Table of Contents
- 1 First Data Merchant Services
- 2 PayPoint Merchant Services
- 3 WorldPay Merchant Services
- 4 PaymentSense Merchant Services
- 5 Sage Pay Merchant Services
- 6 PayZone Merchant Account
- 7 Global Payments Merchant Account
- 8 Maintain the highest possible credit rating
- 9 Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
- 10 Compare Multiple Sources and Shop Around
- 11 Small Business Merchant Accounts in A High-Risk Industry
- 12 What determines whether an industry is considered high-risk?
- 13 What are the implications of a high-risk industry?
It can be a challenge to find the best business merchant services. Generally, the cheaper deals go to low-risk companies that operate in industries that are considered safe.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most affordable options for providers of merchant accounts for small businesses in 2018, as well as go over some strategies to find the best deal.
First Data Merchant Services
First Data is a global provider that has offered small business merchant services in the UK for over twenty years. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, it provides:
- Card payment machines (mobile, contactless, and portable)
- Sector-specific EPOS systems using its proprietary Clover system
- eCommerce solutions (Connect Hosted Payment page, API Integration, Virtual Terminal)
- A suite of value added services (Business Track online portal, ClientLine Payment Processing Analysis, Cashback Services, PCI DSS Compliance Programme,
Global Choice™ Dynamic Currency Conversion, Mobile Top Up)
First Data’s Clover System
First Data has a dedicated EPOS system that connects to its merchant services for small businesses. Its Clover Station, the associated hardware, is made of sleek brushed aluminium and glass. The Clover System utilises cloud-based software and allows you to not only accept payments, but also access and use a host of business management services.
First Data’s Merchant Account Pricing Structure
First Data offers pricing structures for corporate and small-to-medium-sized accounts. For its Ecommerce Gateway Product Suite, for example, the setup fee is variable for SME accounts, but it is waived for corporate accounts. Transaction fees vary, but many features – including a Virtual Terminal, 3D Secure – come included at no additional charge.
PayPoint Merchant Services
PayPoint was founded in 1997. It established the first nationwide bill payment network in the UK and created an early mobile phone payment system (PayByPhone). Today, it provides the latest in mobile payments, as well as multi-channel retailing.
Some of PayPoint’s merchant services include:
- Multi-channel payments (MultiPay, cash, online, app, phone/VR, text, CashOut)
- Retail payments and services (Simple Payment, Quick Credit Voucher)
- PayPoint One (a physical device that includes PayPoint services, EPOS, and card payments)
PayPoint’s MultiPay System
One of PayPoint’s unique services is its multi-channel payments platform, MultiPay, which integrates multiple payment forms, including:
- Cash in-store – payments are logged and the system creates daily transaction files
- Online – PayPoint offers a hosted portal
- Customised app
- CashOut to issue payments or credit
Another unique benefit offered by PayPoint is its Daily Settlement feature, which reduces banking charges for retailers.
PayPoint’s Merchant Account Fee Structure
PayPoint’s merchant account and service fees are variable. For some of its services, such as the rental of its PayPoint One device, there are fixed monthly rental fees.
WorldPay Merchant Services
WorldPay is an international merchant service provider founded in 1989 and based in London. One of the largest merchant providers, the company serves merchants in 146 countries. According to their website, they process over 31 million transactions on a given day.
WorldPay’s merchant services for small businesses include:
- Card machine products
- Alternative methods of payment (email payments, phone/mobile payments, and integrated payments)
- Online payments
Some of the benefits of WorldPay’s Merchant Services include powerful fraud prevention, risk management, and analytics tools.
WorldPay Market Insights
One of WorldPay’s unique features is its “Market Insights” tool. This resource offers market and sector-specific analytics to help businesses better understand and target their customer base.
WorldPay’s Merchant Account Fee Structure
WorldPay has two pricing structures. The first is a simple “pay as you go” setup for credit and debit card payments that charges a percentage fee along with a small fixed fee for each charge. The second is a fixed monthly plan that simply charges a percentage fee. For an additional yearly fee, you can add PCI compliance. There are no setup fees or international currency fees.
PaymentSense Merchant Services
PaymentSense’s merchant services are tailored specifically to small businesses operating in the UK. In addition, PaymentSense offer competitive fixed rates and numerous different packages. The company has been operating since 2009 and is based in London.
Its products include:
- Card machines (mobile, portable, and countertop)
- Ecommerce solutions (payment gateway and pay-by-phone)
- Integrated payment solutions for restaurants and retail shops
- Value-added services (Apple Pay, contactless, gift cards, and performance reports)
Services Designed for Small Businesses
PaymentSense offers merchant services that are designed to support small businesses. These include 24/7 customer service, as well as a quick and easy sign-up process (including a 3-day set-up time to accept in-store card payments).
PaymentSense’s Merchant Account Fee Structure
PaymentSense has a unique pricing structure, with fixed-rate contracts that prevent fee increases. According to their website, they are the only company in the UK to offer capped contracted rates.
Sage Pay Merchant Services
Sage Pay was founded in June, 2001. Today, it has over 50,000 customers and serves British and European companies of all sizes.
Sage Pay has solutions for merchants to accept numerous types of payments, including:
- Via invoice (online or over the phone)
- Face-to-face – options include stand-alone and integrated card machines
- Over the phone – a Virtual Terminal ensures convenience and data security
Some of the benefits Sage Pay offers its customers include 24/7 customer service, the highest level of card data security possible, advanced fraud screening, multi-channel payment services, and an integrated MySagePay portal.
Sage Pay’s Merchant Account Fee Structure
Sage Pay offers numerous different payment structures, ranging from the “very simple to the most sophisticated tailored solutions.” Its standard packages come with clear, transparent pricing and features lists.
PayZone Merchant Account
PayZone is a Dublin-based company that was founded in 1989. With over 25 years of experience working in the UK, it focuses on providing services to small businesses and handles over £1.2 billion in transactions yearly.
Key products for merchant account services and card payments include:
- Card machines (countertop, portable, mobile, and PDQ)
- Phone payments (using a Virtual Terminal)
- Online payments
PayZone has a dedicated UK support centre that customers can reach 7 days a week.
PayZone’s Merchant Account Fee Structure
New contracts for merchant account solutions are set up for a period of 12 months, and PayZone does not – unlike many other similar companies – charge setup or exit fees.
Global Payments Merchant Account
Global Payments is an international payments processing and merchant services company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Providing services in 30 countries, it has been in business for over 40 years and processes about 11 billion transactions yearly.
It is particularly focused on serving businesses that operate in the following industries:
Global Payment’s solutions for businesses include:
- Ecommerce (cloud-based processing)
- OpenEdge payments integration
- Cross-border payment services (including dynamic currency conversion, alternative payment methods, multi-lingual checkout, and tax transparency)
- Omnichannel integrated payment solutions
- Point-of-sale systems for onsite payments (to accept contactless, debit and credit cards, electronic check conversion, money transfer, checks, and gift cards, among others)
- Business reporting tools (Smart Dispute Manager, Business View, and Estatements)
OpenEdge Integrated Processing System
OpenEdge is Global Payment’s integrated payments division, used by over 100,000 businesses in Canada and the United States. One of the benefits Global Payments provides is its Edge Shield service, which offers a host of advanced security features, including encryption and counterfeit prevention.
Global Payment’s Merchant Account Fee Structure
To obtain information about Global Payment’s pricing and fee structures, it is necessary to contact the company directly. You can request a quote through their website.
Reducing the Cost of Merchant Services for Small Businesses
If you are looking for the maximum cost savings – while also searching for the merchant account which suits your business best – read the suggestions below to reduce the cost of obtaining merchant services.
Maintain the highest possible credit rating
To obtain a good deal on a merchant account and associated services, it is critical that you maintain a good overall credit rating for your business. There are two main things that will cause a small business to be categorised as risky by merchant providers:
- The calculated level of risk of the small business itself
- The level of risk at an industry-wide level
Maintaining a good credit rating will signal to merchant providers that you are a responsible and capable business owner, ensuring more favourable rates. A good small business credit rating can be achieved by keeping distinct business lines of credit (keeping excellent records and separating business from personal transactions) and, perhaps most importantly, making regular, timely payments.
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
The Federation of Small Businesses is a non-profit UK-based business and advocacy organisation that provides advice and other associated support services to small businesses. Founded in 1974, it is the largest business group in the UK and has a powerful lobbying influence.
It also offers a host of finance services through a Co-Operative Bank. These include:
- Business banking
- Card payment processing and mobile card payment terminals (provided through Worldpay)
- Workplace pensions
- A fleet card
- Cash advances
- Independent financial services
Going through the Federation of Small Businesses for merchant services that are processed through another provider, such as credit card processing for small businesses, has multiple economic benefits, including preferential rates and discounts.
Joining a large and well-respected organisation like the FSB has several other cost-saving benefits for your business. These include:
- Access to a large network of other small businesses
- Legal costs insurance
- Access to information and other resources, including legal documents
Compare Multiple Sources and Shop Around
To find the best-suited – and cheapest – choice among available small business merchant accounts, and associated services such as the best card machine for your small business, it’s a good idea to compare all the possible options and ideally obtain multiple quotes.
In addition, be sure to carefully read the terms of any potential contract before signing it, particularly the fine print. You don’t want to get stuck with any hidden charges or fees!
It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are clear on the time of length the contract is for, and whether or not it is cancellable.
Small Business Merchant Accounts in A High-Risk Industry
If you operate a small business in an industry that merchant service providers deem to be high-risk, it may be more difficult to obtain merchant services, such as a debit card machine for your small business. Or, these services will be provided, but at a significantly higher cost and under less favourable conditions.
What determines whether an industry is considered high-risk?
An industry is considered high-risk if there are high levels of fraudulent activity involving customers and other parties, such as invalid card transactions and chargebacks. Other determinants of risk include such factors as safety and the rates of accidents or injuries in the industry.
Examples of high-risk industries include:
- Adult businesses
- Online gambling
- Certain types of real estate
- Pawn shops
What are the implications of a high-risk industry?
There are numerous consequences of being in a high-risk industry when it comes to obtaining merchant services. These include:
- Higher fees
- Greater vetting and need for documentation
- Delays in obtaining services
How Can Small Businesses Save Money?
With so many options, it can be difficult to find the best choice for your small business. Our website can compare the market on your behalf, providing a personalised quote that best matches your specific needs.