2020 was one of the most challenging years on record for businesses across the UK. Small businesses were among the hardest hit when the country went into lockdown.
Reports in the media consistently highlight the declining use of cash. This trend seems all but certain to continue as card payments became the norm in 2021 due to concerns about transmitting COVID-19 through cash.
Suppose you're currently running a small business and looking to lower your overheads or thinking about starting a new business and worrying about costs. If that's you, a cheaper card payments provider like SumUp could be of real benefit to ensure you never lose a sale.
Many businesses have sprung up aiming to help startups lower their operating costs by offering them a cheaper way to accept card payments.
SumUp is one such business. Based in London, UK, SumUp was founded in 2012 with several big-name backers like American Express and Groupon. The company now operates worldwide but is most well-established in Europe.
There are numerous ways new card payment providers charge businesses for processing customer card payments. Instead of charging a fixed rate like traditional providers, SumUp charges 1.69% per transaction.
As we'll cover, this works out well for businesses who are just starting and need a cheap option to get them started, but less suitable for companies with a high sales volume.
SumUp has plenty of model options and great hardware functionality
The company offers two card readers for taking card payments. Depending on how your business operates, one of the SumUp card readers will be suitable for you and your business.
Even if your customers aren't present, both SumUp card readers have remote payment solutions, so your customers can pay over the phone.
The company sends you any card payments made through your card reader once every day, although it takes between 1-3 working days for it to appear in your account.
There are no monthly minimum sales required, so SumUp won't charge you anything if you don't meet your sales targets.
There's also no cancellation fee should you decide that SumUp isn't suitable for your business or prefer another provider's card reader or POS system.
All SumUp card reader systems support all major card types, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express, and contactless payments via Apple and Google pay.
With an upfront cost of only £29 and no fixed ongoing costs or contractual obligations, SumUp's Air Card Reader is a bargain.
The Air accepts contactless payments, chip and pin, Google and Apple pay, and requires a smartphone or tablet to connect to the internet and works with WiFi and mobile data.
For an additional £10 (£39 total), you can purchase a charging dock with your air card reader so it will never run out of charge. The cradle also allows you to display your card machine neatly, helping customers see that you accept card payments. Without the charger, the Air Card reader has enough battery to make up to 500 transactions in a single charge.
To start taking payments, all you need is the Air Card Reader and the SumUp app on a mobile device, available on both Apple and Android app stores. Signing up for an account online takes about 5 minutes, and you can take your first payment soon after that.
The card reader has a clean, all-white minimalist design and fits neatly into any business environment.
It's relatively straightforward to link up numerous SumUp card readers to one account. Still, it's worth noting the card machines can't link to many devices like cash drawers or barcode scanners.
Find out more about the SumUp Air here.
The SumUp 3G Card Reader is more than triple the SumUp Air price (£99) but includes a great deal more functionality.
The SumUp 3G is a standalone device, meaning it doesn't need an additional smartphone or tablet to function. Instead, it uses a built-in SIM card with free unlimited data, or it can work through your WiFi.
The free data is enormously helpful if you need to take card payments on the move, like if you run a food truck or a mobile bar at a festival. Additionally, restaurants or pubs with a terrace or garden will find the 3G version valuable as these areas are often outside out of the WiFi range.
For an extra £30 (£129 total), you can buy a charger/ printer for your SumUp 3G card reader. The charger is more crucial for this model than for the SumUp Air model, as the 3G model can only make up to 50 transactions on a single charge.
It is possible to link the Air model with compatible mobile printers. However, if you desperately require a receipt printer, you're probably better off going with the 3G model.
Find out more about the SumUp 3G Card Reader here.
SumUp offers two different programs:
Goodtill is SumUp's core POS system. The basic system costs a minimum of £29 per month, with optional add-ons costing extra.
The system comes with a range of back of house management and advanced reporting features. The reports inform you which products sell the best and how much money you made today, week, month or year, all in real-time.
The system has all the usual functions like custom product creation, which allows you to add, edit and delete products, add images and update names and prices quickly.
You can also store customer details through the app, giving you tailored customer insight to market the right products to the right customers.
Goodtill also has a range of optional modules costing between £9 and £29 per month tailored to specific businesses, which we've described below.
The Goodtill app is ideal for established businesses. Its analytics features and optional modules will help any existing business, particularly those operating in the hospitality sector, track their sales effectively and boost their profits.
The SumUp app is nice-looking, easy to use and free to download on any iOS or Android device. The app features an array of valuable features, which we've covered below:
SumUp is an excellent card payment processing option for any business looking to get off the ground with low overheads. The 3G and Air card readers are quick and painless to set up, and the app and POS systems are both intuitive to set up and straightforward to use.
Any business looking for a card payment solution that's easy to use for low to medium sales volume should take a look at SumUp.
Find out more at the SumUp Website