Find a Merchant Account with No Credit Check in 2021

Couple worrying over a bad credit rating

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 9 April 2021

Sidestep the credit check and start accepting card payments online


Who?Best forAccepts face-to-face payments?Online transaction fee (from)
SquareTaking face-to-face payments2.5%
NochexInstant approval merchant account2.9% + 20p
StripeLow-cost online payments1.4% + 20p
Amazon PayHigh volume online sales1.4% + 20p

Bad credit rating: three words that cause the hairs of any self-respecting business owner to stand on end. Let’s not sugarcoat it – having bad credit to your name is… well, bad news. A poor credit rating will affect your application for a merchant account, which you’ll need to start taking card payments.

The good news, though, is that there are payment providers that don’t require credit checks. In fact, there’s a range of companies willing to take a chance on businesses, industries, and individuals with a higher level of risk.

You have to be careful, though. Many of the best high risk merchant account providers are known to take advantage of bad credit ratings. What might initially seem like a life raft for your business could actually turn out to be a sinking ship of long contracts, extortionate fees, and hidden restrictions.

That’s where we can help. We’ve reviewed the best no credit check payment processors for small UK businesses. Shake off the shackles of bad credit, start accepting card payments, and take your business to the next level.


The top 4 no credit check merchant accounts

We took a look at the range of ways that UK business owners can start taking payments – without having to undergo a credit check.

From internet merchant accounts to third party payment processors, four companies stood out. Square, Nochex, Stripe, and Amazon Pay all lead the way in the UK for quick approval, straightforward pricing, and a headache-free approach to getting paid.

Here’s how to get a merchant account with bad credit in the UK.


Square

Best for taking face-to-face payments

Square. Four corners, one stylish mobile card reader, and zero credit checks. Unlike Nochex and Stripe, Square lets you take payments in-store, using a wireless, bite-sized card reader. Its fees are impressively low, and simple at that – there’s no monthly cost, and no charge to get set up. Though it’s not as suitable for larger merchants, the mobility and flexibility Square offers makes it a mouth-watering option for lower volume merchants, and a fair, square deal for small businesses.

Face-to-face (card-present) transactions: 1.75%

Virtual terminal/ecommerce (card-not-present) transactions: 2.5%

Pros:

  • Processes face-to-face payments in seconds
  • Next business day payouts
  • No hidden or PCI compliance fees

X Cons:

  • Doesn’t accept all card payment types

Nochex

Best instant approval merchant account

Nochex is an internet merchant account that lets your business accept card transactions online or over the phone. And as the name may suggest, there’s no ‘chex’ involved. It’s a payment gateway, a payment processor, and a merchant account, all rolled into one. Nochex is a simpler way to get paid online – and it’s just a short application form away. Get your merchant account set up and taking payments within a single business day. Then sit back, put your feet up, and start getting paid – regardless of your credit rating.

Transaction fee: 2.9% + 20p*

Setup fee: £50

* This rate also stands for payments you accept via invoice, although taking payments over the phone will cost you extra (3.2% + 20p). Nochex offers a discounted rate of 1.4% + 10p (including Gift Aid) for charities.

Additional monthly or setup fees may apply.

Pros:

  • Straightforward pricing
  • Totally PCI compliant
  • UK-based account manager
  • Free support for you and your customers

X Cons:

  • Won’t allow you to take card payments face-to-face
  • Not suitable for bricks and mortar businesses

You're halfway through our list of the top 4 no credit check merchant accounts. Time to start comparing quotes?

Simply hit one of the buttons below to start our quick questionnaire. It takes just 30 seconds to do, and by telling us more about your business’ specific requirements, we can help ensure that you receive the best, most personalised rates on merchant accounts – without the credit check!

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1. Does your business already accept card payments? YES NO

Stripe

Best for low-cost online payments

Stripe isn’t technically a merchant account, but it does have everything you need to start taking payments online. You won’t get a PDQ machine to take payments in-store. But what you will get is a quick, affordable solution for taking online payments. And of course, there’s no credit check either, which means you can skip the stress and get straight to selling. And, while it’s true that a fairly large portion of Stripe’s customer reviews online aren’t so hot, it’s still one of the smoothest, simplest ways of taking card payments online.

Transaction fee (EU cards): 1.4% + 20p

Transaction fee (non-EU cards): 2.9% + 20p

Pros:

  • Most businesses get instant approval for merchant services
  • Integrates beautifully with your website
  • Supports payments in more than 135 currencies

X Cons:

  • Poor Trustpilot rating (3.4/5)
  • Won’t allow you to take card payments in person

Amazon Pay

Best for high volume online sales

We know that anyone can sign up to an Amazon account to buy stuff online. But it turns out that it’s also pretty easy to sell online with Amazon, too. Amazon Pay integrates with your website to bring your customers a smooth-sailing buying experience. And for you? Well, it’s easy to set up – and there’s no credit check. Add to this the backing of a gigantic global brand, and you’ve got a reliable way of taking payments online. It’s not the cheapest provider out there, sure – particularly for smaller businesses – but if you’re selling in big numbers, Amazon Pay offers big value.

Pricing operates on a sliding scale, and depends on your business's overall monthly turnover. View the full range of Amazon Pay pricing in the table below.

Monthly payment volumeTransaction fee
Less than £1,5003.4% + 20p
£1,500.01 to £6,0002.9% + 20p
£6000.01 to £15,0002.4% + 20p
£15,000.01 to £55,0001.9% + 20p
More than £55,0001.4% + 20p

Pros:

  • Impressive fraud prevention features
  • Good customer support
  • Provides hassle-free transactions for your customers

X Cons:

  • Expensive for smaller businesses with lower sales volume
  • Won’t let you accept card payments face-to-face

Next steps

Now that having bad credit isn’t worrying you as much, why not start comparing merchant account quotes? It’s easy – just jump into our webform and enter some quick info about your business, plus what kind of payments you want to start accepting. You’ll get free, tailored quotes from top merchant account suppliers. It’s risk-free – with no credit checks involved!

Get started by clicking one of the buttons below, and happy researching!

Compare Quotes From No Credit Check Merchant Account Providers and Save
It takes just 30 seconds...
1. Does your business already accept card payments? YES NO

FAQs

What does a credit check entail?

Because there’s a degree of risk to the merchant account provider, credit checks are standard practice. A credit check looks at the history of debts amassed, plus whether these debts were paid, and if they were settled on time.

A credit check examines the business, its owner (that’s you!), your financial associates, and your other bank accounts. That can be your personal, business and joint accounts – no stone goes unturned. The period of time this check covers varies, but six years is common, and ten isn’t unheard of.

What is a high risk merchant account? Do I need one?

High risk merchant account providers are companies that specialise in processing payments for businesses that operate in industries deemed ‘high risk.’

Do you mainly deal in sales where a lot of time passes between payment and the delivery of the service? Do you regularly accept high value transactions? If you’ve answered yes to either of these, then your business is probably considered high risk.

High risk industries include:

  • Travel agencies
  • Online pharmacies
  • Internet dating
  • Online gambling
  • Auction websites

Of the payment processors above, Nochex is the most clear-cut high risk provider. It offers tailored merchant account solutions for high risk businesses like e-cigarette vendors.

Will the merchant account providers on this list let me take face-to-face payments?

Just one – as well as empowering businesses to accept online and phone payments, Square also offers a card reader. It’s small and stylish (and square, of course!) and lets you take mobile and contactless card payments at the point of sale (POS).

To take face-to-face payments, you’ll need a PDQ machine. As renting these often comes with longer contracts, the merchant account providers that offer them will usually perform a credit check. Mobile card readers are also great for taking payments at the POS, although big providers like Zettle and SumUp run credit checks, too.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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