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Which Card Reader is Best for my Business?


Whilst we are not quite at the stage of becoming a cashless society just yet, there is no denying that Contactless and Chip & Pin transactions have become cemented as the payment method of choice for in-person payments for millions of people, and have grown massively since overtaking cash as the payment method of choice back in 2016.

Despite having been introduced as early as 2007, Contactless payments really began to grow around 2017, and in 2020, in particular since the start of the covid-19 pandemic where many businesses chose to not accept cash payments in a bid to reduce viral transmission, and Contactless payment limits grew from £30 to £45, the payment method grew to account for almost 90% of all in-person card payments. Such was the success of Contactless payments, the limit was increased once again in October 2021 to allow consumers to spend up to £100 without needing to enter their pin number. This increase is great news for customers who like to be able to shop quickly, and even better news for businesses that accept card payments with a terminal, as it takes the hassle out of selling products and services. Whether you’re currently taking card payments using a terminal, or want to introduce it to your business to maximise the revenue you can generate, it’s can be tricky to know which one will suit you best. This is our guide to the card terminals available and which situations they are great for.

Modern terminals will be integrated with Contactless capabilities, enabling any business that uses them to accept fast, convenient card payments, and there are three main types of card reader that a business might use, which are Countertop, Portable, and Mobile.


Countertop card terminals are machines which are often fixed to a unit beside the till point. They are well-suited to:

  • Shops and other retail outlets where customers make payment at the till
  • Hotels, at the reception area where guests check in and out
  • Leisure facilities and theme parks where customers pay on entry

Portable card terminals tend to remain within the premises of a business, but with the added functionality of being able to transport it around so that it can go to customers as opposed to the customer needing to walk to it. They are well-suited for:

  • Pubs and Restaurants, where customers might pay at their table
  • Mechanic garages where a customer waits in a reception area for work to be done

Mobile card terminals are a GPRS-enabled device which allow businesses to take card payments on the move. They are well suited for:

  • Businesses selling goods and services at trade shows and exhibitions
  • Traders selling goods at festivals and similar events
  • Street food vendors who might be in different places each week
  • Mobile businesses such as window cleaners and hair stylists
  • Charity collectors in chargeable locations

There are many different types of card reader out there, and the correct one for you can be difficult to pick out of them all. Our team of experts at Gala Technology can help you to find the ideal card reader for your business, to suit all of the above scenarios and more. Prices are as low as £7 per month, not including transaction fees, with rates as low as 0.29%. Get in touch by either calling 01709 911661, drop us an email, or book a free consultation with the team via the form below, and we will be delighted to help you.

Let's Talk
Our team of experts have many years of experience in payment solutions of all kinds, including PCI-DSS compliant card payments, direct debit and Open Banking. To book a free consultation to find out more about how we can help your business to accept smooth and easy payments, simply give us a call on 01709 911661, drop us an email here, or let us know which day is most convenient via the calendar below and we’ll be in touch when it suits you.


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