Take payments with a card reader

However you want to take cards, whether at a till point, at the table, or on the move, we've got the right card reader for your business.

Whether you're a long established business, or brand new to the card payments world, signing up with us is easy. We can come and visit you to tell you more about how a card reader could help your business.

Hand Tapping A Card Against The A920 Card Machine

Which card reader is best for my small business?

Whichever card reader you choose, it'll come with the latest tech, including contactless, Apple and Google Pay as standard. 

Which card reader is best for my small business?

You can accept all major credit and debit cards and contactless payments.

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Take your card reader to the next level.

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  • Safe, secure card and cash transactions
  • Realtime reporting on screen
  • Easy set up
Find out more


Great for serving customers from one place.

A Countertop Card Machine
  • Small, compact design
  • Connect by broadband or phone
  • Fast receipt printing
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Take payments around your shop floor.

A Portable Card Machine
  • Small and lightweight
  • 50m range via Bluetooth or WiFi
  • Long battery life
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Accept payments on the move.

A Mobile Card Machine
  • Built-in GPRS SIM card
  • Connect anywhere there's 4G signal
  • Long battery life
Find out more

How we can help.

5 Star Service
5 star customer service

Thousands of customers have already gone online to express their satisfaction with the 5 star service we provide.**

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A different approach

There’s no one-size-fits-all. One of our specialists can visit your business and find you our best solution.

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You're not on your own

Our Welcome Team will get you transacting quickly and confidently, and will be there if you've any questions.

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Get your money the next working day*

It's your money, so why wait for it? Keep your cash flowing with next day settlement.

Take payments with a card reader

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Accepted card payments

What is a card reader?

That’s an easy one. It’s just another name for a card machine. You might have also heard it referred to as a card payment terminal, a PDQ machine, or something else entirely, but they're all the same thing. 

They allow you to take credit and debit cards from your customers, including Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express.

We know that different small businesses need to take cards in different ways, which is why we offer a range of card readers and a tailormade pricing package to suit your individual needs.

Plus, all our card readers come equipped with contactless, so you can take faster payments on sales up to £100. Plus, you'll be able to accept Apple Pay and Android Pay too.

Whether you're brand new to cards, or are looking for a new provider, we're here to help.

Get a free quote
A920 terminal

Why take card payments with a card reader?

Card payments are continuing to rise. In fact, according to UK Finance, there were 1.5 billion debit and credit card transactions in the UK in March 2021, 24.7 per cent more than in February and 3.3 per cent more than in March 2020.

So, if you're not already taking cards with a card reader, you could be missing out on potential sales. Here are a few more benefits:

  • It's more convenient for your customers as it takes contactless card payments
  • It can speeds up your service, reducing queues
  • It's safer and more secure than cash
  • It can encourage people to spend more with you
Hairdressers Card Payment


Are card readers the same as a card machine?

Yes. A credit and debit card reader is another name for a card machine. In fact, they go by a few different names - you might have heard them called a PDQ machine, chip & PIN card reader or card payment machine too.

It’s a device that is used for payment processing, meaning you can accept card payments from your customers using their credit and debit cards and contactless card payments like Apple Pay and Android Pay.

We have a number of credit card readers to choose from. And which one is best for you will depend on how your business operates.

Need to take payments at a counter or reception? The countertop reader is ideal. It can plug in next to your till and connects using your phone line or broadband. It’s a great option if you only want customers to pay from one area.

If you have a café, restaurant or bar, our portable card machine will be ideal. It comes with a base unit which can be left plugged in at the counter, whilst you take payments using the handset at the table. As long as you’re within 50 metres of the base unit, you can get paid.

Our mobile card reader lets you take payments whilst out on the road. Using 3G, it connects to the strongest mobile network in your area to take payment. They’re ideal if you’re a tradesperson, courier, taxi service or if you work at different events.

All of our card readers are equipped to take contactless card payments up to the value of £100. 

You’ll be able to take standard chip and PIN payments for all of the main credit cards and debit cards, like Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express.

Got customers that want to make a contactless payment? No problem. With no extra cost to get set-up, all our card readers accept contactless cards as standard. They come with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay too.

At takepayments, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why we offer personalised pricing packages that are based on your business.

One of our local specialists will come and meet with you to help you get you the best deal. They’ll tailor the package based on your business type, your expected or current card turnover and what card reader you choose.

The pricing package will include the authorisation and transaction fee for each of your processed payments. It’ll also include your card reader rental fee.

Any business that takes card payments needs a merchant account. It works separately to your business bank account and is a holding area where the funds are checked and approved, before being transferred to your bank account.

When you join takepayments, we’ll help get you a merchant account set up free of charge with one of our partnered acquirers, such as Barclaycard.

Terms and conditions apply.

Businesses will be required to enter into and maintain a separate contract with an acquiring bank nominated by takepayments for the processing of the card transactions. Under the contract with the acquiring bank, transaction charges and other fees will apply.

*This service is available to takepayments Limited customers who are accepted for Barclaycard acquiring services and is subject to Barclaycard’s approval. Next day settlement refers to the next banking day. Your card machine’s banking window function must be performed before 8:30pm in order to receive settlement the next banking day. Transactions processed via Ecommerce pay pages, pay by link and virtual terminals may be subject to different settlement timescales.

**Correct as of June 2023.

Card readers

Simple, speedy and secure, take payments the easy way with a card reader


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Whether you’re new to the world of card readers, are looking to invest in one for the first time or are ready to upgrade the tech you’ve already got, you’re in the right place. We’ll bring you up to speed with everything you need to know and give you the lowdown on the latest models in our range.

What are card readers?

A card reader is just another name for a card machine, and it lets your business process payments made with debit or credit cards. You might also know them as PDQ machines, chip and PIN machines or card terminals. Essentially, they all let you take safe and secure card payments.
There are four different types of card readers, including:


Touchscreen card readers are the best you can get. Thanks to their intuitive interfaces, they put your business in the palm of your hand. They’re packed with clever features to help you track transactions, monitor stock levels, and view live reports.


Mobile card readers let you roam wild and free, as they can process card payments using Wi-Fi or mobile data such as 3G, 4G, or 5G. This means they’re not limited to a specific Wi-Fi range, which makes them a good payment partner for taxi drivers or if you’re on the road visiting customers’ homes or businesses regularly.


Portable card readers are like countertop card readers, except they use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to transmit data to a base device wirelessly. They’re not fixed to a till point, and they usually have a range of up to a hundred meters, so you can accept card payments out on the terrace or at a customer’s table, making them a great option for restaurants and cafes.


Countertop card readers must be physically connected to a POS system, so you’ll find them at fixed till points in places like supermarkets, clothing stores and hairdressers.

How do card readers work?

The beauty of card readers is they can work with many different payment methods, including chip and PIN, contactless and mobile payments.

Chip and PIN

When card readers were first introduced, customers had to swipe their debit or credit cards in the machine. The terminal would print a receipt for the customer to sign to authorise the payment. The cashier would then check that the signature on the receipt matched the one on the back of the card.
Thankfully, in 2006, this long-winded approach made way for chip and PIN. Instead of signing a receipt, customers can type a unique PIN that’s personal to them into the reader to pay for things.


Contactless payments have surged for purchases below the £100 threshold in recent years. While it’s often referred to as ‘Tap to pay’ or ‘Tap and go’, you don’t have to physically tap the card against the reader. Simply hover it over the top, hold it there for a second or two while the transaction goes through and wait for a beep or a message to flash onscreen to say whether the payment was successful.


The latest evolution of payment transactions comes in the form of mobile. This is where you can use an app (like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay) on your smart device to securely store your debit and credit card details and pay for things.
When you hover your smartphone above a card reader to pay for something, NFC (Near Field Communication) technology will safely transfer your payment details between the devices.

Whether your customer pays by chip and PIN, contactless or mobile, the last few steps of the payment process are the same. Here’s a quick breakdown of how a card reader processes a payment.

Step 1: Once a customer has entered their PIN or tapped their card or smartphone to make a payment, their card provider will be sent a request for approval to make sure the funds are available in their bank account.
Step 2: Once approved, the funds will be taken from the customer’s account and deposited into your merchant account.
Step 3: The funds will then be settled into your business bank account (the number of days this takes will depend on your provider).

What are the benefits of using a card reader?

Boost sales

Card readers offer two very important plus points to businesses and customers alike – convenience and security. They’re a safer option than carrying cash, and their flexibility allows customers to choose their preferred payment method, creating more opportunities for your business to capture sales.

Card readers enable customers to wave goodbye to pockets full of change and the never-ending search for a cash machine. A study by Linnworks found nine in ten (90%) of consumers claimed seamless and convenient payment options speed up their decision-making and prompt them to spend more.

Fend off Fraud

By accepting card payments, you’ll automatically cut down on the cash you have to handle, which helps protect your business from potential theft or robberies. Plus, it saves you from frequent bank trips to make cash deposits or collect change for the till.

Card readers use encryption and payment tokenisation to transmit data over the internet securely. Payment tokenisation is a security technique that replaces sensitive payment information, such as credit card numbers, with a unique, random set of characters called a ‘token’. This process helps keep payment data safe during transactions because the actual card information isn’t being used or stored.

Track transactions

When a card payment is processed, it creates a digital record so you can easily monitor and analyse your sales data. This is useful when searching for specific transactions, like when a customer wants to return an item. So, instead of sifting through piles of receipts or manual logs, you can instantly find the information you need.

Sounds great, how do I get my own card reader?

To get started with any of our card readers, all you need to do is fill out our free quote form. We believe in the personal touch, so once that’s complete, we’ll be in touch to arrange a face-to-face at your place.
During the visit, we’ll get a good idea of what makes your business tick, recommend the most suitable payment kit, and give you a personalised quote.
When you sign up, you’ll have access to award-winning experts on tap, who are only ever a call, text, email, or live chat away, seven days a week.
And, with speedy 24-hour settlement, you’ll get your takings the next working day.

Which card reader is right for me?

We get it; every business is unique, and that’s why our range of card readers is varied and versatile. Whether you’re looking for something that’s all singing, all dancing, or a little more straightforward, we’ve got a card reader to suit.


The turbocharged card reader:

Simple set-up
Just follow 4 easy steps on-screen and start taking payments

No fiddly buttons
Use the interactive touchscreen to input prices, products and tips

Add it. Track it.
Add products to the terminal and keep tabs on sales and stock levels


The flexible and long-lasting card reader:

Just a touch
HD touch screen for effortless payments

Goes on and on and on
Long-life battery for all day use

Roam free
Process payments anywhere with Wi-Fi and 4G connections


The smart, simple, and seamless card reader:

Just a touch
HD touch screen for effortless payments

Go further
Take payments on the shop floor with Wi-Fi connectivity

Copy that
Built-in printer for paper receipts

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