the SumUp card reader.

Future business: where the delay between processing a card transaction and handing out the product/service is longer than 7 days.
Adult entertainment / Pornography
Business seminars – like real estate seminars, investment programs, business opportunities/strategies, self-help books, etc.
Collection agencies, refinancing of debt / factoring, mortgage, brokers/reduction services/refinancing, Payday loans
Cosmetic surgery
Non-licensed Counselling centres (for example debt and financial counselling, marriage and family counselling, alcohol and drug abuse counselling, and other personal counselling)
Detective agencies, protective agencies, security services including armoured cars, guard dogs
Door-to-door sales
Drug paraphernalia
Employment agencies, temporary help services
Escort services
File sharing services
Fortune tellers
Guns, firearms, munitions sale & distribution
Illegal or legally questionable businesses or products
Investor services/investment clubs. Sale of stocks, securities, options, binary options, Forex, and other investments
Male/Female enhancers
Membership fees
Modelling/talent agencies
Not-for-profit organisations
Pawn shops
Political organisations
Products with doubtful efficiency: may include but not limited to weight loss products, hair growth products, products to boost, physical performance.
Protection services: protection, insurance, or registration, service against things such as identity theft, Internet, fraud, credit card theft or fraud, etc.
Pyramid sales/multi-level marketing
Religious organisations & goods stores
Sexual encounter firms
Stamp and coin stores
Telecommunication services including but not limited to prepaid phone services and recurring phone services
Used cars

COUPON CODE/DISCOUNT CODE: Click here to order a SumUp card machine

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