Attn: Business – Forget the local banks, here’s how to start accepting contactless credit cards quickly

19 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Business News

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

One of the positive things to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis has been the increased use of electronic payments in the form of credit and debit card payments at point of sale. In particular, retailers now prefer contactless payments (also known as tap and pay). This means a customer need not hold a pen nor touch a keypad.

Customers prefer contactless payments. Shops/stores that don’t accept cards must handle cash and make change.

However many merchants do not have card terminals, or are using dated terminals which do not allow contactless payments. Local banks often offer expensive or bulky terminals. We have been using SumUp in our business for many years, and we can happily recommend it. SumUp is a reputable German company and their service is smooth. You just pay for the terminal as a one-off payment, then you pay 2.75% per transaction. The money magically appears in your current account about 2 days later. There’s an app and website interface where you can check on payments and view stats. If you use this link then you can receive a €24 discount on their card reader!

What do the card readers look like?

Option 1: The SumUp bluetooth reader which connects to your phone or tablet (and uses their data)
Option 2: The SumUp 3G device contains a data SIM card which roams on all Irish networks. It is a standalone device and feels weighty and solid, like a Volkswagen.  provide


  • 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…. American Express and Diner’s Club (which almost no one in Ireland does!)
  • No contract
  • In app invoicing recently added


  • Works ‘online’ only, so you must have a working internet connection to take a payment (whereas some bank card readers will allow offline chip and PIN transactions below a floor limit). This can be awkard when visiting a location with poor internet. We have resorted to using a customers wifi hotspot in the past when this happened, or reluctantly accepting a cheque
  • Fee for debit card transactions is the same as credit cards, whereas for terminals from merchant banks debit cards are typically cheaper for large transactions
  • 2.75% transaction fee (which is higher in Ireland than the UK, although in practice many older accounts enjoy 1.75%)
  • 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 now more aware of the device, whereas in previous years a merchant would be questioned as to why there is no paper receipt.

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.

To enjoy a discount of about €24 on the cost of the reader click on this link to

Who SumUp won’t accept

The following high-risk businesses will need to seek special approval before using the SumUp card reader. We have highlighted the ones that are unusual to see on such a list:

  • Future business: where the delay between processing a card transaction and handing out the product/service is longer than 7 days.
  • Adult entertainment / Pornography
  • Airlines
    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
  • Gambling
  • 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: this is problematic as many clubs would benefit from the use of a card reader
  • 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: this suggests SumUp do not like seeing transactions measured in thousands of euro

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

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