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SumUp offers a range of portable card readers and POS devices, invoicing and reporting capabilities, and business accounts. Pair this with an all-in-one, easy-to-use dashboard, and SumUp’s cheap, no-frills processing opens a world of possibilities for self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and small businesses alike.
Larger operations, however, will probably require a lot more horsepower than what SumUp can offer.
Headache-free Processing for Freelancers and Micro-enterprises
Between confusing fee structures, choosing from a gazillion point-of-sale (POS) devices, and interpreting the very fine print on contracts, the process of choosing the right payment processor can quickly become overwhelming.
After weeks of researching SumUp and compiling merchant reviews, I can confidently say that SumUp offers a straightforward and user-friendly alternative to more traditional payment processing. Its no-contract policy means that you can try its services risk free, and you’ll be able to easily accept payments through a variety of channels.
On the other hand, larger enterprises might find SumUp to be too simple, as it doesn’t offer the advanced analytics, customer management, e-commerce options, and payment flexibility that other processors do. Still, for small businesses looking for a no-frills processor, there aren’t many better options than SumUp.
SumUp is also available in many countries, including the US, UK, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and most of the EU.
Is SumUp right for you and your business, or would you be better off with a more fully-featured alternative? Keep reading to find out.
SumUp Offers a Set of Basic but Reliable Core Features
Though it doesn’t offer the same laundry list of features that some of its competitors do (such as real-time analytics, POS variety, and accounting software integrations), SumUp’s merchant services are more than enough to cover the needs of almost anyindependent contractor or small business.
Its POS equipment, in particular, offers a refreshingly simple way to accept card-present transactions. That said, SumUp could benefit significantly from expanding its e-commerce offering.
Impressive POS Hardware For Taking Payments On-the-Go
SumUp offers just two readers for card-present transactions. What’s more, its software doesn’t integrate with any third-party hardware, nor does its hardware work with any third-party processor. With so many restrictions in place, the available devices better be outstanding – and they are.
The SumUp Plus is a small, pin entry device that connects to your IOS or Android device via Bluetooth. From there, you’ll need to access the SumUp app to enter the transaction’s details. With SumUp Plus, it only takes a few seconds to process any card-present transaction from anywhere.
If you prefer a more robust option, there’s the SumUp Solo card reader. The Solo comes with free, unlimited roaming data so you can process payments without having to connect it to your phone’s app. The reader has a small, rectangular touchscreen that lets you complete every step of the transaction directly from the device. It also comes with options for sending SMS and email receipts, as well as adding a tip option to your transactions.
Both devices are available with a one-time purchase of $35 and $99, respectively, which make them a cheap alternative to more cumbersome, heavy POS terminals.
You can accept chipped, swiped, and NFC payments from all major credit and debit cards, as well as Apple and Google Pay with any of SumUp’s POS devices. The same goes for virtual payments, and funds take anywhere from one to three business days to drop into your account.
Easy Invoicing and the Essential Tools for E-commerce
Once you’ve signed up with SumUp, simply link your bank account to send and receive transfers, including card and digital wallet payments, right away. You can send invoices through a link, QR code, or directly through SumUp if your client has a SumUp account. SumUp’s dashboard makes the process of creating invoices easy.
If you’d rather sell products directly from your site, SumUp comes with a proprietary website builder. It’s not the most advanced e-commerce platform I’ve seen. The analytics tools are very barebones, and the builder itself doesn’t offer much in the way of customization options. That said, it still gives you more than enough to build a basic online store.
Many payment aggregators that offer website builders only let you sell from sites built with their own platform. However, SumUp lets you integrate custom shopping carts to any WordPress, WooCommerce, or Wix site. It even offers a free shopping cart API if you prefer to customize your checkout options.
Separate Business Accounts To Keep Your Finances in Order
If you’ve been looking into other credit card processors, this feature might sound redundant. After all, isn’t a separate business account what all processors should offer?
But SumUp’s payout model differs from most credit card processors. It’s more similar to PayPal, giving you a single, convenient platform to make transfers to and from your personal bank account.
For independent contractors (such as therapists, lawyers, doctors, electricians, personal trainers, etc.), this can greatly simplify the process of receiving payments. But if you’d rather keep your business and personal finances separate, SumUp offers free business accounts. If you’re already a SumUp member, you can apply directly from the iOS app.
Business accounts come with a full suite of banking services for businesses. If you decide to open one, you even get a free Mastercard debit card for business purchases with a $2,500 limit. Unfortunately, you can only access a business account through the iOS app, but SumUp promises that Android compatibility is just around the corner.
Extra Restaurant Features and Accepted Payment Methods
Though it isn’t brimming with extra features, the SumUp app does offer basic check splitting and table tracking for restaurants, as well as the option to create virtual gift cards for your customers.
Ease of use
SumUp’s Ease of Use Is Unrivaled
SumUp’s philosophy revolves around being as convenient as possible to use, and it shows. Signing up with SumUp is a swift and straightforward process. You need a lot less documentation than with other processors, and you can get approved 1-2 days after applying.
Getting Started With SumUp
Once you click on the “Get started now” button on the SumUp home page, you’ll be immediately redirected to a page asking you which card reader you’d like to buy. If you don’t need POS equipment right now, you can bypass this optional step by clicking Sign up on the bottom left corner of the page.
You’ll have to provide an email address, create a password, and select your country of business. On the following screen, you’ll have to fill in your personal, business, and bank information. After that, it’s just a matter of waiting for your account to be vetted.
SumUp accepts most merchant applications, but I’d still recommend checking out the list of restricted business types beforehand.
One of SumUp’s most convenient features is its all-in-one dashboard. From here, you can send and receive invoices, create item lists and custom categories, access sales analytics, and more. It only takes a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the dashboard, which lets you manage every aspect of your business from a centralized hub.
There is also a SumUp app available for Android and iOS, so you can access and edit your data wherever you are.
Adding Your Cash Revenue to Your SumUp Reports Is Easy
SumUp’s POS equipment offering doesn’t include a cash register, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that integrating cash payment into your dashboard isn’t possible – but that’s not the case. To add cash payments to your reports, simply go to the SumUp app and toggle “Accept cash payments.”
Not only will this allow you to add cash payments to your dashboard reports, but you can also send custom receipts to clients, just like you would with a card payment. SumUp even comes with an automatic change calculator so you don’t have to waste time on tedious math.
SumUp Offers Simple Pricing With No Hidden Fees
SumUp’s pricing model is refreshingly simple. You only pay a one-time fee for any POS equipment and a small percentage on each card transaction you process. That’s it – no monthly fee, no PCI-compliance fee, and no hidden costs.
The transaction fee is 2.75% for card-present transactions, 2.90% + 15¢ for payments made via invoice, and 3.25% + 15¢ for any other card-not-present transactions. The fees themselves are pretty reasonable (though far from the lowest I’ve seen), and the simplicity of the model is ideal if you just want to start processing as soon as possible.
On the other hand, this ultra-simple approach means you can’t get the benefits of certain pricing plans – such as cash discount plans – that other processors offer. In fact, SumUp explicitly prohibits you from offering any kind of cash discount, hindering your ability to pass on your processing fees to your card-paying customers.
SumUp adheres to the highest standards set by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council. This means that SumUp uses state-of-the-art encryption and tokenization technology to keep your and your customers’ data secure during every transaction.
Beyond this, however, it doesn’t offer much in terms of additional security features or even PCI-compliance assistance.
PCI Compliance & More
Besides being Level 1 PCI-compliant, SumUp is also compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), so any EU-based merchants can be confident in SumUp’s high standards of data security. If you’re not well-versed in these standards, however, SumUp doesn’t offer any PCI compliance assistance at the moment.
Fortunately, because SumUp is a payment aggregator (as opposed to a merchant services provider), there is a lot less you have to do to ensure you’re PCI-compliant on your end.
SumUp offers an online security center which provides digestible information on how to ensure your transactions are secure, as well as general security tips. Unfortunately, SumUp doesn’t offer much more in terms of additional security features.
Support Is Friendly and Helpful if You Don’t Mind Calling
If you want to contact SumUp’s customer support, you can either send an email or call its toll-free number Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST. To test the effectiveness of its support, I emailed to ask about the kind of documents I’d need in order to open a business account.
No sooner than 24 hours later, I received this response:
You could argue this response was adequate. Although it essentially just boils down to “check out our page,” SumUp’s knowledge base does offer a very comprehensive set of information. Still, the email didn’t actually answer my question directly (unless you count “banking details” as a specific response), which left me more than a little annoyed.
I decided to try my luck and call support directly. This time, my experience was much better. I was connected in less than two minutes and received a friendly and in-depth answer to all my questions. The rapid response and friendly service were even more impressive when you consider that I called at the earliest possible hour.
If you have a pressing question for SumUp’s support, I definitely recommend picking up the phone.
Alternatively, if you’re the self-study type, SumUp’s comprehensive knowledge center should be more than enough to get most of your questions answered. Be advised, though: the support center could be better organized, which means finding the right answer to your question can sometimes take longer than it should.
SumUp offers an outstanding service for new and small businesses that only require the credit card processing basics. Its simple contracts, uncomplicated payment model, and fast onboarding make it an ideal choice if you’re looking for a barebones but reliable option for processing credit cards.
If you’re a merchant that requires more advanced features, or if you process over $5,000 a month, you’d likely benefit from a more complete merchant service provider like Stax. Ultimately, it’s a trade-off. Traditional merchant service providers generally have a (somewhat) more involved sign-up process and pricing structure, so whether it’s worth the additional work needed to set up a merchant account will depend on your particular needs.
For a quick recap, here’s a quick summary of SumUp’s main pros and cons.
Cheap transaction fees with no hidden costs
Portable, easy-to-use POS equipment
Fast and intuitive onboarding process
A single, user-friendly dashboard for managing all your movements
The markup fees are higher than those of some competitors
Lacks advanced industry-specific features and integrations
Does SumUp have a monthly fee?
No, SumUp does not charge a monthly fee. If you want to use SumUp’s POS, all you have to do is sign up for a SumUp account and order one of the available devices. You’ll have to pay a one-time fee for the cost of the device, and you’ll then be charged a small percentage of every transaction.
How much does SumUp charge per transaction?
The cost depends on the kind of transaction. Card-present transactions processed using SumUp’s POS equipment will cost you a smaller percentage fee than transactions made using its virtual terminal. You can go to the pricing section to find a full breakdown of SumUp’s prices.
Can I use SumUp POS without Wi-Fi?
Yes. You can use any of SumUp’s POS devices without Wi-Fi, though the SumUp Plus device does require your smartphone to be connected to the internet. The SumUp Solo, however, comes with unlimited mobile data, which means that you can use it almost anywhere.
Does SumUp work with PayPal?
Unfortunately, no. As a direct competitor, SumUp does not work with PayPal, but you can still use SumUp to process payments from all major credit and debit cards.
Andrés Gánem is a Colorado-born, Mexico-City-raised freelance writer and content creator. He’s been doing that for a while. When he’s not writing, he should be, but you can find him reading adventure novels, playing video games, or drinking frankly unhealthy amounts of coffee. If you see him, tell him to put down that coffee. He’s shaky enough as it is.