Top 3 UK Credit Card Processing Providers

Credit cards are a popular payment method in the UK. Statistics show that more than half of all retail spending in the country is made using cards. If you sell products or services, therefore, it’s paramount that you’re able to accept credit cards.

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

How credit card processing works

Credit card payments are made possible by card-issuing banks, which extend a line of credit to their customers and allow them to purchase goods and services while piling up the bills for lump sum payments at the end of the month.

When a customer uses a credit card in your store, they’re essentially requesting their bank to pay you on their behalf. Before releasing the funds, however, the bank will typically take some time to verify the transaction.

So, what do you do when you need instant payment? Well, that’s where a merchant account comes in. This way, your payment processor will deposit the funds into your merchant account before the customer’s bank authorises payment, giving you immediate access to the money.

Best credit card processors in the UK

The unique needs of businesses can make it challenging to compare merchant account providers accurately. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a reliable credit card processing provider in the UK, your best bet lies with these three firms.


With over 30 years in the game, WorldPay is currently the leading merchant account provider in the UK. The company is famed for its vast range of products, which include PDQ machines, online payment gateways and contactless payment processing. Catering to a wide variety of businesses, WorldPay offers secure processing of face to face, electronic and virtual transactions.

Perhaps the best thing about WorldPay is its flexible pricing plans which give merchants a chance to choose between non-contractual pay-as-you-go models and fixed monthly plans, along with other contracts specifically tailored to individual businesses. The company is also reputed to have excellent customer support, both online and on dedicated phone lines.

Lloyds Cardnet

Cardnet, a joint venture between Lloyds Bank and First Data, uses the latest technology to offer flexible processing to firms of all types and sizes, all over Europe. Its platform carries a full range of payment options, including global credit and debit cards, online gateways and mobile terminals. It is also scalable and highly customizable, which allows you to access services in a way that best suits your business.
The Cardnet pricing structure gives you a full and clear view of all the fees involved, depending on the services you require and the volume of your transactions.
Cardnet particularly excels in customer support, which starts the moment you apply. The highly personalised service will guide you through everything regarding payment processing.

Paymentsense Merchant Services

Paymentsense is one of the fastest growing European companies. It has been a recipient of multiple awards and was most recently a finalist for the prestigious National Business Awards 2016.

Paymentsense provides merchants with an extensive array of services, ranging from countertop card machines and portable devices to payment gateways and virtual terminals. Their platforms are perfectly tailored for retail and hospitality industries, but they find use across many other sectors as well. Merchant accounts come with transparent packages, and although the technology is cutting edge, both the physical and virtual setups are easy to install and use.

Like Cardnet, Paymentsense is renowned for its all-encompassing customer support, which is particularly vital for small business with little knowledge of payment processing services.


The processors above are reliable, full-service firms known to provide quality solutions to merchants in the country and beyond. That said, it pays to keep in mind that the best UK credit card processing providers are those that perfectly match your business. Therefore, research each firm carefully to determine which one is most suitable for you.

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