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Universal Transaction Processing (UTP)

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Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
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What We Like

Universal Transaction Processing offers superior customer support and its payment gateway easily integrates about 25 third-party shopping card solutions.

What We Didn't Like

Universal Transaction Processing uses telemarketers and independent sales agents to gain new business. Its contracts are long and it charges many fees, including an exorbitant terminal early termination fees.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

Based in Reading, UK and established in April 2013, Universal Transaction Processing (UTP) works with thousands of business throughout the UK. Barclays Bank, a multinational investment bank and financial services company based in London, is its banking/acquiring partner. Since it will be the processor, customers receive billing statements from Barclays. UTP has a team of well-trained staff, and it uses independent sales agents and telemarketers to work with customers.

It offers a wide range of credit and debit card payment solutions, including fixed/countertop, portable, and mobile credit card machines. Additionally, it offers virtual terminals, ecommerce solutions, and a payment gateway to customers. Terminals accept all major credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Its payment gateway is compatible with numerous third-party shopping carts, including Shopify, Magento, Drupal Commerce, Cubecart, and about 20 others.

Also, UTP is licensed by MasterCard International and Visa Europe.

Marketing

Universal Transaction Processing bills itself as the payment solution provider that can help you save money. It offers a free cost saving analysis to merchants that are new to credit card processing, as well as those that were looking to switch providers. We felt its language was genuine and straightforward and didn’t make any over-the-top promises.

Also, it successfully uses Twitter to promote the services it acquiring partner, Barclays, offers, as well as other news.

Honesty

UTP doesn’t do any rate baiting, but we did find its claim of no fixed monthly charge for the use of its payment gateway confusing and misleading. This statement is noted with a disclaimer that states it may, in fact, be subject to a “minimum charge in relation to your merchant account,” according to UTP’s site. We think it would be more honest if UTP just stated that minimum charges are variable depending on your specific merchant account.

UTP also offers a referral program, in which it promises a cheque for £50 for every merchant you successfully refer to the company. There are no limits to the number of people you can refer, but to receive the incentive the referred friend must buy a terminal directly from UTP.

The offer is not only not valid to third-party sellers, you don’t get your reward until the referred customer makes his first transaction. Though there is nothing overtly deceptive about offering such a program, we find most of these to be lousy gimmicks that are often too good to be true. However, we do like that all of its conditions are listed under the offer in the same font and type of all of the other content.

Sales

UTP uses independent sales agents and telesales to gain new customers. Many businesses that use these avenues to generate revenues also ends up with increased customer complaints. The same is true for UTP. Though UTP gets overall positive feedback, customers have complained about its sales practices, including failure to disclose the length of contracts, all terms, and fees. Also, there have been a handful of complaints about aggressive telemarketing agents, calling multiple times per day to get people to sign up for services. Nevertheless, the overall number of complaints about sales is very low.

Support

The sales representatives we spoke to at Universal Transaction Processing were polite, eager to assist, and confident. Every person we talked to offered consistent responses to question and were well-versed in their fleet of products and services. We found it to be a very positive experience, especially since this is an area where many other payment solutions providers fail. Its representatives’ confidence and knowledge made us feel comfortable moving forward and accepting what they were offering. Also, it was clear they had extensive experience within the industry. Overall, we found the staff personable, knowledgeable, supportive and attentive.

Staff Responsiveness

Overall, we found Universal Transaction Processing to be very responsive. Within two hours of sending an email, we received a response. A few hours later, we received a response from a representative asking us to call. When we submitted additional questions via email, we received another response, asking us to call. We captured the most information talking to representatives.

When it comes to complaints left on digital forums and other sites, it is important to note, that UTP is quick to respond. Oftentimes, they respond the same day.

Availability

New customers can reach Universal Transaction Processing can ask to be called by clicking on the “request a call back” on its contact page, call directly, or submit an email. Also, there is a separate support phone number. Staff is available during regular business hours. Though UTP doesn’t offer 24/7 support, it does provide a frequently asked questions section that we found helpful for basic questions.

Pricing

No rates or fees are disclosed on UTP’s site. Through our research, however, we discovered a price sheet outlining most of rates and fees.

According to the rate sheet, all costs listed here include scheme/interchange fees:

  • MasterCard (Personal) 1.00%
  • Visa (Personal) 1.00%
  • Maestro/Visa Debit 0.25%
  • Commercial Cards (Business) 1.75%
  • Visa Business Debit £1.20
  • Authorization Fee 3p
  • Refund 30p
  • Chargeback £9.00
  • Set-up fee (One Off) £25.00

Barclays charges a £25 set-up fee for each application. If there are merchant has Merchants with multiple outlets on the same application pays only one PCI compliance charge. Merchants get a four-month grace period for PCI compliance. Therefore, is no charge for the first four months. After this period, a standard merchant pays £2.40 per month for PCI-compliance fees and a high-risk merchant pays £5.80 per month.

UTP offers bespoke pricing for merchants with card volumes in excess of £1m.

UTP also charges the following monthly terminal fees:

  • Static (Countertop) £18.00
  • Portable £23.00
  • Mobile/GPRS £26.00
  • IPP350 pin pad £4.50

According to UTP’s site, the charge for the rental of the terminals include any support and maintenance for the equipment. In addition to the standard offering, it offers an e-commerce payment gateway and virtual terminals with no fixed monthly fees. However, you may be subject to a “minimum charge” for the gateway and virtual terminal if these are part of the terms of your merchant account.

Hardware Costs

Universal Transaction Processing rents mobile, countertop, and portable card machines by Ingenico. It is important to note that if you that Also, it sells paper rolls for credit card machines. Since UTP doesn’t disclose prices, you will need to call the business directly for an estimate. It is important to note that, typically, that the cost to purchase equipment can range between £49 and £358, depending on the model and features.

Early Termination Fees

Based on customer comments, it appears as though UTP offers contracts ranging between18 months and 48 months, depending on the specific business. This seems in line with the standard contracts that Barclays, UTP’s processor, offers to customers. Barclays also charges an early termination fee that can range from £140 to £350.

Also, there are early termination fees associated with the lease of hardware. Customers have said that these often are four-year contracts with early termination fees of up to £1200.

To get the best rates and terms, you are going to have negotiate hard with UTP. Also, read and make sure you understand any agreements before you sign them.

Complaints

On Trustpilot, Universal Transaction Processing has a four-star rating. Of its 50 reviews, only 18% are negative. A handful of customers complained about sales representatives failing to disclose accurate contract lengths in terms of equipment leases. There were at least two complaints in which customers thought they were signing up for one-year contracts and, later, learned that they were actually tied into agreements for four years. One reviewer said he took the salesperson’s word on the contract length and didn’t fully read the four-year contract that he signed. This reviewer and another, who also was unhappy with the way the mobile terminal functioned, were told they needed to pay fees of £1200 if they wanted to be released from their contracts.

Other reviewers reported receiving stellar customer support, noting the staff was prompt, friendly, and knowledgeable. Reviewers also found their rates lower than competitors and like the way their equipment functioned.

Also, there are a host of positive testimonials on UTP’s site. Names and businesses are attributed to these testimonials, which, in our eyes, make them much more valuable.

Overall, we would have to say that with so few complaints, UTP seems to be an upstanding business.

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