SumUp vs Zettle: Battle of the Mobile Card Readers

SumUp vs Zettle logo

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SumUp and Zettle are two major card reader providers currently vying for a place in your business – and according to our in-depth analysis, Zettle is the clear winner. Led by competitive pricing and solid customer support, it scored an impressive 4.8/5 in our research into the top mobile merchant accounts.

If you’re unsure about which one may be the best choice for your business, we can help. Just quickly fill in our free quote tool so you can get bespoke quotes from our trusted providers. However, if you’d like to know more about SumUp and Zettle specifically, you’re in luck. We’ve researched both of them and have the gist at hand, so read on.

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0 out of 0
Score
4.2
Score
4.8
Best For

3G connectivity

Best For

Convenience

Cost

From £49 + VAT

Cost

From £29 + VAT

Transaction fee

2.5% online
1.69% in-person

Transaction fee
  • 1.75% in-person
  • 2.5% payment links and invoicing
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Native EPOS system?
Native EPOS system?
Fund transfer time

3-5 working days

Fund transfer time

1-2 working days

SumUp vs Zettle: Battle breakdown

According to our research, we found that Zettle has cheaper hardware, more third-party integrations and better customer support than SumUp. For its part, SumUp does offer cheaper transaction fees and boasts better customer reviews online than Zettle. Putting their scores side-to-side, Zettle’s 4.8/5 surpasses SumUp’s 4.2/5.

Both providers double as EPOS systems, but Zettle beats SumUp by offering its EPOS service for free, while its competitor charges a minimum of £9 per month for it. Zettle’s payout time is faster than SumUp’s, and it pledges to transfer funds to customers within two working days. On the other hand, SumUp can take up to five working days to transfer your funds. Those factors, combined with Zettle’s plentiful features, make it the best mobile card reader for small businesses.

SumUpZettleWinner
Price3.6/54.1/5Zettle: Offers cheaper hardware
Features3.8/54.9/5Zettle: Allows for more third-party integrations
Compliance4.6/54.8/5Zettle: Faster fund transfer (1-2 working days)
Customer support3.5/55/5Zettle: More help channels available (inc. live chat)
Customer score4.9/54.5/5SumUp: Better reviews in online aggregators
SumUp
4.2
Pricing From £39 + VAT
Quick overview

SumUp's is a merchant account best suited to small, mobile business. Like Zettle, it doesn’t bind you to a contract: once you buy the hardware you need (its cheapest reader costs £39 + VAT), you’re good to go. It also allows for web building and EPOS integration, like Square.

SumUp's crowning jewel is its offering of mobile data-enhanced hardware. Its mid- and top tier readers (Solo and 3G, respectively) run on their on data and aren't reliant on an external connection to take payments. This made SumUp the best merchant account for connectivity among the ones we researched.

However, on the support end, its lack of a live chat channel is a substantial flaw. Because of that, it only scores 3.5/5 in customer support in our research.

Pros

Great connectivity

EPOS integration

Cons

Reporting could be better

Support isn’t available via live chat

If you’d like to know more about SumUp, feel free to take a look at our SumUp review.

Zettle
4.8
Pricing From £29 + VAT
Quick overview

Zettle is a great choice if you’re starting out and want a quick and simple merchant account. In addition to being free, its hardware is easy to use and very cheap. Granted, it’s not as cheap as Square’s, but it doesn’t incur monthly fees.

Zettle has the highest base transaction fee among the providers we researched (1.75%). However, for the features it packs, it still offers good value for money. Unsurprisingly, it's the top scorer in the features category of our research, getting a near-perfect 4.9/5. This makes Zettle beat competitors such as Square and Revolut.

These features include helpful reports that allow you to track sales performance and manage inventory. Also noteworthy is Zettle's wide integration: it can be synced up with 21 different third-party providers.

Pros

Cheap hardware

Fast fund transfer

Cons

Transaction fee buildup

Only offers one reader with mobile data

For more information about Zettle’s offerings, just head to our Zettle review.

Best value: Zettle

By packing a high amount of features in a service that foregoes fixed costs, Zettle offers better value than SumUp, scoring an easy 4.8/5 compared with SumUp’s 4.2/5. Zettle offers its app, which provides various reports and insights, for free. SumUp, on the other hand, charges £29 per month, with more features made available through chargeable add-ons. Zettle’s transaction fee for in-person payment of 1.75% is pricier than SumUp’s 1,69%, but both charge 2,5% for keyed-in transactions.

SumUp includes a native ecommerce service, which enables you to build your online store at no extra cost. You can integrate a webstore with Zettle, but only through third-party platforms, which means you’d have to build your store with one of its partners to do so.

SumUp also puts up a good fight on the card reader front because it offers one card reader more than Zettle on its mid-tier offering, Solo, which retails at £79 + VAT. Also, by having mobile data functionality in two of its three card readers, SumUp has better connectivity than Zettle. This allows you to keep your business running without being dependent on Wi-Fi or your phone’s data. In contrast, only one of Zettle’s two readers offers this.

Ultimately, because Zettle provides faster payouts than SumUp, this is settled in the former’s favour. While SumUp promises to transfer funds in up to five working days, Zettle only takes up to two.

SumUp vs Zettle: Which has the best free plan?

Zettle has the best free plan. Both SumUp and Zettle offer their merchant accounts functionalities as free services, but Zettle ups the ante by also including an EPOS system in its free offering (a major bonus).

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Best for features: Zettle

Our research shows that Zettle offers more overall features than SumUp, so it wins this round. Both companies provide sales reports and easy invoicing, but Zettle also enables inventory management and sales forecasting, unlike SumUp. Zettle also integrates with 21 third-party platforms (the highest number within the mobile merchant accounts we checked). In comparison, SumUp only integrates with 11. In addition to this, Zettle accepts 13 different card types (three more than SumUp) and supports 25 other currencies, while SumUp supports GBP in the UK.

SumUpZettle 🏆
Score3.7/54.9/5
Key featureAllows 11 third-party integrationsAllows 21 third-party integrations

Best for compliance: Zettle

If you’re looking for a product with a swift payout time, look no further. Zettle has the fastest among all the mobile merchant accounts we researched, which helped it score in compliance. Zettle transfers funds within two working days, while SumUp can take up to five working days to do this. That said, both SumUp and Zettle are PCI compliant, encrypt all credit card data and perform credit checks on new merchants.

SumUpZettle 🏆
Score4.6/54.8/5
Key featureTransfer funds in 3-5 working daysTransfer funds in 1-2 working days

Best for customer support: Zettle

A narrow victory, but Zettle wins this round as well. Both providers offer support between 9am and 5pm on weekdays, via phone, and email. They also provide a knowledge base while lacking a community centre. However, unlike Zettle, SumUp’s support is not contactable via live chat and that proved fatal in this category. In fact, SumUp is the only mobile merchant account we looked at during our research that lacks this feature – a real Achilles’ heel.

SumUpZettle 🏆
Score3.5/55/5
Key featureSupport available via phone and emailSupport available via phone, email and live chat
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Alternatives to SumUp and Zettle

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0 out of 0
Score
4.8
Score
4.8
Score
4.4
Score
4.4
Score
4.2
Score
4.0
Best For

Cheap transaction fees

Best For

Convenience

Best For

zero-contract fast payouts

Best For

Low-cost hardware

Best For

3G connectivity

Best For

Reporting

Cost

£49 + VAT (one-off fee)

Cost

From £29 + VAT

Cost
Cost

From £9.99 + VAT/month

Cost

From £49 + VAT

Cost

From £49 + VAT

Transaction fee
  • 0.8% + 2p in-person UK cards
  • 2.6% + 2p in-person non-UK cards
  • 1% + 2p online UK cards
  • 2.8% + 2p online non-UK cards
Transaction fee
  • 1.75% in-person
  • 2.5% payment links and invoicing
Transaction fee

2.5% online
1.75% in-person

Transaction fee
  • 1.39% + 5p UK and European personal cards
  • 1.99% + 5p international and commercial cards
  • Variable for Amex
Transaction fee

2.5% online
1.69% in-person

Transaction fee
  • 1.4% + 10p in-person
  • 1.5%+ 20p online
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan
Free Trial/Plan

Revolut and Square are competitors worth a mention. With a score of 4.8/5 in this category, Revolut ties with Zettle for its overall score in our research. However, its economical plans and overall cost benefit made it score higher than Zettle in price. With 16 integrations, Revolut beats SumUp while still losing to Zettle.

Like SumUp and Zettle, Square also offers an EPOS system. It scores an overall 4.4/5 in our research, trumping SumUp but not Zettle. It has more integrations than any of its competitors we looked at, and it also has the cheapest card reader (it costs £16 + VAT). However, like SumUp, Square lacks multi currency support.

Our methodology

To find out the best between SumUp and Zettle, we researched them in five categories: price, features, compliance, customer support and customer score. We also looked at four of their direct competitors in order to know how SumUp and Zettle compare to the wider market. We then consolidated the data into the scores we discussed throughout the article.

Based on our findings, we could establish that Zettle beats SumUp in four of these five categories: price, features, compliance and customer support. This allows us to reassure you of its superiority here.

The only category in which SumUp excelled against Zettle is customer score. This means it received better reviews from users and scored better in the online aggregators. As this is not a popularity contest, this alone wasn’t able to secure SumUp’s victory.

And the Winner Is... Zettle

While SumUp’s as good a runner-up as any, Zettle owns this battle and is the overall winner. Unsurprisingly, it scores 4.8/5 in our research against SumUp’s 4.2/5. Zettle’s combination of low-cost hardware and wide features makes it stand out against SumUp.

You can use Zettle both as a merchant account and an EPOS system with no extra cost, while you’d have to shell out more for SumUp to perform this double duty. While Zettle doesn’t allow you to build a webstore, which is something that SumUp offers, you can link one to it via its ecommerce partners.

Zettle’s reports and integration with 21 third-party providers make it the best mobile merchant account for small businesses. However, SumUp’s offering of two mobile data-assisted readers make it the best for connectivity.

If you’re still unsure about the right merchant account for your business, use our quick and free comparison tool. We’ll match you with the providers most suited to your needs, and they’ll be in touch with tailored, obligation-free quotes!

SumUp vs Zettle FAQs

Which is better: SumUp or Zettle?
Zettle beats SumUp in our research and is the better of the two. Zettle scores highly across all the five categories we analysed, topping SumUp in price, features, compliance and customer support.
Which is better for small businesses: SumUp or Zettle?
Zettle is better suited to serve small businesses than SumUp. In fact, Zettle is the best mobile merchant account for small business among all the providers we looked into. It scores a high 4.8/5 in our in-depth research.
Which is cheaper: SumUp or Zettle?
Zettle is cheaper than SumUp. Zettle’s average hardware cost is lower than SumUp’s and it offers solid reporting for free, while SumUp charges £29 per month for this service.
What’s the difference between SumUp and Zettle?
While both SumUp and Zettle double as EPOS systems, Zettle offers its EPOS functionality for free. By including reporting on staff performance and sales forecasting, Zettle also has more features than SumUp. Zettle also integrates with 21 third-party providers – 10 more than SumUp. That said, SumUp has a native ecommerce platform, which Zettle lacks.

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Written by:
Lucas Pistilli author headshot photo
Lucas is a Brazilian-born journalist and Expert Market’s go-to writer for all things EPOS systems, merchant accounts, and franking machines. Having covered business, politics and technology for many years, he’s driven by his passion for the written word and his goal to help people make well-informed decisions.
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.