SumUp Review

Ideal for startups and those at the very beginning of their business journey, SumUp offers predictable flat-rate pricing and no hidden costs.

Simon Childs
February 15, 2022
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OVERALL RATING: Best for Startups

We’ve tested SumUps features to see how they match up against other point of sale systems.  We have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether SumUp is right for you and your business.

Who is SumUp best suited for? Perfect for startups & small businesses who want to rely on a flat monthly payment model with no hidden costs.


+ Predictable flat-rate pricing

+ Great for smaller businesses

+ No monthly minimum


- No e-commerce

- Limited features

SumUp Review Summary

If you are currently running a small business and looking to lower your overheads or thinking about starting a new business and worrying about costs, a cheaper card payments provider like SumUp could be of real benefit!

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.

Is SumUp right for your startup or small business?  Read our impartial review to find out.

How does the SumUp payment process work?

It’s easy to process payments using SumUp. The minimum payment amount is £1 and there’s no transaction limit on Apple Pay or Google Pay payments. SumUp sends payments to your bank account daily, minus the transaction fee, usually taking between 1-3 working days to clear in your bank account. However, you can opt to be paid on a monthly or weekly schedule if you prefer. 

The app is easy to set up and use. The card reader display will switch on and prompt the customer to insert or tap their card or phone to pay. Once payment has gone through, a receipt can be printed from either a wireless printer connected within the app or via email or text directly to the customer.

SumUp hardware options

Here we go through the various SumUp hardware options available to you. SumUp Air is their basic option, if you need a more advanced solution, then you can choose between the SumUp 3G + printer or Solo.

SumUp Air is an easy solution at a very affordable cost. It's incredibly light, and you can use it both in the store and on the go for deliveries. It works with the free SumUp app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet.

SumUp Solo is the newest member of the SumUp family. Enjoy a fresh modern design with a full touchscreen display. A powerful battery and wireless capabilities allow you to accept payments wherever you need to! 

SumUp 3G + Printer is similar in looks to the SumUp Air but allows you to print paper receipts instantly. The printer also functions as a charging base.

SumUp Air review

SumUp Air Review - Best Card Readers for Small Businesses

The SumUp Air card reader makes card payments easy and flexible, allowing you to accept all major debit and credit cards, as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay with one device that fits in your pocket.

There is no paperwork, no fixed contract and no monthly fees. SumUp provides peace of mind for security as it is compliant with the highest security standards (EMV and PCI certified). 

Conveniently pay as you go with a fee of just 1.69% per transaction.  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. 

SumUp Solo review

SumUp Solo Review - Best card readers for small businesses

SumUp Solo is pretty special!  A square-shaped, standalone card reader without a physical PIN pad. It’s operated exclusively using the front-facing touchscreen. This payment solution is also very small making it portable and letting you stay connected and in control of business wherever you go.

The Solo Card Reader allows you to accept payments using a 3G network mobile networks and Wi-Fi. You don't need to connect the Solo to a smartphone or tablet in order to make transactions.  Solo accepts a wide selection of chip and PIN and contactless cards, such as chip and pin, Google and Apple.

Payments are automatically settled in your bank account within 1-3 working days, or the next day (including weekends) in an online SumUp account linked to a SumUp MasterCard that is free to use.

The Solo SumUp Card reader may be small but its battery is mighty and will last you for most of your selling day. Free with the SumUp Solo is a charging station, no need to worry about it running out of battery, simply place it on its handy charging dock when not in use.

SumUp 3G and printer review 

SumUp 3G and printer - the ultimate payment duo - review

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 cost, 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.

SumUp POS Systems (Point of Sale)

Goodtill is a full-scale proprietary POS system costing £29 per month and comes with a wealth of features. Perfect for established businesses with medium to high sales volume.   

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. 


  • The Hospitality add-on, adds tables and tabs functionality, ingredients and recipe management and table timer features designed for restaurants and bars

  • The Kitchen Display Screen add-on removes the need for paper tickets instantly, Chefs can immediately see orders on multiple screens and check each order's timing

  • The Customer Facing Display add-on shows orders at the till and promotional banners when not in use

  • The Advanced Stock add-on allows for purchase order integration, stock reports and enhanced overall stock control

  • The Advanced Promotions add-on, lets you offer time-based promotions like buy one, get one free, and accept coupons and gift cards

  • The Goodies Loyalty add-on is a points-based loyalty system that encourages your customers to keep coming back for more

  • The Business Analytics add-on, an enhanced reporting and data analytics module, allows you to analyse millions of sales in seconds, generate unlimited reports, and develop custom sales alerts

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.

SumUp App

SumUp App, available on Apple and Android app stores, is a free, scaled-down version of Goodtill. The app has limited utility compared to Goodtill but is excellent for new or smaller businesses getting off the ground.

The SumUp app is nice-looking, easy to use and free to download. The app features an array of valuable features, which we've covered below: 

  • Item library, letting you upload your products with photos, prices and descriptions. You can create groups of products called 'shelves' to help speed up and streamline your service

  • Item Variants, which does what it says on the tin - letting you prick different sizes, colours or any other variant you can imagine

  • Tipping, letting you receive tips from your customers. It's worth remembering tips are a preset percentage of the sale price

  • Cash Payments, letting you accept cash payments and record the sale in the app

  • Email/ SMS receipts, are handy for business customers that require VAT receipts

  • Essential Analytics, letting you analyse your sales data by type of transaction or amount, amongst others

  • Adjustable Tax Rates, allowing you to set variable tax rates depending on which country you're operating in or if one product has a different tax rate than another product

Who is SumUp best suited for?

SumUp is ideal for sole traders and small business owners who need to start accepting card payments face-to-face or on the go. The SumUp app and terminal have the essentials you need, without compromising on quality or cost. It’s a great solution for those just getting started.

  • Small businesses
  • Startups
  • Business services
  • Hospitality
  • Retail

Why SumUp is the best

There are loads of benefits in opting for SumUp as your payment processing tool. We especially love the predictable flat-rate pricing, especially important for startups!

No monthly minimums ensure that this payment method is scalable, right from the start and their hardware is inexpensive.

Why SumUp is not so good

For businesses looking for management features or functions that’ll help them to maximise individual sales, SumUp isn’t the best option. You may be better off exploring other options such as Zettle by PayPal and Square.

SumUp pricing

There are numerous ways new card payment providers charge businesses for processing customer card payments. With SumUp, you don't pay any fixed or recurring costs. You just pay a small fee when accepting a transaction. SumUp charges 1.69% per transaction. 

This works out well for businesses who are just starting and need a cheap option to get them off the ground, but less suitable for companies with a high sales volume.

SumUp’s pricing is about as transparent as it comes, there are no hidden fees, and its software is completely free. In fact, it offered one of the cheapest card reader point of sale packages going, which in turn forced the rest of the market to lower their costs!

The verdict?

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. 

Alternative payment solutions

Shopify POS



SumUp FAQ’s

How to set up a SumUp Card Reader?

As we have said, SumUp has been designed to be as easy as possible to set up.  Here are the simple steps to follow:

Open the SumUp App and log in using your email address and password
Enter £1.00 into the keypad and tap 'Charge'. (The reader turns it on automatically)
Confirm that your card reader was found in the app: by tapping on 'Connect', you confirm that the 3-digit number shown in the app matches the last 3 digits of the serial number on the back of the card reader
Confirm the pairing request on your smartphone/tablet and on the card reader (by pressing the green tick button)
Pairing successful! The card reader will now sync your account information

Does SumUp accept Apple pay? 

The SumUp Air, Solo and 3G all accept phone payments. You can get paid through an NFC payment, Chip and PIN, and even through Google or Apple pay. Your customer just has to tap their card down on your contactless card reader to complete a purchase.

Do you still have to pay even if you don’t use the SumUp card reader that month?

There are no monthly fees and no contractual obligations with SumUp. You only pay for your card reader once and from there on only the transaction fees per transaction. No monthly costs, no fixed fees, perfect for startups and small businesses.