Buying Guides
Related Products
About Us

Start Taking Card Payments TodayBegin your free quote below

Do you currently accept card payments?

It Only Takes a Minute
Apple Pay

Comparing Card Payment Services

This article will give you an overview of card payment services in the UK, and help you choose the best card payment machine.

Card Payment Services Overview

Leading card payment service providers have one thing in common: they will usually charge a monthly rental fee for hiring a card payment machine plus transaction fees. Transaction fees will vary according to card type (debit or credit card).

In terms of negotiating with individual suppliers to get the best deal, you either get a lower monthly fee with higher transaction fees or a higher monthly fee with more competitive transaction fees. Therefore, when choosing a card payment machine, calculate your estimated volume of transactions or, if you are switching providers, consider whether a lower fixed monthly fee may work out as a better option for your business in the long term.

Additionally, you need to be aware of set up fees, which can vary from supplier to supplier, and new forms of mobile payments using card readers. Our guide to the costs and types of PDQ machines should help.

chip and pin solutions

Where to Find Information on Card Payment Services

Alongside doing internet searches for card payment services providers, a good place to find more information is trade fairs. Sometimes providers will have special introductory offers with discounts on set up fees at exhibitions and meeting them face to face allows you to ask questions to suppliers directly.

▶ Find out more: All about PDQ machines

An indication of good value for money and reliability of hardware is observing which model of card payment machine is being used in retail environments. You will soon notice that some models are more popular than others among retailers when you are paying for goods and services.

Leading Card Payment Machine Providers

This is not an exhaustive list of card payment machine providers, however it is a good starting point when selecting a supplier to suit your business needs.

Chip & PIN Solutions

With 10 years' worth of payment services experience, Chip & PIN Solutions supply card machines accredited by all major banks.

▶ Find out more: HSBC merchant gateway


WorldPay was founded in 1989 and began providing internet payment services in 1994. They are one of the largest payment providers across the globe and offer MOTO, Online and Face to Face payments

Sage Pay

Sage Pay was established in 2001 and is accredited by all the major banks. Became a card payment provider in 2012 with the acquisition of Integral Computers Ltd.

XLN Card Processing Solutions

XLN was established in 2002 and specialises in small business card payment solutions.

Other Card Payment Providers to Watch

It is also worth watching how the Apple Pay service will develop. Apple Pay works with the major credit card issuers but not many retailers have joined the Apple network yet.

PayPal added a chip & PIN card reader connecting to iPhones and iPads in 2012 with a one-off set up fee and no monthly fees (but higher transaction fees at 2.75%). Similarly to PayPal, iZettle, founded in 2010, provides a card reader for payments with an app for smartphones and tablets. Like PayPal there are no monthly fees but only a one-off fee plus 2.75% transaction fees.

Types of Payment Card Machines

When choosing a card payments machine you should consider whether it is more convenient for your business to get a Counter Top terminal or a Mobile terminal. Both types of terminals have pros and cons, namely:

  • Counter Top terminals are ideal for fast transactions but requires a fixed landline.
  • Mobile terminals, containing a SIM card, are ideal for events and exhibitions or for a mobile business that has no overheads, but if there is a bad signal then transactions can get delayed or may not be processed.

These are some of the main factors to consider when choosing a new card payment provider, whether you are switching suppliers or have just started trading.

Further Information

If you would like to know more about card payment services in the UK, please fill out the short form above and Expert Market will match you to the best suppliers available.