What to Know Before Getting Started
Mobile credit card processing in the United Kingdom has developed differently than it has in the U.S. Most noticeably, the much-hyped U.S. processor Square has yet to expand to the UK despite its high profile within the U.S. mobile payments market. The booming startup culture that infiltrated the U.S. payments space in the late 2000s has also not materialized in the UK, resulting in only a few small European alternatives to the standard mobile payment processing products from major banks and U.S.-based credit card processors. One possible reason for this delay in innovation may be the UK’s embrace of EMV and NFC payments, which require sophisticated mobile credit card readers instead of simple headphone jack swipers.
Whatever the reason, there does not appear to be a clearly dominant processor when it comes to UK mobile credit card acceptance. As a result, it can be hard for UK mobile merchants to distinguish between good credit card processors and bad credit card processors. Luckily for them, we have prepared the following list of the top mobile credit card processors for UK merchants. This list features merchant services providers that offer low-commitment, low-cost pricing plans with positively reviewed customer service. Although this list provides some basic information about each provider, merchants are encouraged to contact the companies themselves to clear up any confusion and compare costs.
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Why These Merchant Account Providers
Headquartered in Sweden, iZettle is a mobile credit card processor that has been processing payments since 2010. The company’s products and services include an EMV- and NFC-compatible mobile credit card reader, a point-of-sale app, email marketing tools, sales analytics, Xero integration, point-of-sale hardware, and merchant cash advance. iZettle is capable of serving businesses in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Brazil.
iZettle does not charge any monthly fees and gradually lowers its transaction fee from 2.75% for merchants who process less than £2,000 in a given month all the way down to 1% for merchants who process over £40,000 per month. Our review of iZettle currently gives it an “A” rating overall.
For more information, see the iZettle website.
£29 + VAT card reader
1% to 2.75% per transaction
Live customer support
Other Merchant Account Options
The providers in this section may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them here to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and believe that you should be listed below? Tell us here.
Based in the UK, Payleven is a mobile payment service that is “powered by” SumUp. As such, its products and services are very similar to those offered by SumUp, including an EMV/NFC card reader, a point-of-sale app, sales analytics, an itemized product catalogue, multi-user support, additional point-of-sale hardware, and emailed receipts. Payleven differs from SumUp in its pricing, which starts at 2.75% for low-volume users and decreases gradually to 1.50% for users processing over £7,500 per month. This makes Payleven a more cost-effective choice than SumUp for merchants who process more than £5,000 per month.
Payleven’s mobile card reader costs £59 plus VAT. The company offers live phone support during business hours to all of its merchants. Our review of Payleven currently gives it an “A” rating.
A London-based business, SumUp is a mobile payment service that merged with Payleven in April 2016 and now acts as the parent brand between the two. Its products and services include an EMV/NFC card reader, a point-of-sale app, sales analytics, an itemized product catalogue, and digital receipts. Unlike Payleven, SumUp charges a flat rate of 1.95% for all transactions, regardless of the merchant’s sales volume. This makes it a cheaper option than both Payleven and iZettle for merchants who process less than £4,700 per month.
SumUp’s mobile card reader costs £59 plus VAT. The company does not offer live phone support to its merchants. Our review of SumUp currently assigns it an “A” rating.
PayPal may be best known as a global e-commerce payment processor, but the company also provides a mobile processing service for UK-based merchants called PayPal Here. PayPal Here’s features include an EMV/NFC card reader, a mobile app, multi-user support, point-of-sale hardware accessories, invoicing, tipping, and digital receipts. Its pricing decreases for higher-volume merchants, from 2.75% per transaction to potentially 1.5%, and it also offers interchange-plus pricing.
PayPal Here charges £39.99 plus VAT for its card reader and offers UK-based phone support. Our review of PayPal Here’s U.S. product currently assigns it an “A” rating.
If we are missing any great UK mobile payment processing apps that should be included on this list, please let us know in the comment section below.