The 10 Best Professional Service Merchant Accounts

The landscape of processing payments for professional services has vastly changed since the advent of online and mobile payment options. Now more than ever, it’s easier for small and emerging businesses to provide a wide variety of payment options for their clientele.

But not all payment processors work the same or offer the same services, even when prices are comparable. The size of your business and the industry it’s operating in can mean a big difference in your business’ needs that not every processor can satisfy.

To help you find the best one for your business, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best professional service processors in the UK.

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Barclays was founded in 1966 and provides international services for medium to large-sized businesses in a variety of industries. Reviews on fees range from .75% to 1.5%

The Pros

In-person, over the phone, and online transaction solutions available. High security and anti-fraud features. Knowledgeable tech support.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. 18-month contract with high termination fees. Online reviews mention potentially long holds for customer service.

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Relatively new, iZettle was founded in 2010 and was acquired by PayPal in 2018. Provides excellent processing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. They supply a mobile credit card processing app and card reader similar to GoPayment and Square. It also accepts chip-and-PIN cards.

The Pros

Clear pricing available on their website with month-to-month contracts. Works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. No early termination fees. The software includes many benefits, including easy integration with 3rd-party POS systems, in-app invoicing, and basic employee management.

The Cons

No 24/7 customer service available or online chat functions.

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A UK-based processor founded in 1989, currently only serving businesses in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Rates vary between .6% to 2.5% plus a flat fee based upon estimation.

The Pros

No setup fee. 12-month standard contract. Online payments, mobile card machines, and portable PDQ terminals. Flexible contracts allow you to choose the services you want. Customer service available 24/7.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. Online complaints say that the advertised no early termination fee is misleading. Reviews have complained that the customer service provided is lacking.

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First Data

First Data is a US-based processor that was founded in 1971 and has grown to include many countries. They offer lower rates to businesses with high volume. Reviews cite fees ranging from 2% – 3% and 21p to 33p per transaction, depending on the transaction type.

The Pros

Full line of Clover terminal, mobile and POS systems, including EMV and NFC-based payment methods available. Easy-to-use website builder available. Good support for businesses looking to expand digitally.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. High equipment rental fees have been referred to in online reviews, as well as a liquidated damages clause in the contract, which could extend as long as four years.

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SmartTrade App

Founded in 1999, SmartTrade App offers three different packages, with the lowest starting at 0.45% app transaction fee and 1.65% card transaction fee. Supports face-to-face, over the phone, online, and mobile payment processing available on both Android and iOS devices.

The Pros

A good option for small businesses. Pricing information available on their website. No contract commitment and the starter package has no monthly fees. Easy accounting software integration with digital invoicing and billing support.

The Cons

Not a good option for larger businesses that conduct a high volume of monthly transactions. No high risk management options.

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Card Cutters

Founded in 2009, Card Cutters is an agent of Allied Irish Bank. They offer competitive rates for smaller businesses that are typically reserved for larger businesses.

The Pros

Countertop, Bluetooth, mobile, portable machines, telephone, and e-commerce payment options. Fast setup and free sign-on. A termination fee only applies if you are leasing equipment. Offers back-office reporting, merchant cash advance, and the latest in security systems. New accounts are also given a Google AdWords credit.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. No high risk management options available

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Universal Transaction Processing

Universal Transaction Processing (UTP) has been offering competitive processing services for businesses of all sizes since 2013. The provided virtual terminal is great for accessing from any computer, and helping to cut out equipment fees while providing real-time processing, tracking, and reporting.

The Pros

Virtual terminal and payment gateway, which seamlessly integrates with approximately 25 third-party shopping cart solutions. Countertop, mobile, portable machines, and e-commerce payment options. Customer service is based out of the UK. Same day funding.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. Long contracts and reviews state that the early termination fee may be as high as £25,000. There have also been complaints about the use of telemarketers and sales tactics. There is no live chat option.

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Worldplay has been operating since 1989 and was at the forefront of online payment options. Pricing plans are a combination of tiered and interchange-plus pricing plans. Merchants who process a high volume of transactions may qualify for rates as low as 2.70% + 8p per transaction.

The Pros

They offer rentals on card machines and smart tills. They also include a virtual terminal and payment gateway. Customer service agents are available 24/7 via phone or online.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. Reviews state that early termination fees can be over £245 per location. The standard three-year contract and an automatic renewal clause lock you in. Some issues have been cited in reviews with integrating into POS systems.

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Secure Trading

Founded in 1997, Secure Trading is known as an “international integrated payment services company”. With head offices in Canary Wharf, London, they also have offices in both the United States and Malta. As they are an independent organization, not attached to any bank, they are able to negotiate with banks around the world, securing competitive rates for merchants.

The Pros

Secure Trading offers the following features and benefits for its merchants: Dynamic Currency Conversion, PCI DSS compliance, advanced cyber security, multi-currency payment solutions, alternate payment solutions, 24/7 call centre, online payment gateway, virtual terminal card processing, tokenisation and card store, competitive rates on payment gateway and virtual terminal service, no early termination fees, one-year contract with auto-renewal.

The Cons

Secure Trading does not disclose its prices and fees on their website. Merchants will need to contact the company directly. Very little information exists in terms of reviews online.

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Fidelity Payment Services

Maintaining offices in London, but headquartered in New York, Fidelity Payment Services is known as an independent sales organisation or (ISO). It provides merchant services in the UK via partnerships with First Data and AIB. It was incorporated in 2004, but has been trading since 1996. It offers both merchant accounts and credit card processing services.

The Pros

Fidelity Payment Services offer the following features and services: countertop chip and pin terminals, an online payment gateway, mobile payment processing, a virtual terminal, merchant cash advance, and ACH processing. Additional offerings include PCI DSS Compliance, 3D Secure, Dynamic Currency Conversion, single and recurring payments, Xero integration, gift and loyalty cards, and 24/7 customer service. There are no hidden charges or fees. Tech support has been reported as quick and responsive.

The Cons

Fidelity Payment Services does not list its pricing or fees on their website.

Provider of the Month

Why Barclays

Barclaycard offers reliable, easy-to-use services, including its own payment gateway. Discover their great range of card readers, designed to suit your working space and how customers prefer to pay.

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