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Handepay Merchant Services

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Monday, July 30th, 2018
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A Good Fit For:


What We Like

Handepay charges no monthly minimum, PCI-compliance, or authorization fees. Sales representatives were professional and confident.

What We Didn't Like

Handepay offers variable, sometimes lengthy contracts with automatic renewal clauses and charges early termination fees. This not a good choice for large businesses because plans come with low monthly transaction limits.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

Based in Galway Crescent, Haydock and founded in 2006, Handepay is an independent sales organization (ISO) for Evo Payments International. Based in Atlanta, Georgia-based, Evo Payments provides merchant acquiring and processing solutions for merchants, independent software vendors, financial institutions, ISOs, government entities, and corporations in North America and Europe. Handepay also works as a reseller for the UK processor, Streamline.

Equipment leasing is offered through Merchant Rentals, which is housed at the same location as Handepay. There are reports in the digital space that Merchant Rentals is simply “doing business as” Handepay, though this could not be confirmed.

Handepay provides credit and debit card processing services to merchants based in the UK, though it tailors its services to small and mid-sized businesses. In June 2017, it announced it had expanded its service to merchants in Scotland.

Handepay claims that, on average, merchants who switch over its merchant services save 36% in card processing fees. It further claims that it offered UK business owners a combined savings of more than £3.75 million in 2016. To date, Handepay serves more than 28,000 customers.

Marketing

Scrolling through Handepay’s site, we liked that it did not promote misleading rate quotes. However, it consistently states on its site and social media platforms that, “it varies from customer to customer but our average saving is 36%,” as well as promoting a number of inauthentically-worded promotions. It has a “refer a friend” program in which a merchant can get £50, if the referral results in a new client for Handepay.

Also, Handepay does a great deal of promoting it services on Twitter. Recently, it encouraged merchants to sign up before Aug. 26 to rent a terminal for free for the first three months.

Also, its consistently promotes its Price Challenge. Handepay promises to give a merchant £1,000, if it can’t save the company money. The offer expires Dec. 31, 2018 but has a host of conditions, including merchant can’t be engaged in car, bathroom, or kitchens sales and 80% or higher of the merchant’s transactions must come from cards. A gimmicky approach like this always makes us a bit suspicious.

Honesty

Handepay does not outline all of its important terms and conditions, or clearly explain them to merchants. Though this is not dishonest, per se, it is a rather ambiguous approach. Also, merchants have complained they were misled about the automatic renewal clauses, as well as other issues related to pricing.

Many of the items merchants complain about are in the small print of their contracts, but not necessarily easy to understand. In our opinion, the best merchant service providers are willing to point out the finer points of agreements for the sake of transparency.

Sales

Handepay uses its own sales agents, partnerships, and telemarketers to broaden its customer base. Also, it gains customers through its referral program. Though it doesn’t appear to use any independent sales agents, we have uncovered a number of complaints of merchants citing questionable sales tactics, especially when it comes information about contract lengths and potential early termination fees.

Availability

Handepay can be reached via phone, email, its “request a quote” tool, and by clicking on its “request a call back” button. Merchants also can reach Handepay via Twitter, though it is not clear how quickly representatives respond.

Support

In terms of responsiveness, Handepay’s team was quick and eager. With its prompt responses, we found Handepay’s agents to be interested and enthusiastic without ever being aggressive or pushy. Less than two hours after clicking the “request a call back,” button, we received a response encouraging us to call at our convenience. Later that day, we received a follow-up response, asking if we preferred an agent give us a call. We opted to call, and when we did, overall, it went well. We weren’t transferred a bunch of times. Every time we called, we were able to reach an agent and have a good customer service experience.

Staff Knowledge 

During our interactions, we found the staff to be very knowledgeable and confident. They were quick to ask questions and to answer questions. However, the responses were vague at best about details, like pricing and contract terms.

Staff Interaction

The staff was pleasant, courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and helpful while assessing our needs and preferences. However, if you want concrete figures and information about terms, you need to be fully engaged and prepared to move further along in its application process. The in-house sales team was more than ready, yet never aggressive, to close in on the sale and take you to the next level. No matter who we talked to, the information was clear and consistent.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, there are some benefits to working with Handepay. It does not charge:

  • A minimum monthly service charge
  • PCI-compliance or non-compliance fees
  • Authorization fees
  • Online statement fees
  • Joining fees

Handepay offers two packages: virtual terminal plan and the payment gateway and virtual terminal plan. Both plans include merchant accounts, an online business management dashboard with real-time reporting, security checks, and the capability to accept pay by link and e-invoice payments.

The virtual terminal plan costs £9.99 per month and allows for up to 200 transactions per month and includes integration and technical support.

The payment gateway and virtual terminal plan costs £19.99 per month and allows for up to 400 transactions per month and includes integration and technical support with a dedicated UK team. Also, it includes a virtual terminal and links to all major shopping carts.

Any merchant that goes over the individual transaction limits of his/her plan pays 10p per transaction. None of the pricing includes VAT.

Hardware Costs

Handepay offers a range of card machines, which accept contactless payments, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, that are suitable for all types of businesses. Ingenico countertop, mobile, and portable card machines are available.

Merchants lease hardware through the third party vendor, known as Merchant Rentals. As previously noted, the headquarters for Merchant Rentals is the same as that for Handepay, which seems odd and suspicious. No pricing for hardware is listed on Handepay or Merchant Rentals’ sites.

Merchants have complained about lengthy contracts with automatic renewal clauses that are impossible to cancel. Merchants also have complained about equipment that doesn’t function properly.

Though terms of contracts vary, many have cited three-year agreements. Some have said equipment is only guaranteed for the first 12 months though contracts may last three years. In this situation, merchants should consider if it is more cost effective to purchase their own equipment.

Early Termination Fees

Contract lengths vary depending on the merchant. Contracts range between 12 months and 48 months, and cancelling early results in variable early termination fees. It has been reported that fees can range between £225 and £375. Prior to changing its automatic renewal clause in 2014, customers were required to give 12-months-notice to cancel accounts. Handepay had stated on complaint sites that its policy now requires customers to cancel in writing three months before the contract ends.

For hardware leases, most contracts appear to be for three years. Early termination fees vary, but there have been reports of fees as high as £1,500 to get out of lease.

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