Mobile payment systems for events and festivals

A mobile payment system is a point-of-sale device that accepts payment via cards and mobile phones – here are some of the best options on the market

If you’re representing your business out on the road at events and festivals, you want to be best prepared for payment with a reliable mobile payment system that can take payment from anywhere.

There are plenty of options out there for this use, so you’ll want to be looking for a mobile payment system that has sufficient battery life, the capability of accepting as many cards as possible and, of course, favourable transaction fees and upfront costs for the terminal.

What are mobile payment systems?

A mobile payment system is a point-of-sale device that accepts payment via cards and mobile phones – through mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay – while away from your business premises.

This mobile terminal will typically be linked to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network, a tablet device and an app for transaction insights and analytics.

Here we cover some of the best POS systems on the market to help you become centre stage at events.

Clover Flex

The Clover Go is a credit card reader to be paired with a mobile phone. It sends digital receipts to customer-provided email addresses and tracks the status of outstanding balances.

Other features include 24/7 support and a battery life that lasts eight hours or around 130 transactions (with a charging time of one hour).

Fees: Request quote for terminal. £1 a month for the first six months, request quote for fees thereafter.


MobileMerchant is Elavon’s solution for accepting card payment using your smartphone or tablet. The funds you make out on the road will be in your bank account within 24 hours.

The MobileMerchant offering comes with a portable card reader and a POS app for a smartphone. It has features such as reporting functions, business analytics and it can issue receipts via email and SMS.

Fees: The MobileMerchantApp is free. There’s a one-off device cost of £29 and the transaction fee starts at 1.75 per cent.


The POS Go from Shopify acts as a terminal, barcode scanner and card reader. Shopify states it has a ‘long battery life’ which isn’t very specific, but it seems once fully charged (which takes between two and three hours), the machine can last a whole day of selling. Ideal if you’re heading to an event for the day.

If you choose this reader, just be sure to have Shopify Payments for your store for it to link to.

Fees: The reader itself costs £299.


With the Square reader, you can accept chip and PIN and contactless cards as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay from anywhere.

It’s a very quick set-up so you can start taking payments swiftly – great if you land an events stall at the last moment.

The money will drop into your account the next working day or but there’s an option for this to be instant with Square’s instant deposit feature, which incurs a 1 per cent fee.

Fees: 1.75 per cent + VAT per chip and PIN or contactless payment and 2.5 per cent + VAT per keyed-in transaction. The reader is £19 plus VAT and Square’s POS app is free.

SumUp Air

The Air model can take contactless, chip and PIN, Google Pay and Apple Pay. One battery charge lasts over 500 transactions – or up to 12 hours.

Money is deposited into your business bank account the next day – including on weekends and holidays, which isn’t the case with a lot of the others on this list.

Fees: You’ll pay £39 for the card reader but it has a cheaper 1.69 per cent transaction fee compared to its competitors. If you select SumUp’s business account as your payout account, you’ll pay a cheaper 1.49 per cent transaction fee for a month.


The mobile payment unit from takepayments accepts Apple and Google Pay, with a next day settlement fee. The battery lasts all day, and, you’re spending time travelling, an in-car charger is available. Its SIM card connects to the strongest network and it’s quick to set up, like the Square reader.

This terminal is slightly different from others in this list in the sense it can print out receipts there and then, rather than issuing via email or SMS, if desired.

Fees: Bespoke – contact takepayments for a free quote.

Wireless Terminal Solutions

Wireless Terminal Solutions machines accept Apple Pay, Android Pay and UnionPay as well as credit and debit cards. Its mobile payment reader also has 24/7 connectivity without an internet connection.

You have the option to rent a card machine – either short or long-term – buy one outright or opt for a refurbished model. The battery life on these readers is typically between 60 and 70 hours.

It takes a few days to get the card machine up and running, which is slower than others on this list.

Fees: Wireless Terminal Solutions has EPOS rentals for festivals and outdoor events. Discounts are offered for multiple EPOS units.


The Simplicity POS mobile terminal from Worldpay connects to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for remote transactions. It has an extended battery life but there’s no note of average length per battery charge.

For businesses with an annual card turnover of less than £300,000. Otherwise, you will need custom pricing.

The package comes with next day payment settlement and no hidden fees.

Fees: The Simplicity POS package has a £17.50 card payment terminal fee (18-month minimum hire term) with a 1.5 per cent transaction fee.

Zettle Card Reader 2

Zettle’s Card Reader 2 takes a few minutes to set up to get you selling straight away. You will see payments in your bank account within one or two working days.

Battery life is on average eight hours with a transaction every five minutes or up to 100 transactions from one charge.

Fees: Zettle has a fee of 1.75 per cent per card transaction. Like some of the other offerings, the card reader is £29 and the point-of-sale app is free.

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Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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