This article will compare the 5 best merchant account service providers in the UK, and provide a summary of their offerings. Find out how to get set up with merchant card services to start accepting credit and debit cards.
Best Merchant Account UK Suppliers
Merchant Accounts Comparison
Merchant accounts allow businesses to accept credit and debit card payments, whether in physical stores, online or over the phone. They are particularly useful to online merchants because it means your customers can pay for products and services quickly and conveniently.
Many small businesses are getting merchant accounts because they are becoming more affordable, easy to set up and a great way to increase your online presence and customer retention. You can find specific deals on merchant accounts for small businesses so it is a good idea to compare a few suppliers.
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
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
Find out more: Streamline Business Gateway 350 Review
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.
Quick setup lets you start taking payments in days
Guaranteed low rates
24/7 customer support in UK
Ease of switching providers and growing your business
Find out more: Payment Sense Review
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
Card Cutters offers static, portable and mobile GPRS terminal solutions, as well as ecommerce virtual and electronic funds transfer terminals.
Solutions suitable for retail environments
Flexible contracts to suit individual business needs
In-house terminal provider
Terminals ideal for 'pay at table' service
Partnership with Global Card Solutions to offer you mobile GPRS terminals
Find out more: Card Cutters 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 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
The growth of online commerce, or ecommerce, has driven retailers to meet the demand of consumers looking for convenience and bargains online. The added work of maintaining an online presence as well as increased sale volume means that many businesses are becoming victims of security flaws and breaches.
This is why 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.
Banks and credit card companies have had to respond to the increased danger of online financial fraud and have introduced more stringent security measures to deal with this. The best online merchant account provider will 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. .
With schemes like this, the customer registers a password with the card issuer that they have to enter every time they use the card. This gives the extra security customers need to shop online with confidence.
Payment gateways are another service online payment processors provide. These are basically the part of a website you pass through when you make a payment or reach the checkout. It is what 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.
Find out more: Online Payment Gateway
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.
Find out more: Comparing PDQ Machines
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.