Payleven Chip and Pin Card Reader Review

July 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm
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Payleven Chip & PIN Card Reader

As it’s literally just been launched at Screwfix today, and we haven’t been able to get our hands on one of these neat little devices, it’s tricky to call this a review in the strictest sense. However, it’s such a good idea that we felt compelled to write a post about it.


The purpose of this device is to allow a tradesman to accept credit or debit card payments from their customers in exactly the same way as you might pay in a pub or restaurant with a mobile card reader. The device has the same stringent security standards as a traditional card terminal, but connects with the user’s phone or tablet via bluetooth so that it can use that device’s wifi or 3G signal to connect to the card network and process the payment.


  • Low initial cost, at only £99.99
  • Flat transaction fee of 2.7%
  • CE Approved
  • Connects to Apple iOS or Android phones and tablets
  • Pay as You Go, no contract or monthly fees (unlike some competitors)
  • Accepts Mastercard, Visa (Debit and Credit), Maestro
  • Easy to set up and install using a dedicated app
  • No accounts or paperwork required, with weekly payments direct into your bank account


This device means that payments can be accepted before leaving the customer’s premises, so saving time and money as late payments can be all but eliminated. The worry of a cheque bouncing or holding large amounts of cash is avoided as payment is taken quickly and securely in a way that’s attractive to the customer, especially as many credit cards award points/cashback for transactions, so customers might find the opportunity to earn rewards on a (potentially) large purchase an incentive to pay promptly.

There isn’t an ongoing cost, unlike some similar devices. The £99.99 fee is all you pay, apart from the 2.7% fixed rate transaction fee, which still stacks up favourably against some other payment types.


This is a great idea, but is going to take some time before customers get used to the idea of tradesmen with little black boxes to take card payments. Our worry is that the device could be undermined by a lack of trust that the device is genuine and not a scam to pinch the customer’s card details. Of course it works just like any other mobile card reader, but customers are usually exposed to them in an environment that they trust, so the device is trusted by default – it might be a little different when out and about, at least until these devices are widely recognised and trusted.


This is a genuinely good idea and could well be set to be the next big thing, to the point that payment by card is an anticipated method of paying a tradesman at the end of a job. We think it’s going to require some investment from companies like Payleven to educate the wider audience before that’s the case though.

Click to find out more about the Payleven Chip and Pin Card Reader