Progressive Payment Solutions

Pax A80 Credit Card Reader Review

pax a80 terminal

The Pax A80 is sleek, lightweight, and feature-packed. So why don’t we recommend it? Find out below.

Need to accept payments on the go? 

Many businesses in this category choose the Pax A80. And when you take a look at its design and features, it’s easy to see why it has become such a popular choice.

But what else do you need to know to make the best decision for your business?

We’ll take a look at the Pax A80 from all angles: features, benefits, and drawbacks so you can decide wisely.

Features of the A80

Let’s dive right in and take a look at what the Pax A80 can offer your business and customers.

Portable design

As you may have seen in our article about the desktop credit card machines, we love the Pax A80’s lightweight versatility. With its smartphone-like design and big 4” HD color screen, it’s incredibly easy to use the A80 on the go. 

Robus software

Android 6.0 is more than up to the task of making payments easy. An easy to use, app-style interface is complimented by the PAXSTORE app store, letting you download various payment-related apps you’re likely to need.

Various payment options

The lightweight design isn’t the only versatile feature of the A80. It also can accept a wide range of payment options. It will support everything from traditional mag-stripe to Apple Pay, NFC, and QR code payments.

Touch screen

The vivid screen isn’t just a display–it also facilitates payments by allowing the user to use it as a touch screen, including the acceptance of digital signatures.

Manual keypad

If your customers prefer a more tactile approach, then they will feel at home with the A80. The bottom end displays a manual keyboard, with buttons that protrude from the base. These also allow user input to provide more certainty for those wary of touch screen controls.


Adding further mobile capabilities are the A80’s various connectivity options. These include dial-up, 2.4 & 5G WiFi connectivity, and Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities, along with the traditional Ethernet port for wired connections. 

Receipt printing

To clear yet another mobility hurdle, the Pax A80 also has a built-in thermal printer that allows 50mm printer rolls, generating a speedy 50 lines of data per second. 

Not only can it print data, it can also create black and white images for business branding.

All day battery

Thanks to an optional 720 mAh 7.4V battery, the A80 can stick with you all day long without wires.

Now that we have an idea of the specs and features, let’s dive into some specific questions related to how well it actually works in the real world.

Is the A80 Contactless?

With the spike in popularity in contactless payments, it’s important to know that the Pax A80 allows a wide range of contactless options.

These contactless options include Mobile Wallets such as Apple Pay, NFC payments and QR code capabilities already mentioned. Along with these, it also accepts contactless credit cards for a wealth of touch-free payment options.

What does the A80 do well?

Mobility is where the Pax A80 really shines. This is thanks to a number of factors in its favor. 

Its size is very much comparable to a thick smartphone, measuring 7.12” long x 3.3” wide x 3.19” high. That means it easily fits in your hand, ready to be carried wherever your business will need it. 

To compliment this portable size, you also get a host of other mobile-friendly features: the built-in inkless thermal printer, its numerous connectivity options, and an optional battery pack for hours and hours of mobile payments. 

These factors combined make the A80 about everything a business could ask for when it comes to payment acceptance on the go.

What are the A80’s biggest drawbacks?

After reading the many attractive features, you may be ready to go with an A80. But before you do, it’s very important to read about two very big drawbacks: poor customer service and even scandal.

Major customer service issues

Our internal investigation revealed that Pax’s customer service is not just bad–it’s awful. 

If you are in the unfortunate position of needing service, get ready to be transferred from one department to the next, again and again. 

To make matters worse, it gets even more frustrating once you finally find the department you’re seeking. This is because Pax has not selected clear English speakers to handle calls. So when you finally think you’re going to receive help or answers, you will likely be speaking with someone who is nearly impossible to understand.

FBI scandal

You may have read it yourself about Pax being investigated by the FBI. It started with a payment processor noticing “unusual network packets originating from the company’s payment terminals”.

According to KrebsOnSecurity, both the FBI and M15 began conducting an intensive investigation into PAX in October of 2021. According to an unnamed “trusted” source cited by article, the “packet sizes don’t match the payment data they should be sending, nor does it correlate with telemetry these devices might display if they were updating their software. PAX is now claiming that the investigation is racially and politically motivated.”

While it seems that things were later cleared up for Pax absolving them of any guilt regarding data breaches or other suspicious activity, many have since lost faith in them.

Better alternatives to the A80 (Dejavoo Z11, Valor)

Maybe you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer their abysmal customer service. Or perhaps you’re among those whose trust in Pax has been shaken. Either way, you may want to look elsewhere for your mobile POS needs. Take a look at a few of our recommendations below.

Dejavoo Z11

If a lightweight, cordless, touch screen POS system is what you need, you won’t go wrong by going with the Dejavoo Z11. It has just about everything and more that the A80 offers: contactless payment options, Tri Comm capabilities, and a built-in thermal receipt printer.

Valor VL100

Not to be overlooked is the Valor VL100 for payments on the go. Paperless signature/receipt options make for convenient payment documentation for customers, along with a plethora of connection options make it easy to do payments without wires. Pair that with a large touch screen display to make mobile payment acceptance a breeze.


The Pax A80 offers a lot of great hardware and features for mobile payment acceptance of all sorts. However, the horrendous customer service coupled with a name that has been mired in scandal leaves a bad taste in a lot of customer’s mouths. Consider going with the competition instead: the Dejavoo z11 or the Valor VL100.

Progressive Payment Solutions want you to have every advantage there is when it comes to saving money, time, and hassle. That’s why we wrote this article for you, and that’s why we offer the lowest rates and the best customer service–period. Contact us today to see the difference we can make for your business.

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