SumUp Vs. Zettle: Which Is Best For Your Business?

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Do you already have a Card Machine?

Small business owners need card readers they can rely on. There are many options, but two of the most popular ones are SumUp and Zettle by Paypal (formerly iZettle). Both of them offer secure, reliable and efficient ways of processing payments, but which is the best one? Here at Business Quotes, we can help you decide. We have extensive experience comparing card readers and have looked into these two brands. Here’s a brief explanation of what we found. 

SumUp Vs. Zettle: Which Is Best For Your Business?

SumUp Vs. Zettle: A Comparison Of Card Readers

SumUp and Zettle by PayPal have both diversified their offering in recent years and below is a brief overview of their differences and notable features:


Zettle by PayPal


£39 - £129 per card reader

£29 - £149 per card reader *Additional card readers £59


No monthly fee. 1.69% per transaction

No monthly fee 1.75% per transaction

Battery life

8-12 hours of battery life. Up to 500 transactions.

8 hours of battery life. Equivalent to 100 transactions


Bluetooth & WiFi

Bluetooth, Wifi, USB, Apple Lightning


Can process payments via app or standalone device

Via the Zettle Go App or standalone device

From the outset, SumUp offers slightly better value for money by card reader, transaction fee and battery life. Although Zettle offers its first card reader at £29, all subsequent devices jump to £59 for the basic model. Let’s read on to assess their models and whether there’s any distinction to be made.

SumUp Vs. Zettle: A Comparison Of Card Readers

SumUp: Card Reader Models

SumUp offers three card reader models:

  • SumUp Air (£29)
  • SumUp Solo (£79)
  • SumUp 3G & Printer (£129)

The SumUp Air

The SumUp Air card reader is ideal for small businesses and accepts cards and payments via the SumUp app. It allows for Bluetooth connectivity and has the longest battery life of any of the devices in this article.

The SumUp Solo

The SumUp Solo is an independent device with its own SIM card, protective device and charging cable.

The SumUp 3G & Printer

The SumUp 3G comes with unlimited WiFi, SIM data and a printer in case your customers need a physical receipt.

Zettle By PayPal Card Reader Models

  • The Zettle Card Reader 2 (£59)
  • The Zettle Ocean Reader and Doc (£98)
  • The Zettle Terminal (£149)

The Zettle Card Reader 2

The Zettle Card Reader 2 has four hours less battery life when compared to the SumUp Air. It also states that it has a ‘low-energy Bluetooth connection’.

The Zettle Ocean Reader And Doc

Although more expensive than the SumUp Solo, the Zettle Ocean Reader has a docking station. However, this is a more bulky purchase than the SumUp Solo.

Zettle Terminal

The Zettle Terminal is more expensive than the SumUp 3G and printer. A key feature is that it comes with its own inbuilt POS app, 12 hours of battery life and 48 hours on standby, making it better value for money with more integrated features than SumUp’s offering.


All things considered, SumUp is the best choice for smaller businesses, especially mobile ones. It offers better value for money, and while it doesn’t have as many extra features as Zettle by Paypal, it is reliable and versatile enough to handle most small business needs. On the other hand, established businesses may find Zettle to be the superior choice. Zettle also provide epos systems so if you are looking for epos system prices they could be worth considering. The additional features and the extended battery life can be hugely beneficial. 

So it’s not a question of what’s the best card reader, so much as which is the most suitable one for you? For smaller businesses, we recommend the SumUp, whereas for larger ones, it would have to be the Zettle. However, it’s subjective and depends on your precise requirements. If you want a more comprehensive way to compare card machines, we have more information available. It will assess SumUp, Zettle and many more brands to find the right card reader for you. 

Categories: Advice, Card Machines

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