What to Know Before Getting Started
Starting a New Business?
Selecting a credit card processor is often more complicated than most people expect. How much should you be paying in fees? Should you lease or buy equipment? Should you be locked into a service agreement for anything length of time? These considerations and several others are imporant to understand before signing up with any merchant account provider. Mistakes are easily made and can be very costly to your business. Along with seeing our top choices for payment services below, be sure to checkout this post to avoid common traps in the merchant services industry.
Considerations For Current Business Owners
Changing merchant accounts can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. Are you really going to save as much as promised? Do you need to buy to new equipment or sign new lease agreements? Will there be other less accountable costs such as those associated with employee retraining? Before selecting one of our choices below, you may want to consider renegotiating your fees with your current payment processing vendors using the help of a contingency-compensated consultant. It can result in a dramatic decrease in costs without the pains of switching. In some cases business owner have also obtained substantial refunds of prior overcharges along with saving thousands in future processing costs. See this post to learn more about this little-known alternative to changing merchant account provider.
UK merchant services providers are governed by different laws than providers in the U.S., which has resulted in subtle differences between the U.S. and UK merchant account markets. The UK payment processing market is currently dominated by large UK-based banks and UK affiliates of behemoth U.S. credit processors like First Data and Global Payments, leaving very little room for smaller resellers and independent sales offices. As a result, UK merchants are less likely to encounter renegade independent sales agents or extremely expensive equipment leases, so they spend more of their energy evaluating customer service and bottom-line pricing when shopping for credit card processing.
With so many huge banks dominating the UK credit card processing industry, it can be hard for merchants to tell which companies actually provide competitive rates and quality service. That’s why we’ve created this list of the best UK merchant services providers. The payment processors on this list are either based in the UK or are fully capable of serving UK merchants. More importantly, though, they’ve all received positive feedback from merchant regarding their pricing, customer service, and contract terms. In order to determine which company is the best fit for your business, we recommend visiting each provider’s website to compare rates, fees, and service hours.
- iZettle offers a low-cost, low-commitment mobile chip-and-PIN device that is perfect for small and seasonal merchants.
- Universal Transaction Processing is a great option for small, midsize, and large businesses who prefer a company partnered with a UK-based bank (Barclays).
- Fidelity Payment Services is a good fit for large UK businesses who seek the robust product offerings of First Data with a UK banking partner (AIB).
- Secure Trading is a sophisticated, flexible online payment option for e-commerce and high-risk UK businesses.
Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.
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 will gradually lower 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
Universal Transaction Processing
Founded in 2013, Universal Transaction Processing is a merchant account provider that serves retailers of all sizes in the UK. Universal Transaction Processing’s products and services include countertop terminals, mobile payment processing, an online payment gateway, a virtual terminal, and merchant cash advance. Universal Transaction Processing is a Barclays reseller that can serve UK businesses of all sizes and types.
Universal Transaction Processing customizes its pricing and contract terms for each individual merchant. Our review of Universal Transaction Processing currently assigns the company an “A” rating.
Universal Transaction Processing Highlights
UK-based banking partner
Live customer support
Fidelity Payment Services
Headquartered in New York but maintaining offices in London, Fidelity Payment Services is an independent sales organization (ISO) that markets merchant services in the UK through partnerships with First Data and AIB. The company’s products and services include countertop chip-and-PIN terminals, an online payment gateway, a virtual terminal, mobile payment processing, ACH processing, and merchant cash advance. Fidelity is capable of serving all business sizes and is a good option for large merchants who would like the robust feature suite offered by First Data without the impersonal service often associated with major banks.
Fidelity Payment Services customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s size, business type, and processing history. Our review of Fidelity Payment services currently assigns the company an “A” rating, while the Better Business Bureau gives Fidelity an “A+.”
Fidelity Payment Services Highlights
Wide range of products
Live customer support
Founded in 1997, Secure Trading is a large, London-based merchant account provider that serves standard-and high-risk e-commerce business types in the U.S. and UK. Secure Trading’s services include an online payment gateway, a virtual terminal, multi-currency support, recurring billing, online shopping cart integration, and back-office tools. Secure Trading is a great option for e-commerce merchants in the UK who may sell some high-risk products.
Secure Trading Highlights
Serves high risk merchants
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.
Founded in June 2009, Card Cutters is a merchant account provider that claims to serve over 5,000 merchants of all types within the UK. Card Cutters offers chip-and-PIN terminals, contactless terminals, short-term terminal rentals, an online payment gateway, a virtual terminal, back-office reporting, and merchant cash advance. Card Cutters places a heavy emphasis on retail-oriented payment solutions, but likely serves a wide range of merchant types.
Card Cutters advertises that it offers interchange-plus pricing, the most transparent pricing model available. Our review of Card Cutters currently gives it an “A” rating.
If your company offers UK merchant accounts, please let us know in the comment section below or contact us via our contact page.