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Best UK Merchant Account Providers & Credit Card Processors

card machine

What exactly is a merchant account?

The term merchant account refers to a business looking for payment solutions both in store and online. A merchant account is incredibly helpful and opens up massive opportunities for businesses, as it allows for access to card service providers, or even allows of payments over the phone.

A large variety of UK providers exist, so we’ve put together a complete guide comparing providers to help find the one right for you. More so, perhaps you’re already in the market and looking to switch providers to save on pricing, if so, with a quick glance at the comparisons below you’ll find we’ve made it as easy as possible for you. Below you’ll find a list of payment processing companies to pick from.

1. Worldpay

worldpay

Worldpay merchant services, Founded in 1989, and boasting over 30 years of payment experience, Worldpay is one of the leading merchant account service provider in the world. Over £1 billion has been invested in the company since 2010. Operating out of London, WorldPay has processed over 13.1 billion transactions in 2015 alone. Worldpay own 25 offices in 11 different countries with an impressive 4,500 employees.

  • Worldpay offers a different payment and pricing plan to help small businesses. “pay as you go” and “monthly fixed” payment plans put less strain on small business owners.
  • Offers a loyalty system, supplying loyalty cards so customers can earn rewards, all easily managed through wordplays portal.
  • Worldpay users with contactless devices now have access to Apple pay. Apple pay is a digital wallet that with a swipe of your phone allows instant payment.
  • Payment via mobile device anywhere in the world, allowing for seamless worldpay online payments. All that’s required is to insert the price into the WorldPay app, insert their given chip in to their zinc keypad, enter their pin and payment is made.

2. AIB Merchant Service

AIB merchant services

AIB Merchant services (Allied Irish Bank) being one of the largest services in Ireland, branching out to Britain and Europe. AIB Merchant services boast over 30 years of processing experience and transferred over 30 billion euro in  2014 alone.

  • AIB Merchant Service won the Best Acquirer Awards 2017 and held the previous award from 2015.
  • AIB Offers their unique AIB card services in store EPOS payment system. AIB Clover replaces your standard till and card reader providing aib credit card services, easily accessed through their single portal.
  •  Mini clover is another alternative offered by AIB that allows for telephonic payments, compatible with both Apple pay and Android pay. Mini clover provides fantastic customer support, allows for easy refunds and is contained in sleek tablet
  • Authipay offers an excellent solution to accepting online payments which promise to be both reliable and cost-effective. Highly praised for its easy setup, one call is all it takes.

3. Bank of Scotland Merchant Services

bank of scotland merchant services

The Bank of Scotland Merchant Services promises to make payments simple for businesses internationally, Offering multiple solutions in store and online including being one of the more highly rated card service providers.

  • BACS is easy to use, cost effective way to both receive and make electronic payments directly. With BACS can handle everything from paying wages to payments to an insurance company.
  • The Bank of Scotland Merchant Services promises same day money transfers for sterling currency in hours. Any issues faced can be resolved with outstanding cardnet support services
  • Telepathy works hand in hand with BACS making the system almost entirely automated, Telepathy makes consistent payments easy saving time and money on admin expenses
  • CHAPS is another online bank to bank payment system that assures same day payments to UK accounts with no upper or lower payment limits.

4. Barclaycard Merchant Services

barclaycard payment solutions

Barclaycard founded in 1966 and since then have over 50 years of experience handling payment solutions. Barclaycard business solutions promises something useful for businesses of any size promising to be a reliable merchant account provider.

  • Barclays offer a range of barclaycard business credit card’s which could turn lots of payments into one small invoice, saving you time and possibly money. Barclays has a large selection of cards to choose from select to premium.
  • Barclaycard Anywhere is another service offered, letting customers make card payments anywhere, allowing for greater flexibility by just connecting your phone or tablet via BlueTooth to their chip-and-pin device
  • Barclaycard merchant services also offers online payment solutions for websites which implement a secure payment and basket system on your site. This allows for global payments from all major payment methods
  • Barclaycard promises payment security and safety with PCI-DSS protection and fraud management.

5. CardCutters

cardcutters

Cardcutters merchant services are another provider that promise their pricing is completely transparent, with no hidden charges and promise to find something to fit your individual needs.

  • Chip and pin machine services are offered via cardcutters allowing credit and debit card acceptance; this can be in store over the phone or online.  
  • Website payments are also a service provided by card cutters, and this means a cart and card set up, allowing for the use of debit and credit card through cardcutters payment gateway
  • Short and long term chip and pin hire are also available, particularly useful for somebody who needs to make long-term payments from out of the office or away from work
  • Card cutters also offer credit card machine rental, which in itself will be a reliable and secure payment method for card use in store. To quote cardcutters themselves,  it’s perfect for testing the water, to further make your choice on which card machine to buy or rent, research into a card cutters merchant review.

6. Co-operative Bank Merchant Services

co-operative bank

The co-op bank merchant services are again another service which promises to offer secure, reliable payment methods both in store and out. The co-op also provides a leading support team should you encounter any issues. The co-op have established a partnership with first data providing support from first data merchant solutions.

  • A co-op bank merchant account allows your company to accept payments via all major card holds, including debit and credit card
  • Boasts competitive rates and low terminal charges for you, meaning a promise of a cost-effective pin and chip service
  • High-quality anti-fraud protection to protect you and decrease chargeback risk
  • A promised quick and easy set up starting with a just one phone call

7. CardSave

cardsave

Cardsave merchant services is formally owned by Worldpay who have been covered with high regard previously. They offer merchant services that allow for online pay and provide help in switching providers with a single call.

  • Card Save offer chip and card machine perchance for over the counter in store purchases, simplifying the process and storing it all through cardsave’s gateway
  • Cardsave offer portable pin and chip card machines, fantastic for those who frequently make payments outside of the office, again with use of fantastic use of cardsave’s payment gateway
  • Cardsave offer mobile payments too so that customers can enjoy the benefits of contactless items like Apple pay or Android pay
  • E-commerce setup is also provided via cardsave, this includes the standard shopping cart and card transactions, allowing your website to be ready for sales

8. First Data

first data credit card processing

First data merchant services promises to make innovative payment solutions easier, faster and more cost efficient.

  • First data offers credit card machines for both in store, and out of out of store use, allowing first data credit card processing for all major card providers both debit and credit card.
  • First data also promises installation, training, and maintenance on all installed machines once installed.
  • First data offers E-commerce solutions allowing implementation of a cart and cash system. To quote first data themselves “all functions and processes are perfectly coordinated with each other turning your website into a perfect sales machine.”
  • First data offers payment solutions from all the leading card providers on all provided services; this means credit card debit card and even prepaid phone cards.

9. Elavon

elavon merchant services

Elavon merchant services uk hosts plenty of success stories available to read on their main site, with striking visuals, Elavon promises security straight from the get go.

  • Elavon offers retail merchant services countertop credit card and debit card terminals, along with receipt printer and even a signature pad
  • Offers wireless freedom and your checkout, including tipping, so your checkout isn’t limited to just inside
  • Elavon terminals accept all forms payment, which includes all chip and pins, all card payments and even Apple pay
  • With their unique portal “Headquarters” you’ll receive all information about transactions in one simple portal. Evalon also offer flexible payment plans, for those worried about elavon merchant services fees

10. Global Payments

global payments merchant services

global payments merchant services claim to be driven to innovation for all of their customers, bringing “global expertise to commerce” and truly global payment solutions. A high level of security is also promised

  • Global payments promises full Integration of all their solutions that will streamline a business and their solutions
  • Global Payments offers a solution for online payments designed specifically for your website promising quick, easy and secure solutions
  • Offering a sleek in person payment solution, global payments card processing make things quick, easy and provide a smooth experience for all users
  • Integrated mobile portals allow you to make, and receive payments from your mobile phone quickly and fast anywhere

11. Shopify

shopify

shopify merchant services offer online solutions only, but promises to tailor design your online store to your exact needs and requirements

  • Shopify’s e-commerce software and shopify’s payment gateways allow you to accept all card payments online without hassle
  • Shopify hands all the tools to get your online site ready and running, even if you have little to no technical knowledge it’s easy and straightforward to set up.
  • Shopify plans ahead offering  With 100 professional e-commerce templates design is completely in your hands, Moreso, you can manage the results from one simple easy to use portal that tracks all your data for you.
  • Shopify also offer an e-commerce service set with unlimited bandwidth and this requires no set up and is handled totally by them

12. HSBC Merchant Services

HSBC merchant services

HSBC merchant services promises fast, reliable payment solutions, with the overall goal of boosting your sales and creating a smooth sailing experience for you, and your customers opening up

  • HSBC offers card machines, both for purchase and rental; there are multiple options to choose from depending on the needs of your business
  • HSBC offers credit card services in store over the counter for a quick and easy customer experience, all handled through a sleek hsbc online payment gateway
  • HSBC Also offers mobile credit card services with a chip and pin system that is easy implemented, this enables hsbc global payments, leaving your services with no limitations.
  • HSBC offers contactless support for phones on in-store terminals. Meaning any phone with contactless support will quickly be processed

13. Halifax Merchant Services

halifax

Halifax founded in 1853 as a building society and as such has moved to offer Halifax merchant services early 2001. As part of part of Lloyds Cardnet Halifax offers the following services

  • In store “face to face”  transactions via card, and offers an excellent choice of terminals for users to pick. From desktop terminals to Bluetooth machines
  • Halifax offers phone transactions, meaning clients can make secure payments over the phone through use of a virtual terminal
  • Mail transactions are also available, meaning payments can be received and made through postage using a virtual terminal
  • Halifax offers a complete online service, from everything from setting on the online shopping cart to handling card transactions to assure a smooth online experience

14. Lloyds Bank Cardnet

lloyds bank merchant services

Lloyds bank merchant services offer a range of payment plans to help businesses of all sizes find the correct deal for them.

  • A range fantastic over the counter Lloyds card readers are available accepting a huge variety of cards. Contactless is also available for a smooth and quick customer experience
  • Lloyds Bank offer an online payment option ideal for smaller businesses; this includes setting up a cart system and handling online payments via card
  • Lloyds bank promises reliable anti-fraud protection and ensures its support team will always be available for you too if needed. With Lloyds pci-dss you can rest assure that your customers card data is in safe hands.
  • Lloyds bank offers and over the phone payment system that uses a virtual card machine to make payments fast and secure.

15. Metro Bank Merchant Services

metro bank merchant services

Metro Bank Merchant Services is yet another service that promises to have high-quality support and offers a significant amount of solutions for businesses of all sizes, notably metro bank has recently formed a partnership with acceptcards.

  • Metro Bank offers a card machine service, both for large businesses looking for multiple devices across different branches to smaller businesses looking for that single card payment.
  • Metrobank offers a unique portal which allows you to process payments online, or even through the telephone.
  • Metrobank supports contactless devices, customers with Apple pay and Android pay can process their payment quickly and easily
  • Metrobank promises high-quality fraud protection working with the strictest security standards. So one can rest assure that any volume of payments is safe and sound.

16. PayPal UK

paypal merchant services

Paypal merchant services, the household name they are, provide a tremendous amount of payment solutions. Available for merchants who are looking for a full payment plant or something smaller PayPal offer the following

  • Paypal Uk will allow you to use their service on your website as a payment option, complete with fraud protection.
  • Paypal offers a chip and pin service for paypal card readers, meaning anybody can pay in person smoothly and quickly. Offering a fantastic paypal payment gateway uk to handle all data
  • Online invoicing is another option offered to a merchant, with free templates for invoices allowing customers payments to be processed in moments.
  • Paypal solutions are easy to implement and work with almost every cart system PayPal is easy to use; customers only need an email and password or a chip and pin to pay instantly

Conclusion

To conclude this guide and list of merchant services offered,  you have to have a basic idea of what exactly your business is in the market for. Many merchants above offer payment plans for smaller firms, these can easily be set up with a simple phone call.

Do you require in person, over the counter machines?  Are contactless, Apple pay and Android pay something vital? Does a mobile payment processing company appeal most to your requirements take a look above at the listings and take note that a lot of the plans are flexible to your needs, compare the payment processing companies, using our listings you should be able to make your informed choice to what your business needs.