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6 Best Mobile Credit Card Processing Apps In 2022

These mobile payments apps provide reasonable and transparent pricing and robust features for almost any industry.

    Chris Motola
  • UPDATED

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Credit card processing apps can be powerful tools for merchants. Instead of investing in an expensive POS system, a credit card processing app works on a smartphone or tablet, allowing merchants to use low-cost hardware with an affordable (or even nonexistent) software fee.

The terminology can be a bit inconsistent — you might have heard credit card processing apps called point of sale/POS apps or even mPOS (mobile point of sale) apps. But in the end, we’re talking about applications you can run on your phone to process credit cards, typically with the aid of a small reader.

But where do you start to look? What features do you need? How much do these apps cost, and which ones lead the pack? Let’s start by taking a closer look at some very important aspects to consider when choosing a credit card processing app. Then I’ll introduce you to our favorite providers.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyHighlightsNext StepsHighlights
Square

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  • Best free app
  • 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Readers start at $0
  • Best free app
  • 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Readers start at $0

Visit Site

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SumUp

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  • Best for small transactions
  • 2.75% per transaction
  • Readers start at $35
  • Best for small transactions
  • 2.75% per transaction
  • Readers start at $35

Visit Site

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Shopify Lite

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  • Best for fast growth
  • 2.7% per transaction
  • Readers start at $29
  • Best for fast growth
  • 2.7% per transaction
  • Readers start at $29

Visit Site

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Intuit GoPayment

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  • Best for easy integrations
  • 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction
  • Readers start at $49
  • Best for easy integrations
  • 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction
  • Readers start at $49

Visit Site

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PayPal Zettle

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  • Best value
  • 2.29% + $0.09 per transaction
  • Readers start at $79 (first is $29)
  • Best value
  • 2.29% + $0.09 per transaction
  • Readers start at $79 (first is $29)

Visit Site

Read More

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Toast POS

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  • Best for restaurants
  • 2.99% + $0.15 (Pay-as-you-Go plan)
  • Readers start at $0
  • Best for restaurants
  • 2.99% + $0.15 (Pay-as-you-Go plan)
  • Readers start at $0

Visit Site

Read More

Show Fewer Options

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Best Mobile Payment Apps For Small Businesses

Credit card processing apps can be the primary service a credit card processor offers or a secondary feature. Either way, you’ll want one that meets your particular business needs. Square, SumUp, Shopify Lite, QuickBooks GoPayment, PayPal Zettle, and Toast POS are some of the best credit card payment apps currently on the market.

1. Square: Best Free App

Square


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Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • No long-term contracts
  • Simple processing fees
  • Intuitive interface
  • Loads of integrations

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Free plan is not as robust as paid options

Square is one of the best-known names among credit card processing apps. Just about anyone can sign up for a Square account and start accepting credit card payments.

Square Payment App Features

The real value of Square is its all-in-one platform. Square offers free invoicing, a virtual terminal (you just pay the transaction costs), eCommerce integrations, a free online store, plus premium POS apps with competitive pricing tailored to various industries.

Features include:

  • Multistore support
  • Contactless payments
  • Multichannel selling
  • Marketing tools
  • Online ordering
  • Inventory management
  • Reporting
  • Employee management
  • Text messaging

Square Pricing

The cost of Square payment apps ranges from $0 to $69/month. Check out our guide on Square’s costs for a full breakdown of fees.

Square Hardware Cost

Square is one of the few processors that still offers a free (magstripe) reader. Readers top out around $299.

square reader

Payment Processing

Square’s base transaction rate for in-person transactions is a flat 2.6% + $0.10. Rates vary slightly depending on the service.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square’s paid plans are month-to-month, and you can quit anytime. Free accounts can remain unused until needed, as your transaction fees completely fund them.

The only thing to watch out for with Square is account freezes and holds, which can be difficult to resolve. This is a problem common to all third-party processors.

Where Square Really Shines

The free app, Square Point of Sale, is one of the most advanced mPOS options available, with an extensive array of supported features on both iOS and Android. Square began with a focus on simple, accessible mobile processing, and it remains among the best in its class for that purpose.

Get Started With Square

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

2. SumUp: Best For Small Transactions

SumUp


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Pros

  • No long-term contracts
  • No monthly minimums
  • Free virtual terminal for qualifying businesses

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Limited features

SumUp is a bit like Square’s sophisticated, minimalist European cousin. SumUp’s standalone mPOS app works in many European countries and expanded into the US a while back. While SumUp’s app is the simplest option on this list, it has the essentials that merchants need for in-person sales.

SumUp Payment App Features

SumUp is lean on features but effective.

  • Item library
  • Quick-sale mode
  • Tipping
  • Cash recording
  • Basic analytics
  • Email/SMS receipts
  • QR code payments
  • Remote payments (payment links, virtual gift cards, etc.)

sumup payment link on smartphone

SumUp Pricing

Like most other options on this list, SumUp is a third-party aggregator, so you can sign up and start taking payments very quickly. The app itself is free, with transaction fees providing revenue for the service.

SumUp Hardware Cost

SumUp hardware starts as low as $35/£29, maxing out at $99/£99. There’s a UK-only model with a printer for £149.

sumup pro card reader

Payment Processing

Payment processing is enabled in the basic app setup. Transactions process at 2.75%, a competitive rate for businesses processing small transactions.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

SumUp uses a pay-as-you-go model, so you can cancel at any time without penalty. Just be aware that SumUp will automatically terminate inactive accounts after two years, so be sure to empty your account of funds before that happens.

Where SumUp Really Shines

If you don’t need a lot and just want a well-designed mobile processing app, SumUp is a great choice. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to use. The 2.75% processing rate makes it an excellent option for processing small transactions.

Get Started With SumUp

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

3. Shopify Lite: Best For Fast Growth

Shopify Lite


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Pros

  • Solid feature set
  • Easy to scale
  • Supports PayPal payments

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Full online store not included
  • Monthly fee

Shopify started solely as an eCommerce provider, but it’s slowly built up its products into a powerful all-in-one platform. You can sell seamlessly online and in person, using its branded third-party payment service powered by Stripe.

Shopify Lite Payment App Features

Shopify’s eCommerce tools are top of the line, and its POS app, simply called Shopify POS, is constantly improving.

Features include:

  • Embeddable buy buttons
  • Sell on social media
  • Create invoices
  • Product library
  • Customer list
  • Analytics and reports
  • Discounts at POS
  • Order fulfillment
  • Tip collection

Shopify Lite Pricing

Shopify Lite has a monthly fee of $9.

Shopify Lite Hardware Cost

Shopify Lite’s readers are available for $29 and $49.

shopify lite review

Payment Processing

In-person credit and debit transactions with Shopify Lite are charged a flat 2.7%. Shopify Lite gives you to option to swap out the default payment processor (Stripe) with one of your preferences, but this will add a 2% surcharge.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Shopify works on month-to-month agreements. You can pay for an entire year upfront for a discount, but you won’t be able to get a refund or pro-rated bill if you decide to cancel early.

Where Shopify Lite Really Shines

The Shopify platform makes it easy to grow your business within its ecosystem. You can just pay for as much Shopify as you need.

Shopify POS is included for free with all Shopify eCommerce plans, which start at $29/month. Our full Shopify review breaks down your options for online selling.

However, if you’re only interested in the POS and some entry-level selling tools, the Shopify Lite plan, at $9/month, might be appealing. It includes invoicing and the ability to create “buy” buttons and a Facebook shop. Shopify’s inventory is on par with Square’s, and most of its other features are closely in line with Square’s as well.

Get Started With Shopify Lite

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

4. QuickBooks GoPayment: Best For Easy Integrations

Intuit GoPayment


Visit Site

Pros

  • Inexpensive hardware
  • Easy integration with Quickbooks
  • Supports PayPal payments

Cons

  • High monthly fees
  • High fees for low-value transactions
  • Numerous public complaints

QuickBooks is still one of the most recognizable names in accounting software, so it’s no surprise that Intuit has leveraged the brand into mobile payment processing.

QuickBooks GoPayment Payment App Features

QuickBooks GoPayment can work as a standalone solution or as part of your current QuickBooks software package.

Features include:

  • QuickBooks integration
  • Merchant service center
  • Apply discounts at POS
  • Item library
  • Item sync
  • QuickBooks checking account
  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Expense tracking
  • Live bank feeds
  • Mileage tracking
  • 1099 tax support

QuickBooks GoPayment Review

QuickBooks GoPayment Pricing

You’ll need a QuickBooks Online subscription to use QuickBooks Go Payment. Plans range between $30/month and $200/month.

QuickBooks GoPayment Hardware Cost

The QuickBooks Card Reader retails for $49.

Payment Processing

In-person transactions cost 2.4% + $0.25 each.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

As mentioned above, you’ll need a QuickBooks Online account to use GoPayment. Make sure you’re up to speed on the terms of your QuickBooks Online contract. Service-only plans, for example, require a minimum 12-month subscription.

Where QuickBooks GoPayment Really Shines

Unlike many of the other options on this list, QuickBooks GoPayment is not a third-party processor. Instead, you’ll have your own comparatively stable merchant account.

As you might expect, GoPayment integrates seamlessly with the rest of the QuickBooks software suite, making it a more appealing solution if you’re already heavily invested in the ecosystem.

For standalone users, GoPayment is respectably free of bloat, with straightforward pricing. One highlight: GoPayments allows up to 50 users to operate on a single account.

Get Started With Intuit GoPayment

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. PayPal Zettle: Best Value

PayPal Zettle


Visit Site

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Extensive device compatibility
  • Supports PayPal payments
  • Free sub-user accounts

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Not ideal for high-volume merchants

Formerly PayPal Here, PayPal Zettle represents the eCommerce giant’s foray into in-person payment processing. Ironically, as PayPal’s eCommerce pricing has become more expensive, PayPal Zettle remains a competitive POS option.

PayPal Zettle Payment App Features

In keeping with the PayPal brand, Zettle is both easy-to-use and functional. Features include:

  • PayPal and Venmo QR codes
  • Cash payments
  • Item library
  • Reports
  • Discounts
  • Custom gift cards
  • Support for register setups
  • Refunds and partial refund
  • Integration with PayPal business account features

paypal pos

 

PayPal Zettle Pricing

There’s no monthly fee for using PayPal Zettle.

PayPal Zettle Hardware Cost

Your first Zettle 2 reader costs $29. Additional readers cost $79 each.

paypal zettle

Payment Processing

Card present transactions on PayPal Zettle will run you 2.29 + $0.09.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

As there’s no monthly fee for default PayPal accounts, you shouldn’t have any issues canceling should you want to. Just be aware that, as a third-party processor, PayPal accounts have some stability issues.

Where PayPal Zettle Really Shines

PayPal leverages its extensive infrastructure to make the most of Zettle. In addition to processing credit and debit cards, you’ll be able to process PayPal and Venmo transactions by scanning QR codes. Throw in inventory management, reports, and at-register discounts, and you have a well-rounded app that integrates with PayPal’s longstanding features, such as invoicing, same-day funding, and recurring billing.

Get Started With PayPal Zettle

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

6. Toast POS: Best For Restaurants

Toast POS


Visit Site

Pros

  • All-in-one POS
  • Android base reduces hardware costs
  • Advanced reporting tools
  • Advanced employee management tools

Cons

  • Limited pricing disclosed online
  • Early termination fee

Toast is an Android-based POS system built specifically for restaurants.

Toast Payment App Features

Toast’s feature set is highly focused on its industry. Features include:

  • Cloud-based POS
  • Customer care
  • Real-time fraud monitoring
  • Custom configuration
  • Mobile orders
  • Online ordering and delivery
  • Gift cards
  • Marketing
  • Loyalty programs

toast go

Toast Pricing

Toast’s plans range from $0/month for the Starter Kit to $165/month for Essentials. Custom pricing is also available for more advanced features.

Toast Hardware Cost

Hardware can be included as part of your Pay-as-you-Go costs for no additional upfront cost. This raises your processing fees, however. If you want to buy POS hardware kits outright, prices range from $609 to $999.

toast flex kit with flex, tap, router

Payment Processing

Toast’s payment processing rates vary depending on your plan. The rate for the Pay-as-you-Go plan, which includes hardware at no additional cost, is 2.99% + $0.15.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Toast offers various contracts of different lengths, so make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for. If you cancel a long-term contract early, you may have to pay an early termination fee.

Where Toast Really Shines

Toast provides a comprehensive, industry-focused toolset that can scale to restaurants of just about any size. Getting “free” readers with Pay-as-you-Go plans is a nice perk for new restaurants that may not have a lot of spare cash to throw around.

Get Started With Toast POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Why We Don't Recommend These Credit Card Processing Apps

There are far more credit card processing apps than the ones we’ve covered above. Let’s look at two apps that didn’t quite make our list.

Clover Go

Clover is one of the most recognizable brands in payment processing, with distinct, attractive, and inexpensive hardware. So you’d expect Clover Go, the brand’s mPOS offering, to be a pretty straightforward, user-friendly experience, right?

Unfortunately, Clover Go suffers from some of the issues plaguing the Clover ecosystem more generally. Your terms and pricing may be inconsistent from one processor to another. Worse, you may have to pay additional fees to access features that Clover Go’s competitors will give you for free.

Clover Go may work as a convenience for merchants already using Clover, but businesses that only need a mPOS can probably find a better deal elsewhere.

Payanywhere

Payanywhere is an unusual case. On the surface, Payanywhere’s services are completely adequate, with a competitive 2.69% flat rate for transactions. It’s what Payanywhere doesn’t tell you upfront that can get you in trouble.

The biggest issue with Payanywhere is the two-tiered merchant account agreement that can change the terms of your contract abruptly should you exceed $100,000 in transaction charges for a particular card/service within a specified period. You must enter into a direct agreement with American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or PayPal. At that point, your pay-as-you-go contract becomes a three-year contract, complete with early termination fees.

Add in monthly software subscription fees for hardware, and Payanywhere can pile on the extra charges if you’re not careful.

Which Credit Card Payment App Is Best For Your Business?

Credit card processing apps can make it easy to take non-cash payments without a complicated hardware setup. When looking for the best payment app for your business, take stock of your needs, budget, transaction volume, and even how you physically take transactions at POS.

The best credit card payment processing app will be the one that makes your life easier and increases your sales.

Want a deeper look into hardware? Check out our post on the best credit card machines and terminals.

FAQs: Credit Card Processing Apps

What are the best credit card processing apps?

The best credit card app is the one that suits the needs of your business. Six strong contenders include:

  • Square
  • SumUp
  • Shopify Lite
  • QuickBooks GoPayment
  • PayPal Zettle
  • Toast POS

What is a credit card processing app?

A credit card processing app is software that you can run on a non-dedicated device, such as a mobile phone, to process credit cards.

In Summary: Best Mobile Payment Apps For Small Businesses

  1. Square:
    • Best free app
    • 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
    • Readers start at $0
  2. SumUp:
    • Best for small transactions
    • 2.75% per transaction
    • Readers start at $35
  3. Shopify Lite:
    • Best for fast growth
    • 2.7% per transaction
    • Readers start at $29
  4. Intuit GoPayment:
    • Best for easy integrations
    • 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction
    • Readers start at $49
  5. PayPal Zettle:
    • Best value
    • 2.29% + $0.09 per transaction
    • Readers start at $79 (first is $29)
  6. Toast POS:
    • Best for restaurants
    • 2.99% + $0.15 (Pay-as-you-Go plan)
    • Readers start at $0
Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in personal and business loans and financial health, Chris Motola has been writing about small business finance and payments for over 5 years. He has been cited in various industry publications, including Forbes Advisor, GoBankingRates, and Medium. Chris is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Chris Motola
View Chris Motola's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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