Below we compare over 40 companies that currently provide merchant services, accounts and/or card payment processing services to businesses in the UK.
We’ve split the list below into a few different categories to help make finding what you need easier. You can jump to the relevant section by clicking on the links below:
- Top 10
- Merchant Account Providers
- Card Machine Providers
- Payment Gateways & Online Payment Providers
- High-Risk Payment Processors
- Other Payment Providers
Top 10 Providers & Suppliers
The companies listed below are the 10 most popular (based on search volume) options when it comes to accepting card payments. However, be aware that not all of these companies offer full merchant accounts or a full range of payment processing services.
1. Paypal UK
By far the best known online payment processing company, Paypal remains a popular and easy to set-up choice for UK businesses just starting out online. Here a just a few of their features for businesses looking to accept card payments online:
- Fees as low as 1.9% + 20p per transaction.
- Faster checkout no need for customers to enter their debit or credit card details every-time.
- Accept international payments in 25 currencies.
- Integrated with many popular shopping carts including Shopify, WooCommerce, PrestaShop and Magento.
- Also now offers their own mobile credit card machine called Paypal Here.
Although its primarily an ecommerce platform, Shopify now allows you to sell both on and offline. Here are a few key things to know about them:
- Credit card fees as low as 1.6%.
- Sell online via completely bespoke online store.
- Sell offline via Shopify POS.
- App Store to add extend your eCommerce shop.
- Buy button, Facebook Shop & Messenger payments options as well.
Visit: Shopify UK Website
Worldpay is a global leader in payments processing technology and is the UK’s leading dedicated merchant service provider. Here are some of the benefits they can offer your business:
- Handles approximately 42% of UK card payments.
- Flexible pricing plans.
- Offers full merchant account solutions.
- Provides local in-store, online and mobile payment acceptance solutions.
- Trusted by over 16,000 hairdressers, over 24,000 restaurants and more than 9,000 pubs in the UK.
Learn more: Worldpay Wesbsite
Stripe is a popular online payment solution offering a complete commerce toolkit, built for developers. They offer advanced functionality for a range of internet businesses including eCommerce, mobile commerce, SaaS and subscription payments. Here are a few of their features and benefits:
- Fees of 1.4% + 20p for European credit and debit cards.
- Fees of 2.9% + 20p for non-European credit and debit cards.
- Accept 135+ currencies.
- Save card details so customers can pay again with a single click.
- Easily to maintain PCI-DSS compliance for your payments.
iZettle offers a relatively cheap solution for business looking to accept face-to-face card payments only. Here a few of their benefits:
- Mobile card reader from only £25!
- Fees start at 2.75% but can drop as low as 1%.
- No contracts or fixed monthly costs.
- No merchant account needed.
- Works with iOS and Android.
Learn more: iZettle Review
6. Sage Pay
Sage Pay offers full merchant account services and are the payment division of Newcastle based Sage. Here are just a few things they can offer your business:
- Offers Online, Face-to-face, phone and invoice payment solutions.
- Fees as low as £0.59 per transaction (invoice payments).
- Receive funds into your business bank account within 2 working days.
- Connect Sage Pay & Sage Accounts to invoices paid instantly.
- Accept any payment type, including PayPal in 25+ currencies.
Paypoint is a household name in UK payment services and is probably best known for how you pay for prepaid utilities in the UK. However, they also offer a range of other payment services, including:
- Provide cash, card and contactless payments – in store, on the phone and online.
- eVouchers as a way to pay for online subscriptions.
- Pay for internet purchase in-store with eMoney.
- Offer terminal-based card payment services via Lloyds Cardnet.
- UK network contains more branches than all banks, supermarkets and Post Offices put together.
Streamline is a division of WorldPay but remains a popular solution in its own right. Here are a few of the benefits they offer:
- Accept all major debit and credit cards.
- Flexible payment options including card machines, over the phone or online.
- 24/7 UK customer support for help when you need it most.
- Replace card machines, usually the next day.
- Install products and services, and train your staff.
Klarna offers a range of unique payment options for online businesses through via their Checkout and Payment options. These services include:
- Pay after delivery for online orders.
- Buy Now, Pay Later options for customers.
- Offer all other major popular payment methods.
- Can help to boost your conversion rates.
- Works with a range of partner solutions including EKM and WooCommerce.
10. First Data
First Data provide full merchant accounts and they look for every opportunity to help customers get more value from every transaction. They offer solutions both for merchants and financial institutions. Merchant account solutions include:
- Gift & Incentive Card solutions.
- Terminals & POS Management Services including peripherals and supplies.
- eCommerce solutions including API integration and hosted payment pages.
- Regularly updated currency rates, reducing risk associated with unfavourable exchange rates.
- Up to 36 of the world’s most accepted currencies supported.
Full-Service Merchant Accounts & Credit Card Processing Providers
While Worldpay, Sage Pay, Streamline and First Data are the most popular merchant account providers in the UK, the companies listed below also offer the full range of credit card processing services you’d expect from a merchant account. This allows you the greatest amount of flexibility if you want to take card payments whether they are handled online, in-person and/or over the phone.
Payment sense claims to be Europe’s leading merchant service provider. They currently:
- Provide merchant services for over 50,000 small and medium businesses around the UK.
- Offer capped card rates as long as you’re a customer.
- Offer next-day card terminal replacement.
Payzone has been providing payment solutions for over 25 years in the UK. Currently they:
- Handle in excess of £1.2 Billion transactions every year in the UK.
- Offer short 12 month contracts.
- Have No Setup or exit fees
Elavon has been a leader in processing payments for over twenty years, leveraging the world’s best technologies for our customers, from large worldwide enterprises to locally-owned small businesses. Some unique services they offer include:
- Fanfare Customer Loyalty, Offers, and Gift Card Programme.
- Tailored solutions for specific industries. They are the #1 payment processor for airlines.
- Every Elavon owned card terminal is enabled to accept Apple Pay.
14. Global Payments
Global Payments specialises in card payment processing for customers ranging in size from owner-managed businesses to multinationals in every sector. A few key things to know about them:
- HSBC’s preferred supplier for card processing in the UK.
- Specific solutions for Education, Hospitality, Online, Retail and Transport.
- Accept payments online, in-person and by mobile MPOS.
15. Retail Merchant Services
Retail Merchant Services was founded in 2007 and take a no-nonsense approach to card payment processing, delivering the best possible packages with no hidden fees. A few key facts about their services:
- Provide solutions to over 45,000 small businesses across the UK and Ireland.
- A Trustpilot rating of 9.7 out of 10
- Membership Benefits for small businesses, including: Free Legal Advice, Discounted Utilities and Merchant Cash Advance.
A Worldpay company they offer the following services:
- A range of countertop, portable and mobile card machines.
- Flexible pricing plans: Pay as you go, fixed monthly and standard.
- Advice on choosing the right online shopping cart software.
Handepay claims they are the ‘go-to’ provider for low cost merchant services. They offer:
- NO minimum monthly service charge (MMSC), authorisation fees, premiums for ‘card not present’ transactions or joining fees.
- Handepay Pledge where they will give you £1,000 if they can’t save your business money.
- A 9.7 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot
18. Lloyds Bank Cardnet
Part of Lloyds Bank and and have been providing businesses with card payment services since 1997. Aim to make accepting card payments simple with card machines, international transactions services and help for setting up online payments. Some benefits they offer:
- 1.04 billion transactions a year with £61.3 billion card sales every month.
- 94% overall customer satisfaction.
- Lloyds Bank Business Account holders get a fixed Rate of 1.25% for all MasterCard & Visa Credit & Debit Cards.
Barclaycard is Barclays Bank’s payment processing division. They offer the following services:
- Desktop, portable, mobile and Anywhere card machines.
- A range of payment pages that make accepting cards and new digital payments really straightforward.
- A virtual terminal for taking payments when a customer isn’t present which works on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
20. Card Cutters
Based in Nottinghamshire they have helped over 5,000 UK merchants save hundreds of pounds a month on their merchant account fees. They represent AIB Merchant Services and offer the following:
- No hidden charges with simple, clear and very competitive pricing.
- Seasonal Card Machine packages for businesses that only operate during the summer.
- Solutions for face to face, phone and online payments.
21. EVO Payments
EVO Payments is an interantional payment company founded in 1989. They currently handle $80 billion worth of transaction worldwide each year. For UK customers they offer:
- Solutions to easily accept payments in store, in app, online or over the phone.
- A single integration for software developers.
- Price plans and all-inclusive bundles.
22. AIB Merchant Services
Allied Irish Bank (AIB) are one of Ireland’s largest providers of payment solutions, with extensive operations in Ireland and Britain. Here a few of the services and benefits they offer:
- Handled over 30 billion euros worth of payments in 2014.
- Offer Clover POS for in-store payments.
- Offer Authipay to accept online payments.
23. Intelligent Merchant Services
Intelligent Merchant Services is based in Surrey and was founded by a group of industry professionals with over 20 years’ experience in card processing. They offer:
- Newer, Faster and more compliant terminals.
- Funds in your account eh next day.
- Dynamic Currency Conversion.
24. HSBC Merchant Services
HSBC offers business debit & credit card processing solutions through their partner Global Payments (see above). Ways HSBC merchant services can help your business:
- You can easily accept foreign card payments.
- Accept payments securely online using Global Payment’s Global Iris.
- Award-winning protection against card fraud.
25. Axcess Merchant Services
They work with a wide range of banking partners to help you get the right merchant services tailored to your business. They offer:
- 179 available currencies.
- 391 connected banks.
- 51 alternative payment methods.
26. Independent Merchant Services
Independent Merchant Services was born in 2011 after their MD’s frustrating experiences searching for a merchant services provider. While they do not offer merchant accounts directly, they aim to help you find the right one. They:
- Are 100% Independent
- Promise to stand by you through your contract with the approved providers.
- Have a 9.8 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot
Monek is a payments business that is built on a long legacy of safe, secure payments processing going back to 1998. They offer:
- One product, one contract, one platform; providing access to 30+ payment types across the world, and all fully protected by our intelligent fraud-prevention systems.
- Dynamic fraud protection.
- Simplified reconciliation and account management.
28. Santander Merchant Services
Santander Merchant Services are currently provided by Elavon (see above). They currently offer:
- Ability to take payments in-person, online, over the phone and mobile and contactless payments.
- Next day settlement into your Santander Business Current Account free of charge.
- All terminals accept Apple, Android and Samsung Pay
Natwest offers their merchant services in partnership with Worldpay. Together they offer:
- A UK Helpdesk which is open 24/7/365 days a year.
- Card transactionsprocessed and settled into your account within 2 working days.
- Clear and upfront fees with no hidden charges or complications.
Learn more: Natwest Merchant Services reviews
30. BOI Payment Acceptance (Bank of Ireland Merchant Services)
BOI Payment Acceptance UK (BOIPA UK) is a marketing alliance between the Bank of Ireland UK and EVO Payments International (see above). They offer:
- No Hidden Fees. They do not charge any hidden fees. No PCI, Joining fee, Minimum Monthly fee, Auth fee etc.
- No ‘lock in’ so it’s easy to change pricing plans.
- Solutions from £36.99 per month
31. Bank of Scotland Merchant Services
The Bank of Scotland’s merchant services are provided by Cardnet. Their key benefits are:
- A fast, efficient payment system you can tailor to your needs.
- Accept payments over the counter, by phone or online.
- Reduce paperwork and simplify your accounting.
32. RBS Merchnat Services
RBS Merchnat Services are provided by Streamline / WorldPay. Key benefits include:
- Speed: They process up to 500 transactions each second.
- Electronic processing: Funds are directed straight to your company’s account
- Safe and secure: Extensive risk management systems prevent fraud and protect your business
33. Yorkshire Bank Merchant Services
They also offer their Merchant Services through Worldpay. The benefits include:
- Next day replacement service for faulty terminals.
- The latest technology, offering secure transactions for your business and customers.
- Free security updates to help keep your customers’ information safe.
34. Clydesdale Bank Merchant Services
Similar to many other major high-street banks Clydesdale Bank offers its merchant services via Worldpay. Key features include:
- A range of face-to-face, online and telephone based payment solutions including Pay by Link invoicing and myCurrency payments in 21 currencies.
- Ability to allow payment with cashback.
- Terminals that offer pre-authorisation.
35. Metro Bank Merchant Services
Metro Bank’s preferred partner for arranging merchant services is independent payments specialist acceptcards. Services offered include:
- Multi-channel payments from face to face to online.
- Supports local payment methods from around the world, across all payment channels.
- Process contactless payments – including Apple Pay.
36. Co-operative Bank Merchant Services
The Co-operative Bank offers safe, secure and reliable card acceptance solutions through its strategic partner, First Data Merchant Solutions. benefits include:
- Ability to accept all major credit and debit cards.
- PCI DSS compliant.
- Flexible product options that can be tailored to best meet your specific requirements.
37. Halifax Merchant Services
Does not provide merchant services or business banking itself, but works with Lloyds Bank Cardnet and Bank of Scotland (who are both part of the same banking group). Some benefits of using either bank include:
- Access to your account online, in branch and over the phone.
- Support from their business management team.
- Free text message alerts service, direct to your mobile phone.
They are a part of UPG plc and help businesses get better rates than going to your own bank direct. Services include:
- Free and no obligation price review.
- Not tied to one single provider or company.
- Can help with merchant accounts, chip and pin machines, mobiles payments, payment gateways and more.
Card Machine Only Providers
39. PB (Pitney Bowes) Payment Solutions
PB Payment Solutions is card machine joint offering from mailing experts Pitney Bowes and First Data Merchant Solutions (see above). They offer:
- Static, wireless (Bluetooth) or mobile (GPRS) terminals.
- Virtual Terminal using any web enabled device.
- E-Commerce Terminal.
Online Only Payment Processing
The companies and suppliers listed below can help you accept card payments if you’re only planning on selling online. If you’re planning on selling by other methods in addition to online, you should jump back up to our list of merchant account providers.
- NoChex – Their mission is to provide UK and European based online businesses and their customers with the means to make and accept payments safely and dependably at an affordable price.
- Paysafe (NETBANX) – Paysafe Group plc is a technology company that provides online and mobile payment services. Paysafe delivers end-to-end payment solutions.
- Realex Payments – Realex Payments, a division of Global Payments Inc., is one of Europe’s leading providers of ecommerce payment solutions.
- Skrill – Skrill has been making digital payments simple, secure and quick since 2001.
- Sqaure – Square Register serves businesses big and small.
For Direct Debit companies have a look at our guide: Top 10 UK Direct Debit Bureau & Recurring Payments Companies