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SumUp Card Reader Review (Updated 2023)

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

With the belief that everyone should have the ability to set up their own business, SumUp provides card readers to over 4 million customers globally.

Founded in 2012, this London based provider is acclaimed for its support of small businesses. SumUp’s mission is to support those who would likely be snubbed by larger providers, and with their range of affordable products they do just that.

So if you’re interested in purchasing a card reader for your small business and not sure which one to go for, then we suggest reading our SumUp review.

At CardSwitcher we will explore everything from products and price to practicality and performance, to give you a complete review of SumUp.

sumup logo


Whether you’re starting out or a veteran, we appreciate that time is precious when you’re a business owner. So to make things easier, we have compiled a table of all the essential need-to-know information about SumUp.

Cost of ReaderAir: £39

Solo: £79

3G & Printer: £129

Best suited to…Any small, growing business looking to accept card payments easily for a small fee.
Monthly FeeFree
Type of Connection RequiredConnects via Bluetooth to the SumUp App, which requires a 3/4G or wifi connection.

Requires iOS 12 or Android 6.x or above to connect.

Cards AcceptedVisa

V Pay



American Express


Diners Club

Union Pay

Payment Type AcceptedChip and PIN


E-Wallet/Mobile Payment

Warranty12 months from delivery date
ProsNo monthly fees.

Accepts all major credit cards and more.

Easy to set-up and use.

Can send payment links and QR codes with ease.

Create and send invoices easily for free.

Tip feature available.

Reporting, invoice management and customer tracking all available on the app.

ConsLimited integration options.

POS app equipped with minimal, basic features.

Only 3 free cash withdrawals available per month.



There are a number of costs to be aware of when purchasing any card reader, which is why we have outlined all the essential pricing of SumUp in a table below.

ReaderAir: £39

Solo: £79

3G & Printer: £129

Additional HardwareFrom £29
Monthly FeeFree
Transaction Fee1.69% per transaction (all cards)
Invoice, Payment Link, Gift Cards and Online Transactions2.5% per transaction
QR Code TransactionsFree
Virtual Terminal/Manually Keyed Transactions2.95% + 25p per transaction
RefundsFree (transaction fee not incl.)


sumup card readers


How does it work?

All three of the card readers - Air, Solo and 3G - accept both chip and PIN and contactless payments from all major card providers. Plus Apple Pay and Google Pay are accepted, alongside other less common card providers.

The newest reader, SumUp Solo, does not yet accept UnionPay however.

In order to authorise and accept payments SumUp’s cheapest model, the Air, requires integration with the POS app. The other two models do not require this as they have built in SIM cards, meaning smartphone pairing is not required.

The minimum transaction amount is set at £1, with customers being able to pay via contactless for transactions up to £100. Anything above this requires chip and PIN payment, but there is no transaction limit on e-Wallet/Mobile payments.

You can receive funds into your account on the same day if you have a SumUp Business Account, out with this it takes a standard 1-3 working days to arrive into your account. There is also the option of receiving your funds on a weekly or monthly schedule.

In addition to card payments being seamless and hassle free, SumUp also allows you to handle cash payments for free.

How practical is the SumUp reader?

Each of the three SumUp card readers offer up varying levels of practicality. To assess compatibility we have looked at connectivity requirements, battery life and compatibility.



The smallest and cheapest model, the SumUp Air, requires both smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth and WiFi to function effectively. Whereas the Solo and 3G readers are both equipped with SIM cards so it can function independently without the need for WiFi or a separate smartphone.


Battery Life

Despite its need for Wifi, Bluetooth and a smartphone, the Air reader has the best battery life out of the three models available. A single, full charge provides you with the capability to complete up to 500 transactions. Whereas the other two models are slightly more power hungry with the Solo achieving 100 and the 3G only achieving 50, but the built in printer may have something to answer for with that!



If you operate a business that requires the functionality of printing a receipt, the 3G + printer model is a great all-in-one choice. The SumUp Air is compatible with a small selection of printers, including the Bixolon SPP-R200lliK/BEGE, Bixolon SPP-R210iK/BEGE, Star Micronics SM-L200. The mid-range Solo is not compatible with any external hardware devices.


woocommerce logo



Over the years SumUp has made continuous improvements to its POS App to make it a complete, feature-rich experience. You can manage your SumUp business account through the app, as well as accessing invoices, orders, and online sales.

We’ve explored some of the key app features below.

Product Catalogue: To provide both you and your customers with a streamlined checkout, the SumUp app allows you to create a library with all of your products, including pricing and product descriptions. However, it is not equipped with inventory management, so you cannot monitor stock levels via the app.

Accepting Payments: Depending on your choice of reader, you can accept card, cash and tip payments via the app. The app is also equipped to allow you to send payment links and QR codes so you can accept payments via virtual terminal (fees apply). You can also issue and accept gift cards, but you cannot accept partial/split payments or payments via cheque.

Receipts: If you opt for the 3G + printer, or Air / Solo and equip your reader with a compatible printer, you can print off hard copy receipts. These will include all of the essential transaction information, including tax if required. You can also send receipts via SMS or email if you don’t want a printer.

Refunds: You can issue a full or partial refund via the app easily. If the customer requesting the refund paid via card, the refund will be processed to the payment card. You can only process a refund successfully if you have the funds to do so.

Reporting: All transactions, payouts, refunds and chargebacks can be viewed and monitored within the app. There are a small number of external POS apps that are compatible with SumUp to make accounting and reporting easier.

Staff Accounts: Whether it’s to track sales progress or monitor productivity, staff accounts can be created where you can assess individual members of staff. This is also handy if you plan on having multiple card readers on-site, each staff member can create their own account to use the reader.


Software Compatibility

In addition to the SumUp POS app, the SumUp readers are compatible with a small number of external software services. It can be assumed that the small number of apps available for integration have been selected on the basis that they make up for what SumUp somewhat lacks.

SumUp is compatible with the following apps:

  • Wix
  • WooCommerce
  • Xero
  • Shopify
  • PrestaShop
  • Treatwell

SumUp’s integration partners are continuing to grow in order to offer you a more tailored, business specific solution to accepting card payments.


Hardware Compatibility

SumUp offers an entire POS solution, which can include a non-branded tablet or iPad, depending on which package you opt for. With prices starting from £29 per month, you can find yourself equipped with a tablet, stand, printer and card reader. However, when it comes to this POS setup there is not a great deal of information available to those who are not customers, and you cannot purchase any of these items individually.

SumUp may offer up three varieties of card reader, but they are seriously lacking in providing additional hardware options. Especially in comparison to the likes of Zettle and Square who offer a wide range of printers, barcode scanners and cash drawers.

As we mentioned above, the SumUp Air is compatible with three external printers.


3 sumup card readers



Whether SumUp is the first card reader you have looked at, or the fifth, something that rings true for them all is their level of security.

Within the payment industry card readers / providers must adhere to industry standard security standards, which is otherwise known as Payment Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard encrypts both yours and your customers data, ensuring that it is protected against being compromised or shared with third parties.

SumUp of course adheres to this security standard. For extra peace of mind, you can read SumUp’s merchant security statement in its entirety.


Customer Service and Reviews:

It is easy enough for you to take our word for it when it comes to recommending (or not recommending) any one of the SumUp readers. However, if you fancy it you can see what actual SumUp customers had to say about the products and services.


With an average overall rating of 3.2 on Trustpilot, we have compiled some of the most recent SumUp reviews:

  • “A great size and easy to use and connect” - M&JW 2022
  • “Very easy and straightforward set up, cool card readers and easily navigated business portal” Leoniyah, 2022
  • “Love SumUp! Use the card reader on my market stall” Victoria, 2022

  • “I will certainly not be going to your website to purchase a new device as they have shown to have such a extremely poor working life.” Jason, 2022
  • “Dreadful customer service. The card reader stopped working for “misuse” while it was boxed and switched off.” Kate, 2022
  • “Sumup Solo machine went faulty overnight for no reason (it was shutdown in its dock in a closed shop!)” Robert, 2022

As you can see from the quotes above, SumUp has received a variety of mixed reviews. Happy customers complimented the speed of the machine and cohesiveness of the POS system. Whereas the two most common complaints were customer service support and reader life (average looks to be 18 - 24 months).

Of course this is all subjective. Customer service support is available via telephone Monday - Friday 8am - 7pm, and Saturday/Sunday 8am - 5pm.


Alternative Card Readers

If the above has maybe been a little too transparent and insightful or you’ve reached the end of our review and decided SumUp isn’t for you, it is of course worth exploring the alternatives.

For a comprehensive overview, read our rundown of the best card readers. Again covering everything from price to performance, our definitive list will help you decide which reader is best for you, your business and your customers.

Already got an alternative option in mind? Explore our other individual card reader reviews like our Zettle review or Square review, or even compare the two and read our Zettle vs Square overview.

sumup reader graphic


At Cardswitcher we do our best to give you a comprehensive review of the best card readers available, and SumUp has been no exception.

Our exploration of price has shown that SumUp is a relatively affordable and competitively priced product. It may be slightly more expensive than the likes of Square, but its low, fixed transaction fees married with the wide range of accepted payment certainly makes it an attractive choice for growing businesses.

The three card readers that are on offer are all very competent at accepting payments no matter what business you run. With various client testimonials being displayed on the site to showcase the versatility of SumUp, whether you’re a food truck or beauty salon, the SumUp readers are a great choice.

However, if you’re looking for something a little more high-tech that is more than just a card reader we would suggest looking elsewhere. We can conclude that its current POS offering lacks in-depth functionality, and is missing key features such as inventory management and third party compatibility. With very little transparency on its compatibility with third-party POS systems and hardware, SumUp is still limited in what it can do.

But, if you’re looking for a no-fuss, no-muss card payment solution, then SumUp is the perfect pick for you. What are you waiting for? Sign up to SumUp* today.


*This is an affiliate link. You will not pay extra but CardSwitcher will receive payment from SumUp if you use the link to purchase a card reader.

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Written by:
Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Stephen brings a wealth of experience honed through years in the financial sector, particularly in the card processing payments industry. His illustrious career spans key roles at PwC, Natwest, and the role of CFO at WorldPay, before going on to found card processing comparison site, CardSwitcher. He is passionate about helping growing businesses to understand the card processing landscape so they can make savvy financial decisions.