Pros and Cons of Mobile Card Machines

Many small businesses make use of a mobile card machine to accept card payments from their customers. It can be a convenient, efficient and speedy way of dealing with customers in whatever industry it’s used.

Countertop card machines and portable card readers are also used throughout the UK in cafes, restaurants, barber shops, and more. But what is a mobile card machine and what are its benefits? Does it have any downsides?Continue reading below to find out the answers.

What is a mobile card machine?

If a restaurant wants to accept card payments but wants to make it a streamlined and efficient process, they’d prefer to avoid a big queue lining up at a stationary till point. To avoid a crowd building up in one area of the building – which can be a challenge in small restaurants, cafes and bistros – a mobile card reader is necessary.

A mobile card reader allows a business to take the payment terminal to the customer to take payment. So, in a restaurant, they can accept payment at their table.

Mobile card readers are often battery-powered while some models sit in a charging port when not being used. They work via a WiFi connection or with mobile data.

What are the benefits of a business using a mobile card machine?

There are several benefits to any business using mobile card machines, especially small businesses. The first one is all about flexibility and location. Previously, businesses would need to have a stationary focal point where customers could go to pay – but this can cause congestion issues in a small hospitality business.

Mobile card machines provide the freedom to collect payments all over a business’s premises, including at a customer’s table. This reduces a build-up of people waiting to pay, allowing a business to streamline their service and keep people coming and going without delay.

Another key advantage a mobile card reader provides is an aesthetic touch. When processing a credit or debit card, a mobile card machine looks and feels efficient and stylish. Gone are the bulky till points and wired-in card machines with big buttons, and in their place is a sleek, faster alternative.

More benefits include:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to set up and start using
  • No need to carry lots of cash – making them a safer alternative
  • Long battery life
  • Instant receipts

Are there any potential negatives?

Yes, there are a couple of potential downsides, including a loss of service.

While countertop card machines can be wired into an internet connection, offering reliable, constant service, a mobile card reader works via mobile data or WiFi. Unfortunately, at times, a wireless signal can drop, resulting in potential issues when trying to charge customers.

When this happens, it can cause quite a delay when trying to either reboot the card reader or reconnect to the internet. Fortunately, most models will be back working within a few minutes, but this delay can be costly.


So, we hope that this guide on mobile card machines has provided you with the information your small business needs. A mobile card reader has plenty of benefits and greatly improves efficiency when dealing with several customers at once.

For hospitality businesses, you can keep customers at their tables, waiting to pay, rather than have them queue in the middle of your premises and cause a blockage. Not only is this beneficial to keeping your business running smoothly, but it prevents a possible problem in an emergency situation.

Mobile card readers are an excellent option for many businesses, so consider picking one up to transform how you deal with your customers.

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