Close up of human hands holding credit card in drug store

If you are thinking about taking card payments for the first time, or even if you already take payments, one of the choices you’ll need to make is what type of card machine you should go for.  There are a lot of options out there, which can be a bit of a headache if you aren’t sure what you need.  Here are the main things you should think about when choosing:

Wifi or mobile data?

There are a lot of card payment machines out there, but most of them come down to a choice between a wifi-only device or one that takes a mobile data sim too.   To make a decision between the two, think about where and when you will be taking payments.

Are you in a fixed location such as your own shop or a place you regularly trade from?  Does that location have wifi?  If so, you might not need to take on with a mobile data sim.

If you are trading in different places on a daily basis, you might not always have access to wifi and need to go for a device that takes a mobile data sim.


Most devices require customers to put their card in the machine and input their pin number to authorise the transaction.  Increasingly, people have contactless cards meaning they just need to tap a compatible device with the card in order for the transaction to go through.

If you’re not sure whether you want to go for a contactless card payment device, think about the types of transactions you will provide.  Contactless payments currently have a limit of £20 (and soon to be £30).  If most of your transactions cost more than this limit, there may be no use to you for a contactless card machine.

It should also be noted that contactless cards can still take payments via chip and pin.


This is especially relevant if you are buying a device outright, instead of simply renting the device from your merchant service provider.  If you want to make sure that you can take all kinds of payments in future, you may want to think about devices that are compatible with ApplePay.  Although these payment types will be few and far between, they will get more popular in time and it is worth considering it.


Ultimately your decision may come down to cost.  A device that takes contactless payments and one that is compatible with ApplePay may well cost you more than one that takes standard chip and pin payments.  The perfect card machine for you may be the cheapest available, especially if your business is quite new and hasn’t been trading for long.

If you need any help in choosing the perfect card machine for your needs then please contact us for advice and a friendly chat –