With contactless payments being used more often, many of our PTA members have asked us about card payment solutions. Having a card machine available is likely to encourage more spending and help your PTA raise more funds at events where some attendees may only have card on them.

Parentkind undertook a review of the card processing market and evaluated offers being made by various companies including rates, fees and service. SumUp offers a cost effective and practical solution for PTAs.

Why should I apply for a card reader?

Society is increasingly using less cash, and paying small transactions by card has become much more common. Introducing the ability to pay by card for some of the larger value stalls like bar or BBQ, or for tickets for events will encourage spending (and you won’t need to send people off to the nearest cash machine!)

Please Note: Upon registering for an account, you may be informed that SumUp can only accept fundraising business activity if you are a registered charity. Please inform the Support and Onboarding team that your PTA is processing payments for school-related projects, such as a quiz night or bake sale.


Opening an account only takes five minutes and is done online. You will need to pay for the reader by your personal debit or credit card, and you will also need to enter your PTA’s bank details so that it links up with the card reader. You will need to register and complete the Account Information section, we suggest that you answer the options as follows:

  • What is the legal type of your business? Answer other legal type
  • What type of business is it? Answer Other
  • How would you categorise your business? Answer Charitable organisation
  • Business Location? We suggest using the school address
  • Webpage? We suggest using the school one unless the PTA has a separate website
  • Business Owner? We suggest adding the chair of the PTA and the treasurer or the person responsible for the application

SumUp will conduct checks and make contact if further information is required. If you experience any issues during the application process please contact SumUp at [email protected] or call 020 3510 0160 (Mon-Fri 8:00am‑5:00pm) – if they are unable to resolve the issue please contact our member support team who will endeavour to help via [email protected].

The SumUp offer is only available to our PTA members. If you would like to take advantage of this offer but are not a member, please first speak to our membership support team who will be happy to talk you through the wider benefits of joining. These include:

  • Up to £10 million public liability insurance for fundraising activities
  • PTA Community Advisers are available to answer your queries during business hours (0300 123 5460)
  • 24/7 unlimited access to Your PTA Expert, the go-to resource for PTAs
  • Fast track charity registration
  • Legal guidance on PTA issues
  • Charity Commission-approved Model Constitution
  • Website packed with up-to-date information and a directory of trusted local suppliers
  • Bi-weekly newsletter with helpful hints, tips, offers and information
  • Other member offers such as access to training, Booker for wholesale shopping, a discount on raffle tickets and many others

Contact our Community Advisers on 0300 123 5460 or at [email protected].

Sorry, the SumUp Parentkind offer is only available to new applications via the Parentkind dedicated page.

There is nothing stopping a PTA having more than one card processing company. Our suggestion would be to look at what you are currently paying and see if it makes sense to move. SumUp has a low transaction fee of 1.69% and no monthly fees.

A second can be ordered but will cost the full price of £29. If you are using your Air Card Reader at an event we suggest that you place stalls close to each other that are likely to want to use the machine or you have a helper that is a quick runner!

SumUp provide you with downloadable assets such as posters, visa signs etc that can publicise that you can accept cards. These should be displayed whenever possible to show cards can be used for payment.

It is really very simple to use. We would suggest that whoever is going to be taking card payments familiarise themselves beforehand and review the advice and guidance provided by SumUp on their website.

We think that PTAs are unlikely to be targeted, however SumUp undertakes a lot of work to minimise fraud and charge backs. Read more detail about fraud and chargebacks.

There are many tools available online in your SumUp account to review transaction data and manage your relationship.

SumUp has a very comprehensive knowledge centre that should be able to answer any further questions.

If you are the registered point of contact with SumUp contact them at [email protected] or call 020 3510 0160 (Mon-Fri 8:00am‑5:00pm) to change these details. Please also hand over the card reader etc to the person who is taking over your role.

The lead contact on your account can be changed at any time by contacting SumUp at [email protected] or call 020 3510 0160 (Mon-Fri 8:00am‑5:00pm).

If you have a complaint in the first instance please raise this with SumUp at [email protected] or call 020 3510 0160 (Mon-Fri 8:00am‑5:00pm). If you are not satisfied or they were unable to assist please contact Parentkind with the full details via [email protected] with the title of SumUp Complaint. Parentkind will seek to address any legitimate complaint directly with the SumUp management team. Please include all relevant details including, transaction dates, the nature of your complaint, what steps have been taken already to resolve it and your contact details.

If your question has not been answered in these FAQs please email [email protected] and we will respond within three working days.

There is a clear need for our parishes to introduce card and contactless facilities and we are excited to make this available through Parish Buying. How we pay for things is changing fast, especially for younger church-goers, who no longer carry cash, and we want all generations to be able to make the most of their place of worship. Installing this technology does mean that one-off fees can be done via card, as can making one-off donations. The vast bulk of regular giving will continue to be done by standing order as we continue our trial with various technologies.

John Preston — National Stewardship Officer of The Church of England

This technology from SumUp is a useful addition to us at St George’s Church. Our parishioners can occasionally find themselves strapped for physical cash, so it’s fantastic to be able to offer an alternative which is quick and convenient. We hope this is a step forward for St George’s and many other churches like it, in staying ahead in the modern era.

Alison Davie — Church Secretary at St George’s Church Hub, Stamford

Inclusion in the Parentkind Supplier Directory is based on the recommendation of at least one PTA or voluntary organisation that has used the supplier’s services and does not imply any recommendation from Parentkind. Parentkind disclaims all liability for any loss, damages or expense whatsoever and howsoever arising under any arrangement or contract made between a company included in the Parentkind Supplier Directory and any PTA. It is strongly recommended that all PTAs take their own precautions before entering into any arrangements or contracts with such companies.