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Monday, September 17th, 2018
Best Payment Providers

A Good Fit For:

What We Like

HSBC easily accepts foreign card payments and it offers strong fraud protection. Merchants can have full control over its HSBC online payment gateway by using Global Payments’ Iris Remote, which allows them to complete entire transactions on their websites.

What We Didn't Like

Due to the sizes of HSBC and its processor, Global Payments, many small businesses are likely to feel overcharged and neglected in terms of support.

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Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world. HSBC has about 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa. HSBC is the world’s 7th largest bank, with £2 trillion in total assets.

HSBC outsources credit card processing through its preferred supplier, Global Payments in Atlanta, Georgia. Formerly known as HSBC Merchant Services, Global Payments handles face-to-face, online, and over the phone credit card processing transactions for merchants of all sizes. Global Payments processes payments in 29 countries for more than 2.5 million merchants. It offers quality international services, a vast range of technology, and high-end security and anti-fraud features and tools.

Through Global Payments, HSBC offers a secure online payment gateway, Global Iris, for customer-not-present (CNP) card payment processing. It accommodates online, mail and phone orders. Global Iris Remote is fully integrate into a merchant’s payment page, so the entire transaction takes place on the website. Global Iris is fully compatible with PayPal, so once connected merchants can monitor PayPal transactions through their Global Iris business tool.

HSBC has hit rough patches over the years. In 2012, received a whopping $1.9 billion fine after the U.S. Senate ruled it was guilty of permitting money laundering to major drug dealers and dishonest, and unprincipled nations. Following this ruling, HSBC began “safeguarding,” a process that allowed it to review its accounts to better understand in how they were used. Safeguarding resulted in many, especially smaller businesses, from having the accounts frozen for extended periods of time or closed.


HSBC promotes its services in a straightforward, honest manner. It also clearly markets its processing partnership with Global Payments, which honestly engages in direct-to-customer marketing via its site, as well as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Both HSBC and Global Payments digital space to promotes its products and services and industry-related news.


HSBC doesn’t appear to use misleading or baiting sales tactics, and it clearly states in several areas that it outsources its credit card processing to Global Payments.

We found nothing deceptive, but a number of customers have complained about HSBC and Global Payments that they were not given clear breakdowns of their costs or fully explained all of the terms of their agreements.


HSBC has a team of its own sales representatives, as well as independent sales agents. For this review, how Global Payments sells is just as important since handles the processing. Global Payments uses in-house customer service, resellers, and independent sales agents to expand its customer reach. Using this approach often leads to customer service issues. We have complaints from customers abut misleading and aggressive sales tactics.


HSBC can be reached by phone and through its online virtual assistant. Global Payments can be reached by phone Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, except for holidays. Customer support for processing is offered for free from Global Payments. It is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and its representatives are support line is free, and it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The advisors are trained to provide both technical and procedural support. Additionally, new customers can click on the “Request a Callback” box to submit an inquiry form. Staff also is available via email. Global Payments’ UK Customer Centre also offers a lot of helpful information about credit card processing.


When we reached out to HSBC, we received a response quickly. The representative instructed pointed out its processor, Global Payments, on its website. When we emailed Global Payments, we received a response almost immediately. We were encouraged to call to get more information and to be ready to supply our business details. It was a bit difficult to get the right person at first, but once we did, the calls went smoothly.

Staff Education

We found the representatives from HSBC, as well as Global Payments, to be helpful, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. They answered questions effectively, and we felt they were confident in their answers.

Staff Interaction

Though they were very knowledgeable, we felt representatives were not very forthcoming with specific answers. However, we did feel rushed to fill out an application and told us if we could submit some more information, we could have the contract signed in a few days. It felt a bit pushy and unprofessional.


Since HSBC processing services are handled with its partner, Global Payments, you can expect the fees to be the same. All applications

submitted via HSBC are subject to Global Payments Card Processing’s terms and conditions and credit policy.

The rates and fees featured below are a guide, but most customers are likely to get a custom rate based on transaction volume and business industry. All merchants will pay interchange rates plus markup fees. Nevertheless, the best way to find out what you will pay is to get a direct quote from HSBC.

Charges to expect:

  • Set-up fees up to £250
  • Monthly service charge up to £20
  • Credit card transaction fees between 1% and 3% plus 19p per transaction
  • PCI non-compliance fee up to £190

Hardware Costs

Terminals and countertop, mobile, and portable card readers from Ingenico and Verifone are available for rental. Card machine rentals cost up to £18 plus additional unspecified fees.

Also, it’s important to note PayApp Mobile, which a free mobile card reader and app that comes with certain contracts. With an easy-to-use clip-on card reader, the app allows customers to accept payments directly with their phones.

Early Termination Fees

Standard contract are between one and three years with a variable early termination fee of up to £500. The agreement is automatically renewed for one year after the initial term, according to Global Payments’ general business conditions. After the initial fixed contact term, you can cancel the agreement by giving no less than one month’s written notice.


HSBC does not have a great reputation when it comes to customer reviews. Only 10% of the 243 reviewers would recommend HSBC, according to UK Reviews. Hour-long waits to talk to representatives, “incompetent” staff, and frozen funds are some of the top complaints customers have made against HSBC. HSBC also has a load of complaints about its banking services on Consumer Affairs.

The good news is that when you sign up for processing services, you don’t deal with HSBC directly.

But, what customers say about Global Payment is important. Global Payments also has a fair amount of complaints about poor service, aggressive sales tactics, and hidden terms and fees. It has a 3-star rating and 60 reviews on Trustpilot, which is considered average. Customers have complained about Global Payments unnecessarily freezing accounts for long periods of time, unresponsive customer service, and sales agents who forget to fully explain or discuss all pricing and terms.

Additionally, Global Payments is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but it does have a profile and a rating of B-. Global Payments has had 45 customer complaints and three negative reviews. The complaints are similar in nature to the others, including undisclosed fee increases, exorbitant early termination fees, unauthorized charges, ineffective, slow customer service, and trouble cancelling agreements.

Global Payments also has quite a few positive reviews. In their feedback, customers have said they were pleased with services and the customer support they received. Also, they liked that signing up was easy, and the agents they dealt with were friendly, professional, and trustworthy.

Overall, Global Payments and HSBC have much viewer positive than negative reviews. Always, something that should merchants should keep in mind when they are making choices.

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