Who needs merchant services?
Being able to accept credit and debit cards is now essential for almost every business in the UK, and to do so you need a way of processing cards. Card usage continues to grow and now for the first time outsrips cash usage, accounting for 52% of all purchases vs. 48% for cash. Spending on UK cards in 2014 now totals over £800 billion across 16 billion transactions and growth continues as spending moves online and to mobile and contactless payments. Studies show that not accepting cards can be materially detrimental to sales as consumers shun businesses where they cannot use their preferred payment methods. So you need to find the best and most cost-effective way of dealing with card processing.
Who supplies card acceptance ?
Historically, businesses would turn to the “merchant acquiring” part of their business bank for card acceptance and the high street banks (Natwest – WorldPay, Barclays -Barclaycard, Lloyds – Cardnet, HSBC – Global Payments, Santander – First Data, etc) would account for over 90% of new card acceptance facilities.
In recent years a number of new suppliers have emerged. These Independent Sales organisations (“ISO’s”) are licensed by Visa and MasterCard and provide the exact same card acceptance products as the high street banks. They provide a merchant account with a Visa/MasterCard approved member and a card terminal from one of only three manufacturers who account for 95% of all UK terminals (Ingenico, Verifone, Spire).
More and more businesses are now turning to ISO’s for card acceptance. Over 30% of new card facilities and switches are now to an ISO. Businesses can get the same card facilities from an ISO but charges are up to 40% less than a high street bank.
New EU legislation reduces charges for card processing
The EU recently passed legislation to cap the charges which Visa and MasterCard levy on merchant acquirers at 0.2% for debit cards and 0.3% for credit cards. These savings are beginning to be passed to merchants. There has never been a better time to benchmark your card acceptance costs and ensure you are not paying a premium to the market rate which is constantly decreasing.
Obtaining quotes for merchant services can be difficult and time consuming. Each supplier levies their charges in a different way making comparison difficult and there are multiple charges to consider :
- Transaction fees
- Terminal rental
- Payment gateway fees
- Authorisation fees
- Chargebacks and refunds
- PCI charges
- Minimum monthly service charges
Cardswitcher.co.uk is the UK’s only price comparison website for merchant services. By answering 11 simple questions about your business we will provide free, instant detailed quotes from multiple suppliers all set out on a comparable basis. There are no callbacks and on average we generate savings for 2/3rds of users, saving an average of 40% of costs.