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Best Credit Card Machines for Small Businesses in 2024

Stephen Wright Stephen WrightFinance Specialist June 20, 2024
June 20, 2024
Choosing the right credit card machine for your small business can be daunting, especially with many offering the same features and benefits. However, selecting the right payment processor is more important in the long run.

If you select the wrong payment processor, you may find yourself stuck on what credit card machines you can buy or use. Plus, if you already own a credit card machine and want to purchase another, you may find they’re incompatible – which would be a big waste of money.

Lastly, the fees of a bad payment processor can easily exceed the fees of an expensive credit card machine. On the other hand, a good payment processor will save you money with low processing fees and may even give you a high-quality credit card machine for free.

I analyzed dozens of credit card machines and payment processors, focusing on the terminals they provide, how much you’ll pay, and the type of small businesses they’re suited to. Leaders Merchant Services excelled among all the processors as it offers free credit card machines, industry-low rates, and is a verified Clover reseller.

To find out more about the best credit card machine providers, continue reading.

Short on Time? These Brands Have the Best Credit Card Machines in 2024

  1. Clover via Leaders Merchant Services1 – Modern and fully-featured credit card machines for small to medium-sized businesses.
  2. Dejavoo via Payment Depot1 – Universal terminals that are easily reprogrammable and can be used with any payment processor.
  3. SwipeSimple via Paysafe1 – Several card readers and software-based solutions for small in-person businesses.

See 2 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Credit Card Machines for Small Businesses

To find the best credit card machine for your small businesses, focus on features that can enhance your daily operations and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Ease of use. You need a machine that is simple to operate so you can focus on your business rather than training on complicated technology. A user-friendly interface minimizes errors and speeds up transactions.
  • Business management software. Integrated business management software helps you track sales, manage inventory, and analyze customer behavior – allowing you to turn your credit card machine into a versatile tool for running your business.
  • Compatibility. Your credit card machine should work seamlessly with your existing systems and software, reducing the capital investment required to add new hardware.
  • Portability. A portable credit card machine allows you to take payments anywhere, whether at a trade show, a pop-up event, a delivery, or on the sales floor.
  • Payment method support. Supporting various payment methods, including chip cards, contactless payments, and mobile wallets, ensures you can accommodate all your customers’ preferences.
  • Affordability. An affordable credit card machine helps you manage costs without sacrificing features to generate sales. Typically, standardized hardware is more affordable than proprietary devices and can be used even if you change processors

Clover: The All-in-One POS Solution

Clover offers a range of modern credit card machines designed to meet the needs of small businesses, including Clover Go, Clover Flex, and Clover Mini. In addition to large touchscreens and an aesthetically pleasing design, Clover devices allow you to track your sales, assign categories and labels to your inventory, manage schedules, and track performance.

Prices range from $99 for the Clover Go mobile card reader to $749 for the Clover Mini, making Clover an excellent option for low-volume and high-volume businesses. Plus, you get an abundance of business management features and apps that you won’t get with other credit card machines – allowing for continued growth.

With its low and negotiable rates and wide range of available Clover devices, LMS is an excellent option to consider.

Dejavoo: User-Friendly and Reliable Credit Card Machines

Focusing on robust and versatile credit card machines, Dejavoo offers a variety of countertops, wireless, mPOS, and pin pad terminals. Whether you choose an Android-based or Linux-based credit card machine, all Dejavoo terminals are automatically PCI compliant and can protect your customer’s financial information.

One great option for small businesses is Dejavoo’s Z11 EMV-certified terminal. This touch-enabled credit card machine has an integrated printer, mag card, chip card, and contactless capabilities. Its touchscreen can also process payments requiring signatures.

You can actually get a Dejavoo terminal for free by signing a contract with Payment Depot, a top processor that features quick onboarding and 24/7 customer support.

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SwipeSimple: Software-Based Solutions and Credit Card Readers

While it also offers terminals and registers, SwipeSimple specializes in mobile card readers. The SwipeSimple B200 and SwipeSimple B250 mobile card readers are great for small businesses, allowing you to accept EMV and magnetic stripe cards. If you want to accept tap-to-pay cards and digital wallets, B250 is the best choice.

In addition to its mobile readers, SwipeSimple’s mobile app allows you to accept credit card payments from anywhere – on both Android and iOS devices. Other software-related features include digital invoices via email or text messages, payment links, a reporting dashboard, and a virtual terminal for taking payments over the phone or on your computer.

SwipeSimple’s flexibility is best paired with Paysafe’s customized plans and multi-currency support.

Square: Customer-Driven POS Solutions

Square’s proprietary hardware is good for small businesses as it can integrate with certain third-party equipment, including receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners. It offers the Square Register, Square Terminal, Square Stand, or Square Reader – which will not integrate with third-party credit card machines. You can buy what you need individually, such as ‘kits’ or a preselection of several devices tailored to certain industries.

Each of its well-designed credit card machines is reasonably priced, ranging from $59 for the Square Reader to $799 for the Square Register. However, using its Tap to Pay feature on Android or iPhone, you can use your mobile device to process payments without equipment – all you have to do is download the free Square Point of Sale app.

PAX: Affordable and Standardized Credit Card Terminals

Combining the features of an Android tablet with the power of a POS terminal, PAX offers numerous credit card machines for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For small businesses, PAX’s A80 and A920 mobile terminals stand out with high-capacity batteries, integrated cameras, high-speed printers, and 4G, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity.

No matter the credit card machine you choose, every PAX terminal can work seamlessly with your existing credit card processor. Better yet, with prices ranging from $250 to $599, you don’t have to break the bank to start accepting payments.

These Are the Best Providers of Credit Card Machines for Small Businesses in 2024

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is an excellent credit card machine provider for small businesses, offering free POS equipment. If you sign a long-term contract, you’ll receive a free First Data FD150 device (great for customer-facing businesses) or a Magtek mini-MICR (excellent for safely processing checks). Both devices are PCI-compliant and have no additional fees, so you can start selling without any upfront cost.

Alternatively, you can purchase top-of-the-line POS equipment through LMS. Small businesses should pick Clover’s Flex or Mini terminal, which are excellent for power and portability and allow you to simplify bookkeeping, leverage sales data, and access the Clover App Marketplace.

In addition to top-quality hardware, LMS offers industry-low rates ideal for cost-conscious businesses. You can expect to pay around ~0.15% + $0 for swiped card transactions and ~2.9% + 30¢ for virtual terminal transactions, with a small subscription-style fee of $9.00/month.

Features and Benefits

  • Merchant cash advances. If you don’t have the capital to invest in Clover’s hardware but seek its advanced features, LMS offers merchant cash advances that you repay through a percentage of your credit card sales – no collateral required.
  • 24/7 technical support. You can get in touch with its technical support team at any time, even outside regular working hours. To contact them, you can email or call them directly and get a response in just a few minutes.
  • Payment methods. LMS supports all major credit and debit cards, including Google, Apple, and Samsung Pay. Plus, if you opt for a Clover device, you can accept PayPal and Venmo payments.
  • High approval rating. With an industry-high approval rating of 98%, you don’t have to worry about your risk rating, credit score, or transaction history affecting your application.
Read our expert LMS review for more details.

Free terminal or
mobile card reader
(Free First Data FD150
or Magtek mini-MICR)
mPOS solutions (Authorize.Net, Clover Go,
and SwipeSimple)
For brick-and-mortar &
e-commerce businesses
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
~0.15% + $0
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$9.00

Paysafe offers a free mobile card reader for brick-and-mortar businesses, allowing you to turn your Android or iOS device into a POS terminal. Combined with the Paysafe Mobile Pay app, small businesses can key in card information, send digital invoices, and prepare receipts without purchasing expensive credit card machines.

Small businesses can also purchase or lease Clover terminals, the PAX A920 and A80 credit card machines, and the First Data FD150. This means you can pick the most suitable hardware for your small business needs, whether that’s a robust countertop device or a wireless solution.

Plus, Paysafe’s cash discount plan allows in-person small businesses to cut up to 100% of their processing fees by surcharging card-paying customers (and thereby incentivizing cash payments). The plan costs $16.00/month, less than what many businesses pay in transaction fees each month. If your customers prefer to pay by card, Paysafe also offers a competitively priced interchange-plus plan for $7.95/month with transaction fees of 0.50% + $0.10.

Features and Benefits

  • Omnichannel payments. You can accept over 260 payment methods with Paysafe, catering to diverse customer needs without a credit card machine. Examples include digital invoicing, MOTO, pay-by-link, and QR codes.
  • Comprehensive dashboard. Paysafe’s dashboard gives you complete control over your transactions and provides detailed analytics to inform your business decisions.
  • Compliance and security. Paysafe is PCI-compliant and offers robust security features like end-to-end encryption and tokenization.
  • Risk management team. A dedicated risk management team monitors your transactions in real-time to proactively prevent fraudulent activity and chargebacks.
Check out our comprehensive Paysafe review to find out more.

Free terminal or
mobile card reader
(Free mobile card
reader)
mPOS solutions (Paysafe Mobile Pay
app)
For brick-and-mortar &
e-commerce businesses
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
$0 (1%-4% surcharge to customers)
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$16.00

Square provides a range of proprietary hardware designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). You can get a free mobile reader that connects to your device, allowing you to accept payments from anywhere. It doesn’t require a battery, works without Wi-Fi, can process swipe payments, and only costs $10 if you need more than one.

For businesses unable to afford high-tech hardware like the Square dual-screen register or Square terminal, Square offers an iPad POS Stand for $149 or $14/month. As long as you own a compatible iPad (Lightning or USB-C), you can use the free Square Point of Sale app and its built-in hardware to accept chip and contactless payments.

Notably, Square offers a ‘free’ plan for small businesses and startups without setup or monthly fees. The benefit is that you only pay when you take a payment and don’t have to worry about losing money due to a reduction in customers. On Square’s free plan, you’ll pay 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction.

Features and Benefits

  • Instant access to funds. If you decide to open one of Square’s FDIC-insured small business checking accounts, you get instant access to your money.
  • Same-day approval. Once you’ve signed up, you can get your business up and running and start processing payments almost immediately.
  • Advanced business software. Square’s software and business management apps integrate seamlessly with your credit card machine. It offers tools for inventory management, sales tracking, and customer engagement. You can even build an online store.
  • Free PCI compliance. You can rest assured that your customer’s data is protected from fraud as Square offers free PCI compliance to all its merchants.
For more details, take a look at our in-depth Square review.

Free terminal or
mobile card reader
(Free Square Reader for
magstripe)
mPOS solutions (Square Point of Sale
app)
For brick-and-mortar &
e-commerce businesses
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
2.6% + 10¢
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
N/A

4. Payment Depot: Free Dejavoo Z11 Terminals for New Businesses1

Every small business that opens a merchant account with Payment Depot gets a free Dejavoo Z11 credit card machine. Plus, if one isn’t enough for your business, you may be able to negotiate multiple free Dejavoo terminals and save even more money.

Payment Depot is also a verified Clover reseller and offers a SwipeSimple mobile reader for purchase. This provides flexibility and ensures you can find the right hardware for your business needs, whether you prefer a more traditional terminal or a mobile payment solution.

A huge benefit of Payment Depot is its transparent subscription plans, which have no transaction markups. Both plans (Starter and Growth) come with transaction fees of 0% + 10¢ (in-person), allowing you to save up to 40% on processing fees. The plans cost $79.00 or $99.00/month, respectively, and only allow you to process up to $150,000/year. Alternatively, Payment Depot also has a competitively priced interchange-plus plan, with rates starting from 0.2%-1.95%.

Features and Benefits

  • 24/7 technical support. You can contact Payment Depot at any time if you run into issues with your credit card machines or need specialized support.
  • 24/7 risk monitoring team. Its 24/7 risk team oversees your transactions to detect and prevent fraudulent activities and ensure your business’s security.
  • Next-day deposits. Payment Depot helps maintain your cash flow by providing next-day deposits to all merchants, regardless of your monthly sales volume or subscription.
  • All-in-one payment dashboard. The dashboard centralizes your payment processing data and offers comprehensive insights into your transactions, sales, and inventory.
Read our extensive Payment Depot review to learn more.

Free terminal or
mobile card reader
(Free Dejavoo Z11 credit
card terminals)
mPOS solutions (Authorize.Net)
For brick-and-mortar &
e-commerce businesses
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$79.00

5. Stax: Diverse Range of Top-Tier Credit Card Machines for SMEs1

Stax offers a comprehensive range of credit card machines for purchase, making it a great choice for small businesses. You can choose from six terminals and one mobile reader from SwipeSimple, Dejavoo, and Clover, giving you access to the best POS hardware on the market.

Additionally, by installing Stax’s mobile app on your smartphone or tablet, you can use your device as a credit card machine to take in-person payments. You can also manually enter card details, charge saved cards on customer accounts, and create invoices on the go.

If your business processes over $8,000 monthly, Stax’s subscription-based pricing model can help save up to 40% in processing fees. However, if your processing volume is less than that, Stax’s subsidiary, Payment Depot, is probably a more cost-effective solution.

Features and Benefits

  • Integrates with over 90% of third-party POS systems. Stax is compatible with over 90% of third-party POS systems, allowing you to use your existing credit card machines without worrying about compatibility issues.
  • Responsive live chat. With live chat support, Stax ensures you receive quick assistance to minimize disruptions to your business.
  • E-commerce integrations. Stax’s seamless e-commerce integrations make it easy to manage online and in-store sales from a single platform. It integrates with popular gateways like BigCommerce and Magento to optimize payments on your existing store.
  • Business integrations. Automate workflows and save time on repetitive tasks by connecting with hundreds of apps for project management, marketing, and accounting software – thanks to Zapier.
Read our detailed Stax review for more information.

Free terminal or
mobile card reader
mPOS solutions (Stax Mobile app, Clover
Go, and SwipeSimple)
For brick-and-mortar &
e-commerce businesses
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
$99.00

6. Chase Payment Solutions: Standardized Machines and More for Small Businesses1

Chase Payment Solutions offers standardized and proprietary credit card machines tailored for small businesses, including five POS devices for purchase. For those seeking modern, fully-featured credit card terminals, the proprietary Chase Smart Terminal is available for $499. However, it cannot be reprogrammed, meaning it won’t integrate with your existing POS equipment​.

For standardized equipment, Chase offers several options, including the Verifone VX520 and VX680, the Ingenico ICT250 and iWL 250 pin pad, and the Ingenico Desk/5000. These terminals are reliable and versatile, accommodating various payment methods such as chip, swipe, contactless payments, and digital wallets in multiple currencies.

For businesses with a tight budget, Chase also offers the Chase POS app, which lets you turn your smartphone into a credit card reader. Like Paysafe and Square, Chase’s POS app allows you to process payments, manage inventory, and create invoices. You’ll need a Chase business checking account for this feature, but even that has its own benefits.

Features and Benefits

  • Chase Business Complete Banking. If you decide to open Chase’s small business checking account for $15/month, you can get free next-day payouts and fraud protection services. Plus, Chase will waive its monthly fee if you maintain a $2,000 daily balance.
  • Industry-specific tools. Chase provides or integrates with industry-specific tools, including tools for subscription management, construction project management and invoicing, rent collection and property management, and marketing.
  • Comprehensive developer toolkit. Chase’s developer toolkit enables easy integration with your existing e-commerce store. It includes APIs and SDKs that can help you customize your payment solutions.
  • Built-in security. Chase promises to provide all merchants with top-tier security measures, which is pretty believable coming from one of the world’s biggest banks.
To learn more, explore our expert Chase review.

Free terminal or
mobile card reader
mPOS solutions (Chase POS app)
For brick-and-mortar &
e-commerce businesses
Transaction fees on
cheapest plan
2.6% + 10¢
Monthly fee on
cheapest plan
N/A

These Are the Best Credit Card Machine Providers for Small Businesses

Finding the right credit card machine is important, but finding the right credit card processor is more important. Each service offers unique benefits tailored to small businesses:

Leaders Merchant Services is the best for SMBs1 seeking free POS equipment and industry-low rates. It’s also a verified Clover reseller, so you can purchase top-of-the-line equipment too.

If you’re looking for a variety of credit card machines on offer, Paysafe is a great choice1. It offers Clover, Pax, and FD150s for purchase and a free card reader. Plus, you can eliminate credit card processing fees by encouraging your customers to pay in cash.

Or, if you’d rather purchase proprietary credit card machines and get instant access to your funds, go with Square1. It offers a free plan that allows you to sell in person, online, or over the phone without any setup or monthly fees.

Check out the table below to compare the top credit card machine providers.
Best Feature Best For Monthly fee
on cheapest
plan
Transaction
fees on
cheapest
plan
Leaders
Merchant
Services
Free equipment
for every
merchant
Budget-conscious
SMEs and
startups
$9.00 ~0.15% + $0
Paysafe Complimentary
card reader and
mobile pay app
Small in-person
businesses
accepting cash
$16.00 $0 (1%-4% surcharge to customers)
Square High-tech
proprietary
hardware
Recently
established
businesses
looking to avoid
monthly fees
N/A 2.6% + 10¢
Payment
Depot
Free Dejavoo
Z11 terminals
Small
businesses
processing less
than $150,000/year
$79.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Stax Largest
selection of
credit card
machines
Small
businesses
processing at
least $8,000/month
$99.00 0% + 10¢ (in-person)
Chase
Payment
Solutions
Standardized
credit card
machines
SMEs looking for
robust and
reliable
equipment
N/A 2.6% + 10¢

FAQ

What credit card machine is best for small businesses?

Clover offers the best credit card machines for small businesses, giving you access to thousands of advanced business management apps. In addition, it has great options for every small business, with prices ranging from $99 to $749. To buy Clover machines, I recommend Leaders Merchant Services, a verified Clover reseller offering industry-low rates.

How much does it cost a business to use a card machine?

How much you’ll pay to use a credit card machine depends on your payment processor. For example, if you choose Square’s free plan and purchase a terminal outright, you’ll pay a transaction fee of 2.6% + 10¢. If you lease your equipment, you can expect to pay about $14 – $27/month.

How much is a credit card machine for my business?

Prices for credit card machines vary depending on their features, design, and whether they’re proprietary or standardized (able to work with most payment processors). Standardized credit card machines are often the most affordable, ranging from $200 – $500. A great example of a standardized device is the First Data FD150 terminal, which you can get from Paysafe.

How do I get a card machine for my small business?

To get a card machine for your small businesses, you can either purchase one directly from the manufacturer or ask your payment processor what equipment they offer. The benefit of getting your equipment from a payment processor is that you can negotiate discounts or even free terminals. If you want help choosing a provider, check out our guide to the top credit card processors in 2024.

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