OVERALL RATING: Best for Remote Payments
We’ve tested Zettle by Paypal’s features to see how they match up against other points of sale systems. We have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether Zettle is right for you and your business.
Who is Zettle best suited for? Perfect for small businesses who want to rely on a flat monthly payment model and need to take payments remotely.
+ Predictable flat-rate pricing
+ Great reporting tools
+ Remote payment options
- Slightly higher transaction fee than competitors
Founded in Sweden in 2010, Zettle provides payment processing services for small businesses in the UK and launched their first app and card payment service in 2011.
In 2018 PayPal acquired iZettle for $2.2 billion, and in February 2021, iZettle changed its name to Zettle by PayPal, or just Zettle for short.
In the decade since its incorporation, Zettle has produced a range of payment products, including point of sale (POS) systems and advanced card readers, solidifying its position as one of the top payment systems providers in the world.
Midway through 2013, the company partnered with the high street bank Santander to bring Zettle's services to mainland Europe and other regions. The company also created a free POS app, called Zettle Go, that works alongside its card payment hardware.
Is Zettle right for your startup or small business? Read our impartial review to find out.
No monthly fees! Similar to other payment providers targeting small businesses, Zettle doesn't charge any monthly fees, nor do they require any contractual time commitment.
Instead, the company charges a one-time payment for card readers and other hardware starting at £29 and charges a 1.75% transaction fee for every card payment.
The near-zero startup cost is a huge benefit for small businesses or lean startups looking to lower costs. However, medium-sized or larger established businesses could save money by using a more traditional payment provider that charges a lower fee per transaction.
Zettle has a whole range of POS (Point of Sale) equipment specially designed for small businesses to take card payments, which we cover below.
Zettle card readers accept all major card brands, including Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, JCB, American Express, Discover and UnionPay. It's worth remembering that card readers do not include magnetic stripe readers due to concerns about fraud.
All Zettle card readers also accept contactless payments, including Google and Apple pay.
The company's bread and butter product, the Zettle Card Reader 2, is a simple, no-nonsense machine. The reader has a minimalist design that comes in either white or black.
The card reader requires a smartphone or tablet with the free Zettle app installed to take payments. Most shops and hospitality venues will find it easiest to use a tablet, as the app displays more product icons per page.
The unit takes about 2 seconds to power on, can accept chip and pin payments in under 10 seconds and contactless payments in less than 5. The battery lasts about 8 hours on a single charge, which is enough power for roughly a hundred transactions.
You can choose to buy either the card reader with a charging dock that displays your card machine to customers.
Zettle recently brought out a sustainable card reader made entirely out of recycled plastic fishing nets, called the 'Ocean' card reader. The card reader functions identically to the Card Reader 2 model described above but is a jungle green colour rather than white or black.
Zettle has publicly committed to donating 20% of the sale price to charities and NGOs that work to remove plastic from the ocean.
The unit costs £98, making it more than three times the core card reader's price. However, the environmentally-conscious model comes with a charging dock and helps you demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Additionally, it's an excellent talking point with new customers.
A great feature of Zettle over the likes of SumUp is Payment Links. This allows businesses to take payments remotely, perfect if you want to take bookings or charge for services over the phone.
This allows customers to make orders from wherever they're located and pay using a link generated by Zettle's POS software. Zettle reassures that its Payment Links are fully secure and PCI compliant.
Zettle also offers a range of accompanying hardware that could be useful depending on your business type.
Their ‘Store Kit’ is a fully integrated POS and payment solution to give staff and customers a great checkout experience.
Alternatively, you can purchase individual POS hardware direct from their site:
Zettle also sells three different receipt printers designed for a range of uses:
The Zettle Go App is free POS software that works with a range of Zettle hardware. The app has a range of features and is simple to use, so business owners with no technical knowledge can easily set it up.
Zettle makes it quick and painless to create products and product categories on the app. You can easily add, edit or delete products, product pictures, descriptions and prices from any device with the app installed.
There is also the option to add variants for each product for different sizes, shapes, colours, prices, or any other variant you need. It's quick to create each product, so even medium-sized businesses with thousands of products could be fully set up on the app within a day or two.
The app also has an in-depth reporting function allowing you to view all your transactions split by day, week, month or year. More detailed reports are available but not within the app; you have to email them to your account.
The reporting function also lets you track sales' trends to identify your best selling products and tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
A strong positive for Zettle is that the software offers third-party integration with a whole range of service providers, including website builders and accountancy software, such as:
You can find a complete list of compatible third-party applications here.
Zettle is a great choice for small businesses that are budget conscious but who are focused on growing their business in the future, with a more advanced card reader and set-up, as well as detailed reporting capabilities.
There are loads of reasons to love Zettle by Paypal, not least because of its transparent pricing, protecting you from any unpleasant surprises each month. Zettle wants to make accepting card payments possible for everyone, great for startups who want to keep costs to a minimum.
Their reporting feature gives live insights into your sales in the most easy-to-digest way possible, even allowing booking as a capability using its analytics.
As previously mentioned, the transaction fee is on the high side compared to other payment providers.
Zettle’s pricing is similar to that of SumUp, in that it's transparent! It hasn't changed since its rebrand to Zettle by PayPal.
There are no monthly contracts for its paid products, and because the only thing it charges is a 1.75% transaction fee, you’re only paying for its service when you’re being paid. It’s worth noting here that SumUp is cheaper, but with fewer features (such as the Payment link option to take remote payments) the slightly higher transaction fee feels valid.
Zettle has a clear pricing breakdown on its website, so you know exactly what you are getting.
Overall, Zettle offers a valuable payment solution for small businesses and startups. If you're looking for a flexible solution for taking card payments for your business or looking to cut costs, Zettle is undoubtedly worth considering.
As only one card reader and a free app is required to get started, and the app is super easy to set up, Zettle is an excellent option for even the most technologically averse business owner.
Yes! Officially partnered with Stripe, the Zettle app includes various payment methods and can receive funds in 137 different currencies.
Yes! Payment links allow you to accept payments from customers who are not physically present. You simply share a link with them via SMS or using any social platform that you have installed on your device. Great for when you want to secure a booking or charge for services on the phone.
Yes! If you want to save time on accounting and bookkeeping, they have a range of services that can help such as sales reports.
Start with creating a Zettle account by downloading the Zettle Go app to your smartphone or tablet. Start the app, click on “Sign up”.
Head over to the settings tab, select the card reader option and select your Zettle card reader model from the list. You’ll then be given step by step instructions on how to complete the setup.
Zettle Reader, Zettle Reader 2 and Zettle Terminal all allow you to accept contactless and card payments as well as transactions with mobile wallets such as Apple, Samsung and Google Pay.
No contracts or hidden costs. All Zettle hardware is a one-off purchase with no recurring fees, and their POS app is free to use, so you only pay for the transactions you process, like SumUp.