Compare Zettle card readers

With the ever-growing cashless society, card readers are now a must-have for any business. We compare PayPal’s Zettle Card Reader and Payment Terminal.

No reviews yet. Write a review
Barclaycard Payments Smartpay Touch

Barclaycard Payments Smartpay Touch

£29 a month + VAT

  • Card reader & online portal
  • Low transaction fees
  • Free Accounting plan

Designed to help simplify business admin


The Zettle range

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Initial cost Monthly cost Transaction cost Contract Networks Key benefits Link
Zettle Card Reader 2
No contract
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Get your first reader for £29, and thereafter pay £59 for each additional reader.
Read review
View details
Zettle Payment Terminal
No contract
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Read review
View details
Table: sorted by transaction cost, promoted deals first
In the ever-growing cashless society, card readers are a must-have for any business. With the insights that the pandemic brought, it is clear that card readers are a vital part of keeping business payments running. From small market-stand merchants to full-service restaurants, there are now card readers to suit your every business’s needs.

The Zettle Reader 2 (launched as the iZettle in 2011) is an award-winning card reader that allows small-medium businesses to take payments on the go or docked into a professional set-up. In 2018 PayPal bought the Zettle Reader and after its success, it launched the Zettle Payment Terminal in 2021.

The card machines allow businesses to take payments in a user-friendly and dynamic way with and without the additional pairing of the Zettle Go app. Find out more about the Zettle card readers below:

More about Zettle card readers

Zettle Reader 2

  • Initial cost of £29 plus VAT, thereafter £59 for each additional reader
  • No fixed contract
  • Makes up to 100 sales a day on a full charge
  • Light and travel-friendly
  • 1.75% transaction fee (2.5% if card is not present)
  • Needs to connect to a phone or tablet

Zettle Payment Terminal

  • Initial cost of £149 plus VAT
  • No fixed contract
  • Small and compact, perfect for small businesses
  • 1.75% transaction fee (2.5% if card is not present)
  • Up to £250 chargeback protection per month
  • Works independently from a device
  • Battery lasts between 4 and 12 hours (depending on usage)
  • You can purchase a receipt printer and a dock separately or as part of a bundle

How to order a Zettle card machine

After you have researched and chosen the best card reader for you or your business, you can start the application process.

To apply for a Zettle card reader, head over to Zettle's online application, which takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Once your application is accepted, your card reader will be couriered to you.

Pros and cons of Zettle card readers


  • Accepts a wide range of networks
  • Machines can be docked or used on the go
  • Zettle Terminal has the option to add a receipt printer, for an additional cost
  • Works in conjunction with the free Zettle Go app
  • No fixed contracts
  • Payments settled in 1–2 working days
  • 12-month warranty period


  • Transaction fees apply
  • The Zettle Reader 2 needs to be connected to a tablet or phone
  • The battery life on the Zettle Terminal varies largely depending on the usage
  • Neither card reader offers a magnetic swipe option due to a safety issue

Our verdict

If you’re looking for an ergonomic and fairly priced card reader, Zettle by PayPal has 2 great options depending on your business’s needs. The light and compact Zettle Reader 2 is a good option for small businesses that need to take payments on-the-go. In comparison, the sleek, all-in-one Zettle Payment Terminal could be more suited for businesses that have a professional set-up, for example a small-medium food or shop service. Both Zettle card readers are fairly priced and take payments from a variety of card networks (including American Express).

However, many reviewing customers have complained that their accounts had been frozen after being flagged for suspicious activity, impacting transactions taking place. If you are at the research stage or are ready to order a card reader, make an informed decision with our comparison table.

Zettle customer reviews

Zettle has received mixed reviews from customers, according to customer review sites like TrustPilot and the Apple App Store.

It currently has an “Average” TrustPilot rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars, based on 3,175 reviews (updated 25 March 2022). Those who rated the product and service as “Excellent” commented on the straightforwardness of the product and the quick settlement period of payments. However, those reviewing customers who rated Zettle card readers 1 out of 5 stars or “Bad”, commented on the poor customer service after running into account issues on the device that impacted successful transactions. One customer complained of “refund issues and poor support”.

In comparison, on the Apple App Store, Zettle Go currently has a rating of 4.7 out of 5, based on 9.8K ratings (updated 25 March 2022). Many customers praised the “simplicity” and “layout” of the app and the “compactness” and “battery life” of the card readers. But, similar to TrustPilot, those customers who came into trouble with the Zettle card readers complained about their accounts being frozen unexpectedly and being met with poor customer service.

Frequently asked questions

Find the right card reader for you

Check a range of card readers in minutes
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

More guides on Finder

Go to site