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First Payment Merchant Services

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Monday, September 17th, 2018
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A Good Fit For:

What We Like

First Payment Services offers a wide variety of equipment for lease, and its hardware is ideal for those in the hospitality or retail sectors. Though eager to make sales, their agents were professional and confident.

What We Didn't Like

First Payment Merchant Services only discloses some of its pricing, however, what it does promote is misleading. Also, it has a fairly large number of complaints about undisclosed terms and rate changes, and lengthy contracts that are impossible to cancel.

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Founded in Camberley, Surrey in 2011, First Payment Merchant Services Ltd.is one of the largest independent sales organizations in the UK, representing acquiring banks, including Elavon and First Data. Through its network of global providers, First Payments works to provide low cost, well supported and innovative solutions to help merchants process payments safely and quickly. It provides a wide range of payment products, from basic merchant accounts to more advanced systems, such as integrated EPOS solutions. Also, it provides chip and pin devices and alternative funding methods, such as merchant cash advances, to thousands of customers, aiming to offer stable and innovative payment solutions in the SME market. First Payment Merchant Services also offers merchant cash advances, which is a type of financing that is based on merchant’s existing credit and debit card sales and doesn’t require collateral, in amounts between £2,500 to £300,000.First Payment claims to save merchants, on average, about 21%, and up to 63% on credit card processing.


First Payment Merchant Services effectively markets itself through traditional advertising, like brochures, as well as through social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to promote its products and services. Its brochure is straightforward and honest.


It promotes its hardware solutions on its site, but doesn’t include the length of the contracts or that the packages don’t include additional software costs. Additionally, the prices quoted for hardware aren’t the actual prices you are likely to pay, because the costs promoted are “starting at” rates. What you actually pay will be based on your type of business and your risk level determined by underwriters.


First Payment Merchant Services gains new customers through telemarketers and a team of about 80 in-house field sales agents. In our efforts to review its services, we weren’t able to find anything outwardly misleading about their direct sales pitch, but it’s important to note that we uncovered some complaints about underhanded and unsavory sales tactics. Merchants have complained that sales agents are rude, unprofessional, and sketchy. They have said they were never made aware that pricing could change at any time during their contracts, or that there were additional charges.


First Payment Merchant Services can be reached by phone, email, and its Twitter and Facebook pages. It does not offer a live chat option. Also, it offers a “knowledge base,” but the information is very basic and lacks any real “knowledge” about specific merchant services.


Despite the complaints blowing around in the digital space about customer service, we found First Payment to be responsive. Emails were replied to the same day, and phone calls were transferred without calls getting lost, or being passed to one too many agents.

Staff Interaction

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by our interactions with First Payment Merchant Services representatives. They were polite, confident, enthusiastic, but, at times, they were a little too eager for the sale. They had a superior knowledge of the equipment that was available, and though we would have liked more specifics, we received consistent information from several different agents.


First Payment Merchant Services does not disclose any credit and debit card processing fees on its site.

First Payment notes on its site that it bases pricing on business type, turnover, and whether you use a desktop, portable, or mobile machine. Merchants pay a small merchant fee on each transaction, on a percentage basis.

Also, it does not mention whether merchants are charged statement, set-up, monthly, or annual fees, all of which are common fees charged by providers. Fee amounts vary, depending on the provider you choose and the contract you sign.

To get price quote, you will need to contact the merchant service provider directly.

Hardware Costs

First Payment Merchant Services offers “The Complete Solution,” which includes a 2017 dual touchscreen terminal, pre-installed software, an all metal cash drawer, and a receipt printer. It comes with a 12-month warranty with rates starting at £100 plus VAT per month. Also, this solution requires a 48-month contract.

Its “Full Tablet Solution” aims to simplify the set-up process by providing essential hardware, such as a Windows 10-based tablet, pre-installed software, an enterprise dock, an integrated card machine with core essentials. This solution starts at £49 per month plus VAT, and requires a 36-month contract. Also, merchants pay extra for software.

Software Costs

It offers two EPOS software packages – basic and premium.

The premium package costs £35 per device plus £20 per location and includes 24/7 telephone and remote access support.

The basic package costs £25 per device plus £10 per location and telephone and remote access support is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Both packages include an upgraded warranty to next-day hardware replacement, unlimited training and cloud storage, free software updates, and covers the £175 annual license renewal fee.

Additional Accessories

First Payment Merchant Services also offers a host of other state-of-the-art accessories and equipment. All prices included below exclude VAT.

It offers:

  • Pro USB Thermal Receipt Printer, which accepts any standard 80mm till roll, and delivers high-resolution receipts quickly. Using the latest thermal technology, it does not require replacement ribbons or ink. It costs £129.00.
  • Pro Ethernet 80mm Thermal Order Printer, which allows you to print orders from your EPoS system directly to your bar and kitchen. It costs £249.00.
  • Bixolon DX220 Barcode Printer is a thermal printer that prints using heat and requires no ink. It allows you to personalize and print high-quality barcodes and labels. It costs £249.00.
  • The 8-inch Customer Video Display Boost allows you to display offers and promotions at the till point or promote your brand. It costs £299.00.
  • The Pro Cash Drawer can easily be connected to any standard POS printer. It costs £49.00.
  • The Pro USB Barcode Scanner allows for quick scanning, even with poor or damaged barcodes. It costs £49.00.
  • The Pro Wireless Barcode Scanner easily scans all standard 1D barcodes. It costs £179.00.
  • The portable Socket Mobile 7Ci makes it easy to scan all standard 1D/linear and stacked barcodes. It costs £177.00.
  • Avery Berkel Scales FX120 allows you to sell accurately items by weight. It integrates Avery Berkel scales with Epos software and costs £489.00.
  • The Pro Till Rolls are designed for thermal receipt printing and are the perfect size for the Epos receipt printers, as well as most standard 80mm receipt printers. It costs £24.98.
  • Barcode Labels create quality barcode labels for high-resolution printing on all thermal barcode printers. It was created to be the perfect size for the Epos Barcode Printing App, and it costs £24.98.
  • Staff Swipe Cards increase your business’ security and transaction speed by allowing your staff to swipe to access the system. It costs £39.00.
  • The Pro Magnetic Swipe Card Reader enables your terminal to read and process staff cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards with a single swipe. It costs £39.00.

Early Termination Fees

Contract lengths for accounts and hardware leases vary. Early termination fees also are variable. There have been some reports that hardware leases cannot be cancelled; merchants have no choice but to buy out the rest of their leases.


When it comes to merchant feedback, it’s a mixed bag. It has a four-star rating on the review site, TrustPilot, with about 30% of its 29 reviews being “bad.” Some merchants giving them glowing reviews, touting First Payment Merchant Services reliable services and competitive rates. Meanwhile, others complain of “rude, unprofessional” sales and customer service members. Some have even gone as far to say that field sales agents will say anything to close a sale. Also, merchants say agents didn’t make them aware that rates they were charged were not fixed for any period in their contracts. Merchants have said their rates and fees increased after three months. Complaints also state that the business doesn’t return calls or respond to emails.

First Payment Merchant Services also has more positive reviews than negative ones on yell.com. Some merchants say they have had positive experiences, including quality customer service. Others have complained about being unable to cancel contracts, even when doing so with the required 30-day written notice, as well as poor customer service and support.

Also, it is important to note that since First Payment Merchant Services works with acquirers, its complaints may not be a true reflection of its business practices and services. It’s important to look at its acquirers because they are ones that create the contracts and their terms.

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