SumUp Review 2024: Pros and Cons, Pricing, Alternatives

SumUp is a low-cost option for accepting payments but hardware choices are limited.
Kurt Woock
By Kurt Woock 
Updated
Edited by Sally Lauckner

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4.0

NerdWallet rating 

SumUp gives users a simple, low-cost way to accept card payments. Its card reader options offer basic functionality for less than $100, and there are no monthly charges or contracts required to use them. Payment processing fees are:

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.

  • 2.90% plus 15 cents for online invoice transactions.

  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions.

SumUp

SumUp
NerdWallet rating 
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on SumUp's website

Compared to options that have feature-rich point-of-sale systems, such as Clover or Square, SumUp’s offerings are limited. However, not every business needs that extra horsepower; for small businesses that have straightforward payment needs, this could be a good right-size option.

Deciding factors

Payment processing fees

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.

  • 2.90% plus 15 cents for online invoice transactions.

  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions.

Monthly fee

$0.

Hardware cost

  • $54 for SumUp Plus card reader.

  • $64 for SumUp Plus cradle bundle.

  • $99 for SumUp Solo touchscreen.

  • $169 for SumUp Solo Printer Bundle.

  • SumUp POS bundle is quote-based.

Accepted payment methods

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Contract length

None.

Customer service

  • Phone support available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

  • Email support.

  • Online knowledgebase.

Pros

  • Low cost, low commitment.

  • All card reader options are below $100.

Cons

  • Software has limited features.

  • Narrow range of hardware options.

How does SumUp work?

SumUp lets businesses accept card payments in person, through an online invoice, with payment links or over the phone.

  • The company’s two all-white readers with black-and-white displays are among the cheapest ways to start accepting in-person payments. Using SumUp doesn’t require a long-term contract, and there’s no monthly fee to use it. One of the readers is a standalone device; to use it, you don’t need to be tethered to a phone or register. This flexibility can be a plus, especially if you move locations frequently and don’t want to buy multiple tablets or phones.

  • The flipside of SumUp’s minimalist approach is that it has a limited feature set relative to other companies, especially those that offer complete point-of-sale, or POS, systems. SumUp says it has a POS system coming soon, but until then users must rely on an app that has some components POS systems have, like the option to build an item catalog, but that lacks more complex features, like the ability to build a floor plan of a restaurant or quickly incorporate a customer loyalty program. Although other companies offer dozens of reports, you’ll have access to only a few reports with SumUp, like transaction and revenue summaries.

  • In addition to in-person payments, you can use SumUp to send online invoices to customers. You’ll also have access to payment links and a virtual terminal that lets you accept over-the-phone ("manually keyed") payments.

How much does SumUp cost?

SumUp payment processing costs

SumUp doesn’t have any monthly fees but it does charge for payment processing:

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.

  • 2.90% plus 15 cents for online invoice transactions.

  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions.

SumUp hardware cost

SumUp’s options are all compact and affordable.

  • $54 for SumUp Plus card reader.

  • $64 for SumUp Plus cradle bundle.

  • $99 for SumUp Solo touchscreen.

  • $169 for SumUp Solo Printer Bundle.

  • SumUp POS bundle is quote-based.

Considering the cost, it’s not surprising that all are basic compared to the wide range of hardware you might find elsewhere, like a desktop register or a large colorful touchscreen.

For a basic option: SumUp Plus

A customer holds a credit card up to the SumUp Plus reader
(Photo courtesy of SumUp)

This device isn’t much bigger than the cards it accepts. Its low-fi screen displays only the payment type and the total. One notable advantage is its ability to accept swiped, dipped or tapped cards — similar competing card readers are often more expensive. To use the Plus, you’ll need to pair with the SumUp app on a phone or tablet. You can also buy the card reader and cradle as a bundle, so you can accept payments while the device stays charging in the cradle.

For more customer interaction: SumUp Solo

A sample transaction screen on the SumUp Solo reader
(Photo courtesy of SumUp)

The Solo is the company’s only card reader with a touchscreen, but it still exudes SumUp’s no-frills aesthetic: The display is monochrome. You can prompt customers for tips or send digital receipts from the card reader — things you can’t do with the other two. The Solo accepts dipped and tapped cards, but not swiped. All SumUp devices can connect to Bluetooth printers or printers that connect to Google Cloud Print.

SumUp pros

Low cost, low commitment

SumUp’s low prices are its primary competitive advantage; its entire hardware lineup costs $99 or less. There’s no monthly cost or long-term contract, and its payment processing costs are easy to understand and competitively priced.

Minimalist hardware with a few details that stand out

Finding a card reader with the right features is more important than finding a card reader with the most features. SumUp’s devices have a few qualities that are hard to find elsewhere at this price point.

SumUp

SumUp
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on SumUp's website

SumUp cons

Software has limited features

If you’re looking for a payments partner that can also act as a central hub for your business, you’ll be better off with a POS system that includes payment processing. If you’re a new business, SumUp might meet your needs today, but if you hope to grow, choosing a system that has more advanced features, like in-depth reporting, might be prudent.

Narrow range of hardware options

More advanced hardware might cost more, and there can be good reason to pay more. A customer-facing touchscreen can make building a database of customer contacts easier, for example, and a large desktop terminal can display more information than a small screen, which can make checkouts faster. With SumUp, your options are limited.

SumUp alternatives

PayPal Zettle: Simple and low cost

Payment processing fees:

  • 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person and QR code transactions.

  • 3.49% plus 9 cents for manual-entry card transactions.

  • 2.89% plus 49 cents for online card payments.

  • 2.99% plus 49 cents for invoicing (payment made with card).

  • 3.49% plus 49 cents for invoicing (payment made with PayPal).

Why we like it: The Zettle card reader has a similar pocket calculator vibe and price point. PayPal Zettle also has a traditional desktop terminal and a POS system. This option, which is owned by online payments giant PayPal, might be a good match if you also sell online.

Square: Good for growing businesses

Payment processing fees:

  • $0 for Square POS, Restaurant, Retail and Appointments Free plans.

  • $29 for Square Appointments Plus plan.

  • $60 for Square Restaurant Plus plan.

  • $69 for Square Appointments Premium plan.

  • $89 for Square Retail Plus plan.

  • $192 and up for Square Restaurant Essentials Bundle.

  • Custom pricing for Square Retail Premium plan.

Why we like it: Like SumUp, you can start accepting payments with Square for less than $50 in hardware costs, have a $0 monthly payment, avoid a long-term commitment and pay low payment processing costs. However, Square’s POS system gives you more tools off the bat, like better reporting tools, as well as a system that can grow with your company. Some features cost extra, such as the customer loyalty program.

Square
NerdWallet rating 
Shop Now

on Square's website

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