Folksy Ltd

Card readers, Square or i Zettle?

Hi there.
I’ve been with iZettle with a few years and have found then fantastic, but they’re retiring the card reader I use, which means I need a new one.

I can get one with them for £35 (with a discount code), but I only really use it at Christmas fairs, so only a handful of times a year.

I’ve discovered ‘Square’ , the card reader costs £23…

Does anyone use square?
Both have similar fees, and both readers are contactless and chip and pin.

I use SumUp and works on a PAYG phone. Bought last November and worked brilliantly at the fair. £19 plus vat and postage until 31/1.


I have an iZettle, which I bought on a very generous special offer. I have taken it to a couple of fairs but sods law, everyone paid with cash! I’m glad I’ve got it though, there is always the risk you might lose a sale by not offering a card payment facility.
All the brands of card reader seem to have a positive following, so look out for which ones might be on special offer.

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When I’m buying I dislike the square card reader as it has no screen so I don’t know if the merchant has entered the price correctly/ is charging me the right amount for contactless payments so I have to ask them to show me their phone/tablet to see the amount. Obviously if it is over the threshold then they have to hand me their phone anyway so that I can enter my pin. I much prefer it when it is an all in one unit where I can see the amount and enter my pin on it (izettle/paypal/sumup take your pick).
For my business I have an iZettle and I’m very happy with it.
Which ever one you opt for check the compatibility with your phone’s operating system - when i replaced my izettle I had to replace my (geriatric) phone as well as I was still running on kitkat and it needed to be jellybean or higher (admittedly many other things now run much better on my new phone and it wasn’t an expensive new phone either).


We use Sum Up


I use Sum up too!

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I use PayPal Here. They usually have offers for the cost of the reader. Customers use the reader (not your phone) to enter their pin.

Accepts contactless, chip and pin, magnetic stripe and aside from Visa, Mastercard, ApplePay etc it also accepts American Express

Their fees are a little bit more than the other brands you mention, 2.75% although this can go as low as 1% depending on sales volumes, but:

Both you and your customer immediately receive an e-mail about the transaction or a text for the customer if they prefer it.

Payment goes instantly into your PayPal account and can be transferred instantly to your bank, so there is no waiting for the funds.

Telephone support 8 a.m. to 6.30 pm 7 days a week

You need a PayPal account for the reader, but this also means that you can remotely request payments by e-mail from the PayPal website without the customer present.

Umm, if you have a PayPal account and upload the app to your mobile, then you can request a payment via e-mail from the PayPal website using the app, if your customer has e-mail on their phone while they are standing in front of you. All they need to do is click on the link in the e-mail, fill out the online PayPal payment form and click OK. You and the customer immediately receive an e-mail if the transaction is successful and the funds are immediately in your PayPal account.

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I have a square reader, only used it a couple of times & it seems to work well. It connects to phone & you do need this connection to do payments as amounts are inputted there and the customer needs to input their pin in the phone to complete the payment! The downside of this is if you don’t have wifi & are in a dead spot it won’t work. I did have one break on me a couple of days before a fair - apparently they are very sensitive to knocks, however as I was still in the warranty period they were happy to replace & customer service was good - because I needed a quick turnaround I bought a new one via Amazon (they are prime items) and they refunded the same day!

The other downside is that in order to swipe the card (if they don’t have chip and pin) you need to plug a separate attachment to the headphone jack on your phone & as I have an iPhone without a headphone jack I can’t do this! On the plus side you can email receipts to the customer from your phone.

Hope this helps,

Cheers Lou

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for me it is sum up

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I use iZettle for my day job as a driving instructor, and have it available at craft fairs. It works brilliantly from my new phone. I can use it to take cash payments (no fee) so even cash sales are shown in the reports and customers can have a receipt by phone or email. Customer support has always been great over the last few years.

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i use izettle. I alos like the fact it takes amex as american clients like to use it.

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I have the sumup reader, it’s £19 at the moment as they have a deal on, 1.69% transaction fee, generally in my experience it’s paid out next working day to your bank account, take most cards, contactless and chip&pin and the app is really simple and clear to use. Their support is great and you can earn by referring a friend too with a £10 little bonus
(so if you want to use my referral link I can earn a little reward and you can refer people in turn too: )
I think they also offer a discount to you for using that depending it they are full price.
I’ve used it several times over the past couple of years and it’s made a difference especially on higher cost sales because even at larger events people don’t carry around wads of cash.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the readers though they are all something of the same with similar fees etc.

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Thanks so much everyone for your advice.
I still haven’t decided what to do, but I might go for iZettle since I’m already set up and it does look like a solid little machine.

Thanks for all your time.

I had an izettle since they came out. I recently upgraded and have had no end of problems. It kept disconnecting mid transaction or not connecting at all. I believe its down to my huawei phone although I’ve had this phone a year and its only a recent problem. So as I was in the midst of loads of Xmas fairs I got a square as back up. It worked fine, apart from as someone pointed out the amount isn’t on the reader, I show the customer my phone with the amount. The money was in my bank in less than 24 hours, its two or three days with I zettle. You can also do manual card payments on the app if you can’t use the square device.

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I use Huawei with an izettle too. Mine misbehaved at a craft fair in December but the unit needed an update- I did this on site and it was fine afterwards :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve tried allsorts, updates etc, they put me on a beta version of the app as it seems lots of huawei users are having similar problems. I did lots of fairs and markets on the run up to Xmas and didn’t want to lose sales. In fact izettle ignored my last email for help. I don’t think their customer service is as good as before PayPal took them over. I like the square because the money is actually in the bank so quickly. I haven’t tried the izettle since Xmas so maybe it’ll work now I’ll have to give it a go.