Best EFTPOS Machines for Small Businesses in 2024

Credit card machine for small businesses

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With Australia’s inflation rate steadily lowering throughout the year (falling to 5.4% as of September 2023), now is the time to grow your business. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve had years in the game, the right card machine is an essential ally. If you’re stuck with a sub-standard EFTPOS machine, your growth may be stunted by slow payouts, high transaction fees and connectivity issues.

During the 2023 financial year, around 10.7 billion debit card payments were made in Australia. Finding the best EFTPOS machine for your business is the best way to serve this expanding market.

If you’re unsure which card machine to choose, we’ve carried out extensive research into the best providers and identified the EFTPOS machines below as the best picks for Australian small businesses.

What are the Best EFTPOS Machines for Small Businesses?

These are the EFTPOS machines we recommend, but we’d also suggest you use our cost comparison tool to find the right provider for your needs and budget. It’s free, takes two minutes to use, and will make sure you don’t overspend!

  1. Smartpay Portable – Best EFTPOS machine for mobility
  2. Square – Best EFTPOS machine for scalability
  3. Till Portable – Best EFTPOS machine for fast payouts
  4. Mint M10 – Best EFTPOS machine for ease of use

Click the links above to learn more about providers or to compare pricing. 

Read on for in-depth information about each provider, so you can choose the right one for your business.

Alternatively, you can use our cost comparison tool for tailored quotes to fit the needs of your business and your budget. It only takes two minutes to use and it’s completely free!

How do you need to take card payments?

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Smartpay Portable

Square Reader

Till Portable

Mint M10

Best For


Best For


Best For

Fast payouts

Best For

Ease of use

EFTPOS machine cost

From $0/month

EFTPOS machine cost


EFTPOS machine cost


EFTPOS machine cost

From $0/month

In-person transaction fees

Free (when your turnover is $10k+), otherwise tailored by industry

In-person transaction fees


In-person transaction fees


In-person transaction fees


What is an EFTPOS machine?

An electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) machine, also known as a card reader or sales terminal, processes payments made with credit and debit cards, as well as digital wallets. In addition to taking payments, EFTPOS machines can be connected to software — usually an app — that compiles their payment data to generate detailed reports on the transaction and sales history of the business. They can also be integrated with other equipment, including stands and barcode scanners, to create an advanced point of sale (POS) setup.

How to switch to a new EFTPOS machine provider

If you’re unsatisfied with your current EFTPOS machine, it may be time to consider switching to a new model or provider. But first, there are some points to consider:

  1. Check your current contract to find out whether it’s possible to switch without paying a fee – or, if there is a fee, how much you’ll need to budget for it.
  2. Inform your current provider that you’d like to switch, and proceed with the cancellation processes they outline. You will need to return your machines if they’re on lease.
  3. Follow your new provider’s setup and onboarding process.

We recommend considering all of the available options on the market when switching to a new provider. Consider the reasons you’re unhappy with your current system, and use this to inform your decision when choosing a new provider.

Since there are a lot of providers to choose from, you can make life simpler by using our free comparison tool, which will match you with providers that best suit your needs. They’ll provide you with tailored quotes, so you can compare truly accurate prices and choose the best deal for you.

1. Smartpay Portable Best EFTPOS machine for mobility

smartpay scorecard
Smartpay Portable
Pricing From $0/month
Quick overview

If you don’t have access to broadband, or plan to do most of your selling from on the road, Smartpay’s portable EFTPOS machine is for you. With a built-in SIM card, Herculean battery life, and sleek design, Smartpay’s card reader is about as flexible, reliable, and straightforward as it gets.


Highly user-friendly interface with colour touchscreen

Advanced security features to protect cardholder data

24/7 technical support available

Integrates with 25 third-party providers for an integrated POS system


Can't be bought outright

Incurs a monthly fee of $34.95 + GST if your monthly turnover is less than $10K

What we think of the Smartpay Portable

The Smartpay Portable is likely to appeal to businesses looking for a simple, flexible EFTPOS solution. It is wireless and has an average battery life of eight hours, taking around three hours to fully charge.

Smartpay pays out transactions on the next business day and provides its machines on contracts without minimum terms, which is convenient if you’re testing the waters or need flexibility. You can also negotiate your fees with the provider, which means you can get some of the best merchant account rates in Australia.

Smartpay Portable can be synced up with POS hardware and software to become a full POS system, but this can only be done through third-party integrations. It doesn’t provide an integrated app of its own, and so to benefit from features such as reporting and stock management, you’ll have to sign up with one of 25 compatible POS providers.

smartpay portable
Smartpay Portable

Smartpay pricing

EFTPOS machine cost:

PlanYour monthly turnoverPrice
Zero Cost EFTPOSLess than $10,000$34,95 + GST/month
From $10,000None
Simple Flat RateLess than $15,000Custom
From $15,000None

Transaction fees: On the Zero Cost EFTPOS plan: none. On the Simple Flat Rate plan, there is a custom simple flat rate for Visa, Mastercard, Alipay and WeChat Pay; and a custom fixed flat rate for debit cards.

2. Square Reader Best EFTPOS machine for scalability

Square Reader
Pricing $65
Quick overview

You can be forgiven for thinking that Square's range of sleek, stylish card machines belong in a modern art museum, rather than on your countertop. With a range of versatile, mobile card machines, plus a sumptuous set of POS equipment, Square is well-suited to forward-thinking merchants — particularly those with an eye for aesthetics. Overall, we think Square Reader's scalability lends itself well to businesses on a growth path.


No ongoing fees

Quick, hassle-free setup

Works with Square's extensive POS equipment

Completely PCI compliant


Live support only available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (Melbourne time)

At 1.9%, transaction fees are steep

What we think of the Square Reader

The Square Reader is an EFTPOS machine that can help business owners on an expansion plan. Its native Square app can generate sales reports and even manage your team. The app also allows you to build your own ecommerce website.

A Square Reader can be synced up with the provider’s extensive range of POS equipment — which includes a terminal, a stand, and a barcode scanner — for an advanced setup. The card machine works wirelessly for a full day of sales, though you can keep it on charge using a Bosstab Dock, which you can buy for $55.

It’s worth noting that Square doesn’t work with fixed-term contracts, and it pays out your transactions by the next working day. It does offer a same-day payout service, but if you choose to use it, Square charges 1.5% of the amount you’re due to receive.

square reader
Square Reader

Square pricing

EFTPOS machine cost: $65.

Transaction fees: 1.9% per transaction

How do you need to take card payments?


3. Till Portable Best EFTPOS machine for fast payouts

till scorecard
Till Portable
Pricing Custom
Quick overview

Till Payments' Portable can give a versatile spin to your card machine set-up. It works both as a countertop and as a mobile card reader, which makes it ideal for the hospitality industry, especially restaurants. It can also be integrated with multiple POS systems, which allows you to get a bird's eye of your transactions. Plus, it ditches the keyboard altogether for a sleek experience for you and your customers.


5.5” touchscreen display

Comes with associated app


Allows you to create advanced functions, like tipping


Pricing only available through quoting

Doesn't come with mobile data

What we think of the Till Portable

The Till Portable is a solid option for business owners who need a mobile and intuitive EFTPOS machine. It’s wireless, has a 10-hour battery life, and with its native app, you can get an overall view of your transaction history – even across multiple locations.

You’ll have access to your payouts on the same day for no extra fee, which is key if you need immediate access to your cash flow. However, Till Payments is not transparent about is pricing, which makes it difficult for business owners to quickly understand whether the provider will fit their budget. It also only provides information on its contract lengths on a quote-by-quote basis.

Furthermore, if you’re keen on expanding your business and need extra POS equipment to help you with that growth, Till Payments’ only other offering is a self-service terminal, which can be limiting if it’s not what your business needs.

Till Portable
Till Portable

Till Payments pricing

EFTPOS machine cost: Custom.

Transaction fees: Custom.

4. Mint M10 Best EFTPOS machine for ease of use

mint scorecard
Mint M10
Pricing From $0/month
Quick overview

Mint Payments' M10 is a simple EFTPOS machine geared towards business owners who don't need a lot of reporting in their day-to-day activities. It's a compact device designed to work alongside your smartphone: through its Mint mPOS app, you can operate the card reader and have a bird's eye view of your transactions.


Compatible with iOS and Android

Email or SMS receipts to customers

Comes with virtual terminal

Simple, intuitive design


Can't be integrated into POS systems

App features could be better

What we think of the Mint M10

The Mint M10 is an EFTPOS machine with a no-frills design that’s intuitive and easy to use — perfect for business owners that are new to card payments, or those who want a system they can master quickly.

It can get your money into your account within one to three working days. It’s wireless and can be charged via USB.

Mint M10 connects to the Mint Payments app, which gives you access to your transaction history. That said, the app offers limited insights, and functions like stock management are not available. Also, this EFTPOS machine isn’t compatible with POS systems — so if your business will require an advanced setup or more sales data, it’s unlikely to serve you well.

Mint Payments also requires a considerable commitment from vendors, asking you to sign a 12-month contract. Should you cancel early, you’ll incur a $110 termination fee.

Mint M10
Mint M10

Mint Payments pricing

EFTPOS machine cost: $11 per month for businesses with a monthly revenue of less than $2,000. No cost for businesses with a monthly revenue of $2,000 or more.

Transaction fees: 1.86% per transaction.

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How does an EFTPOS machine work?

Did You Know?

A PDQ machine (referenced in this video) is an acronym for “Process Data Quickly”. Remarkably, it’s only used in two countries – the UK and Kenya!

What do I need to start taking card payments?

To start accepting card payments for your small business, you’ll need an EPOS system and a merchant account. To take payments online and over the phone, you’ll also need a payment gateway and a virtual terminal.

To accept card payments for your small business, you’ll need a combination of the following:

1. POS system

If you serve customers face-to-face, you’ll need a Point of Sale (POS) system to pair with an EFTPOS machine. This is essentially the till: a cash drawer, user interface, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.

POS systems also come with handy features for stock and staff management. Read our guide to the best POS systems in Australia to find out more.

2. Merchant account

Next, you’ll need a merchant account with a merchant bank. A merchant account is a type of credit account that allows your business to accept credit and debit card payments. It’s where the money sits while the bank checks to ensure the customer has sufficient funds to make the payment. It also serves to protect against fraud.

Card machines are most commonly leased as part of a merchant account agreement. A merchant account can be setup with a dedicated merchant bank, or by special arrangement with a payment service provider (PSP) or other independent merchant services supplier, such as Smartpay.

Our guide to getting a merchant account is an essential read for those looking to start accepting credit card payments.

3. Payment gateway

To take card payments online (or in person), you’ll need a payment gateway.

A payment gateway is a secure piece of software that encrypts the customer’s card details once and transmits them to the merchant bank. Take a closer look at how payment gateways authenticate transactions in the diagram below.


4. Virtual terminal

Businesses that need to accept credit card payments over the phone or via email will require a virtual terminal.

Like a payment gateway, a virtual terminal secures sensitive payment details while the bank authorises the transaction. Unlike a payment gateway, card details are entered into the system by the merchant, rather than the customer. This type of transaction is also known as a Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) transaction.

Along with payment gateways, pay-by-link, and online invoicing, virtual terminals are a popular online payment method for small businesses.

5. EFTPOS machine

Once you’ve got all of the above sorted, you can then choose a credit card machine for your business.

The best EFTPOS machine for your small business will vary depending on your specific requirements as a merchant. What works for a static brick-and-mortar business, such as a coffee shop, probably won’t suit a food vendor who trades in a different location each week.

Card machine costs can vary, so let’s take a look at the different types available.

best credti card machines for small business

The different types of EFTPOS machines

Pick a Card Machine Type..

mobile card machines

wireless card machines

Countertop card machines
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Mobile EFTPOS machines

Mobile EFTPOS machines allow you to accept card payments anywhere with mobile network coverage. This flexibility opened the door to a host of remote businesses that were previously not able to utilise a card machine.

Most work via a pre-installed SIM card that connects your machine to a mobile network. Recently, though, modern mobile card readers (such as Zettle and SumUp) have done away with the need for a SIM and instead connect to your phone via an app.

The benefits of a mobile card machine are:

  • Portability — great for merchants such as food vendors and market traders
  • Minimum hardware required — with some models, all you need is the card reader and a smartphone or tablet to connect it to
  • No long-term contract — most mobile card machine providers offer short-term contracts tailored specifically for small Australian businesses

Perfect for Australian businesses such as: food truck vendors, cab drivers, pop-up shops.

Wireless/portable EFTPOS machines

A portable EFTPOS machine allows merchants the flexibility to move around and take payments without relying on mobile network coverage. They’re the perfect choice for a restaurant or bar setting where the point-of-sale is often at the customer’s table.

Wireless terminals usually connect via Wi-Fi but, if you don’t have an internet connection, they can also be hooked up to a traditional landline. Most will operate for around eight hours before needing to be recharged and work at a range of up to 60 metres.

Benefits of a portable card machine include:

  • Improve customer service — bring the card terminal to your customer. Ideal for hospitality businesses
  • Flexible with a stable connection — not reliant on mobile network coverage for connection
  • Choice of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity — connect to the network via the internet or a traditional phoneline

Perfect for Australian small businesses such as: cafes, restaurants, bars.

Countertop EFTPOS machines

Many small businesses choose to rely on countertop EFTPOS machines to process payments. With a hardwired connection, they’re sturdy, reliable, and often the cheapest option in terms of upfront cost.

For businesses like coffee shops, where the customer pays at the counter, a countertop card machine is often the best option.

The advantages of countertop card machines include:

  • Reliable connection — you’re not reliant on Wi-Fi or mobile network coverage
  • No charging — there’s no risk of a low battery warning
  • Save on upfront costs — countertop card terminals are generally cheaper than portable and mobile card machines

Perfect for Australian small businesses such as: coffee shops, newsagents, beauty spas.

The pros and cons of EFTPOS machines for small businesses

EFTPOS machines are practical devices that allow you to take card payments. They can give you precious insight into your sales and transactions. In this section, we’ve compiled the pros and cons of accepting payments this way.

Advantages of accepting credit cards

 Credibility — the fact is, if your business doesn’t accept debit and credit card payments… well, you look amateur!

✔ Better end-to-end customer experience — a quick tap or swipe of a credit card is much more convenient for a customer than laboriously counting out cash. Streamline their shopping experience with a card reader. Remember, a satisfied customer is a loyal customer.

 Better cash flow — providers that specialise in making the best card machines for small businesses prioritise a speedy transfer of funds as part of their service. Cashflow can be a major problem, so having having quick access to the money from card payments is a major benefit.

 Security — handling large amounts of cash poses a security risk to your business. Reduce this risk by accepting electronic payments. Plus, the EMV computer chip in modern cards makes them extremely difficult to clone, further reducing the chance of fraud.

Disadvantages of accepting credit cards

 Cost and transaction fees — you will be required to pay a transaction fee for every card payment processed. Fees vary depending on the volume of transactions; the more transactions you process, the lower your rates will be.

This poses an obvious problem for small businesses that process a low volume of card payments. Don’t worry, though – the providers reviewed on this page specialise in card machines for small-scale business operations, with fees to match.

 Chargebacks — dealing with chargebacks can be a long and arduous process for business owners. Customers have the right to challenge any card payments they see on their statement, which can sometimes mean business owners have to refund the transaction plus a chargeback fee.

 Fraud — fraudulent transactions may be few and far between but, when they do occur, it is usually the merchant who loses out.

How do I find the best EFTPOS machine for my small business?

Well, you could spend endless hours online, losing yourself in a sea of tabs, while trawling through site after site that thinks they have the answer to your business (but are truly just trying to make money off you).

The other way? Use our free comparison tool, and receive tailored card machine quotes for your small business in the process. Here’s how it works:

Simply tell us about the card machine requirement of your small business. We’ll ask whether you’re currently accepting card payments (and, if so, who your current provider is – we’ll get you a better deal), the industry you’re in, and your average monthly turnover. We’ll also need your postcode to ensure you’re matched with suppliers that cater to your area in Australia.

When this is done, have your phone handy as the card machine providers we match you with will be in touch directly to discuss next steps. Remember, there’s absolutely no obligation to accept any of these quotes. The ball is firmly in your court.

So, why not give it a go? It only takes 30 seconds, and you only have savings to gain.

Hit one of the buttons below to get started.

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How we analyse and rate EFTPOS machine providers

At Expert Market Australia, our aim is to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and transparent product and service reviews possible. To help you better understand the top merchant account options, we conducted in-depth, extensive research into the payments industry and its top companies.

Here’s how we did it:

Independent researchers

We worked with two independent researchers for over 60+ hours to rate 13 different merchant services providers – eight traditional (dedicated) merchant account suppliers, and five payment facilitators.

Our project assessed four separate varieties of payment methods, as well as nine specific features. Using a bespoke, industry-style algorithm, we rated each provider across four key metrics.


  • Help and support: we assessed the level of customer support (such as email, phone, or live chat), as well as its availability (24/7, or weekdays only), to provide a weighted score for each merchant account supplier.
  • Affordability: our affordability algorithm took into account the specific transaction and monthly fees for various transaction types, as well as any one-off costs. Our analysis also included contract length, package type, the flexibility of each providers’ pricing structures, plus the price of any hardware required.
  • Features: we assessed each supplier on up to eight specific features. We then weighted these scores, and translated them into a point value system. This allowed us to form accurate ratings for each merchant account provider, and make specific recommendations to you.
  • Customer approval: we assigned each provider a ‘customer score’, which involved seeking opinions from within the community, as well as feeding data aggregated from online sources into a unique algorithm. This allowed us to calculate overall customer approval scores for each merchant account supplier, in real time.

Our site is reader-supported. Some featured providers are our partners, so we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through our site. This is at no extra cost to our readers, and this doesn’t affect the independence of our reviews. Whether or not we have a partnership with a company does not affect our rating and review of the service.

Written by:
Rob Binns
Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.
Reviewed by:
Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.