Retail Merchant Services Review 2021

Retail Merchant Services logo

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 20 January 2021

It’s won awards for its services to UK businesses – but does this merchant account provider live up to the hype?


Retail Merchant Services (RMS) comes with a bit of a clunky name. Handily, though, it offers pretty much exactly what its name suggests – affordable, straightforward services for merchants (that’s you), whether you’re in retail, hospitality, or just want to start accepting a range of online payment methods from your front room.

So, what can RMS offer your business? How does its customer support stack up, and what are the reviews from other UK small businesses saying? And – most importantly – how much is it going to cost you?

Pros:

  • 24/7 technical support
  • Speedy payment processing
  • Same-day payment settlement available
  • PCI compliant

X Cons:

  • Long contracts
  • Fees aren’t disclosed on its website
  • Add-ons are expensive
  • Round-the-clock support is only offered for certain account types
At a glance: Retail Merchant Services isn’t too transparent about its fees, but it is highly-rated. What’s more, it’s reliable, and can offer your business a range of ways to take card payments.

What is Retail Merchant Services?

Retail Merchant Services is an independent, UK-based merchant account provider. It provides payment solutions for businesses of all sizes across the UK and Ireland.

RMS is what’s known in industry jargon as an Independent Service Organisation (ISO). It acts as a reseller of payment services provided by Elavon – a big, US-based merchant account provider.

To put it simply, RMS uses its relationships with businesses and banks to get you some of the best merchant service rates on the market. That means that you can take payments online, over the phone, and in person – all without having to splash too much of your precious cash.

Sound good? Let’s take a closer look at what RMS brings to your business.

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What can Retail Merchant Services offer your business?

So, what do you get when you sign up for a merchant account with RMS? Well, that depends on the type of business you run – and how you want to take payments. Below, we break down your main three options:

  • Face-to-face payments
  • Online payments
  • Phone payments

Face-to-face payments

RMS offers three types of card machines. These let you take face-to-face payments at the point of sale (POS). Also known as PDQ machines, these handy devices are easy to use, easy to maintain, and as flexible as your business needs them to be. But which one’s right for you?

RMS countertop card machine

Countertop card machine

You’ve seen them in convenience stores, bakeries, and clothing shops across the UK. RMS’ countertop card machine is perfect… if you only take payments from the counter. It connects through your wifi or phone line to offer the most reliable connectivity possible. It’s quick, too, processing your payments in under two seconds.

Pros:

  • Lets you offer cashback, as well as accept deposits and gratuities
  • Quick, reliable payment processing

X Cons:

  • Needs to stay in one place
  • Speed and quality of its payment processing is dependent on the quality of your wifi or phone line

RMS portable card machine

Portable card machine

RMS’ portable card machines are just that – portable! They’re great if you run a restaurant or bar, and need to be able to take payment to the customer. With a 100m range, Bluetooth connectivity, and a battery life that lasts for days, this slick silver dynamo brings big benefits to your business.

 

Pros:

  • Fast processing speeds
  • Sleek, elegant design

X Cons:

  • Payment processing speed can be sabotaged by a poor Bluetooth connection

Mobile card machine

Do you run a market stall or a food truck? Maybe you’re a joiner or a plumber, and need to take payments on the go? Whatever your trade, RMS offers a card machine solution that’s as mobile as you are.

A mobile card reader keeps you connected with an intelligent roaming SIM card. With a small, economic design and UK-wide 3G coverage, this card machine will help make sure that you never miss a sale.

Pros:

  • Can be used anywhere in the UK
  • Charges in the car for ultimate convenience

X Cons:

  • More expensive to set up and maintain
  • Can be difficult to use
RMS card machine comparison
FeatureCountertopPortableMobile
Accepts Visa, Mastercard, and AMEX
3G/GPRS compatibleXX
RechargeableX
High speed receipt printing
PIN Shield
Car chargerX
Built-in SIM
Charger baseX

Online payments

If you already have a website, a payment gateway is the way to go. RMS offers two types of payment pages to let you accept card payments through your website:  a hosted option (a ready-made, PCI compliant page run by RMS), or an integrated option.

The integrated option is a bit more tricky to set up… but it also gives you complete control over the look and feel of the page. Brand it with your own colours and your own design, and give your customers a seamless checkout experience.

Pay by Link

If an integrated payment page is a steak dinner, RMS’ ‘Pay by Link’ feature is a glorious plate of beans on toast. It’s basic – but it’ll get the job done.

And, like beans, it is pretty much what it says on the tin. You send your customers a link. They click it, and are taken to a payment page where (you guessed it!) they pay. Has it ever bean easier to take payments?

Pay by Link is great for small businesses because you don’t need a website to use it. It makes sending and managing online invoices easy, and lets you harness the power of the internet to take payments. All this, while sidestepping the costs and effort that come with setting up and running a website – not bad!

Phone payments

RMS also provides a virtual terminal for taking payments over the phone. You don’t need a website, either – you just log into a secure webpage from whatever device you’ve got lying around, and enter the card details your customer shares over the phone.

There’s no technical set up required, and up to 20 of your team members can use it. RMS’ virtual terminal also lets you setup recurring payments to help take the hassle out of getting paid. We love it!


How much does Retail Merchant Services cost?

Let’s be clear – merchant account fees are rarely transparent. Merchant account quotes are always bespoke, and depend on your business’ size and sales volume. Also… it’s competitive out there! And providers are (understandably) reluctant to be shouting their rates from the rooftops.

That's why you'll need to contact RMS directly for a quote that reflects what you would actually pay.

But remember, merchant account fees are like molehills – they have a tendency to pop up where they aren’t welcome, and can trip up you up if you’re not careful. But that’s where we can help.

Just fill in our form to receive quotes from a range of merchant account suppliers. It takes less than a minute, it’s free, and will help us match you with the provider that’s best for your business.


What's Retail Merchant Services's customer support like?

It’s clear that RMS offers a range of ways for your business to take credit card and mobile wallet payments… but so do a lot of companies. That’s why customer support is so important. It’s the fine margin that separates the wheat from the chaff – and a big factor when choosing a merchant account provider.

So, how does RMS fare for customer support? Well, it provides 24/7, UK-based technical support for its customers. However, that’s dependent on account type – so if you’re a smaller business doing less in card volume, you might not be eligible for round-the-clock support.

There’s also an online advice hub to answer the big questions. It’ll help you get your head around getting started, managing your account, and staying PCI compliant.

All in all? Not the best customer support we’ve seen from a merchant account provider – but certainly sufficient for small businesses in search of the basics.


What do Retail Merchant Services's customer reviews say?

It doesn’t need sugar coating – Retail Merchant Services's online customer approval ratings are simply fantastic. Of RMS's 5,380 Trustpilot reviews at the time of writing, a staggering 90% of them are five stars, with a further 3% giving a solid four-star rating. Just 6% were negative about the company.

Here’s what a couple of Retail Merchant Services’s customers had to say:

Testimonial
Testimonial user photo
Alan Retail Merchant Services customer

“Having researched payment service providers before we started up, RMS came out head and shoulders above the rest. From signing up and supplying our terminals, even to the engineer coming out and setting it all up, everything has worked smoothly. Their communication about updates and new features has been very good, too.

“I would not hesitate to recommend RMS to anyone taking card or virtual terminal payments.”

Testimonial
Testimonial user photo
Keith Retail Merchant Services customer

“Had serious problems getting my terminal to log on to the GRPS site. But, after forty minutes of sheer determination and help from the RMS help desk, the issue was sorted. Lewis was very helpful and professional, and it was obviously his area of expertise. Thanks.”


Next steps

Ready to start selling online, or over the phone? We can help. Regardless of whether you’re sold on RMS as a supplier, the good news is that you’re still eligible for free merchant account quotes for your business.

Simply jump into our quote-finding form, pop in a couple of quick details about your business, and we’ll do the rest. You’ll receive tailored quotes directly from trusted merchant account providers in no time, helping you to compare your options and find the right solution for you.  

Compare Quotes From Leading Merchant Account Providers and Save
It takes just 30 seconds...
1. Do you already accept card payments at your business? YES NO
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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