Are you looking for merchant account providers for the first time? But which one is most suited to your business and affordable for you?
In this guide, you will find mini reviews of the top 40+ providers, including information on merchant accounts, payment processing and affordable pricing. And that’s just to start. Ok so, let’s jump into it!
Our Top 5 Providers
In our opinion, these popular companies provide a range of affordable merchant services including card processing services, a merchant account and quality customer service.
- First Data
This global leader offers a range of merchant services for ecommerce companies, mobile processing and POS providers. They handle everything internally and can support a high number of daily transactions. Some of their services include:
- Third party integration through Google Wallet.
- Account secured using 3D fraud prevention systems.
- Live risk assessment of unfavourable exchange rates.
- Fees ranging from 2% +20p up to 3.5% +40p per transaction.
Further information: First Data
2. Global Payments
This company provides a complete card payment service to a mix of organisations. Working with HSBC they offer:
- Online payments, face-to-face payments and mobile MPOS.
- Increased security through the ‘Global Fortress’ validation system.
- Advanced insights through the ‘Merchant Portal’.
- Innovative payment processing features.
Further information: Global Payments Website
- PayPal UK
PayPal is a popular merchant account provider offering a flexible merchant account which makes their service a great choice for start-ups. Their services include:
- Accepting card payments in 25 currencies.
- 24/7 customer service available.
- Faster check-out with single-click payment.
- Integrated with ‘shopping cart’ software systems.
- Fees starting at 1.9% + 20p per transaction.
Further information: PayPal Business UK
This Stockholm-based company is a leading card machine provider offering ecommerce and payment products to businesses. It’s low cost service includes:
- Fixed fee of 1.75% per transaction.
- No contracts or fixed monthly costs.
- Create and send invoices online using the ‘iZettle app’.
- A range of countertop hardware including it’s mobile card reader and printer.
Further information: iZettle UK Website
This merchant services provider is registered with MasterCard as a sales partner. They offer a card processing service through their range of card machines and an online payment gateway.
- Flat-rate yearly fees based on transaction volume.
- Offer next-day card terminal replacement.
- Provide 24/7 customer service.
- Provide merchant services to over 50,000 businesses in the UK.
Further information: PaymentSense UK Website
Merchant Account Providers
The companies listed below provide merchant account and card processing services. They offer flexible payment plans, payment services and great membership benefits.
This online payment provider offers an impressive mixture of merchant card services and anti-fraud products to online businesses. Here are some of their benefits:
- Easy to set-up recurring ‘single click’ payments.
- Payment accepted in 135+ worldwide currencies.
- Seamless customer check-out experience.
- Fees of 1.4% + 20p for European credit and debit cards.
- Feeds of 2.9% + 20p for non-European credit and debit cards.
Further information: Stripe UK Website
Handepay claim that 28,000 businesses have switched to their merchant service so far. According to the company they are savings up to 36% on fees. They are offering:
- Promise to pay £1,000 should they fail to save your business money.
- Bespoke merchant services to suit your specific needs.
- No joining fee, authorization fee or minimum monthly service charge.
Further information: Handepay UK Website
This Canadian ecommerce platform has partnered with leading card payment providers. They have created an attractive merchant account service, allowing you to sell both online and offline. Here are some of the great benefits on offer:
- Increased conversions through accelerated check-out.
- Fees start at 1.9% + 20p per transaction.
- Facebook shopping and card payment options available.
- Manage your entire point of sale service from this one application.
Further information: Shopify UK Website
- Card Cutters
Founded in 2009, this leader in card payment services has built an impressive customer base of 7,000 merchants. They offer the latest payment technology to businesses of all sizes.
- Excellent customer satisfaction rate.
- AIB Merchant Services partnership.
- Face-to-face, phone and online payments.
- No hidden charges and no cancellation fee.
- Up to 350 online & vertical terminal transactions included in sign-up fee.
Further information: Card Cutters UK Website
- Sage Pay
This subsidiary of Sage Group provides a full merchant account service supporting a range of payment types. They can provide you with:
- Invoice fees starting from 59p per transaction.
- Telephone, face-to-face and online payment services.
- Guaranteed bank transfer within 2 working days.
- Integration with external ecommerce platforms, including Paypal.
Further information: Sage Pay UK Website
- BarclayCard Merchant Services
Barclaycard is the payment processing division of Barclays Bank. It offers a mixture of merchant services to businesses of all sizes as a recognized top supplier.
- Multiple solutions including desktop, portable and mobile card machines.
- A virtual terminal for processing payments which works on laptops, tablets and smartphone.
- Tailor-made card services for businesses of every size.
- Fees as low as 1.25% + 10p per transaction.
Further information: BarclayCard UK Business Website
- AIB Merchant Services
AIB Merchant Services are one of Ireland’s largest providers of card processing services. They have significant operation throughout the British Isles. Working with a selection of payment channels, they process millions of daily card payments.
- Merchants Payment Ecosystem (MPE) Best Acquirer Award 2017.
- Commercial fees of 2.5% per transaction.
- In excess of 30 years payment processing experience.
Further information: AIB Merchant Services UK Website
Monek is an online payments company. It provides secure online card processing services to businesses from a wide variety of markets. They can offer you:
- One platform catering for all merchant payment needs.
- More than 30 types of payment processing supported through multiple currencies.
- Advanced fraud prevention system.
Further information: Monek UK Website
This merchant services provider was founded in 1995 and processes a variety of electronic transactions. Their service includes:
- Card processing to over 15,000 businesses every month.
- No setup or exit fees if you terminate at the end of your contract.
- Strong relationships with partners such as BarclayCard.
- Short 12 month contracts.
Further information: Payzone UK Website
- Netpay Merchant Services
Netpay help merchants that want to accept online payments for the first time. They claim to have a high rate of switching from competitor service providers. They are offering:
- 24/7 customer service through telephone, email and live chat.
- Award-winning transaction reporting and analytics service.
- Low fees of 2% + 2.5p on credit card transactions.
Further information: Netpay UK Website
PaySafe provides a full merchant account service and allows online purchasing without having a bank account or credit card. It operates throughout a number of markets. They can offer:
- Complete merchant account and payment processing service.
- Provide support through 100+ currencies.
- Accepts payments through virtually all major credit and debit cards.
Further information: PaySafe UK Website
- Retail Merchant Services
Retail Merchant Services supply thousands of businesses with an affordable card payment service. This has earned them 11 industry awards for outstanding performance so far.
- A Trustpilot rating of ‘excellent’
- Retail members enjoy handpicked benefits including merchant cash advance.
- Offer pay-by-link service for businesses without websites.
Further information: RMS UK Website
Elavon provides payment processing services to a wide range of businesses. They offer a simple and convenient payment processing service. This includes face to face, online payments and app-based services. They provide:
- Multi-layered fraud and cyber-crime security measures.
- Industry-specific tailored payment services.
- Fees of 3.75% per transaction.
- Elavon owned terminals equipped to accept ‘Apple Pay’.
Further information: Elavon UK Website
- Lloyds Bank Cardnet
Established in 1997, the merchant services division of Lloyds Bank provides card machines, international card processing services and help with recurring payments. They also offer:
- Easy track payments through online tools.
- Mobile service for those businesses selling through mobile optimized websites.
- Offers payment service in more than 35 major currencies.
- Fixed fee rate of 1.25% on MasterCard, Visa Debit and Credit cards.
Further information: Lloyds Cardnet Website
- Evo Payments
This worldwide merchant services provider currently handles $80 billion worth of transactions every year. They are also a Principal Member of both Visa and MasterCard processing services.
- Offer easy payment solutions over the phone, face to face, online, and in-app.
- Fees of 2.9% + 20p per transaction.
- A single integration available for software developers.
Further information: Evo UK Website
- Axcess Merchant Services
Axcess was founded in 2007 and work with a wide range of banking partners. They offer merchant services across a number of sectors including online retail, travel and gaming. They provide:
- Multi-territory accounts in 179+ currencies
- Offer 391 banking partners globally
- Provide 2 PCI DSS Level 1 Compliant payment gateways
Further information: Axcess UK Website
This merchant services company allows businesses to accept online, mobile and point-of-sale payments. It enjoys high customer loyalty through currency support and multi-channel payments. It offers:
- All the latest payment features.
- Seamless payment and extensive currency support.
- Fees from a low 0.90% + 10p per transaction
Further information: Ayden UK Website
- HSBC Merchant Services
This multinational financial services company provides card processing services to a selection of businesses. These services include:
- Card payment service via phone, face-to-face, fax, online and mail order.
- Accept online payments securely using their ‘Global Iris’ processing system.
- Advanced fraud management to keep your business protected.
Further information: HSBC Merchant UK Website
AccessPay is a merchant services provider offering a custom processing service. Working with an impressive list of client businesses, they offer:
- Customised plans to meet your specific needs.
- Automation of international payments through trusted schemes.
- Digital masking of sensitive information to reduce the risk of fraudulent activity.
Further information: AccessPay UK Website
High Risk Payment Providers
These companies provide merchant services and card payment services to organisations considered high-risk. They offer a reliable, secure and fast service to businesses vulnerable to chargebacks, fund-holds and even TMF/Match restriction.
- Web Merchant
Web Merchant provides merchant account services to a range of high-risk businesses. They have a reputation for offering an impressive payment service to a diverse set of clients.
- Accepts business that other providers might turn down.
- Provide a free terminal to clients.
- Fees range from 3-6% + 15p per transaction.
- Payment Gateway is fully PCI DSS compliant.
Further information: Web Merchant UK Website
Verotel is a leading payment services company specializing in providing merchant services for high-risk business. They were the first high-risk payment processor awarded the official ‘Payment Institution’ status.
- Specialised cardholder support.
- No minimum processing requirement.
- Transparent fee structure available.
- Highly secure service for sensitive industries.
Further information: Verotel UK Website
BitPay provides Bitcoin payment processing services to businesses. Even though cryptocurrency payments are not mainstream yet, this service allows you to exchange Bitcoin for US Dollars.
- Settlement charge of 1% per transaction and no chargeback fees.
- Send and receive Bitcoin online from anywhere in the world.
- Available worldwide, supplies physical and virtual cards.
- Specialist merchant services for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash payments.
Further information: BitPay UK Website
- Instabill Payments
This merchant services company provides high-risk global payment services to even the riskiest of companies. They include:
- Tailored service for a range of high-risk businesses.
- No merchant account set up fees.
- Multi-currency partnering including USD, GBP and euro.
Further information: Instabill UK Website
GSPAY provides offshore merchant accounts and third party payment services to international businesses. This payment provider also offers a mixture of fixed rates to its clients.
- Advanced fraud protection system.
- Support for shopping cart systems e.g. OSCommerce, CubeCart & ShopScript
- Fees range from 4% to 10% per transaction.
Further information: GSPAY UK Website
- Epoch Payment Solutions
This global merchant services provider guarantees secure payments for high-risk businesses. They are providing:
- Quality payment features and clear pricing.
- Fees ranging from 13.25% to 15%.
- Robust security system for high-risk transactions.
Further information: Epoch UK Website
Payment Gateway & Online Providers
Stripe, Paypal UK and HSBC Merchant Services remain the biggest providers to date. However, there are a lot of other options also. These companies offer processing services for businesses who plan to sell exclusively online!
- Amazon Pay
This online payment service can be used on Amazon and a number of third party ecommerce sites. Some of these include Shopify, BigCommerce, Zuora and Magento. Using stored payment details it can offer many benefits including:
- Streamlined single click checkout procedure.
- Fees start at 3.4% +20p per recorded transaction.
- Advanced protection to customers through the ‘A-Z’ guarantee.
Further information: Amazon Pay UK Website
2Checkout was founded in 2008 and helps international businesses to collect card payments from buyers on their mobile devices. They offer:
- Excellent support for international merchants.
- Transaction fees start at 1.4% – 3.4% + 30c.
- Clear simple pricing structure.
Further information: 2Checkout UK Website
Nochex offers card processing services for small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs. It allows you to accept online payments without having a standard merchant account.
- Fees from 1.4% + 10p per transaction.
- All payments protected by layer of security called ‘3D Secure’.
- Full PCI-DSS Compliance provided.
- Issue invoices through the ‘MyInvoice Service’.
Further information: Nochex UK Website
This payment processing company provides a global payment service for many web and app based businesses. Priding itself on it’s unique pricing structure, it offers:
- Innovative payment solutions.
- Great technical support.
- No long-term contracts.
- Low fees of 0.95% + 20p per transaction.
Further information: Checkout UK Website
- London & Zurich
London & Zurich has decades of experience providing merchant services to both SME and larger organisations. Some of the benefits they offer include:
- PCI DSS Level 1 Compliance.
- Additional payment services provided.
- Low transaction fees.
- Great reputation and customer service.
Further information: London & Zurich UK Website
- Braintree Payment Solutions
A subsidiary of Paypal Inc., Braintree targets its merchant service primarily at software developers, startups, and tech savvy business owners. It provides:
- Full stack payment system including merchant account.
- Customisable and powerful payment system.
- Fees starting at 1.9% + 20p per transaction.
- Renowned customer support.
Further information: Braintree UK Website
- Secure Trading
Secure Trading has over 20 years experience providing specialist merchant services to a range of clients across a number of industries. They offer:
- Fast, reliable and secure payment gateway.
- Industry-specific tailored services offered to SME’s.
- Fees starting from 2% + 25p per transaction.
Further information: SecureTrading UK Website
This Swedish merchant services provider claims to be a leading player in the industry. It offers a range of products specifically tailored for online stores. They can provide:
- Buy now and pay later option.
- Integration of payment gateway with partners including WooCommerce.
- Guaranteed up-front payment for merchants.
- Optimized for payment on mobile devices.
Further information: Klarna UK Website
SmartDebt has over 20 years experience of providing card processing services for companies of all sizes. They work with clients across a number of sectors.
- Flexible packages for different types of business needs.
- Quality security and customer support provide.
- Partnered with ‘CashFlows Acquirer’ service.
Further information: SmartDebt UK Website
- Allied Wallet
Allied Wallet provides an award-winning card payment service covering every payment channel. Founded in 2002, it offers a number of great features including:
- Strong security and fraud prevention.
- Extensive support for currencies and payment methods.
- Supports processing in more than 196 different countries.
- Competitive fees starting from a low 1% per transaction.
Further information: Allied Wallet UK Website
Bluesnap provides payment services and support for over 180 countries, 100+ currencies and more than 110 different payment types.
- Fees from as low as 1.4% + 30c per transaction.
- No setup fees & no cancellation fees.
- Offer market-leading analytics and reporting.
Further information: BlueSnap UK Website
Authorize.net offers merchant accounts from its network of partnership banks which allows businesses to manage credit card transactions online. They provide:
- Thorough support for ‘shopping cart’ software systems and other devices.
- Fees of 2.49% + 15p per transaction.
- Highly customisable and powerful payment system.
Further information: Authorize UK Website
Cardstream is a payments provider which offers a ‘full end-to-end white label payment gateway’. It works with a huge partnership network of payment processors including Visa, MasterCard and JCB.
- Fully customized payment gateway.
- No setup or hidden charges.
- Low cost service.
- PCI DSS Level 1 Compliant.
Further information: CardStream UK Website
Card Machine Providers
When you think about card machine providers, you could be forgiven for thinking that iKettle are the only provider in town. Think again!
All of these companies listed are card machine providers which will allow you to take regular face to face payments.
- WorldPay Zinc
Worldpay provide merchant services to over 300,000 businesses. It offers industry leading pricing and security features. Some benefits include:
- Choice of desktop, portable or mobile terminals.
- Over the phone customer payment options.
- Low fees from 1.95% through to the standard 2.75% per card payment.
- Provides interactive dashboard to monitor payments in real-time.
Further information: WorldPay Zinc UK Website
Verifone is one of the largest providers of PDQ (Process Data Quickly) card machines around. They provide a range of fully mobile, portable and countertop card machines. They offer:
- Range of PDQ card machines, unattended payment and web-based solutions.
- Integrated with other card payment systems including talech POS, GiftFly and Zapper.
- Limited trial period free of charge.
- e355 solution allows access to over 700 million users on Alipay.
Further information: Verifone UK Website
Founded in 2001, Skrill offers a simple to use, fast and secure merchant service to businesses. They can provide:
- Easy to use payment service with a range of additional features.
- Fees start from 1.90% per credit card transaction.
- Single Tap payments available.
- Accessible from computer and mobile devices.
Further information: Skrill UK Website