These days, a business needs to take card payments in order to thrive. Luckily, you can do so easily with an mPOS solution
mPOS (mobile point of sale) is a type of portable EPOS system, with your smartphone or tablet acting as the register. An mPOS system enables you to take payments on the go, making them ideal for pop-up stores, market sellers, home service businesses, and food vans.
An mPOS solution consists of your mobile device, card reader, and POS software. These three parts allow you to input, take, and process a transaction – you’ll even be able to keep track of your transactions, and analyse sales data collected by your point of sale software.
‘Tap-and-go’ culture has become an integral part of the payment industry, with people leaving cash behind and paying by card for sums that may total no more than a couple of pence.
Thanks to mobile POS solutions, businesses can start accepting and processing card payments easily, and for an extremely low price. This is because you already own one third of the system – your mobile device.
How does mPOS work?
As we’ve already mentioned, an mPOS system is a system that combines your mobile device, card reader, and POS software.
But how does it all fit together?
- Purchase a card reader
- Download the supplier’s POS software onto your mobile device
- Use Bluetooth to connect your phone to the card reader
- The card reader will automatically sync up to the software
- Start taking payments
That’s it! You can literally order your card reader, and start taking card payments using your mobile point of sale system moments after you receive it.
It’s important to note, however, that most mPOS suppliers will charge you a per transaction fee. This means for every transaction you make, the supplier takes a small percentage. This is exactly the way in which a merchant account from a credit card company (such as Visa) would work, too.
A customer purchases a spicy chicken wrap and a soft drink for £10.
In this example, let’s say your mPOS supplier charges a transaction fee of 1.75%.
That means for every £10 you take, your mPOS supplier takes 17.5p.
So, would you rather have your mPOS supplier take 17.5p, or lose out on a £10 sale because you’re not taking card payments?
We know which way we’d rather have it!
The best mPOS solutions for your business
So who does it best? Let’s find out which suppliers offer the best mPOS solutions.
According to our research, the suppliers that offer the best mPOS solutions for your business are:
See how they square up against each other in the table below.
|Card reader||Reader price||Transaction fee||Point of sale app||Star rating||Best for|
|iZettle 2||£29 (+VAT)||1.75%||Free||4.5 stars||Style factor|
|Square||£29 (+VAT)||1.75%||Free||4.5 stars||Customisation|
|Worldpay||£69 (+VAT)||1.95% – 2.75%||Free||4.5 stars||Scalability|
|SumUp||£29 (+VAT)||1.69%||Free||4 stars||Low fees|
|PayPal Here||£45 (+VAT)||1% – 2.75%||Free||4 stars||POS app flexibility|
The great thing about having a mobile point of sale system is you can easily invest in additional hardware as and when it’s required.
Here’s how a mobile point of sale system can evolve with the size of your business:
- Mobile device
- Card reader
Medium and large businesses
- Mobile device
- Card reader
- Receipt printer
- Cash drawer
- Barcode scanner
The additional elements can either come in the form of a hub, or as individual elements depending on your requirements. They usually connect to your mobile card reader using a wireless internet connection.
This means you’ll be able to use your system as long as your mobile device is connected to 4G or wifi. Some mPOS systems even allow you to take payments in offline mode, synchronising payments with the app as soon as there’s an internet connection.
1. iZettle 2
Best for style factor
Neat, stylish, and clever, the iZettle mPOS system will help you get your business firmly off the ground. The card reader costs £29 (+VAT) and connects to your mobile device using a wireless or 4G connection, and collects sales information that’ll help you keep track of trends. So whether it’s helping you to figure out which menu items are flying off the shelves, or telling you to order more stock, the iZettle 2 mPOS system will help you to grow a successful business, with its free app and 1.75% transaction fees.
Best for customisation
While Square may be pushing it a little when it comes to credit card fees, it more than makes up for it with its powerful software system and card reader costing just £29 (+VAT). Square’s software is highly customisable, which means you can make it work for you – whether you own a restaurant or retail business. Its next best feature is its dashboard, which provides you with heaps of useful sales data. Pair this with Square’s in-built customer management system, and you’ll soon see your sales figures rising.
Best for scalability
Worldpay is the world’s biggest payment processing provider, with over 26 million transactions processed everyday. But why is Worldpay so popular? Firstly, its system is secure, rigid, and refined – you’ll benefit from fraud protection, fast payouts, and all manner of sales data. Secondly, its hardware package is very good as well, but its card reader does cost more than iZettle's and Square's, costing £69 (+VAT). Its card transaction fees are also higher, ranging from 1.95% to 2.75%.
My Business Hub is an all-in-one solution that includes a cash drawer, printer, and bar scanner – ideal for growing businesses.
Best for low fees
SumUp is another mPOS supplier that knows how to deliver a neat, stylish product. But it does have something up its sleeve to sway you in its direction – its low credit card processing fee of 1.69% with zero monthly or hidden fees. This low fee is very attractive, and one that small businesses should certainly take note of. However, SumUp’s software features are limited – and with scaled down reporting and no in-app invoicing, you do have to consider how this may affect your business in the future.
5. PayPal Here
Best for POS app flexibility
PayPal Here offers true flexibility, thanks to its ability to integrate with a range of other EPOS apps. This is particularly good for growing businesses, where the features you require from your POS app may change over time. And let’s not forget – transactions go straight into your business PayPal account, which means you don’t have to wait for the mPOS supplier to process the transaction before it appears in an accessible account. With card transaction fees starting from just 1%, it's one of the most generous suppliers around, too.
mPOS systems are great for small businesses – they’re cost-effective, stylish, and offer you all the tools you need to grow your business.
They are basic, though, and may not be the right solution for fast growing businesses. It may make more sense for you to invest in a full point of sale system, which will give you the option to print receipts on the spot, take cash payments, and even scan items with a barcode scanner.
If your business is fresh off the press, you can order a full EPOS system today and be taking payments by tomorrow – it really is that quick! And with Square, iZettle, and Worldpay offering full EPOS systems, why not see how much a POS system will cost you?
You can compare POS system quotes quickly and easily, just by filling in our online form. Once you’ve provided us with a few details about your business, the best suppliers for your requirements will be in touch!
What are the benefits of investing in an mPOS system?
Here are the top five reasons why you should invest in an mPOS system:
- Start taking card payments
- Quick payment processing
- Minor cost per transaction
- Benefit from a free POS app
- Serve customers on the go
- Great data insight
How easy is it to start selling online?
Remember that the best mPOS solution for your business may be one that allows you to sell online. Thankfully, the majority of mPOS providers let you do this – with Square and iZettle 2 being two of the best.
Both of these suppliers’ POS apps already include ecommerce functionality, making it easy for you to integrate the system into your online store. Just remember that mPOS suppliers tend to charge you more per transaction for online payments.