Our Overall Rating:

Web-Merchant Services

Sign up with Web-Merchant Services

You will be redirected to Web-Merchant Services

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
Best Payment Providers

What We Like

Web-Merchant Services is an independent payments provider that clearly offers and displays processing prices and ranges for several types of merchant accounts. Also, it lets customers know that it has many partners and that, in the end, the final contract they sign is with one of its acquirers and payment gateways.

What We Didn't Like

Since the businesses partners with so many acquirers and banks, it is difficult to get a solid understanding of the offerings, services, and fees you can expect when you apply for a merchant account with Web-Merchant Services. Once you apply for a high-risk merchant account, you want know the exact terms and fees until the acquirer you were assigned shares them with you.

Need a hand?

Finding the right provider can be a tricky task. You'll need to find the payment partner that is most suited to your business, with the lowest rates, and best customer service. We are payment experts, and can help you find the right solution. We provide consultation for free, and will never charge you for advice.







Web-Merchant Services (Web-Merchant Services Limited) was established in Kingston upon Hull, UK, in 1997. It is one of the longest established payment providers, and It also has processing offices in Cambridge and Amsterdam. As one of the longest established payment providers, Web-Merchant Services has become a platinum-accredited partner with several major UK, European, and worldwide banks to offer valuable, flexible solutions.

For many years, Web-Merchant Services was the only company in the UK providing online merchant services. were the only company in the UK that could provide online merchant services. Many traditional banks shied away implementing online payments due to the risk and uncertainty surrounding the new form of payments. This forced Web-Merchant Services to go outside the UK to form a relationship with KLELine, a subsidiary of banking group Banque Paribas and a major French bank in 1997.

Two years later, it partnered with NatWest and RBS to help a broader customer base. In 2005, Web-Merchant Services agreed to partner with several other partners, including Elavon and Bank of Israel (CAL). In 2018, Web-Merchant Services have added more partners, including:

-FBME Bank
-B+S Card Services
-AIB (Allied Irish Bank)
-Privat Bank
-Allied Wallet
-Chain Commerce
-Bank of Valetta
-Peoples Trust
-Bank of Scotland
-Lloyds TSB CardNet
-National Australia Bank

Its partnerships allow it to offer online and phone payment processing and merchant account services to businesses in different industries around the world.


Web-Merchant Services offers lots of information about merchant accounts, the process, and some of the available pricing. We like having online access to this information, as well as the listing of the many acquirers and processors it partners with. It shows transparency, especially since many providers don’t disclose these relationships.

During our evaluation, we only covered one report of Web-Merchant Services using independent sales agents. That is a definite plus considering they are known for being pushy and many don’t share important contract details. Often, they are more focused on the final sale.

Based on it directions to fill out a form on its site, call 0845 475 3540, or send an email to enquiries@web-merchant.co.uk, it appears it uses its own sales team.


For the most part, Web-Merchant Services is honest and transparent in terms of its policies and conditions. Many of its fees are outlined thoroughly on the site, but other

fees are not. However, Web-Merchant Services does explain that many factors, such as business type, country of incorporation, turnover, excessive chargebacks, and other determine fees. Therefore, the payments provider states that pricing can’t be determined for high-risk accounts until it has all of the details.

Direct high-risk accounts for businesses, such as adult dating, marketing, and web design, typically cost between 3 and 6% in processing fees plus $0.42 per transaction. Aggregated third-party accounts for high-risk businesses, such as cannabis seeds, must be set up with a United States or European aggregated solution that typically cost 10% in processing fees plus $1 per transaction.

Web-Merchant Services’ terms and conditions outlines that each bank and payment gateway that it uses sets its own specific set of terms and conditions. Once a merchant is ready to go live, copies of the bank and payment gateway’s terms and contracts will be to them. Merchants that decide they don’t want to move forward after seeing their terms can cancel the application free of charge. However, if a merchant signs, it will have to pay. At any time, merchants can cancel service by providing 30 days of notice.

Since merchants sign the final agreements with one of the banks and payment gateways, Web-Merchant Services is not liable for any damages.

Though Web-Merchant Services states on its site that some accounts may end up with a third-party processing accounts, it is unclear as to how or why certain customers end up with these accounts. However, the payment provider does note upfront that merchants cannot choose their acquirers. Instead, applicants are told which acquirer they will use once the application is received and reviewed. If a merchant decides it does not want to work with a specific acquirer, the business can walk away without paying nothing or request another acquirer.

Though teaser rates are most prominently placed on its pricing page, we would consider its practices deceptive because Web-Merchant Services provides this information via a link from is fees page. However, we do find the way the content is provided is confusing and misleading. In fact, it would be more transparent if the payments provider listed ALL of the industries that most commonly fall into the direct and aggregated categories. Also, it would be much more honest if the payments provider disclosed the pricing page that most merchants will fall into the direct or third-party aggregated high-risk accounts instead of a standard account.


Staff Education

Employees at Web-Merchant Services were knowledgeable enough to provide information about basic fees and services, like the ones listed on the site. They also encouraged us to view its FAQs section for additional information. However, they either did not want to provide exact figures about merchant account services or didn’t want to explain them. They seemed intentionally vague and most of their comments seemed scripted.

Staff Interaction

The business offers a 24-hour live chat for those that already have accounts. However, if you are a looking to get information about opening a new account, you must call or submit an email. We found the sales representatives to be inconsistent, as well as guarded when it comes to questions about high-risk merchant accounts. They request a business’ name and web address before they will provide price estimates or ranges. It becomes frustrating being passed from one agent to another without getting anything more than answers that amount to “we’re not telling you anything unless you give us all details of your business.” The lack of transparency is a red flag. As for emails, we never received as much as an automated response.

Web-Merchant Services also has active Facebook and Twitter pages. Though it puts messages out on Facebook pretty regularly, customers don’t use the page to engage with staff or ask questions. Staff is not as active on Twitter. Its Twitter account has fewer than 375 followers, and this is not the platform customers use to get support from the provider.


Overall, trying to determine the negative feedback for Web-Merchant Services is not easy because of its partnerships. There is no Better Business Bureau profile for Web-Merchant Services, however, there are complaints against their partners. Since the acquirers that they work with offer related services to what Web-Merchant Services offers, we believe it is fair to say that you likely will encounter the same customer service issues that direct customers of its partners have experienced.

Customers have complained that the company has promised merchant accounts and then, are not approved for them, according to a Ripoff Report from 2011. Standard applicants claim that the payments provider matches customers with another merchant and then, charges a fee. Other, high-risk businesses, claim that Web-Merchant Services gave their information to a variety of other companies and then, they began soliciting them for business, according to the same report.

The only positive comments we could find are on Web-Merchant Services’ own site. The more than 20 testimonials displayed are from a variety of industries. Though we are always suspicious about sites that offer a full page of self-promoted testimonials, we find it positive that the comments come with reviewers first and last names, titles, and companies. Providing that information is valuable because it allows you to reach out and discuss accounts with them.


If you are new to online payments, Web-Merchant Services will only provide you an account with fixed pricing. It offers rates for four types of merchant accounts – Standard, High-Risk, Adult, and e-Check – on its site. Also, as previously mentioned merchants can end up with direct or third-party aggregated accounts based on a number of contributing factors.

There is no set-up fee for standard accounts for low- and medium-risk businesses. Standard accounts offer daily payouts and a free virtual terminal. Monthly fees for standard accounts is $14, the processing fee is 1.6%, and the transaction fee is $0.28 per transaction.

A virtual terminal is free for all other accounts. For adult accounts, the set-up fee is $422, the monthly fee is $35, the transaction fee is $0.42 per transaction, and the processing fee starts at 3%.

For e-check accounts, there is no set-up, but there is a $10 monthly charge. The processing fee is 10% and payouts are instant. There is no transaction fee with e-checks.

For high-risk accounts, the set-up fee, transaction, and processing fees are not disclosed. The processing fee starts at 3%.

As for mobile phone transaction processing, it offers two plans. For both plans, the card transaction fee is 1.75%. The basic plan has no monthly fee and offers daily reports and support during regular business hours. The upgraded plan costs $28 per month and offers premium support with later hours during the week and on the weekends, as well as a lifetime warranty for the card reader.

Hardware Costs

Web-Merchant Services charges $35 plus tax for an iZettle card reader, which can allow you to accept mobile phone transactions.

Termination Fees

Keep in mind that all fees are not shown on the site. Since final contracts are made with one of Web-Merchant Services’ acquirers and banks, you will need to pay close attention to the fine print in their agreements. Each acquirer has different terms and conditions and fees. For instance, one of its partners appears to offer an 18-month contract that may include an early termination fee. Another partner does not charge any fees for ending a contract early.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *