Guide To Merchant Services




What is a Merchant Services Account?

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows you to accept credit or debit card payments.


Is a merchant account just a business bank account, then?

  No it isn’t, you will need a Merchant Account and a Card Acquirer to be able to process card payments

Merchant accounts are designed as packages
which include several features and benefits!


For many businesses, the traditional bank is the first-stop
shop for anything related to payment processing

This is a common theme but be advised that this is not the
best route for your business as it usually costs more


How will I know if I am paying more than I need to?


Simple  … Ask us for A Free Fees & Rates Review





All major financial institutions have therefore been proposing packaged solutions to allow their business clients to handle edit and debit card transactions.

Although their many features and benefits come at a price, it is important to understand the possible operational frameworks
of a merchant account to consider which contract is better for a prospective business customer.

Desktop Terminals



Wi Fi Terminals



Mobile GPRS Terminals


Credit Card Readers


Merchant accounts are designed as packages which include several features and benefits.


1) PDQ card payments handling

The main reason why business customers choose such accounts is because they allow credit card payments to be processed which will greatly enhance their turnover. 

The Acquirers will typically provide: • The lease of a PDQ terminal, • PDQ integration or also within the EPOS if needed

 Handling of foreign currency account holder payments, • Maintenance and upgrades to this hardware

A separate account to immediately process credit or debit card payments

Transfer of funds to the business account either same day, next day, or days later depending on the Acquirer


2) Online or remote payment processing

When a business can handle in-store credit card payments, accepting credit card payments online or remotely is just a short step away

• Payments made over the phone (“cardholder not present”) can be processed by entering relevant data on the PDQ terminal directly

• Online payments will be possible as soon as a payment gateway, provided by the bank and linked with the Merchant Identification Number, has been installed on the e-commerce website.


3) Payment security

It is important to note that transaction security, as long as the installation has been made by the book on the merchant side,
when a merchant account is subscribed, is handled by the bank and its partners.

Both the merchant and the end-customer will be indemnified by the bank in most fraud cases.


4) Savings

While such accounts may seem costly, one has to also consider the savings induced by credit card operations,

Banks will also charge significant fees when other means of payment are remitted:
• large cash deposits, • cheques, • wire transfer


5) Payment services providers

Payment services providers or PSPs actually checks, authorises and proceeds debit and credit card payments, from a PDQ terminal, over the phone or online, before sending a confirmation.


Operational framework

Several organisations may be at play in a merchant account

Major PSPs in the UK include:
Ingenico, Barclaycard,  Worldpay, Global Payments, Verifone, Optomany, Webmerchant,
V9, Valitor, Bank of Ireland, AIB, PaymentSense, Streamline.

Please note that every Acquirer is very different and you may not always have been given the best rates per transaction


We can look at a copy of your current statement and show you where you are being overcharged on your card processing transaction fees and recommend a better alternative for you




6) Acquiring banks and issuing banks

The bank which maintains the bank account is called within the card payment framework an acquiring bank, as they are in touch with the business customer.

The issuing bank, in turn, is the financial institution which issues the credit card on behalf of Visa, Mastercard etc.


7) Independent sales organisations (ISOs)

The Credit Card Associations of Visa and MasterCard defined Independent Sales organisations which are not members
of their association and networks, but has a bank card relationship with a bank which is.

Although they sell merchant accounts, the actual handling of the money is done by an acquiring bank related to this ISO and issuing bank.


 8) Costs

Merchant accounts include several series of costs

Basic costs of a merchant account
Levied costs for the most common options within a merchant account include:

 Monthly fees, with both a flat base fee and a statement fee based on transaction volume

Additional per-transaction fees – Credit card terminal leasing fees – Auth fees – Pci fees – Non PCI Compliance fees – MMSC fees


9) Possible other fees

Some banks or Acquirers may charge the following other fees:

Additional Pence per transaction fees – Analytics fees – Paper Bill fees – Set up fee – Admin fee 
Gateway fee for e-commerce transactions – Virtual Terminal fee – Same or next  day payments fees

Transmission fees when payment data is uploaded to the bank’s servers


Always look out for other “Hidden Fees” that are all too common on statements



So to check if you are currently on a good deal all you need to do is get a fees and rates review which we provide for free 

We will then give you the best pricing options available from our partners and it is your choice as to whether you wish to switch to save


On average, you can reduce your bill & payment costs by 35% – 75%




If your business falls into one of the sectors classed as high risk you may find it more difficult to obtain a
merchant account in order to accept credit and debit card payments

Dating and Escort Services
Forex Merchant Account/Services
Online Gaming & Gambling
Lender Merchant Account & Services
Travel and Tourism
CBD Oil / Vape merchants
Online Auctions
Events and Tickets
Membership Services
Account / Services
Tattoo Studios

Adult Entertainment
Credit Repair /  Debt Management
Domain Registration
Software Downloads
Prepaid Phone Cards
Tobacco and E-Cigs
Money Transfer
Technical Support & Web Development
Jewellery, Watches & Accessories
Vehicle Sales and Car Parts

Investment Schemes
Lender Merchant Account & Services
PPI Merchant Accounts & Services
Payday Loans
Health and Wellness Products
ISP and Hosting Services
Direct Sales and Pyramid Selling
Alcohol Products
Nightclubs and Bars
Crypto Currency
Phone Locking Services



(please remember to include a copy of a current bill (e.g. electricity, gas, telecoms) or a merchant statement as this will help us to provide you with a much faster cost comparison)


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