Rent vs. Buy: Making the decision
The first step in understanding card machine costs is determining whether to rent or purchase one. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Buying a Card Machine:
- Potential long-term cost savings, with no recurring rental fees.
- Freedom from contract obligations.
- Full ownership and control over the card machine.
- Flexibility to choose different payment processors or service providers.
Cons of Buying a Card Machine:
- Requires a substantial upfront investment, which may be challenging for small businesses.
- Responsibility for maintenance and repair costs beyond the warranty period.
- Costs associated with upgrading the machine when technology evolves.
Pros of Renting a Card Machine:
- Lower upfront costs, making it more accessible for small businesses.
- Rental packages may include maintenance and offer free or discounted upgrades.
- Increased flexibility with the option to switch machine models or providers.
- Access to ongoing support and service from the provider.
Cons of Renting a Card Machine:
- Long-term rental costs may exceed the price of buying outright.
- Dependency on the provider, with potential risks if they go out of business.
- Rental agreements often come with contractual obligations.
Cost of Buying a Card Machine:
The price of purchasing a card machine varies based on factors such as the brand, features, and machine type. Mobile card machines, which utilize accompanying apps, typically range from £15 to £40 plus VAT. Standalone machines, using SIM cards or wireless technology, span the £100 to £200 range. Traditional countertop and portable card machines are less commonly sold outright, with prices ranging from £200 to £800.
Additionally, buying a card machine incurs several accompanying fees, including transaction fees based on a percentage of each payment processed. Future costs may involve upgrade and maintenance expenses.
Cost of Renting a Card Machine:
Renting a card machine typically ranges from £10 to £30 per month, with some providers requiring minimum contract terms, often around 12 months, though discounts may apply for longer commitments. Yetipay, for example, offers a flexible 30-day rolling contract, ensuring freedom from long-term ties.
Rental costs also depend on the type of card machine chosen. Countertop machines generally cost less than portable ones, while mobile card machines with Wi-Fi or SIM card capabilities tend to be slightly pricier. Most providers include a data allowance in the monthly charge. Yetipay's card machines start at £29.95 per device per month, with premium options available at an additional monthly cost.
As with purchasing, renting a card machine involves other fees, including transaction fees, one-time setup charges, and model upgrade costs. Yetipay aims to match existing processing fees where possible.