Taking Credit Card Payments: Getting Started
Taking credit card payments has become part and parcel of everyday life for most businesses – but unfortunately it comes at a cost thanks to transaction fees and monthly costs associated with merchant services, let alone purchase or leasing costs for any hardware you require. So where do you start looking for the best merchant account for credit card payments?
First, you need to decide what sort of transactions you will be processing; will your customers be buying online? Over the phone? Or face to face?
Second, compare rates and fees from the UK’s leading merchant account providers.
Third, Save money when making your choice of merchant service partner.
We can help you save money on merchant accounts and credit card processing, all you need to do is read the reviews on this page or answer the question below!
Comparing Merchant Account Providers
Choosing the right merchant account for credit card payments is important for businesses. It is an important decision as it affects your profit revenue and margin. Here we compare nine of the best UK accounts for credit cards.
Secure Hosting offer merchant accounts to businesses of all sizes. They have partnered with a UK bank to allow their customers access to preferential rates for their merchant account services. They have two charging rates; one for new businesses and one for existing organisations. For new businesses the charge per credit card transaction is 1.9% of the value of the sale. For existing businesses the rates start at 1.69% for firms with a turnover of less that £150,000 pa, dropping to 1.58% for companies with a turnover of over £250,000 pa. There is also a one off bank set up fee of £35.
Barclay Card are one of the most well known providers of merchant accounts in the UK. They have two merchant account services; Essential Pay as You Go and Essential Contract. For their pay as you go service they charge a flat fee of 3.5% on all credit card transactions. This is higher than some competitors but this covers all the account costs and there are no extra fees. The charges on the contract account are lower, but for this service you must contact Barclay Card for a bespoke quote.
Ogone specialises in merchant accounts for online transactions. There is a minimum monthly fee for the account of £19.99, but that includes 300 free credit card transactions, regardless of their value. Once you have reached the monthly limit then all future credit card transactions are charged at 15p each. For businesses with a low number of high value transactions this can prove to be a cost effective merchant account.
Sage is a well known name in business finance and has now expanded into the merchant account provider industry. They accept all the main credit cards and the price per transaction is 2.5%. This transaction charge includes the MasterCard Secure Code and Verified by Visa security checks. There is a slightly lower rate for AMEX cards of 1.68% which can make it a cost effective choice if a large number of your customers use AMEX. There are no monthly fees on top of this transaction charge.
Intelligent Merchant Services
Another account particularly suited to businesses with low numbers of high value transactions is the one offered by Intelligent Merchant Services. The £19 a month fee includes 350 free credit card transactions and their fraud prevention service. This account also supports credit card payments in multiple currencies so is a popular choice for firms with a global customer base.
NoChex is a combined merchant account and PSP aimed towards small and medium sized businesses. Their charging structure is tiered, meaning the more transactions your firm makes, the lower the transaction percentage you are charged. The standard rate for credit card transactions is 2.9% plus 20 pence for each transaction. However, this drops rapidly as the volume of transactions increases, making this account ideal for high volume, low value businesses.
BlackBaud are a relatively new entrant to the merchant account market but have proven popular for their high levels of customer service. The charge for credit card transactions is 2.75% plus 25 pence, and 3.5% for American Express. This charge is the same for online and face to face payments and both can be processed through the same merchant account, meaning you are only paying one set of account fees.
WorldPay offer a merchant account as part of their payment gateway. Their fees are dependent on the type of industry you operate in, but they are often some of the most competitive rates available. Their credit card service charges start at 1.9% plus 10 pence per transaction. However, this does not include fraud screening which is a further 10 pence per transaction.
PayPal allows users to make credit card payments to your business online, and is one of the largest providers of merchant accounts worldwide. It has a tiered pricing structure, and for business with turnover in excess of £15,000 per month, credit card transactions are charge at 1.9% plus 20 pence. For non profit organisations they offer a discount which reduces the percentage payable to 1.4%, making PayPal popular with charities and social enterprise firms.