SumUp vs Square – compare card readers

SumUp and Square both offer cost-effective card readers for a range of business types, but which one is better? We compare both card machine providers in this guide.

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When investing in card readers for your business, you have to choose something that will work for you and your business’s needs. SumUp and Square are two of the most popular card reader providers. In this guide, we compare their most sought after products – the SumUp Air and the Square Reader.

SumUp vs Square: provider overview

So, what are the main differences between the Square and SumUp? If you’re looking for a provider with a range of options, SumUp currently has one of the largest card reader artileries on the market, especially when you compare it to the 2 products Square has. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that more is better, it just means that there could be additional features that you might not have considered before.

SumUp
ProductsSumUp Air, SumUp Air and Cradle, SumUp Solo, SumUp 3G and Printer
Payment methodsContactless, Chip and Pin
Alternative payment methodsQR code,Payment link
Apple PayYes
Google PayYes
ConnectivityBluetooth
Requires connection to a phone or tabletYes
Battery life500 sales on a full charge
Warranty period12 months
Square
ProductsSquare Reader, Square Terminal
Payment methodsContactless, Chip and Pin
Alternative payment methodsPayment link,Over the phone
Apple PayYes
Google PayYes
ConnectivityBluetooth
Requires connection to a phone or tabletYes
Battery lifeDesigned to last all day
Warranty period24 months

The SumUp Air vs the Square Reader: product overview

Although both card reader providers offer other machines, the SumUp Air and the Square Reader continue to be the “go-to” products in their range.

Compare rates and fees

When comparing card readers, it is a good idea to compare the rates and fees that the provider charges. For further explanations of the different charges you might come across in your research, use our handy guide.

The SumUp and Square card readers have some of the lower fees for card machines on the market, but there are still some large differences to consider. For example, the Square Reader charges a higher transaction fee by 0.6% when compared to the SumUp Air. However, the SumUp Air charges a £10 chargeback fee, where Square doesn’t charge anything for this. SumUp also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

SumUp Air
Product NameSumUp Air
ContractNo contract
Initial cost£29
Monthly cost£0
Transaction cost1.69%
Transaction cost (card not present)2.5%
Settlement 1-3 working days
Money-back guaranteeYes
Money-back guarantee details30-day money-back guarantee
Chargeback cost£10
Square Reader
Product NameSquare Reader
ContractPay as you go
Initial cost£16
Monthly cost£0
Transaction cost1.75%
Transaction cost (card not present)2.5%
Settlement 1 working day
Money-back guaranteeNo
Chargeback cost£0

Compare features

Each of SumUp and Square’s card readers have unique features for the different machines they offer.

For example, with the Square Reader, you can accept chip & pin payments but the buyer will have to use your separate device to enter their pin, whereas the Square Terminal has a built-in screen.

If you would like to learn about all the different features you should look out for when comparing card readers, you can use our helpful guide.

SumUp Air
Product NameSumUp Air
Networksgoogle pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
ConnectivityBluetooth
Payment methodsContactless, Chip and Pin
Alternative payment methodsQR code, Payment link
Requires connection to phone or tablet
Battery life500 sales on a full charge
Printer attached
Add ons
Square Reader
Product NameSquare Reader
Networksgoogle pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
ConnectivityBluetooth
Payment methodsContactless, Chip and Pin
Alternative payment methodsPayment link, Over the phone
Requires connection to phone or tablet
Battery lifeDesigned to last all day
Printer attached
Add ons
  • Dock

  • Phone mount

  • Compatible with a range of third-party receipt printers and barcode scanners

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a card reader provider that is convenient and you know what you are getting, you can’t fault with fan-favourite SumUp. With its large range of products, you can choose the perfect one for your business. But, if you’re looking for a card provider that doesn’t sting you with a chargeback fee or a longer warranty period, there are other options out there.

However, if you’re looking for something on-the-go, the Square Reader is another great choice for SMEs, particularly with its low transaction fees. With the added feature of a phone mount, you won’t need to worry about wires or juggling machines. But the downside of this is that you have to have a connection to an additional device such as a smartphone or tablet. And if you opt for the Square Reader’s big sister, you will need to have a wifi connection, which limits how far you can take your machine.

So, Square or SumUp? The decision ultimately depends on your business’s needs and wants. You can compare the SumUp and Square range below:

Compare the SumUp and Square range

Name Product Initial cost Monthly cost Transaction cost Payment methods Networks Key benefits Link
Square Reader
£16
£0
1.75%
Contactless, Chip and Pin
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Go to site
View details
Square Terminal
£149
£0
1.75%
Contactless, Chip and Pin, Magnetic swipe
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Go to site
View details
SumUp Air and Cradle
£39
£0
1.69%
Contactless, Chip and Pin
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Read review
View details
SumUp Air
£29
£0
1.69%
Contactless, Chip and Pin
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Read review
View details
SumUp 3G and Printer
£149
£0
1.69%
Contactless, Chip and Pin
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Read review
View details
SumUp Solo
£99
£0
1.69%
Contactless
google pay iconapple pay iconamerican express iconvisa iconmastercard icon
Read review
View details
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Compare up to 4 providers

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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.

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