SumUp vs Zettle: comparison and review

sumup vs zettle

The card reader we choose for our business is very important. If we choose the wrong one, we will end up paying more than we need to for a service that may not be the best.

Banks are the main point of reference when we look for a POS system. However, their card readers are usually more expensive, their fees are higher, and their services are not necessarily better.

In fact, some POS systems, such as SumUp or Zettle, offer better services, and their card readers are more advanced. Moreover, their devices have no fixed monthly fees or contractual obligations.

TPV Sumup


  • Cheap and easy to use POS.
  • Sign up for only 39£.
  • 1.69% commission for transaction.
  • Online contracting and without permanence.
TPV Zettle


  • Low-cost POS (one-time payment of £29).
  • 1.75% per transaction.
  • No maintenance fees.
  • Linked to cell phone.

That’s why today I bring you a comparison of these two brands of card readers, to help you see their advantages and disadvantages so that you can choose a card reader with a flexible price, adapted to your business and with the best features.

Comparison Chart: SumUp vs. Zettle

Card ReaderPriceCommissionsFeatures
SumUp Air39£ + VAT1.69% per transaction.Built-in keyboard.
No screen or printer.
Needs to be connected to a smartphone to work.
SumUp 3G Solo79£ + VAT1.69% per transaction.Built-in keyboard and display.
Sends payment receipts via SMS.
SumUp 3G + Printer129£ + VAT1.69% per transaction.Includes base with thermal printer.
Zettle29£ + VAT1.75% per transaction.Wireless.
Linked to cell phone.
Without printer.

SumUp Features

SumUp is a company that has been offering POS services for years, so they know perfectly the needs of their users and offer high-quality card readers that adapt to your business.

Like Zettle, this company charges for its services through commissions on a per-sale basis, rather than fixed monthly fees. SumUp’s commission is 1.69% of the total amount of each transaction.

This is why many start-ups or seasonal businesses that have periods of total inactivity choose their services. If you don’t bill, they don’t charge anything.

SumUp currently has two different devices and both are wireless.

SumUp Air

The first model is the SumUp Air card reader: a very light and easy-to-use mobile POS system.

This card reader connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet device on which the SumUp application (compatible with Android and iOS) has been previously installed. In this application, you will be able to configure the product catalogue, as well as add employee profiles and manage the accounting of your business.

To complete a purchase, you will only have to select the products from the SumUp catalogue that you have to have previously customised, adding a name, description and price for each option. The total amount of the purchase will be calculated automatically.

If you prefer, you can enter the total amount to be paid directly from the SumUp app, without selecting products.

When you choose “Card Reader” as your payment method, SumUp Air will be activated and ready to receive your payment.

TPV Sumup


  • Cheap and easy to use POS.
  • Sign up for only 39£.
  • 1.69% commission for transaction.
  • Online contracting and without permanence.

SumUp 3G

If this sounds simple to you, the SumUp 3G will be even simpler to operate. This terminal connects via a SIM card with access to the mobile data network. Its design is similar to that of the SumUp Air, but it is completely autonomous.

That is, it does not need to connect to the application. With it, you can charge your customers directly by entering the total amount of the purchase in their reader.

Both terminals allow a copy of the payment receipt to be sent digitally, via SMS or email.

If you prefer to print the copy to hand it to your customers, you can buy the SumUp printer base, compatible with your dataphones.

Their dataphones are for sale, so you will save on rental fees. Their prices are as follows:

Model Price (excluding VAT)
SumUp Air £39
SumUp 3G £79
SumUp 3G + Printer £129

Advantages of SumUp

  • Application: accounting management, employee profiles, customisable catalogue, calculates total purchases automatically.
  • Receive your payments in 2 or 3 working days in your bank account or sign up for the free SumUp prepaid card to receive them on the same day.
  • SumUp prepaid card: make transfers, cash withdrawals or pay at businesses.
  • SumUp Air: lightweight, wireless, connection to SumUp application, easy to use.
  • SumUp 3G: wireless, 3G connection, easy to use, lightweight, printer dock compatible.
  • Low commission, no fixed part.
  • No fixed monthly fees or contractual obligations.

Disadvantages of SumUp

  • SumUp Air: cannot be used without a smart device to connect to.
  • SumUp 3G: You cannot connect to the SumUp mobile application.
  • The commission does not pay off if you have very high tariffs. SumUp only offers customised tariffs for clients with annual turnover of more than 100,000£

Zettle (iZettle) Features

Zettle is another brand, along with SumUp, that offers POS services for a fixed and low commission rate.

Zettle’s commission is fixed at 1.75% on each transaction.

Like SumUp, Zettle does not charge you anything if you do not invoice anything. In other words, it only charges per transaction, with no fixed monthly fees or contractual obligations.

As in the previous case, its dataphone is for sale in order to save on the maintenance or rental costs that other institutions charge their customers. In the case of Zettle, its Zettle Reader 2 dataphone, the only model on sale, costs £59 (VAT not included).

This card reader is currently on offer and you can get your first card reader for £29 (VAT not included).

This device, which as I said is the only one offered by the brand, is quite similar to the SumUp Air dataphone. It connects to a smartphone or tablet via the Zettle app.

Zettle mobile app

Zettle’s mobile application on a Tablet

With the Zettle mobile app you can configure your catalogue with name, characteristics, description and price. These parameters can then be entered into the catalogue search engine to speed up the sales process.

You can also add your shop’s stock to the catalogue, so you can check the stock available at any time.

The Zettle app (compatible with iOS and Android) also allows you to manage your business accounting, create employee profiles with restricted access to the catalogue, and generate customised statistics and analysis of your business and customers.

In addition, Zettle offers different accessories compatible with its device so that you can set up a complete POS system, ideal for shops or businesses that charge at the counter.

These accessories are a charging stand for the Zettle Reader 2 dataphone, a tablet holder, a cash register with a cash drawer, a barcode reader and a receipt printer.

Zettle Advantages

  • Zettle Reader 2: rugged, lightweight and cordless design. Made of non-slip materials, it provides a better grip.
  • Compatible accessories for a complete POS system.
  • Charge your dataphone with a micro USB cable or with the Zettle charging base.
  • Zettle application: employee profiles, accounting management, catalogue, and statistics.
  • Catalogue with search engine and stock management.
  • Variable commission based on the monthly card billing of your business.

Zettle Disadvantages

  • Higher standard commission than the competition.
  • Only one card reader model is available.
  • Zettle Reader 2: can only be used in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet, it is not standalone.

Which is the best POS system for your business? SumUp vs Zettle

The truth is that both alternatives have great quality and a very competitive price. Their Card Readers are functional and convenient to use and carry, and are well suited to the same type of business.

This is the reason why I cannot objectively determine that one is better than the other. It will depend on the characteristics of your business which one will suit you better.

Since SumUp Air and Zettle Reader 2 are two very similar terminals, as far as terminals are concerned, the main difference is in the SumUp 3G Card Reader.

If you need a standalone terminal that you can use without taking out your cell phone or tablet to cash, SumUp wins the battle as it offers a Card Reader with these features. If this is not your case, the decision will depend on your billing.

While SumUp is the best alternative for businesses with a low turnover (or over 100,000£ for customized tariffs), Zettle is the ideal POS for businesses with a high average card turnover.

It will depend on your turnover and the characteristics of your business which one is best for you. At the end of the day, only you know what you need, so only you can decide which is the best POS.

SumUp Air: 39£ + VAT

Zettle Reader 2: 29£ + VAT

Frequently asked questions about SumUp and Zettle

How does SumUp work?

SumUp’s terminals operate wirelessly and allow you to charge using contactless or via the chip card reader. Both dataphones accept all major payment methods.

In the case of SumUp Air, it works by connecting to a smart device. SumUp 3G, on the other hand, works with a SIM card with access to the mobile data network.

Is the Zettle card reader available for £29?

Currently, yes, but only for a limited time! The Zettle Reader 2 card reader usually costs £59. Please note that VAT must be added to both prices.