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2017 Best UK Merchant Account Comparison

What is a Merchant Account?

A Merchant Account is a type of business bank account, that allows merchant credit card processing. This allows businesses to accept card, online and telephone payment transactions.

How does a Merchant Account Work?

Funds are held in the merchant account between the customer account and the business account, before the payment transaction is authorised. Once authorised the funds are sent to the business bank account. It is at this point the transaction fees of the merchant account provider are also taken.

What is a Merchant Service Provider?

Merchant service providers arm businesses with the ability to accept debit and credit cards as payment for their products or services.

Merchant Services UK

There are many merchant account suppliers for businesses in the UK to choose from. Expert Market has compared numerous UK merchant account suppliers such as WorldPay and First Data Merchant Solutions.

Quickly compare the key features of each merchant in the table below or click-through for detailed review. We compare services for SMEs, large businesses and high risk providers so that you can secure the best solution for your business. Fill in this form for free, no obligation quotes for the suppliers below and secure a provider today.

Merchant SupplierWorldpayLloyds CardnetFirst DataPayment SenseGlobal Payments
Countertop Terminal
Portable Terminal
Mobile Terminal
Virtual Terminal
Contactless
Flexible Pricing
Fraud Risk Management
24/7 Support
No Joining Fee
Star Rating

Find out more: Compare Merchant Account Fees


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What type of merchant account do you need?

Best Merchant Account Providers in the UK

It can be hard to compare merchant accounts accurately, because every business is different. We have listed the top merchant account providers in relation to their specialism, their fees and service.

It is important to know what to look for in regards to a merchant account for your business. Some businesses don't mind a higher cost if certain security features and PCI DSS are included, others are willing to pay more for a flexible solution. Smaller businesses often prefer a more basic service for a lower cost. Merchant account suppliers such as WorldPay can offer tailored services for different kinds of businesses, depending on their requirements.

WorldPay

WorldPay offers static, portable and mobile GPRS terminal solutions. They also provide ecommerce virtual and electronic funds transfer terminals. WorldPay is the UK's leading payment provider. They offer secure and reliable services for face to face payments. They enable card payments online, over the phone or via an email link, offering innovative solutions to many businesses. Additional currency and fraud risk management services are also offered.

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Lloyds Cardnet

Lloyds are one of the largest lenders in the UK. They provide a full range of merchant services including mobile payment terminals, countertop terminals and GPRS terminals. They service SMEs to large businesses, offering top tier PDQ machines and great customer service alongside online, portable and mobile PDQ solutions.

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First Data Merchant Solutions

First Data Merchant Services process payments for a host of businesses. They offer countertop, portable bluetooth and mobile GPRS terminals, alongside pogo mobile card reader for mobiles. They also offer their own POS product: Clover Station. With a highly secure payment processing system, First Data provide accounts for high risk merchants, flexible payment options and PCI compliance as global anti-fraud standard.
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PaymentSense

PaymentSense is the largest merchant account provider in the UK, and offer a range of package deals. They help you decide what merchant account services are right for your business, whether it's online, in store or over the phone (MOTO). They offer quick setup so you can start taking payments in days, guaranteed low rates, 24/7 customer support in UK and instant authorisation. They excel in letting you switch providers and grow your business.

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Global Payments Merchant Services

Global Payments Merchant Services offers Global PAY Now, an EPOS system where credit card terminals connect via Bluetooth. They also offer Global POS Link, an integrated payment gateway. They have auto-updating terminal software, no storage of card data and terminals that connect easily to till systems.
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Find out more: Global Payments Merchant Services Review

Applying for a Merchant Account

Applying for a merchant account can be a lengthy process and it is important to do some research beforehand. Processing and setup charges can vary and you may face some expensive hidden costs if you are not careful. Looking for the cheapest credit card processing suppliers does not always mean you will get the best deal.

Most high street banks will offer some form of merchant account as well, so it is worthwhile comparing different providers. Merchant account providers will ask you for information about your economic status, previous financial history, business model, pricing structure and other information to qualify you for your account.

Find out more: Finding Merchant Accounts With No Credit Checkcontactless payment

Merchant Account for Online Commerce

Online commerce or eCommerce is becoming steadily more popular. Banks and credit card companies have had to respond to the increased danger of online financial fraud by introducing more stringent security measures. Merchant account providers who deal with eCommerce should handle customer info with care. Verified by Visa and Mastercard Securecode are just two of the measures major credit card companies have taken to ensure further security and allow customers to shop online with confidence.

It is more important than ever to protect customer information online. Choose a trusted merchant account provider to ensure all security measures are taken.

High Risk Merchant Providers

A high risk business is defined by a high cancellation rate. Examples of these businesses are travel companies and debt collection agencies, which may have a more turbulent cashflow. Despite this, there are providers that supply high-risk businesses with merchant accounts, albeit with more stipulations.

High risk merchant accounts come with higher costs, setup fees and higher transaction fees. Transactions generally must hit a minimum target to be eligible. The advantages, however, of having a merchant account generally outweigh the higher costs.

Find out more about: High Risk Merchant Accounts

Next Steps

If you'd like to hear more about merchant card and account services for your business, then fill out this form and our most relevant suppliers will contact you.

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