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Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

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Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Best Payment Providers

A Good Fit For:


What We Like

RBS and its processor, WorldPay, can handle high-volume processing. Also, RBS offers a large suite of services.

What We Didn't Like

Though it boasts many capabilities and features, RBS is likely not a good price fit for smaller businesses or startups. Also, its processing partner, WorldPay, has many complaints about hidden fees and its expensive early cancellation fee.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

With its registered office in Edinburgh, UK, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was formally chartered in 1727 and handles a host of merchant accounts through its card payment services partner, WorldPay, one of the world’s largest payment processors. Through its partnership, RBS offers services that allow businesses to take seamless face-to-face and remote payments. RBS claims that it works with Worldpay because it processes more than 26 million transactions every day, and promises no hidden charges or complications when it comes to processing in-person, over the phone, or online transactions.

Additionally, current RBS customers benefit from card transactions being processed and settled into their accounts within two working days, instead of the standard three days.

Most importantly, RBS works with high-volume businesses that have unpredictable payment schedules, such as gambling sites. WorldPay supports this by offer high-speed online payment gateways.

RBS acquired WorldPay in 2002 and rebranded it RBS WorldPay. After RBS was hit hard by the recession in 2008 and given a £46 billion government bailout to continue to operate, it was forced to sell its controlling interest in the company and it was rebranded back to WorldPay. Even after Vantiv acquired WorldPay in 2017, the processor remained a strong, go-to partner of RBS.

Working with WorldPay has its advantages, such as processing up to 500 transactions per second and funds are directed straight to business accounts. Additionally, its processing is safe and secure because it uses thorough risk management systems that aim to prevent fraud.

WorldPay also has a stronghold in the UK, processing more than 40% of all transactions in the country.

Marketing

RBS promotes its services in an honest manner, and it does not appear to promote any gimmicks or questionable “starting at” rates. It also clearly markets its processing partnership with WorldPay, which honestly engages in direct-to-customer marketing via its site, as well as Twitter and Facebook.

Honesty

RBS’ current advertising efforts seem straight-forward. We didn’t stumble upon anything suspect, but we do advise merchants to do their own research, talk to representatives, and hold the business accountable any and all claims.

Sales

RBS uses an in-house team, as well as other partners, to sell their services. For this review, the way in which WorldPay sells is equally important due to its role as RBS’ preferred payment processing partner. WorldPay uses its own sales team, as well as independent sales organizations, external agents, and other partners to build its client base. Though this is a common approach in the payment processing industry, the result is often problematic. The use of so many types of sellers often leads to misrepresentation and miscommunication. This is definitely the case with WorldPay, which has hundreds of it complaints that are due its sales strategy.

Support

RBS can be reached by phone and email, though phone seems to be the best way to reach a representative. The lines are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. RBS can be reached through the chat option on its Facebook page. Typically, the bank responds within an hour. Additionally, it offers an online Support Centre in which customers can find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

WorldPay offers a dedicated customer helpdesk support, which is UK-based and offered every day, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Staff Education

RBS’ team members sounded competent and well. While its sales team does an excellent job of building confidence in the customer with its knowledge about payment processing and its products and services, they provided little of the most important information. Information about fees and other conditions were handled with vague responses.

Staff Responsiveness

When we reached out to RBS, we received a response quickly. However, it took several back-and-forth emails to get even the most of answers. When we explained our business and what we need, the representative told us about its processor, WorldPay. When we contact WorldPay, a team member responded almost immediately. We were encouraged to call at our convenience to get more information, and the representative also reminded us to have all of our business details handy.

Staff Interaction

Though we found representatives to be polite and engaging, they were also pushy and aggressive in their pursuit of a sale. Every email instructed us to call so they could give us more specific information. However, once we did call, which took several attempts to actually reach a person, the representative did not want to provide pricing and contract terms and conditions. Instead, we were told that everything would be clearly explained in our contract. We found this interaction very troublesome, and it actually gives additional credibility to the negative online reviews that claim specific information wasn’t disclosed or provided in a clear manner.

This approach likely will leave merchants, especially small ones, looking elsewhere. They will feel frustrated by the phone calls, and upset that they wasted their time without getting the information they really wanted to know. We hope they improve this approach sooner rather than later.

Pricing

RBS does not publish any pricing on its site. To get those prices, merchants will need to contact RBS directly. Since RBS’ processing services are handled by WorldPay, you can expect the fees to be the same. Though WorldPay does not provide pricing for U.S. business, it does provide some fees for UK businesses.

The rates and fees provided are a guide, but most customers are likely to get a custom rate based on transaction volume and business industry type. 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 WorldPay.

WorldPay offers four packages that come with 24/7 UK-based support and no joining fees.

Charges to expect with these plans:

  • Simplicity customers pay a gateway fee of 10p per transaction for the first 350 transactions, as well as a monthly online payment gateway free of £19.95.
  • Fixed Monthly customers pay rates starting at £49.99 per month and includes transactions up to the agreed upon threshold and authorization fees. Transaction authorization fees and higher fees for premium transactions also apply. Potential fees are not disclosed.
  • Custom customers pay a gateway fee of 10p per transaction for the first 350 transactions, as well as a monthly online payment gateway free of £19.95 and a PCI annual management fee starting at £29.99. Also, they pay separate debit and credit card transaction rates, higher fees for premium transactions, and transaction authorization fees apply. Potential fees are not disclosed.
  • Pay As You Go customers pay an online set-up fee of £25, and a gateway fee of 10p per transaction for the first 350 transactions.

In general, merchants can expect to pay average processing rates between 1% and 3%. Additionally, WorldPay also offers a virtual terminal, pay by link, and risk manager for additional charges.

Hardware Costs

RBS and WorldPay offer a host of card readers, including static, portable, mobile, and smartphone devices. Unfortunately, neither discloses any pricing for their products.

Early Termination Fees

Standard contracts are for three years, and are automatically for one-year terms after the first term expires. A pro-rated early cancellation fee is charged, which is better than other processors that require you to pay out entire contracts to be released from their contracts. Early termination fees range between $95 and $295, depending on how far you are along in your contract.

Complaints

According to TrustPilot, RBS has a one-star rating, and 89% of its 176 reviews are “bad.” However, many of the reviews relate to its banking services, not its merchant account services. This is not very surprising since its processing is handled by WorldPay.

WorldPay has hundreds of negative reviews with most customers labeling the business a “scam.” The most common complaints have to do with undisclosed fees, and its automatic renewal clause, and its hefty early termination fee.

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