Which card payment machine is best for my business?

Choosing the right card payment machine is a big decision. Here’s our guide to help you make the right decision

Couple paying for eggs using phone as contactless payment


Have you chosen to invest in a card payment machine?

Great decision!

Shoppers are increasingly turning to cards as their main payment choice, with many adopting safe and secure contactless payments too.

Plus, handling cash and counting change takes more time out of your day than it needs to.

Especially at the end of the day when you’d rather restock and go home.

Card payment machines make life simple for businesses.

However, with lots of products on the market, you have a decision to make.

Which card payment machine is best for your business?

Although it seems like there’s a never-ending choice of card payment terminals and providers, it’s important to choose the best machine for you.

There are three card payment machine options to choose from:

  • Countertop card machine
  • Portable card machine
  • Mobile card machine

Which you choose depends largely on the type of business you have, and how you expect to use your new card reader day-to-day.

In this blog we’ll run through each option, tell you which companies each card reader works best for, and help you make the right decision for your business.



Countertop card machine

Probably the most common card payment machine for in-store purchases.

Countertop terminals are a low-cost way to accept payments in one fixed location.

Best used at designated till points, your customers can choose their purchases then head over to pay.

They make it easy to organise your team and operate the sales floor.

These machines are especially popular with retail and grocery stores, where it makes sense to have payments taken from a single fixed point.

As they’re static and need to be plugged in at all times, you won’t be able to move them around the store.

However, they’re reliable and well-recognised, making them a popular card payment machine for businesses of all sizes.



Pub staff behind the bar holding a Handepay Card Payment Machine



Business owner holding Handepay Card Payment Machine

Portable card machines

With wireless technology and a long battery life, portable card payment machines are a great way to take payments anywhere on-site.

In recent years, they’ve become increasingly popular with restaurants and cafés, enabling servers to accept payments at the table.

They’re also a hit with businesses that make sales both in-store and outdoors, like car showrooms and garden centres.

They improve the customer experience, making the payment process a breeze.

No long queues or looking for a till point.

A customer can speak to a sales advisor, and make a payment wherever they are.

Portable card payment machines work within a designated range from the base unit and can take hundreds of transactions on a single charge.

They’re a simple method of improving customer experience and making your payments process more efficient.

Mobile card machines

For businesses that operate on the go, accepting payments securely and efficiently is key.

Luckily, mobile card payment machines are more than capable of doing the job.

Favoured by mobile tradespeople and market traders, they are the perfect choice for businesses that aren’t fixed to one location.

Giving a professional look to roving salespeople, mobile card terminals increase trust in a brand’s security.

They work using a GPRS signal, which connects to the strongest mobile network in the area and have built in encryption to ensure payment data is secure.

Businesses using mobile terminals have the freedom to accept card payments wherever they operate.

Your employees no longer need to worry about carrying around large sums of cash or depositing cheques to be paid.

Mobile card machines make any on the road card transaction quick and hassle-free.






Mac Tools owner holding Handepay Card Payment Mchine



Handepay contactless card payment machine

Use different types of card payment machines to boost functionality

For some businesses, one type of terminal doesn’t suit all aspects of their payment process.

Larger stores may find it necessary to have a static till point, but still want the benefit of sales staff accepting payments on the shop floor.

Or, you may have employees who need to accept payments on the road, combined with staff who make sales in-store.

Not a problem.

You can combine any variation of card payment machines to suit your business needs.

Improve your sales process and accept payments wherever your customer is based with multiple card payment machines.

Key things to consider when choosing the right card payment machine for your business

Choosing the right card payment machine for your business isn’t just about the terminal itself.

You also need to select a provider who is honest, transparent and offers a great price.

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to consider the points below:


Wallet with card half out



It’s important that you choose a card payment machine provider that offers a great deal on rental and transaction fees. Many providers only show headline rates when giving a quote, so it’s important to dig deeper to discover what you’ll actually pay each month. Make sure there are no costly hidden fees before you sign a contract!


Secure locked padlock



Paying by card means that your customers have to trust that you’re a reputable business. It’s vital that you make sure you choose a provider who offers the highest security standards. Make sure to find out a potential provider’s PCI DSS policy – do you have to complete this yourself and how much will it cost?


Functionality of cards



Different providers offer a range of payment functions as standard. If you need to accept AMEX, make sure that this is an option. Similarly, if you have a lot of overseas customers, making sure that they’re able to pay (and at a good price for you) is key.


Profile outline of two people



Payments are the lifeblood of a business, so you need to know you’ve got support on hand if anything goes wrong. Choose a provider with round-the-clock support and an excellent customer service policy. A good idea is to check out reviews on websites such as Trustpilot to see how their support stacks up.
Here at Handepay, we’re proud to offer a wide range of secure card payment machines at great prices. If you need more help deciding the best terminal for your business, get in touch with one of friendly advisors today!

Financial disclaimer:

Terminal hire contracts are provided by Merchant Rentals Limited, who is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for Consumer Hire under FRN 720500. Terminal hire can be for consumer hire and non-regulated hire contracts. Please check your contract carefully for details. Regulation of all consumer hire fall under the control of the FCA.

Handepay Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA for Consumer Credit under FRN 673564. Handepay is a credit broker for consumer hire not a lender.

Handepay acts as an introducer of card acquiring services on behalf of EVO Payments UK, the card acquiring service provider. EVO Payments UK is the trading name of EVO Payments UK Ltd, a payment institution that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN number 959332).

Existing Cards Businesses- The one-month rolling terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are switching from their current acquirer to EVO Payments UK arranged through Handepay.

New to Cards Businesses- The 12-month terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are new to card payments and wish to receive acquiring services from EVO Payments UK, arranged through Handepay.

The Next Day Banking Settlement service provided by EVO Payments UK incurs an additional fee of £4 a month on top of your acquiring service charges and fees. Provided your card machine performs a reconciliation before 12am (midnight), you’ll receive settlement of funds the next banking day.

Editorial disclaimer:

The information we provide does not constitute financial advice and might not apply to your business. Always carry out research into your business’ needs when choosing a new merchant services provider.

Sometimes, we link to other third-party websites to provide you with additional information. At the time of publication, we consider the information accurate, however, we do not have control over their content and are not responsible if any information on these websites change.

The products we display on our website are for illustrative purposes only - if your business requires additional facilities, you may receive a different model than advertised.

All of the information contained on this website, including fees, services and functionality, are correct at time of publishing. E&OE.