First Data’s UK Branch
Paymentsense is a very large merchant account provider that claims to service over 30,000 businesses in the UK. Paymentsense is the UK branch of First Data, the largest payment processor in the U.S. Paymentsense is primarily focused on conventional countertop and e-commerce payment solutions rather than mobile payment apps for UK merchants. In 2018, the company launched Connect — a cloud-based technology that facilitates its payment processing network.
Paymentsense Location and Ownership
Founded in 2010, Paymentsense is located at Westbourne Studios, 242 Acklam Rd, London W10 5JJ. Jan Farrarons and George Karibian are the co-founders of Paymentsense and its CEO is Jed Rose.
Paymentsense Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Paymentsense appears to offer multi-year contracts through First Data with long-term equipment leases. Its early termination fee can be as expensive as £450 per terminal.
- Complaints & Service: Paymentsense has received more than 600 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Paymentsense does not have a profile with the Better Business Bureau.
- Sales & Marketing: Paymentsense hires independent sales representatives and has received a moderate-to-high number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Paymentsense
Types of Businesses Served
Our unbiased reviews are supported, in part, by helping you find highly rated merchant accounts. You can learn more here.
Paymentsense Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Keyed-in Rate||0.20% + £0.50|
|Starter Plan Fee||£8.30 Per Month|
|Regular Plan Fee||£12.45 Per Month|
|Advanced Plan Fee||£16.60 Per Month|
|Early Termination Fee||£450+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||£5.94 Per Month|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Undisclosed|
Discounts for Paying Annually
Paymentsense does not disclose all of its pricing details on its website or in its merchant agreement, but it does list its monthly fees for online payments via a payment gateway and virtual terminal-enabled phone processing. These fees can be paid annually or monthly, but merchants receive a discount for paying for a year upfront. Both types of payment plan cost £9.95 per month (£8.30 if paid annually) for businesses processing up to £50,000 per year, £14.95 per month (£12.45 if paid annually) for businesses processing between £50,000 and £250,000 per year, and £19.95 per month (£16.60 if paid annually) for businesses processing between £250,000 and £1.2 million per year. Merchant reviews reflect a rate of 0.20% for swiped transactions and 0.20% plus £0.50 for those that are keyed-in. Each per transaction fee is in addition to the cost of a monthly payment plan.
Costly, Complex Cancellation Fees
In addition to monthly fees and transaction rates, the Paymentsense terms and conditions also include a costly early termination fee. According to the agreement, merchants must pay £250 per terminal if they cancel their merchant account before the conclusion of the initial term. In the event that the equipment is not returned within 28 days of the cancellation that fee rises to £450 per terminal. Depending on the size of a merchant’s business, this fee can cost over £1,000.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Paymentsense also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. The company offers 3 different plans to facilitate online payments determined by a merchant’s yearly processing revenue. The Starter Plan is available to merchants processing up to £50,000 per year at a cost of £8.30 per month. The Regular Plan serves merchants processing up to £250,000 a year for a monthly fee of £12.45. Lastly, merchants processing up to £1.2m a year qualify for the Advanced Plan which has a monthly see of £16.60. According to the company’s terms and conditions, its payment gateway plans do not enforce an early termination fee and are in effect month-to-month agreements.
Multi-Year Contracts Are Possible
According to merchant comments available online and responses from company representatives, Paymentsense offers a standard contract agreement of 18 to 60 months, with locked-in rates decreasing as the contract length increases. The company’s specific transaction fees vary depending on a merchant’s business type, size, and time in business, as well as the terms presented by the sales agent. Most complaints about the company’s contract terms mention that although Paymentsense locks in rates over the life of a contract, the company may introduce unexpected minor monthly charges over time such as statement fees, 24-hour terminal replacement fees (£1.89 per month according to some reports), or PCI compliance fees (£5.94 per month according to some reports).
Termination Fees May Apply to Leased Equipment
Most reviewers also indicate that Paymentsense charges an early termination fee for the cancellation of its equipment leases that can range from a £120 plus VAT to Liquidated Damages. Merchants are encouraged to inquire about these terms before signing up for service. We have seen an influx of complaints about five-year leasing agreements that ultimately cost far more than the retail cost of the equipment, and we continue to recommend that merchants purchase used equipment rather than buy new equipment whenever possible. Paymentsense claims to not charge an early termination fee on its actual merchant accounts, but the cost of cancelling a terminal often exceeds most common ETFs.
Merchant Feedback Is Not Encouraging
Given the company’s size and diverse customer base, it is difficult to determine exact figures for the standard Paymentsense contract at this time. However, the rate and volume of complaints we have received about the company’s pricing suggest that there is a high potential for undisclosed fees through this provider. If you suspect that undisclosed fees have crept into your monthly statement, we recommend seeking a fee reduction audit from an independent third party.Are you happy with your Paymentsense fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Paymentsense Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||600+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
More Than 600 Complaints
We are currently able to locate more than 600 negative Paymentsense reviews in the comment section below this review and even more elsewhere. Complainants report issues that are typical of First Data and its resellers, including undisclosed fees, higher-than-expected rates, long-term equipment leases, and poor customer service. These complaints have been posted very frequently and are loaded with consistent grievances, indicating that these issues may be systemic at Paymentsense.
Some Reviews Are Not Reliable
Paymentsense currently has a 4 out of 5 rating based on 5,208 reviews on Trustpilot.co.uk, a customer review website. Despite that rating, 12% of those reviews, an excess of 600, give the company 1 or 2 out of 5 stars. This figure is not especially meaningful, though, given the fact that Trustpilot allows businesses to pay a fee in order to exert some control over their profiles. A survey of available Paymentsense reviews on Trustpilot reveals that at least some reviews have been flagged for review by Paymentsense and are currently unavailable. The company’s ability to report comments and subject them to review greatly reduces the credibility of this profile in our opinion, and we are not inclined to lend much credence to the company’s rating.
Mixed Reviews From Business Owners
On UK Business Forums, another consumer protection website, users have mixed reviews of Paymentsense. Some commenters praise the company’s locked-in rate guarantee, low rates, and customer service, while others bemoan its long-term equipment lease commitments, and unexpected fees. Paymentsense is rarely described as a cheap merchant account provider.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Paymentsense. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Paymentsense Customer Service Options
Paymentsense provides phone and email support for its customers, which likely helps to mitigate complaints regarding poor customer service.
Response from Paymentsense
Are you a representative of Paymensense? Add your voice to this section for free!
Paymentsense BBB Rating Summary
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Resellers and Telemarketers
Paymentsense appears to primarily market itself through independent sales agents and telemarketing efforts. The use of independent sales agents is a practice that is commonly linked to merchant complaints within the credit card payments industry, and Paymentsense’s reputation appears to suffer from its use of this practice. We have found dozens of merchant reviews that mention aggressive or misleading sales tactics by Paymentsense representatives, discrepancies between promised rates and actual rates, and incomplete disclosure of contract length.
Some complaints also state that Paymentsense sales agents promised merchants that Paymentsense would pay the merchants’ cancellation fees with their previous providers, only to have Paymentsense deny this guarantee and refuse to follow through on it. These complaints have been posted with regularity and are similar to the complaints that have been filed against Paymentsense’s U.S. partner, First Data.
No Tricky Quotes
To its credit, Paymentsense does not engage in deceptive advertising strategies in its publicly available marketing materials. This is not enough to qualify it as a top-rated UK merchant account provider, but it does somewhat mitigate the negative reports from business owners.
Paymentsense Marketing Example
About Phillip Parker
Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.
Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services
I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.
From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.