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10 ways a card reader benefits your business

In 2022, a record 91.2% of UK transactions were made using contactless payments*. Let’s explore how card machines can boost your business’ growth, from increasing revenue and sales to enhancing the customer experience. Read on to discover our top 10 ways a card reader can benefit your business.

card reader used by small business

What is a card reader?

A card reader is a device that allows customers to pay using digital wallets or physical debit or credit cards. Often as part of a point-of-sale (POS) system, card readers securely communicate a customer’s card details for payment processing. 

While the card reader itself allows customers the flexibility to use their preferred payment method, additional features – such as sales reporting and stock management software – can help consolidate payment taking with business tools and insights into one convenient device. 

Card reader benefits

1.  Faster payment processing enhances your customers’ experience.

Shorter queues and easier payment options could help your business’ reputation flourish, whilst showing your customers that their needs are front of mind.

Adam Lishman, Barclays’ Head of Consumer products states, “thanks to improvements in mobile technology, in the short term it’s hard to see another payment method competing with contactless when it comes to both speed and ease.”

2.  Secure payment systems offer protection from fraud

Your card reader empowers you to protect your customers’ data, arriving ready, with up-to-date security systems that align with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS).

3. Card readers can help you reach more customers

It’s more important than ever for businesses to keep up with the UK’s changing payment behaviours. Contactless transactions have reached record highs, becoming the UK’s most popular way to pay*. Using card machines for business can expand your customer base by providing flexible and seamless payment experiences that your customers expect.

4. Increase your revenue whilst cutting the cost of handling cash

With less tallying up the till or chasing customer payments, not only is there more time to dream big on business goals, but your customers are likely making bigger purchases.

The total value of all contactless payments has jumped nearly 50% in 2022 as Brits embraced the £100 transaction limit*. Adam Lishman, Barclays’ Head of Consumer Products notes, that “Brits are becoming more comfortable making high-value contactless payments from their mobile.”

5. Portable card readers offer your customers greater flexibility

Lightweight and with a long battery life, a portable card reader allows you to accept payments wherever your customers are. Even without Wi-Fi, you can stay connected by switching to Bluetooth or mobile data.

6. A card reader for small business could help spark sales

The average contactless user made 220 ‘touch and go’ payments in 2022, totalling £3,327 per person*. A card reader can help you align the way your business takes payments with changing customer payment behaviours, preferences, and expectations which could help boost your sales.  

card machine for business taking NFC payment

7. Improve your cashflow with faster settlement

Skip the queue to deposit cash and cheques and streamline your business cash flow. By taking payments with a card reader, the money could be in your bank account as soon as the next day.

8. Take card payments remotely

Many card readers allow you to accept card payments even when the customer isn’t with you. With the tools to take payments by phone, mail order, or even online with customisable payment links, you’re conveniently equipped to take payments from the place that suits you best.

9. Set yourself apart and keep customers coming back

With a card reader, you can offer your customers more flexibility and choice when it comes to paying. Not only does this improve the customer experience, but it also makes your business more accessible – with a card reader, no customer misses the chance to buy through not having cash.

10. Keep track of your business and plan for the future with a POS system

POS software not only allows you to monitor sales effortlessly, with end-of-day reporting, but inspires business success with Customer Relationship Management tools. The software allows you to provide your customers with a personalised experience, all while helping to improve business management and maximise profit.

How to take card payments

How to take card payments

Not currently accepting card payments, or looking to upgrade? With a diverse range of solutions available to fit your business needs, taking payments securely at any time and getting paid the next day is simple.

To tap into the increasing number of card payments made every year…


T&Cs apply The approval of your application is subject to financial circumstances and borrowing history. To receive next-day settlement, transactions need to be taken before 7pm for Smartpay Anywhere and Smartpay Touch, and 9pm for Flex.