2016 Best UK Merchant Account Comparison

There are many merchant account suppliers for businesses in the UK to choose from. Expert Market has compared several renowned UK merchant account suppliers such as WorldPay and Streamline. You can find an overview of the suppliers' key features and services in the table below, as well as a more detailed description of the supplier and all features further down the page.

Merchant Benefits Est. Additional Services
WorldPay • Medium and large business specialists
• Can accept smartphone payments
• Support more than 120 different currencies
1989 • PDQ machines
• Mobile phone payments
• Cash flow & fraud risk management
Cardsave • SME business specialists
• Affordable packages and plans
• Renowned customer service
1995 • Card machines
• eCommerce
• Online payments
Streamline • All major Credit Cards accepted
• 24/7 customer support in UK
• Flexible payment options
• PCI compliant as global anti-fraud standard
1989 • Card machines
• Online payments
• Virtual terminals
PaymentSense • 24/7 customer support in UK
• Instant authorisation
• Help with switching providers
2010 • Card machines
• Mobile phone payments
• Online payments
Merchant Services
• Competitive rates & price matching
• Flexible merchant services for SMEs
• Diligent after sales service
2011 • Card machines
• eCommerce
• Mobile phone payments

Find out more: Compare Merchant Account Fees

Best Merchant Account Providers in the UK

It can be hard to compare merchant accounts accurately. Because every business requires different services from their provider, it can be hard to find the right factors for which to compare merchant account providers.

It is important to know what you are looking 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 might be satisfied with more basic services for a lower cost. Merchant account suppliers such as Streamline, WorldPay or CardSave can offer tailored services to different kinds of businesses, depending on their requirements.


WorldPay offers static, portable and mobile GPRS terminal solutions, as well as ecommerce virtual and electronic funds transfer terminals.


  • The UK's leading payment provider
  • Medium and large business specialists
  • Can accept smartphone payments
  • Additional curreny and fraud risk management services

Find out more: WorldPay Merchant Services Review


Cardsave logo
Cardsave is a division of Worldpay, and offers several different merchant account product options, including countertop, portable and mobile payment terminals.


  • Small and medium-size business specialists
  • Affordable packages and payment plans
  • World renowned customer service
  • Online, over-the-phone and bricks and mortar merchant solutions

Find out more: CardSave Merchant Services Overview

Find the best prices for merchant account providers like WorldPay and CardSave now for free.


Streamline logo

Streamline is another division of Worldpay, and offers online and phone payment solutions, as well as countertop, portable and mobile PDQ machines, all of which are PCI compliant.


  • Trusted by many SMEs and startups
  • All major Credit Cards accepted
  • 24/7 customer support in UK
  • Flexible payment options
  • PCI compliant as global anti-fraud standard


Payment Sense logo
PaymentSense is the largest merchant account provider in the UK, and offers a number of different package deals, and helps you decide what merchant account services are right for your business, whether you do business online, in store or over the phone (MOTO).


  • Quick setup lets you start taking payments in days
  • Guaranteed low rates
  • 24/7 customer support in UK
  • Instant authorisation
  • Ease of switching providers and growing your business

Find out more: PaymentSense Review

Independent Merchant Services

Independent Merchant Services
In addition to providing merchant account solutions, Independent Merchant Services also offers countertop, portable and mobile payment terminals to suit your transaction needs.


  • Competitive rates that they match so you get the lowest price
  • Merchant services that cater to your business needs & nature of your business
  • After sales service and help with complaints with card providers

Find out more: Independent Merchant Services Review

Find the best prices from merchant account providers like PaymentSense and Streamline.

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 greatly and you may end up having to pay some expensive hidden costs if you are not careful. Looking for the cheapest credit card processing suppliers does not always mean you will be getting the best deal.

Most high street banks will offer some form of merchant account as well, so it is worthwhile to compare different providers and match them to the needs of your business. Merchant account providers will ask you for information about your economic status, previous financial history, business model, pricing structure and other information that will be used to qualify you for your account and monthly fees.

Find out more: Finding Merchant Accounts With No Credit Check

Merchant Account for Online Commerce

Online commerce or eCommerce is becoming steadily more popular and 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 ensure your customers are safe and information is handled 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 preserve customer information online and have a trusted merchant account provider to ensure that all security measures are taken seriously.

Secure Payment Gateway

Payment Gateways

A payment gateway connects your site to your acquiring bank or payment processor. If you have your merchant account with a bank, it is advisable to set up your own payment gateway with a separate provider as banks tend to have quite high charges for supplying a payment gateway (typically around two per cent on each card transaction).

Fortunately, you are not obliged to use the bank's gateway facility and can select a provider of your own choice. Sagepay, PayPal and Netbanx are three of the most well-known and reliable providers of payment gateways on the web.

Payment Terminals (PDQ Machines)

Your merchant account provider will help you set up a PDQ Machine. These devices are used to accept credit and debit card payments. They are also known as card readers.

PDQ stands for 'Process Data Quickly'. UK machines can read chip and PIN cards. They can also read cards that have a magnetic strip. This may be necessary to process transactions for tourists visiting the UK. The magnetic strip is also useful in the case that a UK customer has a damaged chip.

Next Steps

If you are interested in hearing more about merchant card and account services for your business, then fill out the form at the top of this page and a select group of excellent suppliers will get in touch with you.

Fill out our web form to find the best prices on merchant account services.