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A guide to contactless card readers for small businesses

15 October 2018 Product Information

Since contactless technology launched in 2007, we’ve seen an astonishing growth in card-based payments. Contactless proved a tipping point: Britain is now the world’s third largest cashless economy.

Almost 119 million contactless cards are in circulation, and the card industry aims to make every bank-issued card reader contactless-ready by 2020. (All our card readers can already accept contactless.)

So it’s all good for consumers, but what does it mean for business?


There’s good news in store. (Also applies to all other business premises.)

In 2017, 15% of all payments were made by contactless cards. This is set to rise to 36% by 2027, and that’s a conservative estimate.

One surprising discovery is that 60% of customers will spend more if they can pay by card. Why is this? Because people don’t need to worry about having enough cash to cover their purchase.

If a customer has to leave and find a cashpoint, it’s unlikely they’ll return. 45% of customers admit to leaving a shop empty handed as they were unable to pay by card.  

So not only does it make sound business sense to offer contactless payments, there’s a good chance that it could positively impact your turnover.


Swiftly does it

Business owners and customers alike appreciate the speed of contactless transactions. Contactless is a great queue-buster, making light work of even the busiest periods.

Because contactless payments are much faster than cash or cheque, you’ll have more time to spend with customers or focused on your business.

More importantly, contactless payments are subject to the same rules as Chip & PIN so you’re guaranteed to receive funds without dispute. That’s a definite plus for cash flow.


Safely does it

Contactless is a safer alternative to cash that benefits both you and your customers. You won’t need to keep as much cash on site, and customers feel safer when they don’t have to carry cash around.

Every transaction is encrypted and, for extra protection, all major cards feature 3D Secure which asks cardholders for further verification. Furthermore, contactless card readers protect against accidental double-tap: it’s impossible to pay for the same item twice.


Money goes mobile

We’re already seeing contactless appear in mobiles and watches thanks to Apple Pay and Google Pay, with more wearable payment devices to come. These also let people make Higher Value transactions that exceed the current £30 contactless limit as they have further security features like biometric technology and two-step verification.

Contactless isn’t just being embraced by the public: it can also be worn by them. Now is the ideal time to start accepting contactless payments. But how to start?


Choose the right kind of contactless card reader

Contactless works the same way no matter what kind of card reader you pick. We have three: they accept all major credit cards, Chip & PIN and contactless transactions.



As its name suggests, this contactless card reader is ideal for businesses where the EPOS sits on a counter. It’s the most popular kind of card machine found in retail outlets, garages, salons and cafes, bars and restaurants. You’ll need to connect it to a broadband line to accept card payments.



Compact and lightweight, a portable contactless card reader can be easily carried. It connects to your EPOS over wifi or bluetooth and most have a range around 100 meters. They’re ideal for restaurants, pubs and bars, although almost any retail business could benefit from one (visit an Apple Store to see how).



With a mobile contactless card reader, you’re free to take payment anywhere you find a mobile network signal. Ours comes with a GPRS SIM pre-installed. It’s robust and splashproof (handy for the British weather). Its long life battery lets you take payments all day (or night) long. Lightweight and robust, it’s ideal for businesses on the move, such as market traders, couriers and taxi drivers.


Three card readers. One great service.

We formed Paymentsense to support Britain’s SMEs. Now, we look after more than 70.000 businesses, and handle over £00Bn in transactions each day. We’re the fastest-growing payments company in the UK because we’re dedicated to helping small business grow.

No matter which contactless card reader you choose, we’ll have it with you in just three days. That’s much faster than banks (who may not even deliver you a contactless card reader at all.)

Everything you need to start accepting contactless payments arrives in one box. Just plug in your contactless card reader, follow a few on-screen instructions and you’re ready.


How much does a contactless card reader cost?

It very much depends on the kind of card reader you choose, the size of your business, your turnover and transaction volume. We have created a guide to help you understand the different types of costs involvedHowever, we can give you a fast, accurate online quote – click here to get started. Or, if you’re reading this on a tablet or mobile, tap – just like customers do with contactless.

Why wait? Take card payments in just 3 days.