The 10 Best Restaurant Merchant Accounts

As a restaurant owner, it’s important to save money without sacrificing service. The same is true of finding the right processor for your business transactions.

While there are several good options available in the UK for payment processing, it’s important to consider the unique needs of your restaurant. Are all of your transactions happening in person, or do you want to make online ordering an option? What about selling and shipping some of your dishes or ingredients?

Inversely, it’s important that you’re not signing up for any additional services that your restaurant doesn’t need. If you only run cards in your restaurant, additional bells and whistles will only drive up the price that you’re paying.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best restaurant processors in the UK to help you save time while becoming informed on what processor is right for your restaurant.

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Formerly known as Payzone, takepayments is one of the UK’s fastest growing card payment companies. It currently supports 45,000 small and independent businesses with its payments. It’s head office is located in Stockport, UK.

The Pros

Takepayments provides its merchants with card (PDQ) machines, as countertop and wireless devices. It also offers its own secure payment gateway that integrates seamlessly with more than 50 UK shopping carts. Merchants will also have access to the “Merchant Management System’, a personalized credit card acceptance package, and a dedicated local consultant. There is no setup fee. It also features a 12 month contract, which could be considered the shortest in the industry. No charge to join or leave the contract.

The Cons

It has been reported that takepayments lacks transparency when it comes to disclosing its merchant account fees. Other businesses could find that their ecommerce solutions could be “overly simplistic”.

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Retail Merchant Services

Launched in 2007, Retail Merchant Services is a merchant account provider that offers retail, mobile, and eCommerce payment processing to more than 27,000 merchants in both the UK and in Ireland. Headquartered in Milton Keynes, England, RMS offers its merchants a secure link for their customers to use for supporting payments.

The Pros

RMS offers countertop, portable, and mobile card machines. For online payments, they provide a payment gateway, e-invoices, shopping cart integrations, virtual terminals, and hosted or integrated payment pages. Customers have raved about “simplicity of the process, clear itemisation, and the savings”, since becoming members. Others mentioned great prices.

The Cons

It has an automatic renewal clause for one-year terms. Early termination fee is £180. The terminal refurbishment fee after cancellation is £96. The PCI Compliance fee is up to £100 per year. There is also a 36-month terminal lease that cannot be cancelled.

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Fidelity Payment Services

Maintaining offices in London, but headquartered in New York, Fidelity Payment Services is an (ISO) that provides merchant services in the UK via partnerships with First Data and AIB. It was incorporated in 2004, but has been trading since 1996. With over 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Fidelity specializes in serving bars, restaurant chains, and large hotels.

The Pros

Fidelity Payment Services offers the following features and services: complete integrated software for management systems and channel managers. The software includes Oracle Hospitality, Protel, Sirvoy, Hoteliga, and RateTiger. 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.

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Card Cutters

Card Cutters has been providing practical transaction solutions to smaller businesses since 2009. While there is not a lot of information available online about transaction fees, packages can start at £9.99 per month, not including rental fees.

The Pros

No sign-on fee. Back-office reporting, cash advance options, and a GoogleAdwords credit can help emerging restaurants get started.

The Cons

Termination fee if you are renting equipment. Some reviews cite unknowledgeable sales reps and slow response times from customer service.

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Barclays was founded in 1966 and serves businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries, though they may not be the best option for smaller businesses. They also provide international services.    Expected transaction fees range from .75% to 1.5%

The Pros

In-person, over the phone and online transaction solutions available with high security and anti-fraud features. Knowledgeable tech support. Potential for better deals if you have a business bank account through them.

The Cons

18-month contract with high termination fees. Potentially long holds for customer service.

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iZettle is a Swedish company founded in 2010. This option is especially good for the hospitality industry due to its more advanced capabilities. You can expect a flat rate of 1.75% per transaction and a 2.5% fee for invoicing.

The Pros

The reader works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices and accepts magstripe, chip, and contactless payments. The software integrates well with third-party POS systems. iZettle offers pay as you go contracts and there are also no termination fees.

The Cons

Limited customer service hours that can only be expanded by paying an additional monthly fee.

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Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group is a leading name in European banking and their merchant services are fulfilled by Cardnet. If you hold a Lloyds Bank business account, you can also qualify for extra bonuses with your merchant account.

The Pros

A 12-month minimum contract. Offers smart till rental, countertop machines, wireless and mobile, and contactless payments for transactions under £20.

The Cons

Early termination fees and sign-up fees. These can be reduced or eliminated with a Lloyds Bank business account.

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Payzone is a UK-based processor that was founded in 1989. It currently only serves 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 and a 12-month standard contract. Offers online payments, mobile card machines, and portable PDQ terminals. Flexible contracts that allow you to choose the services you want. 24/7 customer service.

The Cons

No clear pricing policy. While they advertise no early termination fees, online complaints say that this is misleading. While their customer service is available 24/7, reviews have complained that the service provided is less than great.

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First Data

Operating since 1971, this US-based processor has expanded to include many countries. While a good option for small businesses, it does offer lower rates to businesses with high volume. Rates are not disclosed on their website, but reviews cite fees ranging from 2% – 3% and 21p to 33p per transaction, depending on the type.

The Pros

Offers a full line of Clover terminal, mobile and POS systems, including EMV and NFC-based payment methods. An extensive online knowledge base, including access to a website builder. Good support for businesses looking to expand digitally.

The Cons

High equipment rental fees and recurring account fees can add up over the span of the four-year standard contract. There is also a liquidated damages clause.

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A large, international processor that has been operating since 1989 and was one of the first in the business to offer online payment options.    They offer a combination of tiered and interchange-plus pricing plans. High volume merchants may qualify for rates as low as 2.70% + 8p per transaction.

The Pros

Card machine and smart till rentals are available. They also include a virtual terminal and payment gateway. Customer service via phone or online is available 24/7.

The Cons

Some issues with integrating with different POS systems. Standard three-year contract duration and an automatic renewal clause locks you in long-term, even if you are dissatisfied. While undisclosed on their website, reviews state that early termination fees can be over £245 per location.

Provider of the Month

Why takepayments

We have over 100 payments consultants out on the road, who will come and visit you to get a really good understanding of what makes you and your business tick. They’ll create a personalized pricing package based on what your business turns over, the kinds of card payments you’ll take and more. Not to mention everything you see on our website will be super-simple to understand, getting in touch with us is a breeze and our dedicated team are on hand to help you at any point.

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