Barclays Merchant Services Review
Barclays Merchant Services, delivered as Barclaycard, is a merchant service offered by Barclays, one of the UK’s largest multinational businesses.
As a bank that can trace its origins back to 1690 in London, Barclays is also one of the oldest banks in the UK, and the world.
Barclays merchant service solution, Barclaycard, is also one of the only major merchant acquiring bank solutions to cater to small business as well as medium and large businesses, which can make the service especially appealing.
So let’s see the Barclays merchant services review now:
As a large multinational bank, you may be concerned about Barclaycard’s pricing, customer service for small business, and availability – all of which will impact the services you receive. Barclays merchant services does have a lot to offer, including:
- Services from £15 per month
- 0.75% – 1.5% transaction rates for online and MOTO sales
- Full-service payment solutions including terminal rental
- Custom transaction rates for credit cards
- 18-month contract
Barclays merchant services have a lot to offer, including the high-end security, anti-fraud protection, and customer support of one of the world’s largest banks. Unfortunately, Barclays is also stricter about offering merchant accounts, so high-risk businesses, startups, and other small businesses may have difficulty qualifying for an account. So, you may want to apply to ensure that you can actually get an account before settling on one.
You also have to consider other factors which will impact your contract, starting with Barclays’ fees and costs for merchants.
Barclays Merchant Services Costs and Fees
Barclays offers custom pricing for consumers based on transaction volume, business type, business risk, and sales type. Therefore, you will have to get a custom quote if you want to know exactly what you will be paying for services. Barclays also charges flat rate pricing for most of their services, and offers a price range for most business users.
|Terminal Rental||£15-25 per month|
|Online Payment Gateway||£20-£75 per month|
|Virtual Terminal||£15-£75 per month|
|Early Termination Fee||(Varies)|
|Cancellation Fee||£115 + VAT|
|Minimum Monthly Transaction Fee||£20|
|Data Security Management||£2.40 + VAT per month|
Barclays charges transaction rates based on your business type and transaction volume. While the company is very good on rates, you may pay as high as 3.5% for a very small business. Most merchants are given quotes averaging between 1.5% and 2.5%. For example, many Barclaycard merchants have accounts at the following rates:
|Debit||0.6% + 10p|
|Business Debit||0.85% + 10p|
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine your exact transaction rates without requesting a quote, simply because Barclays offers different rates based on your business. Barclaycard does actually offer lower rates than many other big banks, which is a plus for small business.
With all charges, this means that a standard credit card purchase will look like 1.4% + 10p + 3p. If your business is not PCI compliant, you will have to add an additional 30p to that charge.
Barclays Merchant Services
Barclays Merchant Services, Barclaycard payments, is a full-service solution including merchant account, PDQ machine rental, online payment gateway, and virtual terminal. Each service is priced separately, with multiple service solutions for each, allowing you to choose a contract and service that makes sense for your business and sales volume.
Barclays merchant account allows you to accept and process payments online and using PDQ or card machines. The service includes card processing for Visa, MasterCard, and JCB. If you want to accept Amex cards, you will have to sign a separate Amex merchant agreement, which you can add onto your existing Barclays account. The account also accepts almost any debit card.
Barclays leases several PDQ machines, which you can choose based on your business type and sales needs. Models start out at £15 per month and go up to £25 per month per machine, although you may be able to negotiate lower if you need a larger volume of terminals. All terminals have a minimum lease period of 18 months, which is standard for the industry.
Barclays offers both Ingenico machines and their own brand.
Countertop PDQ with Extendable Pin Pad – Barclay’s countertop PDQ machine with extendable pin pad is ideal for use in countertop areas such as shops, delis, markets, and anywhere with a que. The model connects over Ethernet and to the extendable pin pad via Bluetooth, features a backlit keypad, and costs £15 + VAT per month.
Desktop Card Reader – Barclay’s desktop card reader features an integrated pin pad, connects over Bluetooth, WIFI, and Ethernet, and is ideal for general till usage in shops and retail stores, where the card reader does not have to move. The machine is available for £15 per month + VAT.
Portable Card Reader – This portable card reader features an 8-12-hour battery life, connects over WiFi and Bluetooth, and is ideal in areas where customers expect to pay at their table or booth, such as at events and in restaurants or cafes. The portable card reader is available from £20 per month.
Mobile Card Reader – Mobile card readers make it easy to accept payments from anywhere, such as on-location, at events, or when making sales away from a shop. Barclay’s model connects over 3G, Bluetooth, and Wifi, and is available from £25 per month.
Barclaycard Anywhere – The Barclaycard Anywhere is a completely mobile PDQ solution for enabling on-location purchases at events, tradeshows, and for mobile businesses such as freelancers, contractors, and caterers. Barclaycard Anywhere costs £60 upfront, which compares well to similar services from competitors (typically mobile card readers cost £40-£60), connects over 3G or WiFi, and costs 2.75% per transaction.
Online Payment Gateway
Barclays operates one of the largest online payment gateways, supporting more than £97 billion in online sales each year. The bank owns an industry-leading payment gateway solution, with offerings available from £20 per month. Barclaycard previously offered three subscription options, but now offers classic and simple pricing with either flat rate or standard Interchange + pricing.
Classic – Classic is an entry-level online payment gateway offering hosted checkout pages branded with Barclaycard and an API for custom development. The service starts from £20 per month and includes 350 transactions, after which you will pay an additional 10p per transaction.
At Classic, you pay interchange +, meaning that each card is charged at a different rate. Barclays lists the following example rates:
With rates starting just over 2% for debit card transactions for low-volume sellers, Barclays is actually one of the cheapest traditional merchant account offerings for small business for online payment gateway. For example, PayPal charges 3.5% for the same business size (although you won’t have to pay monthly fees with PayPal, so it does even out in other ways). However, it does not compete well with small-business oriented solutions like Stripe, which charge 1.4% for online transactions.
Simple – The simple pricing package works by averages every fee to 1-1.50%, so you pay 1% of every transaction no matter what it is. This can extremely beneficial if you primarily accept credit cards, because you can save up to 1% on credit card transactions. However, if you primarily accept debit, you will be paying more. The only real advantage of Simple if you accept a wide variety of cards is that you will have relatively predictable transaction fees each month if your transaction volume stays about the same.
You will pay up to £75 per month for your online payment gateway depending on your transaction volume.
Virtual Terminal for MOTO Payments
Barclays offers a full virtual terminal to support telephone and mail order transactions. Like the online payment gateway, fees start out at £20 per month with 350 transactions included, after which you will pay an additional 10p fee per transaction. Also, like the online payment gateway, you will pay fees based on transaction volume, transaction type, and average card type. Other than that, fees are almost identical.
Barclays Merchant Services Reputation and Customer Service
Barclays has a very good reputation, both as a bank and for providing merchant services. The company is extremely transparent about pricing, offers some of the lowest transaction rates available to small businesses, and does not use third-party sales or other high-pressure sales tactics. This means that Barclays is excellent in terms of general sales and offerings.
What about customer service? Unfortunately, Barclaycard doesn’t hold up quite as well in terms of call support. The company doesn’t actually have a UK-based call centre, so you may be on hold for some time, and you may spend more time than you like just trying to get in touch. It’s also important to note that technical support can take a little longer, which may be a hassle for small businesses.
Barclays Contract Length and Early Termination Fees
Barclays charges a standard £115 cancellation fee on all contracts if terminated early, however, your actual contract length may vary. Barclays typically offers an 18-month contract on all terminals, but with no set minimum for online payment gateway or virtual terminal contracts, you may be able to negotiate for a much shorter term.
While a termination fee is never good, £115 is technically fairly low considering some competitors require you to buy out the contract. However, with others offering monthly contracts and no termination fee at all, it’s also not that great.
Barclaycard compares well to other card payment processors in terms of costs, products, and cost transparency. The company also offers relatively short contract lengths, full-service options, and a range of terminal rental solutions for businesses of all sizes.
|Merchant Account||Barclays||Elavon||Global Payments||Sage Pay||World Pay|
|Transaction Fee||1.25% – 2.7% + 10p||2.55% – 3.5% + 19p||1.1%-3.3% + 20p (negotiable)||1.9% credit cards / 40p debit cards||From 2.75% credit cards / 20p debit cards|
|Monthly Fee||£20+||£10 + (per service)||£10+ (per service)||£20,90+||£19.95+|
|Payment Processing Time||3-7 Business Days||1+ Business Days||2+ Business Days||2 Business Days||7 Days|
|Set Up Fee||£150||From £25||£150 – £250||None||None|
|Termination Fee||£115||£0||£150 – £500||Yes (Varies)||Yes|
|Contract Length||12-18 months (average)||3- Year||12-36 month||Monthly-36 Month||0-36 Month|
Overall, Barclays holds up extremely well, with lower rates and better terms than almost any other merchant account provider in the UK. However, as a small business, it’s still important that you compare rates and offerings to small-business oriented solutions like SagePay and Stripe.
Who Should Use Barclays Merchant Services?
Barclays is a very strong merchant account solution, offering some of the best rates and some of the best reviewed services in the UK. The bank’s only real negative points are its lack of local customer support and an early termination fee, but at £115, even that is fairly cheap when compared to contract buyouts which can cost over £1,000 euros at some competitors.
Some businesses may also hesitate over the 0.30% PCI non-compliance fee. If your business is non-compliant, you will pay a percentage of all transactions, where most competitors simply charge a monthly fee ranging from £25-£150 per month.
However, Barclays merchant services still stand out as one of the best options available in the UK, for both small and larger businesses.
Summary Barclays isn’t perfect, but with starting rates at less than half of most competitors for small business, a full range of services, and an extremely transparent pricing scheme, it’s definitely one of the best providers out there. You may struggle with customer support, but when it works, Barclays works well, is small business friendly, and makes sense for just about everyone. If the bank isn’t in your top options, it should be. However, you should still take the time to request custom quotes to make sure you’re getting a good deal on everything. If you’re non-PCI compliant or need a great deal of PDQ terminals, you may be better off choosing a small-business solution offering compliance and budget terminals.
Barclays Merchant Services Review
Barclays isn’t perfect, but with starting rates at less than half of most competitors for small business, a full range of services, and an extremely transparent pricing scheme, it’s definitely one of the best providers out there. You may struggle with customer support, but when it works, Barclays works well, is small business friendly, and makes sense for just about everyone. If the bank isn’t in your top options, it should be.
However, you should still take the time to request custom quotes to make sure you’re getting a good deal on everything. If you’re non-PCI compliant or need a great deal of PDQ terminals, you may be better off choosing a small-business solution offering compliance and budget terminals.