It can be hard to find merchant services that offer plans and prices that actually suit your business. This is especially true if you are a high risk business as the cheaper deals are usually offered to the low risk companies. In this article, we will be discussing the cheapest options when it comes to merchant accounts in 2018.
First Data Merchant Accounts Paypoint Merchant Accounts WorldPay Merchant Services PaymentSense Merchant Services SagePay Merchant Services PayZone Merchant Account Global Payments Merchant Account Reducing the cost of merchant services for small businesses High Risk Industry Small Business Accounts How Small Businesses Can Save on Costs
First Data began to provide payment solutions in 1971, making it one of the oldest credit card processing companies in the world. Since its humble beginnings, First Data has grown into one of the biggest service providers, serving over 6 million merchants around the globe. To give you an idea of just how huge First Data is, they handle 45% of all the credit and debit transactions in the U.S and globally they process 79 billion transactions each year.
First Data Key Features
First Data offer payment solutions for all businesses, whether you are operating in store, online, by phone or e-mail. They accept all credit and debit cards and offer a selection of services and additional extras. Their merchant accounts include;
- Data Vault
This provides you with a secure way to store sensitive cardholder data – the database is encrypted and kept within the First Data’s data centre. This removes many vulnerabilities and helps to support and protect merchants and cardholders.
- Business Track
This allows you to use online reporting to track, monitor and analyse your business’s payment processing. Easily stay informed and up to date by generating the latest reports and accessing payment processing information at the click of a button.
- Global Choice
This allows foreign customers to pay for goods in their home currency, this adds value to international sales and means both the seller and customer know the exact sales amount. There are 48 currencies currently available and the exchange rates are always up to date.
First Data offer customized solutions that are suited directly to the needs of the business in question. Due to this, they have varying fees and terms. However, the accounts do include monthly fees from £15 and transaction fees of between 2% + 20p and 3.5% + 40p.
First Data Features Checklist
- Fraud Screening
- Accepts all major credit and debit cards
- Approves transactions in less than 2 seconds
- e-deposits are sent directly to your account
- Easy integration with point-of-sale software and terminals
- Efficient and effective online account tracking tools
Paypoint have been providing simplified payment solutions since 1997, they originally provided a method for customers to pay their utility bills in retail stores and have now grown to have an international network for payment processing and transactions. Paypoint are trusted with billions of pounds in transactions and handle close to 740 million transactions each year.
Paypoint partners with Lloyds Cardnet in order to provide merchant services, as a company they provide many services including retail, mobile and online payment products suitable for all types of businesses.
Free online portal with support and training materials. Stores documents and contains your weekly statements as well as payment records allowing you to keep track of your transactions.
Allows internet purchases to be paid for in-store.
- Lloyds Cardnet
Paypoint offer this card terminal payment solution with partner Lloyds bank.
PayPoint’s Fee Structure
Paypoint do not advertise their fees online and it is likely that customers will be able to negotiate rates, contract length and fees with Lloyds. A news article from 2017 reported standardized pricing for use of the older terminals at £10 per month and that Paypoint began offering their new terminal at a cost of £10 per week. Although there is no mention of transaction fees or other rates.
Weekly PayPoint One terminal fees
Base package for an existing merchant £10 per week
Core package for an existing merchant £15 per week
Core package for a new merchant £20 per week
Lloyds Cardnet fees (quoted 2016 prices)
Joining fee: £175
Termination fee: £200
3p authorisation fee per transaction
PayPoint Features Checklist
- Included POS tablet
- Accepts cash, card and contactless payments
- eVouchers for paying online subscriptions
- Cloud-based tools
- 24/7 customer contact centre
- Free online portal
- Single Daily Settlement
WorldPay has been in business since 1989, it operated under the name Streamline back then and has since become one of the world leaders in payment processing. WorldPay is trusted by a large number of small businesses throughout the U.K. and is responsible for handling over 40% of card payments within the U.K.
WorldPay Key Features
Worldpay is a large international processor and is considered something of a powerhouse within the payment processing sector. In addition to merchant accounts they offer many services including POS software integration, bookkeeping, terminal leases, payment gateways and more.
- QuickBooks integration
Worldpay allows easy and seamless integration of payment processing data with QuickBooks.
- Various payment solutions
Face-to-face, online and virtual payment solution on flexible pricing plans.
- Integrated POS options
Worldpay offers integrated software to ensure merchants needing face-to-face payment solutions have POS options within easy reach too.
WorldPay Fee Structure
On the 18 month simplicity plan you will be charged a monthly terminal rental fee of £17.50 as well as standard charges and a “single rolled up transaction rate”.
The online payment gateway fee is £19.95 per month plus 10p per transaction (the first 350 transactions are free).
WorldPay Features Checklist
- Online and phone support available 24/7
- Supports over 120 currencies
- Affordable & trusted countertop, portable and mobile terminals
- Security – WorldPay handle and store all data
- Accept contactless payments as well as mobile phone payments
PaymentSense was founded in 2010, they have since been ranked as one of the fastest growing private companies and were finalists for the National Business Awards 2016. This UK based company offer various solutions and credit card processing for small business owners.
PaymentSense Key Features
PaymentSense offer a wide variety of payment processing solutions including credit and debit card machine for small business owners, whether they need countertop, portable or mobile terminals. The products they offer suit mainly smaller businesses and they have a more predominant focus on E-commerce and countertop solutions.
- E-Commerce solution
PaymentSense offer a virtual terminal and payment gateway with pay now buttons and electronic invoices which is perfect for small to medium e-Commerce businesses.
- High speed terminals
Their countertop terminals offer some of the fastest processing speeds available. With fast speeds and low rates they may offer one of the best card machine for small business.
- Capped card rates
PaymentSense customers are offered capped card rates so there is no worry about unexpected increases and figures rising as time goes on.
PaymentSense Fee Structure & Costs
PaymentSense offer three packages, each include a merchant account and payment gateway as well as multiple shopping carts and a pay now button:
Starter package (yearly limit of £50,000) – £9.95 per month
Basic package (yearly limit of £250,000) – £14.95 per month
Pro package (yearly limit of £1.2 million) – £19.95 per month
PaymentSense Features Checklist
- 24/7 helpline
- Fastest installation (have your countertop card machine up and running within 3 days)
- Accept credit, debit and contactless cards as well as Apple Pay.
- Payment processing within seconds
SagePay was founded in 2001 in a bid to provide small business merchant accounts within the UK. Determined to offer a safe and easy online payment service, they now provide services to over 50,000 customers.
SagePay Key Features
Sage Pay offer solutions that allow phone, online, invoice and face-to-face payments to be made. It is very easy for customers to set up accounts, there is no set up fee and you can link accounting software with ease too.
- Accepts over 25 currencies and a range of payment types
Accepted payment types include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, JCB, American Express, Discover, Diners and several local European payments too.
- Sage Accounts
Customers of Sage Pay can use the following sage accounts at no extra cost; Sage One, Sage50, Sage200 and Sage Instant Account.
This cloud-based reporting tool allows businesses to track and monitor their payments and access up to date information.
Sage Pay offers various plans to suit businesses of all sizes and there are no setup fees.
Flex plan – £20.90 per month with 350 transactions, fraud screening tools, 24/7 customer support and the inclusion of eInvoice and phone payments.
Plus plan – £45 per month with 500 transactions, fraud prevention and fast-pass support.
Corporate plan – prices vary but includes over 3,000 transactions, fraud screening, priority support and a dedicated account manager.
Sage Pay Features Checklist
- Fraud screening and prevention
- 24/7 customer support
- Online analytics
- Accepts a range of payment types
- Easy integration with Sage Accounts
- Allows connection with your eCommerce site
PayZone has been a payment solution provider in the U.K. for over 25 years. They currently handle over £1.2 billion worth of transactions each year in the U.K. They provide an excellent merchant account for small business.
Key Features of PayZone
PayZone offers merchant accounts, card terminals, virtual terminals and online payment solutions, best suited to small and medium sized businesses.
- Convenient extras
Do you need mobile phone top-up services or electronic bill-pay? You can easily add on extras like these with Payzone.
- Negotiate lower rates
Payzone will negotiate a rate for you from third-party merchant providers such as Barclaycard. These rates are often lower than you would have received when applying yourself.
- EInvoicing and Pay by link
Pay by link emails allows you to send invoices directly to the customer where they can then pay using any major debit or credit card.
Fee Structure for PayZone Accounts
PayZone work with third-party merchant account providers in order to access reduced rates on your behalf. This means the fees vary based on your business’s needs. As a rough guide, monthly fees will generally start from £20 per month with a 0.6 – 2.5% + flat fee transaction fee.
PayZone Features Checklist
- Personalised pricing plans
- Fraud screening
- 12 month contracts
- No start up or termination fees
- Offer ingenico card machines with up to date security features
- Offers 4 different online payment solutions to suit your needs
- Accepts contactless and Apple Pay payments
Global Payments is one of the largest credit card processors and has been operating since 1967. Global payment offers a vast selection of services from merchant accounts to processing hardware and they now serve close to three million merchants in 30 countries.
- True Rate pricing
This impacts transaction rates and means the rate you pay changes depending on the card being used. True Rate pricing uses the actual interchange rate with Global Payments markup and fees per card. This is advantageous and can result in much lower fees, especially for high volumes of high-interchange card transactions.
- GP WebPay
This payment gateway offers online transactions, customized checkout pages and e-commerce services. It automatically translates to 20 languages and has fraud prevention features. Global Iris is the integrated payment gateway and merchant account option.
- Industry specific options
They offer industry-specific resources and plans to make finding payment processing solutions even easier.
Global Payments offers all-in-one services including e-commerce and merchant accounts. The charges vary depending on the service and your business size, usage and requirements.
On average, the charges are:
Monthly fees from £10 per month per service
Transaction fees are an average of 2% but vary from 1.1% + 19p up to 3.3% + 19p
Terminal rental from £18
Early termination fee between £150 – £500
Global Payments Features Checklist
- Quick approvals
- Real time reporting
- Custom industry specific options
- 24/7 online and phone customer service
- Contract length between 12-36 months
- Processing is available in around 140 currencies
If you are looking to save on costs when searching for the merchant account that suits your business best, take a read of the below.
- Have a good credit rating – Your credit rating is an indication of the stability of your finances and how you handle them, generally businesses with good credit have access to lower rates. If you have a bad credit rating you will likely be offered higher rates and worse deals.
- Federation of Small Businesses – This scheme offers small businesses expert advice, support and financial knowledge that business owners can use to help push their small business towards their goals. They represent the small business community in the U.K. and provide members with valuable services.
They offer memberships for businesses with no employees at a yearly rate of £142.50 (+ £30 joining fee that applies to the first year only). FSB offer its members; tax and legal protection, legal advice, health and safety support and more.
- Compare multiple sources & shop around – By comparing several merchant account providers you’ll be able to get a clearer idea of some of the best deals as well as what the average fees and asking prices are. This will help you to decide which provider offers the best deals for you.
A high risk industry is not in any way synonymous with unprofitable, it simply refers to businesses that the bank considers are likely to experience chargebacks, refunds and fraud. Such industries include gambling, travel, drugs, payday loans, software, tattoo studios, nightclubs, the list goes on…
For high risk business merchant services you will likely experience higher transaction fees, higher reserve, higher monthly fees and longer settlement periods. You can expect to pay at least £50 per month for a high risk merchant account, along with having to leave higher percentages in your account to deal with cases of fraud etc.
Saving on costs doesn’t have to be time consuming or stressful, using our website you can receive the best tailored quote possible without having to do the leg work. We’ll compare the market to find the best deals for you.