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Merchant Account Providers Compared 2023:
In this article we compare 13 of the UK’s best merchant account providers, including:
Barclays Merchant accounts
AIB Merchant Services
What is a Merchant Account?
A merchant account is a business bank account allowing you to accept credit and debit card payments. When a payment is made, the merchant account provider holds this payment until it is approved by the customers bank. Once approved it sends the funds to the merchant.
Merchant account fees range from 0.8% – 1.6% for debit cards and 0.8% – 3% for credit cards. Card machine rental fees range from £8.99 – £29.99 per month.
UK Merchant Account Providers
Takepayments Merchant Accounts
Who are Takepayments
Takepayments is a UK-based provider of card machines, EPOS systems and merchant accounts for small to medium-sized businesses. It provides tailored pricing packages and experienced payment consultants to guide you through the PCI compliance process.
Features of Takepayments
- Takepayments Offers Competitive Base Transaction Fees – Takepayments is a PCI-compliant service that offers competitive transaction fees slightly lower than Retail Merchant Services or Worldpay. But before deciding, consider hardware costs, customer support options and contract length to ensure you get the best deal available.
- Takepayments can help you accept payments from anywhere. Their countertop, portable and mobile terminals allow for the easy processing of credit and debit cards on the go. Plus, its premium takepaymentsplus readers also save data to your computer – perfect for businesses with a mobile workforce!
- Real-Time Inventory Tracking – Real-time inventory tracking is an invaluable feature for small businesses, allowing you to monitor the exact amount of stock on hand at any moment. This way, you know what’s available and can adjust prices accordingly.
- Personalised Pricing Packs and Expert Payment Consultants – Takepayments offers tailored price packages for every type of business. These can include real-time inventory tracking, employee sales tracking and cash receipts.
- Short 12-Month Contracts – Takepayments offers businesses the advantage of signing up for a 12-month short contract that doesn’t charge early cancellation fees. This is ideal for businesses that need to expand or shut down and want to avoid expensive exit fees.
- Secure and Convenient – As a Payment Card Industry (PCI) service, takepayments takes security seriously. It adheres to the industry’s stringent standards, conducting credit checks on new merchants as part of its compliance process, including self-assessment and training sessions.
- They have a team of dedicated account managers to guarantee your merchant account is set up quickly, so there’s no need to go through an expensive setup procedure.
Why Choose Takepayments
Takepayments offers a complimentary service to help set up your card machine. Their dedicated team of card machine specialists will negotiate fees with the merchant account provider on your behalf, saving you money in the long run.
Takepayments is ideal for any UK-based business looking to accept cards in-store, online or on the go. They provide a range of card machines and online platforms that can help your business expand and boost sales.
Takepayments’ team is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) save time and money through informed payment decisions. Their knowledgeable staff is available on the phone and online to assist you with any queries.
RMS Merchant Accounts
Who are RMS Merchants
RMS Merchant Accounts provides payment processing solutions for small businesses of all types, whether you need to accept payments online or over the phone. Headquartered in Milton Keynes, UK, they boast over 45,000 clients nationwide.
Payment processing is collecting and storing credit card information to accept customer payments, in-person or over the phone. It also assists in tracking customer transactions, understanding business data, and collecting outstanding invoices.
Features of RMS Merchants
- RMS Merchant Accounts offers a range of payment solutions for small businesses across the UK, such as card machines and payment links. Furthermore, the company provides gift and loyalty program solutions to help businesses attract and retain customers.
- These products and services often integrate with your current business tools, such as a Point-of-Sale system for retail stores or QuickBooks Online for account reconciliation. Furthermore, some payment providers provide additional services that boost efficiency within your operation, like customer management, inventory control systems, and reporting.
- Selecting the ideal merchant service provider for your business is essential. It will determine how effortless accepting card payments will be and how much money you pay to the bank each month. When searching for a provider, look for features like flat rates, no contracts, and 0% markups on interchange fees.
Why Choose RMS Merchants
With RMS Merchants, you won’t be tied into a lengthy contract, there are no cancellation fees and you won’t roll over into a new term. They have a flexible, personalised approach to payments, and their team can help you choose the right products and services based on your individual business needs
Worldpay Merchant Accounts
Who are Worldpay Merchants
Worldpay Merchant Accounts offer an effortless solution to accept credit card payments online. Setup takes only minutes, and you can start processing transactions immediately – perfect for small businesses and e-commerce stores that want more payment options than debit cards.
Features of Worldpay Merchants
- Worldpay offers a free demo and gets you up and running quickly. Their system is secure, and their rates are competitive. Signing up is simple – complete the form below.
- They offer a range of support packages tailored to each business, from 24-hour customer service to remote monitoring and reporting. Plus, you can sign up for a monthly subscription with extras such as online chargeback monitoring and fraud protection services.
- Security-wise, OmniShield Assure and analytics iQ platforms are highly rated by customers. However, whether these are included in pricing or separate offerings are still being determined.
- Worldpay doesn’t charge any upfront fees, but you must contact them by phone or email for a quote. Furthermore, a PCI Compliance fee and monthly charge for point-of-sale equipment may prove costly for some small businesses.
- The company’s contracts are standard but require a 3-year commitment with an additional £295 termination fee. You might find better value with another provider who provides month-to-month pricing.
- Worldpay is part of Fidelity Information Services (FIS), so you have access to an expansive suite of products and services. Plus, work with a team of knowledgeable specialists for assistance in designing your business strategy.
- They boast a stellar reputation for offering competitive credit card processing rates. They accept many types of card payments, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover; additionally, they provide alternative payment methods like ACH transfers and EBT.
- Worldpay offers a great selection of credit card terminals at reasonable prices that can accommodate businesses of any size. Their options range from portable and fixed station models ideal for restaurants, bars and retail outlets to Bluetooth-enabled devices ideal for mobile workers or delivery companies.
- You can take advantage of their next-day terminal replacement service. Furthermore, the company provides a range of support services to help troubleshoot hardware and resolve technical issues promptly.
Why Choose Worldpay Merchants
The company provides a range of options for small and large businesses, including scalability features that enable you to scale up or down depending on your needs. Furthermore, you can integrate with various sales and financial applications to simplify daily tasks and boost revenue streams.
Worldpay has earned many positive reviews but is resistant to complaints too. Some come from Worldpay resellers, but merchants submit many more directly.
Reading all the details when signing up for a Worldpay merchant account is essential. These can be found in their website’s terms and conditions section, so ensure you have enough credit before signing up. Furthermore, avoid early termination fees by shopping around and comparing prices and terms before deciding.
Barclays Merchant Accounts
Who are Barclays Merchant Accounts
Barclays Merchant Accounts offer various services to help you accept credit card payments. These include online and mobile payment solutions and e-commerce portals that let you manage payments and inventory from your business website or app.
These solutions are more convenient and adaptable than traditional merchant account solutions, which require you to sign a contract for a set number of months. Depending on your needs, these could save money in the long run; however, they may only be suitable for some businesses.
Features of Barclays Merchant Accounts
- Low cost card reader rentals start from £10 per month
- They are offering 50% off monthly rentAL until June 2023
- Take payments quickly and securely with Smartpay checkout
- Accept payments by phone and mail by adding a virtual terminal to your payment solution
Why Choose Barclays Merchant Accounts
Barclaycard has a loyalty scheme, which offers money back on your feet after 12 months or more. Read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up, as these may change anytime.
For example, your monthly fee could increase if you have ever exceeded your withdrawal and deposit limits in the past. On the other hand, it could decrease if you’re a large customer with lots of transactions.
Barclays Bank provides business accounts tailored to new and growing companies, such as its Startup account for those with less than 12 months of trading history. With these accounts, you get free banking for the first year; after that, there is a monthly fee and transaction fee to cover.
Revolut Merchant Accounts
Who are Revolut
Revolut is a digital alternative to the big banks, offering business accounts without fees for sending money abroad. They have free accounts for freelancers, and small businesses and paid plans with more features.
Revolut is the go-to platform for international businesses that trade internationally, boasting multi-currency accounts and free ATM withdrawals. They also provide a comprehensive suite of tools and features for small businesses, such as invoicing/expense tracking, virtual cards, and accounting software integration.
Features of Revolut
- Payments –Revolut provides its online payment gateway and a range of other options to enable you to accept customer payments. These include QR codes and payment links that are easy to create, saving time when processing payment transactions.
- They also provide Visa and Mastercard credit cards at no cost for customers on the paid plan. With these cards, customers can pay in multiple currencies with next-day payouts even when using the free plan.
- Revolut Business MasterCard or Visa Debit Cards are an alternative to using something other than a physical card. They come with a one-year warranty and access to an extensive network of ATMs in the UK; these cards can be used for cash withdrawal at any ATM accepting MasterCard or Visa and reloaded when necessary.
- Revolut’s card reader makes taking customer payments a breeze, as it accepts contactless and card payments for your goods and services. Compatible with Android and iOS mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and more devices, the Revolut card reader works with contactless and chip-and-PIN transactions such as Apple Pay!
- Revolut’s Checkout Plugin for E-commerce Platforms – Integrating payment processing into your e-commerce platform through Revolut’s checkout plugin can help boost sales and reduce customer inquiries by making the checkout process much more seamless. This will result in fewer returns from customers during checkout, thus improving customer experience overall.
Why Choose Revolut
Revolut business bank accounts can be opened quickly and easily on their website, using the mobile app for account management on the go. Plus, their dedicated support team is available 24/7 to answer any queries.
Who are Zettle
PayPal has just introduced Zettle in the US, a POS card reader explicitly designed for small merchants. This agile software and hardware platform enables sellers to accept in-person and online payments from mobile devices or tablet checkout stands. Zettle integrates with e-commerce platforms, external POS systems, and accounting programs like QuickBooks.
Features of Zettle
- Zettle hardware tends to be pricier, with the top-of-the-line Terminal costing £199. It can be plugged into a power source or battery and is also compatible with iOS and Android’s Go apps.
- The Terminal works on a SIM card, eliminating the worry of data loss when you’re away from your office or travelling. It’s ideal for retailers who wish to accept in-person card and contactless payments but are concerned about how much data will be consumed.
- Zettle stands apart from Square and Clover, which are primarily e-commerce platforms. It provides free insight tools to help monitor inventory levels and sell more efficiently, along with integrations with various e-commerce, accounting and POS providers.
- Zettle makes in-person card and contactless payments a breeze with its user-friendly hardware. From an essential Bluetooth card reader to countertop stands and total in-store checkout stations featuring tablet stands, cash drawers and receipt printers – all come at an unbeatable flat rate fee of 2.29% plus £0.09.
- Payment links are an increasingly popular way for customers to purchase from your store without needing their cards entered. They’re an effective way to encourage repeat visits, and the Zettle brand helps reassure shoppers that your store is secure.
Why Choose Zettle
Zettle’s Store Kit is their most budget-friendly hardware option, featuring a touchscreen, barcode scanner and credit card terminal at £29 + VAT (roughly £27). You can add extra features like a cash drawer or printer for an even lower cost; plus, it supports contactless chip & pin, mobile wallet payments, and keyed-in payments too!
Stripe Merchant Accounts
Who are Stripe
Stripe Merchant Accounts offer a comprehensive suite of payment processing features, making it simple for business owners to accept credit and debit card payments. These capabilities include the capacity to integrate payment options, manage authorisations, and more. Furthermore, they provide automatic PCI compliance – protecting customer data while efficiently meeting PCI DSS requirements.
Features of Stripe
- Stripe’s API Offers Powerful Functionality – Stripe’s API offers many features, making it the ideal platform for any e-commerce application. With built-in tools and customisation options, developers can easily craft an effective solution tailored to their business needs.
- Adaptive Acceptance – Stripe uses an adaptive acceptance system to monitor card transactions and automatically process payments, helping reduce chargebacks and boost customer invoice payment rates. To do this, it tracks account behaviour using data and machine learning algorithms that predict when to approach a charge attempt.
- A Flexible Fee Structure – Stripe’s fees are relatively affordable for most businesses, while some merchant accounts can be expensive. Furthermore, it offers various pricing plans to find the most advantageous deal for your company.
Why Choose Stripe
Stripe’s fees are determined by the volume of payments processed. Therefore, you could pay more than necessary if you’re starting and have little business.
As your business expands and the number of customers grows, Stripe can provide the scalability you need. Its low transaction fees, user-friendly setup process and advanced reporting capabilities make it an excellent option for many businesses.
The initial step to take when working with Stripe is signing up for a free trial. This provides an invaluable opportunity to assess whether Stripe suits your business needs.
If you’re already a Stripe user, it’s wise to contact your customer service representative to verify all payment options are functioning correctly. They’ll need your bank account and business name to verify your account’s legitimacy.
Clover Merchant Accounts
Who are Clover
Clover offers a comprehensive suite of merchant account features, such as online payments, credit card processing, customer management tools and e-commerce integrations. These capabilities make Clover an attractive option for small businesses seeking ways to boost their financial performance.
Features of Clover
- They offer an ‘Insight web portal to view transactions and reports; however, you should expect a monthly fee for this service.
- Clover’s Point-of-Sale software offers an all-inclusive solution, allowing you to accept in-store and online payments. It includes a virtual terminal for over-the-phone transactions and an online merchant portal with real-time sales reports.
- Clover is a well-known brand with extensive distribution in Europe. You can get an estimate for one of their terminals directly from their website, with attractive features like an integrated receipt printer.
- Some monthly fees can be high, so you should carefully consider your business requirements. Also, ensure you check if there are any extra costs associated with paper statements and any termination fees should you decide to exit early from a contract.
- Clover customises their charges to each business, but they also have fixed costs and a contract lock-in period of one to four years. As such, customers are required to commit to the company for this duration.
- The customer service team is known for being responsive and efficient, but it’s worth checking reviews to see if there are any complaints about the experience. Some have complained about slow response times or high monthly fees, while others have shared positive stories about working with customer support.
- The Clover POS system is ideal for retail stores and fast-food restaurants (Quick Service or Full-Service). Its pricing and features are competitively priced, plus setup and use are a breeze.
- In addition to its comprehensive support centre, the company offers 24/7 customer service through its website and POS devices. If you’re a small business owner, this can be especially beneficial when your system crashes, or you experience an internet connection issue.
- The POS system from Clover allows users to accept credit and debit cards, EMV chip-enabled cards, PayPal, Venmo invoice/recurring payments, as well as cash and check payments.
Why Choose Clover
Established in 2012, Clover is an Android payment platform based in the US that provides high-end hardware solutions and comprehensive software tools. Their range of devices extends from small tablet terminals to complete payment stations connected via Wi-Fi or 3G connections.
Clover offers various POS devices, from mini terminals ideal for smaller retail establishments to full-sized terminals that handle high-volume restaurants. All these POS systems come almost ready to go and can be set up quickly with Clover’s user-friendly user interface.
To begin using Clover, you’ll need to apply for a merchant account. This can be done online or over the phone. After approval, you can purchase the hardware and software needed for taking payments. Your device should support various payment types such as swipe, EMV-chip and mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Clover offers virtual terminals so that small businesses without the funds to invest in POS hardware can take credit and debit cards without additional hardware. This feature primarily benefits those needing more capital to buy their system.
SumUp Merchant Accounts
Who are SumUp
SumUp Merchant Accounts are an ideal choice for small businesses that need to accept credit cards online and in-store. Their competitive rates and transparent pricing make budgeting easy, allowing business owners to plan monthly expenses confidently.
SumUp stands out among its rivals by not requiring you to sign a long-term agreement and allows for easy account cancellation if needed. Plus, there are no minimum transaction requirements or startup costs. Moreover, its Terms of Service include a rolling reserve fund and the capability to freeze funds if it detects suspicious activity.
Features of SumUp
- Mobile Point of Sale – SumUp offers a card reader selection that is easy to set up and use. You can order one from its website in as little as three days! However, some of its readers come at higher costs (see comparison table). These card readers can be used for in-person and online or payment-linked transactions. Since not all businesses require them, read reviews to ensure you get the right fit.
- Connectivity – SumUp had some of the best connectivity among mobile card processing providers we evaluated. Its mid and top-tier readers runoff data, enabling them to accept payments without an internet connection.
- Invoicing – SumUp offers a free mobile invoicing app and can email your customer’s invoices directly onto their computers and smartphones. This saves both time and money by reducing the need for manual checks that must be made.
- Inventory Control – Food or accommodation businesses will benefit from SumUp’s inventory controls. It offers ingredient-level inventory so you can be confident your stock is always up-to-date. It also provides a low stock warning – ideal for busy restaurant and hotel owners with multiple locations
- Reporting – SumUp stands out among its rivals by offering business owners access to various reports on sales, expenses, refunds, etc. These reports are based on real-time data and available in various formats – perfect for small business owners who want to stay abreast of their progress.
Why Choose SumUp
The company boasts impressive customer support ratings. Its team is responsive, and phone calls are answered Monday through Friday between 9 am and 7 pm.
SumUp is not the prettiest payment solution, but it is user-friendly and cost-effective. While not perfect, SumUp remains a good option for many small businesses.
Opayo Merchant Accounts
Who are Opayo
Opayo is a payment gateway that thousands of online businesses use, including some of the biggest brands worldwide. It provides secure and real-time credit card processing recognised by all central banks and credit cards.
Opayo provides an easy-to-setup and integrated merchant account for your website. It’s perfect for new eCommerce businesses or those needing a secure gateway for their existing site.
Features of Opayo
- Handheld Application Process – Apply for a merchant account quickly from your mobile phone.
- Competitive Rates- They offer highly competitive rates for merchants; a tailored service to suit your business needs
- Convenient – All your payment solutions and merchant services in one place.
- 24/7 Support – Their customer services team is available around the clock.
- Accept a Range of Payment Types – Their merchant account services include Visa, MasterCard or American Express and more.
- PCI Compliant
Why Choose Opayo
Opayo gives you the ability to accept transactions via a range of payment methods from online payments, face-to-face payments and virtual terminal payments. Their payment options are designed to suit your business requirements. Opayo provides several payment solutions to allow your business to offer entirely flexible paying options to your customers
Adyen Merchant Accounts
Who are Adyen Merchant Accounts
Adyen Merchant Accounts enable you to accept various payments online and in person. They offer tools for creating customised checkout experiences. With Adyen, you can process credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets and direct debits in over 30 currencies across countries like the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
The company, headquartered in Amsterdam, is renowned for its international reach and interchange-plus pricing model. It collaborates with numerous businesses like Facebook, Microsoft, Etsy and Uber.
Features of Adyen Merchant Accounts
- Pricing – Adyen charges an interchange-plus rate for Visa and Mastercard transactions, a per-transaction fee based on the currency involved, card network fees and an acquiring markup. Other fees include chargeback fees which vary by payment method. Furthermore, Adyen requires a monthly minimum invoice of $120 or 1,000 transactions to operate.
- Other Features – Adyen has a dedicated global support team that responds to inquiries via email and phone during business hours. Its contact page includes details on its offices and phone numbers and a web form for filing technical support tickets.
- Payment Optimisation Toolkit – Ayden’s comprehensive payments optimisation toolkit makes your e-commerce experience smoother for customers. Its machine learning-powered Authentication Engine can identify customers only when necessary, helping to reduce drop-off rates and create customised shopping experiences tailored towards specific audiences.
- Customer Service and Support – Adyen offers email, phone, and chat support to its clients worldwide. Its ticketing system rivals top-rated credit card processors and has a dedicated team that answers queries promptly.
Why Choose Adyen Merchant Accounts
Adyen integrates with Zuora to make payments easy for both online and in-person sales. Customers can fill out a form with their credit card info or be directed directly to Adyen-hosted pages, where they enter their payment info before returning to your checkout page.
The company provides payment methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Its API supports multiple languages and allows you to customise payment terms and conditions as needed.
AIB Merchant Services
Who are AIB Merchant Services
AIB Merchant Services is a joint venture between Allied Irish Bank and First Data Corporation, an international acquirer specialising in merchant accounts. They offer various card processing solutions like in-store card machines, online payment gateways and virtual terminals for over-the-phone payments.
Features of AIB Merchant Services
- AIBMS provides truly global, cutting edge payments systems
- They are always defining new standards in customer support. are always defining new standards in customer support.
- They offer customers free webinars
- They partner with Champion Green
Why Choose AIB Merchant Services
Depending on the nature of your business, you may require either a standalone card machine or one that integrates with your current point-of-sale (POS) system. Selecting the suitable card machine for you and your customers will make all the difference – both will simplify life.
Fondy Merchant Accounts
Who are Fondy Merchant Accounts
Fondy Merchant Accounts enable your business to accept customer payments using bank cards, online banking and mobile wallets (Apple Pay & Google Pay) in over 100 currencies.
Managing your account is fast and effortless.
You can view your balance, transactions, reports and payment history online or download them to a computer at no cost. Plus, this service is entirely free – you only pay a commission if someone makes a payment!
Features of Fondy
- Payments for your services and goods can be processed in many ways: from a single form on your site to APIs, Buy now buttons or CMS plugins. We provide straightforward, flexible and secure solutions for all e-commerce businesses.
- With their NopCommerce plugin or full integration with WordPress, you can accept payments from any device and country.
- It is ideal for small and large international websites, online stores, and portals.
- Installing a nop commerce plugin on your website is effortless and doesn’t require any programming knowledge. Installation takes only minutes, and you have complete control over the look and functionality of your payment page in the control panel.
- The nop commerce plugin provides your clients with convenient payment acceptance, saving them the trouble of entering card information each time they purchase. After the initial payment is processed, the system remembers it and automatically enters all necessary data next time.
- Your customers can pay for their purchases in just a few seconds using bank cards, online banking or mobile wallets. All personal information is encrypted and safeguarded to ensure the safety of all involved.
- Additionally, an analytics system can help you uncover your customers’ preferences. It allows for identifying their preferred payment methods, countries, currencies and devices.
- Fondy’s payment gateway enables you to check a refund of a client’s money from your account for any given date or period. This is useful for verifying customers’ solvency and freezing money on their accounts if there are any issues with delivering goods or services.
- Fondy’s payment gateway is fully integrated with several global banks. It also provides risk management and local acquiring capabilities, as well as being equipped with Fondy Anti Fraud protection.
Why Choose Fondy Merchant Accounts
Fondy stands out among other e-commerce payment systems because its open architecture allows maximum integration into your Dots Platform application. It supports all integration methods, including APIs, Buy now buttons, CMS plugins and email Invoices.
Their payment gateway offers several advantages, the most significant being its compatibility with various business models and easy, scalable solution for processing various online payments. Furthermore, it has an effective security system to prevent fraudulent transactions and is PCI DSS certified – guaranteeing your customers’ data is safe from breaches.
Merchant Account FAQS
Your first step in accepting credit and debit cards is applying for a merchant account, which is the initial step in accepting payments into your bank account. There are several factors to consider when choosing the perfect merchant account, such as fees and security; research all options thoroughly before making your final choice.
The most common way to acquire a merchant account is through traditional acquiring banks. This option is more reliable as they are more accommodating with pricing and can tailor your merchant account according to specific business needs.
However, traditional acquiring banks may only accept your application if your business is in a risky industry or needs a better credit score. In such cases, look into high-risk merchant account providers specialising in small businesses and offer quick approval processes.
Merchant account providers (MAP) make money by partnering with banks and charging their client’s bank associations, set-up, and transaction fees. These fees help compensate for the low-profit margins experienced on merchant accounts; however, not all MAPs have the same fee structure.
Deciding on a merchant account provider is no small feat, yet it’s essential for your business’ success. Factors like fees, security and compliance, and how much support you can expect from them should all be considered when making this choice.
For traditional retailers, money from credit and debit card transactions can be deposited into your business bank account within one to three days. Conversely, for internet-based retailers, funds are immediately released after the acquiring bank approves the transaction.
Merchant accounts enable businesses to accept debit and credit card payments from customers. These accounts can be found through banks, payment processing providers, and payment gateways. Though establishing an account may seem complex at first glance, it’s necessary for any online business.
Brick-and-mortar retailers can benefit from a retail merchant account, which enables them to process card-present transactions in person. While these accounts are more costly than other options, they provide greater security and an improved chance of approval.
Depending on your business model and location, you may qualify for a mail-order or phone-order account. You can accept debit and credit cards via mail or phone with these merchant accounts.
You have two options for processing debit and credit cards: use your business bank account, or collaborate with a third-party company to collect funds and send them directly to your official checking account. Both options provide convenience and security when handling credit or debit card payments.
A reliable merchant account provider is a bank that understands and can manage your financial risk on your behalf. They typically offer excellent support and competitive fees.
When selecting a business bank and payment processing solution, choosing an experienced merchant account provider is essential. They will be able to safeguard your funds, guard against fraudulence, and help manage risk as your business expands.
The application process is typically quick and effortless, but it’s wise to do your due diligence and compare multiple options before selecting which company best meets your needs. When choosing, look for an affordable rate, low minimum balance requirement, and a reputable customer service record.
Finding a merchant account that meets your needs requires comparing several options. Be sure to consider fees and customer support when making your decision.
Some of the most popular merchant accounts include PayPal, Barclays and HSBC. They provide various features and services that simplify your online business operations – from managing customer payments to increasing sales.
Registering for a merchant account requires filling out an application form and providing evidence of your business’s financial stability. After reviewing your information, your application will be approved by a merchant provider.
Once approved, you’ll have an account with a card processor who works directly with card networks (Visa and MasterCard), card issuers (the customer’s bank), and the terminal payment provider to clear transactions into your bank account. Within days, funds from customers’ card payments will arrive in your business account, which can be used to fund operations.
Merchant services companies charge you a monthly fee to cover the costs of providing software and hardware necessary to accept credit and debit card payments. This may include a gateway fee, minimum fee payment requirement, and PCI compliance fee.
Internet or Mobile Accounts are Ideal for businesses without a physical location but still want to accept credit and debit card payments. Setting up these accounts is simple, usually with low setup fees included.
These accounts enable you to accept credit and debit card payments from your smartphone or tablet, making them ideal for businesses that frequently travel, such as food trucks or industry shows, where payment processing must occur on the go.
- Avoid bad checks
- Increase Sales
- Better money management
- Accept credit cards
- Customer convenience
A merchant account is a business account with a payment aggregator. The funds you receive in this account from the issuing bank are transferred to the linked bank account as per the payment gateway settlement cycle.
If you own a business, then yes, you will need a merchant account in order to be able to accept debit and credit cards.
Do I need to have a Merchant account for my business?
Whether a Merchant account is mandatory for your business might depend on a few different factors. If you originally were running a small local store or restaurant, no law obliged you to accept credit or debit cards. Many small businesses might choose to run their business with ‘cash only’. This is a way for them to avoid having to pay the fees for a Merchant Account. Now, while this might work for small local businesses, with so many people being used to using tap-and-go and fewer people carrying cash during their day, avoiding getting a Merchant account and sticking to a cash-only policy might actually harm your business. Still, it is a choice that you can make.
If, however, you are running an online store you have no option but to create a Merchant account. Online businesses have no other way of processing transactions and as such, they are obliged to have a Merchant account to be able to process transactions.
Choosing whether you want to have a Merchant account will depend on whether you consider being able to process electronic transactions important. It will also depend on the size of your business as well as, on whether you wish to be able to process payments online. If you want to be able to engage in the online market, you will need to get a Merchant account so as to get access to online transactions.
How do Merchant Accounts work?
To establish a merchant account for yourself or your business you will need to arrange opening an account with a merchant acquiring bank. For merchants acquiring a merchant account is a key part of processing transactions. For your merchant account, you will need to agree to the terms outlined by the bank, these terms will establish key elements of your account such as the per-transaction fees, the fee structure for the bank’s processing network as well as any other fees charged by the bank for the services it provides.
Agreeing to these terms is what will allow your bank to help you establish a way for electronic transactions to be paid for through their network. If you would like to learn more about merchant agreements and why they are important you can click on the link here.
How can you get a Merchant Account?
If you have decided that getting a Merchant Account is a necessary step for the growth of your business you might now be wondering how it is possible to obtain such an account.
To establish and obtain a merchant account you will need to apply for the merchant account of your choice. This process can be a bit lengthy at times, as there are many factors that the merchant account provider will need to consider before they accept your merchant account. Some of the most common factors looked at during this process are the type of business you are running, this is used to determine if there is a high or low risk of credit card fraud, how long your business has been running for, your business’s financial and credit history and whether you previously held any merchant accounts. All of these checks on your business’ financials will allow the provider to consider whether they consider the option of providing you with a Merchant Account a good one. Do not be surprised if as part of this process the Merchant account provider or bank also seeks to find out more about your credit history as the business owner.
Determining whether your business is a high or low-risk business might not have a detrimental effect in the process of obtaining a Merchant account but it might be that your chosen bank will choose to charge you higher fees initially. This will be a level of protection for them. It is also important to note that your fees might be able to be renegotiated in due time.
If you are a brand-new business owner and you are looking to start a Merchant account it might be best to try to get a Merchant account through the same bank that holds all of your personal and business accounts. This is because, as established above, the bank will run background checks on both you and your business. Therefore, working with a bank you have a good credit history with might be led to a more favourable result for your application.
What are the different types of Merchant Accounts available?
Naturally, different types of businesses might require different types of merchant accounts, and this is something your bank should be able to assist you with. Depending on your type of business it is important to determine which type of merchant account is best for you. In the following list you will find some of the most common merchant account types, but if none of these are what you are looking for then worry not, because your bank should be able to assist you with finding exactly the type of merchant account that is best suited for your business needs.
The Merchant account types presented below are most commonly divided into types based on the perceived risk or the selling methods used by the merchant, this might mean that a purely online store will need to have a different type of merchant account than a small physical store that also runs an online platform. So, look through the list below to determine the type of account that is best suited for you based on how you choose to run your business.
If you are running a retail store, a grocery store, or any type of business where you own a physical store from where you sell actual physical products, this might be the sort of account that you will need to go for. This account utilises Point of Sale (PoS) equipment, this means that your bank will help you set up an account to which all credit or debit card transactions will go through after they have been processed by the PoS. Because these are the most common type of accounts, and the risk of running them is fairly low, especially because a transaction will normally only be successful if the card used has enough funds within it, these types of accounts tend to have the lowest cost of running. For most small businesses, this account will really do everything that you need without a problem.
With the rise of online orders and E-commerce, many small businesses have sought to establish an online store as well. There are also those businesses that sell goods or services entirely online, without providing access to a physical store that the buyers can visit. If you wish to be able to process transactions and card payments online, the Merchant Account that you will need differs from the one mentioned above. These accounts are considered more high risk, than the traditional accounts, and they have a lot of variants that play into the total amount of the fees that you will agree to. If this is the type of account that you need, you will need to contact your bank to ask them what the fees would be for a merchant account that fits your specific business needs.
It might be that your business needs to also be able to process phone or mail orders from customers purchasing your goods. With traditional merchant accounts, the face-to-face interactions meant that there are lower risks to those transactions. With mail or telephone, that face-to-face interaction is no longer there, but you are still processing a payment by a cardholder, therefore the risk of these sorts of payments is much higher. Another difference is that since the cardholder won’t be present there is no need for traditional equipment for the processing of this order or payment.
It might be that your business requires more than one type of business account. Multi-channel merchants, as they are called, are merchants who make sales of their products through multiple different channels. This could mean having both a physical and online store or utilising phone, mail, physical, and internet order systems for the same of your goods. This tends to be the case for retail stores or stores that sell their goods using multiple platforms, and it is very common to need such an account in today’s business environment. Having multiple channels through which you can contact your clients means that you will be able to maintain constant contact with them, and as such you are likely to have higher sales. If this is something you wish to establish in your company, you will need a Multiple Merchant Account, as that type of account will allow you to process payments through different channels. However, for your merchant account, having multiple channels could make your application be considered more high risk, and as such for Multiple Merchant Accounts you might have monthly fees that are different from those of the accounts mentioned above.
This sort of merchant account is specifically created for small businesses or professionals who need to travel or be mobile to provide their service. This could include plumbers, electricians, landscapers, contractors or door-to-door salesmen. If you need to be able to process a payment on the spot regardless of where you find yourself, you will need this sort of merchant account. Depending on the risk level associated with the services you provide as well as with having an account of this nature, your fees might differ depending on your previous credit history and the volume of service you are selling.
If the industry you are a part of is considered high risk, then you might find that getting a Merchant Account might be slightly tougher. Even when you do manage to get an account, the fees can often times be higher because of all the risks associated with your business. High-risk merchants could include anything from travel agencies to multi-level marketing companies to casinos, to online pharmaceutical companies, and many others.
If you would like to learn more about the differences between high-risk and low-risk companies you can read the article found in the link here.
This will give you an idea of how a high and low-risk merchant is defined and as such you will be able to discern what category your business falls under.
How much does a Merchant Account cost and what are the fees associated with obtaining and maintaining one?
Merchant accounts tend to have a number of different fees and costs that are associated with the maintenance of your account. Often times these include fees for the application and setting up of the account. Depending on the type of account that you are opening you might also have monthly fees, discount rates, per-transaction fees and cross border fees. If you need equipment for your transactions there might also be a rental fee for a credit card terminal. The amount of all of these fees can add up to quite a sum, this is why it is important that you choose the best bank for your needs when opening a Merchant Account.
If you are looking to open a Merchant account while starting a new business, we recommend that you read the following article as it will provide you with a clearer image of all the expenses that you will need to cover when starting out. Click on the link here to find out about the cost of starting a new business.
What are the different options for Merchant Account providers?
From Barclays to Stripe to Paypal the different available options for your Merchant Account are vast. This is why it is important that you go into this knowing exactly what your business needs are. Terms and fees can often be renegotiated but you would not want to choose a Merchant Account provider just based on costs. It is important that whichever company you choose to go with can provide you with both the types of Merchant accounts you require as well as with the right amounts of security needed to carry out your transactions with safety.
Each different payment processing company might be able to provide different types of accounts at different rates so if you have no previous loyalties to one specific bank that could assist you with this we recommend checking out the list in the link here.
This list will provide you a full outline of the many different available card payment providers as well as an indication of what their rates would be. Using it you would be able to have more knowledge on what is currently available on the market and you will also be in a position to negotiate the terms of your Merchant Account better, as you will now have an understanding of the overall market and what competing services can provide for you.
Choosing to get a Merchant Account can be a big step in the right direction for your business as it can provide you with the option to have your products sold online, by phone or it can simply give you access to a wider clientele that tends to use tap and go. This is why it is important that you make the right decision for your company and that you choose the right type of Merchant Account for your needs.
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