SumUp and Zettle are both prominent players in the mobile card payment processing market.
Thousands of small to medium-sized businesses across the UK use these portable readers rather than a traditional rented card machine. Picking the right one for your business depends on what you value in terms of functionality, cost, and support.
In this review, we’re going to see who comes out on top in the battle between SumUp vs Zettle.
Is SumUp or Zettle better?
When it comes to saying which one is “better” with SumUp or Zettle, it is completely subjective. The suitability of these card readers depends entirely on what your business and customer’s needs are.
So, if you’re a small business looking for a reader with low, fixed transaction fees, SumUp is the one for you. Accepting a wide range of payment providers, SumUp is perfect for growing businesses.
Or if you’re a little more established and a full POS setup is what you are looking for, Zettle is the one for you. With a huge range of hardware available, and all readers being compatible with a variety of service enhancing software, Zettle is a great choice.
Being a small business owner is no easy job by any means. There are always multiple balls to juggle at once, but no matter what, customers are always at the forefront of your mind.
Below we have curated a complete overview of both SumUp and Zettle so that you can get a side by side comparison of the two card readers, to help you make a decision that is best for you and your customers.
|Device Cost||Air: £39|
3G & Printer: £129
|Transaction Fee||1.69% per transaction (all cards)||1.75% per card transaction|
1.75% per PayPal QR card transaction
2.5% per invoice transaction
2.5% per payment link transaction
|Connection Type||Connects 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.
Compatible with >iOS 12 and >Android 5.
|Payment Type||Chip and PIN|
E-Wallet / Mobile Payment
|Chip and PIN|
E-Wallet / Mobile Payment
|Customer Service||Customer service support is available via telephone Monday – Friday 8am – 7pm, and Saturday/Sunday 8am – 5pm.||Customer service support line Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm|
Customer support centre
Live chat bot
Card Readers and Other Hardware
SumUp offers a variety of multi-functional, efficient and portable card readers. With three readers of varying price and performance on offer, there is an option for everyone.
In addition to this, SumUp provides customers with the option to configure and purchase an all-in-one POS system.
As a one off purchase, you can acquire a POS Lite system that is equipped with basic sales management software. Or, you can sign up to the monthly POS Pro subscription, where for £29 a month you can receive more advanced management features.
Zettle offers up two card readers with the Zettle 2 and Zettle terminal, whilst also offering up a plethora of hardware accessories. Accessories range from printers to cash registers, to fully configured POS terminals or till systems.
We have consolidated everything you may need to know about hardware in the SumUp vs Zettle debate, into a table below:
|Card Reader||SumUp Air||SumUp Solo||SumUp 3G + Printer||Zettle 2||Zettle Go|
|Device Cost||£39||£79||£129||From £29||From £149|
|Connectivity Type||Via Bluetooth||Via wifi or unlimited mobile data with a built-in SIM card||Via wifi or unlimited mobile data with a built-in SIM card||Via 3/4G or wifi||Via 3/4G or wifi|
|Payment Type||Chip and PIN|
|Chip and PIN|
|Chip and PIN|
|Chip and PIN|
|Chip and PIN|
|App required?||Yes, the SumUp POS app is required to complete transactions.||No, payments accepted as a stand alone device.||No, payments accepted as a stand alone device.||Yes, requires the Zettle Go app to complete transactions.||No, the Zettle Go POS app is already built in.|
|Battery Life||Up to 12 hours||Up to 8 hours||Up to 8 hours||Up to 8 hours||Up to 12 hours|
|Additional Features||Smartphone compatible||Pocket sized|
Countertop charging dock ensures day-long charge (incl. in price)
Unlimited data usage with built-in SIM
|Tamper proof design|
Compatible with a range of POS apps
Payments accepted in as little as 5 seconds
|Built in barcode scanner|
Manage stock levels
Sell/Redeem gift cards
Throughout their years of operation, both SumUp and Zettle have made continuous improvements to their services and products. One of the main ways in which they have done this is by enhancing their POS applications.
POS features can be a great addition to your operations, by making processes like inventory management and sales reporting hassle-free and seamless. So in the true spirit of SumUp vs Zettle, we have gathered the most noteworthy features and curated them into a table below:
|Product Catalogue||Configure a product catalogue to suit your needs, with product descriptions and pricing.||Create an easily customisable product library with product descriptions, categories, and pricing.|
|Inventory Management||SumUp has not equipped its POS systems, Lite or Pro, with inventory management.|
However, you can connect apps like Shopify and WooCommerce to do this.
|Stock levels can easily and automatically be updated via the Zettle POS system or Zettle Go app.|
|Sales Reporting||Both POS Lite and Pro are equipped with sales performance monitoring software.||Daily sales reports are easily accessible, edited and monitored on Zettle’s POS platform.|
|Staff Management||Staff accounts can be created and monitored easily.|
Perfect for businesses who will require multiple card readers on-site.
|Easily monitor and manage staff performance and productivity levels.|
Multiple staff accounts are easily created and switched between.
|Receipts||Opting for the 3G + Printer or Air/Solo and equipping it with one of the printers will allow you to print customer receipts with ease.|
Or all transaction information can be sent via SMS or email if you do not purchase a printer.
|Neither of Zettle’s readers are equipped with a built-in printer, but are both compatible with a variety of printers.|
Once your POS set up is complete with a printer, providing customers with receipts is seamless.
|Refunds||Full or partial refunds can be processed via the SumUp POS app easily.||Zettle allows you to issue full or partial refunds, with transaction history being found easily within sales reports.|
Integration with External Software
As we’ve mentioned above, SumUp has worked hard to ensure that their POS app is feature-rich and simple to use. But how compatible is it with external bodies of software?
The answer is very! SumUp has configured its POS app to be compatible with a select number of integration partners, and just like we mentioned in our SumUp review, we believe that those chosen are to make up for what SumUp lacks.
SumUp is compatible with:
In comparison to SumUp, Zettle is compatible with many more applications, including:
- Adobe Commerce
- Starling Bank
The above is only a small selection of Zettle’s integration partners, with many more being available for integration.
Much like SumUp, Zettle has a range of external applications that work seamlessly with Zettle software to improve your experience. Whether it’s inventory management, enhancing e-commerce platforms or accountancy software, Zettle’s compatibility with external applications allows you to seamlessly configure a POS system that suits all of your needs.
Whether you are a brand new business or well established within your market, you will know the importance of adhering to your monthly budget. So chances are, that when it comes to researching products or services - like card readers - price is the biggest deciding factor.
So to make things easier for you, we have done a round up of every cost associated with SumUp and Zettle's pricing - so you know how much bang you’re getting for your buck.
|Terminal Cost||From £39||From £29|
|Chip and PIN/Contactless Payments||1.69% per transaction||1.75% per transaction|
|Invoice Payments||2.5% per transaction||2.5% per transaction|
|Virtual Terminal||2.5% per transaction||1.75% per transaction|
|Payment Links||2.5% per transaction||2.5% per transaction|
|E-Commerce Payments||2.5% per transaction||1.75% per transaction|
|Refunds||Free (transaction fee not incl.)||Free|
Payment Settlement Time
It is one thing to know how much you are paying every time a customer completes a transaction or if you have signed up to any hidden monthly fees. But, it is another - often more important - thing to know when the money you have earned lands in your bank account.
As standard with SumUp you will receive funds into your bank account within 1 - 3 working days. However, if you create a SumUp Business account you can receive said funds on the very same working day, or schedule them to be deposited on a weekly or monthly basis.
Zettle commits to having your funds available in your account within 1 - 2 working days.
Virtual Terminal Payments
If you have remote customers or you work freelance and on-the-go, being able to create a virtual terminal or send payment links is essential. Fortunately both SumUp and Zettle are equipped with a payment link option.
SumUp allows you to share payment links on a variety of channels including SMS, email and socials. Links can be sent at any time and payments are completed securely within seconds, with no need for customers to create accounts.
Zettle also allows you to share payment links via SMS, email and social media. They also allow you to accept international payments via payment links, which is exceptionally beneficial to those wishing to broaden their horizons internationally.
Ease of Set Up
Whether you opt for SumUp or Zettle, rest assured that both providers are simple to set up. SumUp has created easy to follow set-up guides and Zettle has also created a supportive set-up guide, to make setting up simple.
Both SumUp and Zettle have ensured that their setup is not only simple but speedy, so that you can set up your reader and accept transactions within minutes!
When it comes to security it is tricky to pitch both providers against each other, as they both comply with the Payment Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). PCI Compliance protects both yours and your customers data from being compromised or shared with third parties.
Of course both SumUp and Zettle adhere to PCI Compliance requirements, making them both equally secure. However, Zettle affirms that their readers are tamper proof and will self-destruct if someone attempts to tamper with it.
To sum up (or settle) our SumUp vs Zettle debate, we feel it’s important to go back to the basics.
The long and short of it is that whether you’re tempted by SumUp or convinced by Zettle, you are sure to get a reliable, robust and efficient card reader. Both you and your customers are sure to be impressed no matter who you choose.
If simple, sleek and secure is what you’re looking for, go for SumUp. With an affordable price tag, well-equipped POS app, and a device that fits right in your pocket, SumUp is great for remote retailers or businesses on-the-go.
Or, if you are in retail or the food and drink business, we would recommend Zettle. They have created complete systems that are tailored to your business needs to give you the most out of your card reader. Plus, Zettle is compatible with a huge range of integration partners meaning you can streamline your business operations into one handy place.
Therefore, we feel it is difficult to come to a complete decision over who is better when it comes to SumUp vs Zettle. Both readers are reasonably priced, well-equipped and easy to use. Both readers have their faults, like SumUp accepting less card providers than Zettle, or integrating with less partners than Zettle, or Zettle's customer support team being available less than SumUp.
So what we feel it comes down to is balance. SumUp vs Zettle is a very balanced debate as they counteract one another on pros and cons, so we suggest making this decision on
If you have found this article helpful in making your decision, or you would like to know more about SumUp or Zettle, we suggest reading our Zettle vs Square comparison or our compilation or the best card readers on the market.