In a Nutshell: In today’s economy, startups and small businesses need to accept credit cards and digital payments. But solutions that are too complex and costly can actually be counterproductive. SumUp offers straightforward and affordable card readers that solve payment challenges for merchants without burdening them with contracts, minimums, or recurring costs. SumUp’s secure apps also enable invoicing and remote payments to help entrepreneurs meet customers wherever they are.
Getting the right infrastructure tools in place early on helps entrepreneurs focus on what’s most important — offering high-quality products and services to customers.
A significant component of business success today rests on whether a merchant accepts card payments. Businesses that can’t accommodate widespread customer payment preferences put themselves at an immediate disadvantage, especially with so many global competitors.
Small businesses consider many factors when choosing the right payment platform and invoicing solution. That’s because systems that are overly costly or complex can actually hurt their initial momentum — and hamper growth long-term.
SumUp designs innovative solutions for entrepreneurs and aims to make payments simple and affordable for small businesses. It offers card reader and management apps that support remote payments and invoicing to help businesses scale while also allowing them to maintain focus on what really counts — their customers and products.
“Accepting card payments shouldn’t be a barrier to running a successful business,” SumUp U.S. Brand and Communications Lead Ariana Sverdlik said. “We are working toward a world where small businesses can successfully do what they love.”
SumUp solutions concentrate on the fundamentals while offering the high-level functionality and features that consumers have come to expect.
“No one wants to be stressed about taking payments. Our products are designed to be simple enough that you don’t have to worry about them — from a usability or a cost perspective,” Sverdlik said. “As we’ve grown, we’ve brought that vision to life through product innovation.”
Card Readers Fit a Variety of Use Cases
The three-in-one Plus Card Reader exemplifies SumUp’s ground-up approach. A one-time hardware cost of $19 enables startups and small businesses to accept magstripe, chip, and contactless payments, all on the same small rechargeable device.
“Some of our competitors offer similar products at about two or three times the price point, and not all of them accept swipe,” Sverdlik said. “Just from living and breathing with small businesses every day, we know it’s important to have flexible products that aren’t too expensive and that make it easy to take payments.”
Transaction processing is similarly price-transparent, with the same straightforward 2.75% fee assessed on every card transaction. To accommodate customers who prefer not to carry cards around, the Plus Card Reader also integrates with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
“Our pricing model works in favor of our small business customers,” Sverdlik said. “Getting up and running with us requires no monthly contract, no transaction minimums, no subscription fees, and no renting of hardware.”
The Plus connects via Bluetooth to the free SumUp app, which works on all iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Along with processing payments, the SumUp app creates a flexible business dashboard that enables product and employee management, sales tracking and reporting, and digital cashier functions for handling cash payments and tips.
That simplifies the process for entrepreneurs who may not have considered accepting card payments to quickly shift their business model.
“Even at venues like farmers markets or flea markets, everybody wants to pay by card these days,” Sverdlik said. “And that speaks to what gets us excited — bringing opportunity to independent merchants who may have an idea and just want to try it.”
Issue Invoices and Accept Remote Payments
As shutdowns and social distancing became prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, SumUp responded with additional app features designed to help small businesses succeed.
Shifts in consumer patterns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic show signs of staying power.
That’s why the SumUp app now enables businesses to accept remote payments, and merchants can complete transactions by sending payment links to customers via email, text, or messaging apps.
Customers simply click or tap on payment links to bring up a form they can fill out with their card information. The app enables merchants to generate scannable QR codes for completing in-person transactions.
The arrival of remote payments in the app demonstrates SumUp’s commitment to product innovation and helping its clients meet the changing needs of their customers.
“If you’re a food or retail establishment, for example, doing contactless deliveries or pickups using remote payment tools is easy,” Sverdlik said. “You can even create social media promotions by asking customers to purchase a digital gift card through a link.”
SumUp also supports invoicing for businesses that need it. Merchants use the app to create and issue invoices that carry their individual brand’s logo and business details. They can even include payment links or QR codes for convenient payment processing.
“As with everything SumUp, invoicing is meant to be intuitive and simple, so even if you’ve never made an invoice before, it’s easy to follow,” Sverdlik said. “Management tools on the platform display invoices that have been sent, which ones have been opened, and which are overdue, and you can set follow-up reminders directly from the app.”
SumUp: Helping Entrepreneurs Achieve Their Goals
Security is a priority at SumUp, and rigorously enforcing industry and internal standards ensures safe transactions that protect all merchants and their customers.
“It’s a critical part of our SumUp ecosystem,” Sverdlik said.
Another vital component of SumUp’s business model is listening to customers. It is also a significant factor in how the company designed its current product suite.
“We’re constantly getting feedback and iterating and developing, and it’s exciting to see those developments get put into practice out in the real world,” Sverdlik said.
And SumUp aims to continue innovating affordable and flexible products to bring a wide variety of business ideas to fruition.
“If you’re a seasonal business or if you’re trying something new, you don’t have to be worried. You can try it, and if it works for you, then you can add on a card reader or two and try new features,” Sverdlik said.
The SumUp team enjoys hearing how their products have inspired entrepreneurs to be more creative. Given the shifts in payment trends, SumUp’s mission of turning business dreams into realities promises to stand the test of time.
“Maybe you’ve got a side hustle,” Sverdlik said. “Or maybe you have a full-time job, but you’re passionate about brewing kombucha on the side and selling at a farmers market. We make it possible.”