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How much does a card machine cost? Prices & transaction fees

Payment trends around the Covid-19 pandemic supported by various studies by major payment networks such as Mastercard and Visa have proven that card payments are here to stay. In fact, they’re the future of payments as consumers increasingly choose to pay by card instead of relying on cash.

At this point, as a merchant, you’re probably already convinced of the value of using a card reader for your small or medium-sized business. But how much does a card machine cost? With the varying costs involved when purchasing a card device, what is an estimated or actual figure that you can pinpoint and consider before you make this all-important decision for your business?

In this post, we look at the answers to these questions to help you make a more informed decision.

Buy or rent a card reader?

When looking to answer the question “how much does it cost to have a card machine?” one of the first criteria you’ll need to consider is whether you will buy or rent your card reading device.

We can go into a lot of detail about renting a device, but we’ll keep this part short. Essentially, if you’re considering renting a device from a bank, it’s important to keep in mind that banks typically partner with a card processor and resell their service. This means that renting or even buying through a bank will mean higher processing costs. For more on this, keep reading.

Some important questions to ask yourself at this point in the decision-making process are:

Where do you see your business over the short and medium term?

This question is important because if your card acceptance transactions are unpredictable and you choose to rent, you may be subject to long-term contracts with monthly fees and even cancellation charges if you choose to end the agreement. This can end up being rather costly.  

Do you expect fast growth?

If this is the case, then it’s a good idea to negotiate a contract that permits you to adjust charges where a larger sales volume should require the payment of lower transaction fees.

Alternatively, purchase a card reader with limited commitments in terms of monthly, annual, or sign-up costs to reduce overall costs. Renting a device might be a workable option if you have a steady flow of sales and you negotiate lower transaction rates for each transaction.

Can you spare time to read the fine print and monitor your charges?

This is a question that seeks to establish your time and availability to pay attention to details. Monitoring on a monthly basis for unexpected charges that pop up might be time-consuming but is something that is a realistic requirement. If your service provider doesn’t charge you monthly/annual/sign-up fees, this is something you don’t need to worry about. 

What’s your sales volume?

This question aims to put your sales volume in perspective and in relation to your card reader costs. The question “how much does a credit card machine cost?” also needs to consider the fact of whether you’ll purchase a low-cost terminal for sales below the £8k-£10k threshold. For sales above this threshold, you may want to agree on a traditional card payment device.  

Do you want a card reader with all the perks or will a small card machine do?

Larger card readers come with a lot more perks and value-added benefits, like being Android-powered with smart apps, but they’re pricier compared to the more traditional/classic card readers which are generally not smart/Android-powered but which can still accept all the main methods of payment.

Consider whether you can purchase an extended warranty, how much it will cost to repair your device in the event of damage, whether your service provider offers you technical support, and whether it would be affordable to purchase a new device if the old one broke.

However, hiring might be the right option for you if you’re not ready for a relatively higher upfront cost. 

Other card machine costs to factor in

The answer to the question would not be complete without an examination of the other critical factors you need to consider when choosing your payment terminal. Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

The initial price of the card machine itself

Whether mobile, portable, or countertop/tabletop, the wider the range of functionalities your card reader offers, the more expensive it will be. You can also choose between traditional and smart card machines – the latter are powered by Android and offer smart apps for easy inventory management, some offer barcode scanners, while others come with receipt printers.

So, how much does a card reader cost? This will depend on whether you’re renting or buying. The most affordable card machine rental contracts are rather long and can extend anything from 5 to 6 years. On average, the costs you can expect to pay for these readers from myPOS are:

Card MachineCost Range
Mobile Card Machine £29 – £249
Portable Card Machine £29 – £249
Countertop devices £799 – £1,249

Transaction rates or merchant service charges, or MSC

Also known as processing fees, this refers to the cost of accepting different cards, whether in-person on a card machine or online. Such fees are typically charged as a percentage on every sale made and they differ depending on whether the type of card is a debit, credit – personal or commercial card.

Besides this, and to make things a bit more complicated, transaction fees can be flat, percentage-based, or a combination of both. However, a general overview of the transaction rates you’ll be charged per transaction from myPOS fall within the value ranges below:

Card Type Percentage and fixed fee
Debit card1.10%+ £0.07
Credit card1.10% + £0.07
Commercial card2.85% + £0.07

Fees for authorisation

Authorisation fees are usually charged as a fixed amount. For example, they cost between 1p and 7p. They are added to the transaction fees mentioned above and a pence per transaction, or PPT charge is taken for each payment that’s been accepted. They apply to both in-person card payments and to online payments.

Fees for online transactions

Also known as an online gateway fee, these fees are charged for e-commerce businesses with an integrated online payment gateway. Although most providers currently offer a fixed number of transactions for a set fee, others still charge a percentage of your online turnover. The latter can cause a hefty card processing bill. 

PCI DSS compliance fee

This refers to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It relates to holding and transmitting card data securely. Although not a large annual sum, it ranges between £5 and £20.

Special operation fees

These include fees such as those for chargebacks or cross-border transaction fees. 

Internet connectivity

Most card readers require an Internet connection to operate so these are additional factors that you need to consider as well. 

Fees for managing a merchant account

Accepting debit and credit card payments through a card reader implies that a merchant has a merchant account, not to be confused with a business account. However, you need to check whether your bank or payment services provider charges you for giving you access to this account or not.

Not all providers on the market charge a fee for this service.

Other equipment costs

We now come to some of the other costs in order to determine how much does a credit card reader cost.

These include whether you’ll need other equipment such as an additional receipt printer, if this is not already a part of your physical card payment terminal, a till or Point of Sale (POS) system, as well whether you’ll need extra POS software.

What are the costs of the myPOS card readers?

As a business owner, renting a card payment machine might have crossed your mind. With the myPOS payment terminals, owning your own terminal is a modern and innovative solution for your business needs, giving you a variety of different ways of accepting payments. After all, cashless payments are the new norm.

However, this solution can be rather expensive if you don’t do your research right. myPOS is definitely an affordable and superb alternative to consider. With prices ranging from 29 GBP to 299 GBP, and depending on the terminal features you need.

So, let’s find out what are the prices of myPOS card machines:

Model Price Transaction fee*
myPOS Go 29.00 GBP 1.10% + £0.07
myPOS Slim 189.00 GBP 1.10% + £0.07
myPOS Combo 199.00 GBP 1.10% + £0.07
myPOS Smart 229.00 GBP 1.10% + £0.07
myPOS Carbon 189.00 GBP 1.10% + £0.07

Transaction fee can go up to 2.85%, if the card issuer is outside of EEA. See the full pricing here.

The different card machines you can get with myPOS

Your business has its own unique characteristics, and that’s why you need the right terminal to carry out your operations and accept payments seamlessly. Luckily, with our wide range of devices, you can find the perfect terminal to meet your business needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the card payment terminals we have available and what their specific features are:

Go

Buy myPOS Go
Keypad / Digital receipts via sms or email / Free DATA SIM Suitable for taxi drivers, travelling merchants, agents and sales representatives on the move

Slim

Buy myPOS Slim
Touchscreen / Digital receipts via SMS or Email / Barcode scanner / Wi-Fi / Free SIM Card The ideal payment companion for a wide range of merchants

Combo

Buy myPOS Combo
Keypad / Customizable paper receipts / Bluetooth 4.0 / Wi-Fi / SIM Card Suitable for all kinds of shops, bars and restaurants, workshops, barber shops and hotels

Smart

Buy myPOS Smart
5.0″ Touchscreen / Dual camera / Free DATA SIM / Bluetooth + WiFi Suitable for large stores, hotels, retail in general and businesses that sell either in-store or online

Carbon

Buy myPOS Carbon
5.0″ Touchscreen / Shock-proof & durable / Free DATA SIM / Bluetooth + WiFi A sturdy device that can be used in hazardous workplaces

Conclusion

We hope that this post has helped you understand that the answer to the question “how much does a credit card machine cost per month?” is not a straightforward one because of the number and types of fees and charges involved in the process and whether you’ll be buying or renting your card reader.

Luckily, there are payment service providers such as myPOS which not only offer a free merchant account with IBAN, a free Visa business card, no monthly/annual or sign-up costs, and affordable card readers which offer a wide range of variety in terms of functionalities and come with attractive transaction and authorisation fees.

So, why wait? Get your card payment machine and help your business grow!

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