Question The ultimate card reader


Junior Member
Jan 6, 2023
Hi everyone. So I'm a street trader who uses a card reader to take payments for what I sell. I really need help with something. Does anyone know if theres a decent and affordable card payment reader (less than 200 quid) on the market that can do the following...

1. Be brought around anywhere, being compact and easy to carry without needing to be fitted into a port or connected to a wifi network. Most basic card readers can do this, but when I describe the rest of what I'm looking for there might not be many small transportable readers that fit the bill.

2.Has its own inbuilt sim card so that it can function independent of a seperate device like a phone. (I have a terrible habit of getting distracted by my phone recently and I just want to turn it off while I'm working instead of being dependent on it while I work). Sum up has this feature but it stopped working as a card reader after a few months, and I know many people who had the same experience with it.

3. Can store payments while offline to be processed later, even if its only visible on some app or through an online portal later. I often work at festivals in feilds where the reception is terrible so payments can't be processed there and then. Goodbox has this feature, but I've not seen any other small, easy to carry device that had this capacity. Aside from this really useful feature, Goodbox was absolutely useless and the worst reader I ever had.

4. Is durable and practicaly functional…Or. in other words, it won't break instantly from falling 3 feet, or start to act up within 6 months, has decent battery life etc. Square is a good device in this regard but it was lacking in other ways. iZettle was decent like this too.

5. Can be easily attatched to a lanyard to prevent it from being dropped in the first place. izettle was also good like this.

6. Can take all types of payments. iZettle for example was really good because it could accept all types of cards including Ammex. I know some cards won't work for offline payments and there's not much that can be done about this, but if there's a card reader that can accept all cards while online and most cards while offline that would be fantastic!

I’ve had 4 different card readers over the past 6 years. A Square, a Goodbox, an iZettle and a Sumup. Between them combined, all these above criteria could be met. However, I've yet to come across a single card reader that covers all these bases. If anyone knows of any that would be greatly appreciated. My aspiration for such a card reader to fulfil all the above criteria might be lofty and unrealistic, but if anyone knows of the existence of such a reader, that would be massively helpful for me, for the work that I do.