Is a Pay as You Go card machine right for your business?


A Pay As You Go (PAYG) card machine can be a great option for your business.

If you’re completely new to taking card payments and aren’t sure how many transactions you’ll process, PAYG can be a cost effective way of easing you into card transactions until you’ve worked things out.

They can also be good for small businesses which don’t accept many card payments.

Here’s a couple of benefits to consider for a Pay As You Go card machine:

• There’s usually no contract involved
• The up front cost of the machine is relatively cheap
• The payment equipment is simple to use
• You can get good customer support, depending on your provider


But, while Pay as You Go card machines are a great option for some, once your business grows past a certain point, they quickly become far too expensive.

When do you outgrow your Pay as You Go card machine?


Once your monthly card turnover goes above £1,000, you should start to compare your costs with using a longer-term contract.

At this stage, you might start to see your cheap PAYG card machine costing you more than it’s worth having.

That’s because your transaction fees can easily amount to more than you were initially saving by not paying a monthly rental fee for your device.

If you look at most Pay as You Go card machines online, you’re typically looking at a simple device for around £20 (however some can be closer to £200 for a more advanced terminal - which most businesses will need as well).

On top of that, standard transaction rates for most PAYG card machines are usually between 1.7% and 2.5% for every transaction, no matter the card type.

This may not seem like a lot.

But when you take card payments with a merchant services provider like Handepay, you can take card payments with fees as low of 0.7% per transaction.

For example, if your business processes £3,000 per month using a PAYG device, high transaction fees could cost your business up to £800 per year.

Processing the same amount of transactions with a provider like Handepay would see your annual costs drop to less than £500.

That’s a lot of profit to miss out on, especially for a small business.

As you accept more card payments and increase profits, the transaction cost gap will increase further.

Why moving to a monthly contract is better for your business


We get it. When you’re new to using a card machine, signing a long contract might seem risky and expensive.

However, if you regularly process over £1,000 per month, there are benefits to signing a contract with a dedicated provider.

Not only will you receive better rates per transaction. You’ll also receive better service, capability and support.


  • PAYG card readers are typically limited in functionality, with often just a contactless tap payment option. A dedicated terminal will allow you to process a wide range of functions, including refunds, cashback and Chip and PIN payments.
  • With a PAYG reader, you typically purchase the equipment outright, and are responsible for any upgrades or replacements. With a merchant services provider like Handepay, you’ll lease a terminal, and have your provider on hand to offer repairs, replacements and upgrades.
  • Many PAYG card providers only offer basic support options, with limited operating hours and web-based support only. With Handepay, you’ll receive personalised service from our team of expert advisors, online or in person. With 24/7 support, no matter the time of your issue, you’ll be able to access friendly support.


Card machine

Debit card

How do Handepay provide better rates?


When you join Handepay, you benefit from our wide network of independent businesses.

National businesses, who lease thousands of terminals, are able to negotiate directly with card acquirers to receive the best transactions possible.

Smaller businesses, with just one or two terminals, don’t have this negotiating power

However, Handepay negotiates on behalf of a large number of these businesses, to help everyone get the lowest rates available.

No matter how many terminals you need, we’ll enable you to keep costs low, whilst providing top-of-the-range service and support.

A customer’s view


Ben Harrison Beyond the Pale, Staffordshire

“When we first opened the bar, we knew that accepting card payments would be important for the business. We signed up for a cash drawer and receipt printer that was operated by an iPad app, and discovered that we could integrate card payments through the app.

“While this was simple to use, the credit card transaction fees were very high.

“With our previous set up, we were paying around £130 per month in card transaction fees.

“We were thrilled when our advisor estimated that our credit card transaction fees would only be around £50 per month with Handepay!

“A bonus to having a Handepay card machine is that we can now offer a cashback service. We couldn’t do this with the previous app set-up, and we’re finding that it’s helping the business.”

Ben Harrison
Beyond the Pale, Staffordshire


Ready to switch to a better deal on your card machine?

If you use a Pay As You Go card machine and want to find out how much money you could save by turning to a new supplier and a monthly contract?

Get in touch with us today for a free, no obligation quote.

There’s no risk to you because you’ll be able to see exactly how much you could save by switching. If you’re not convinced, then you can carry on with your current machine.