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Cardsave Merchant Services Review

Worldpay logo

Cardsave was founded in 1995, as an independent service provider, offering point of sale terminals and card machines as well as negotiated rates for credit card processing through partners like WorldPay.

In 2010, Worldpay bought their former partner out, and in 2014, completely rebranded Cardsave to Worldpay. still exists, and you can still access Cardsave’s old services including card machine rental but all services and accounts are now provided directly through WorldPay.

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In this guide you will find


Cardsave screenshot


If you were hoping to source your merchant account through Cardsave and have the company negotiate rates for you, you may be disappointed. Instead, you will work with Worldpay directly using one of the company’s flat-rate offerings, and can rent card machines and terminals directly from Worldpay as well.

Worldpay offers:

  • Card machines and Point of Sale Terminals
  • Rates averaging at 2.75% + 20p for small business
  • Monthly merchant account and payment gateway contracts
  • 18-month terminal lease contracts

If you’re hoping to work with an independent service provider, there are still plenty on the market. Intelligent Merchant Services, Paymentsense, Payzone, and Handepay each provide a near-identical service to what Cardsave used to offer. You can compare Worldpay’s current offerings and rates to what you can get from other merchant account services to determine if Worldpay is the better choice, or if you want something like the old Cardsave rates and contract.


Cardsave Merchant Services Rates and Fees links to Worldpay, where you can access the same rates, contract options, and offerings as from the Worldpay site. Therefore, you can look at Worldpay rates directly when considering the company.

Worldpay offers three basic contract options, including Pay as You Go, Fixed Monthly, and Standard:

Pay as You Go – The Pay as You Go contract charges a flat-rate monthly fee for a terminal and all fees. You pay a custom transaction fee, with a flat rate for debit and credit, averaging at 2.75%. You also pay a startup fee of £150. This contract gives you the most flexibility, because with one flat rate and no additional fees except transactions costs, there will be few surprises. However, you may still face PCI-non-compliance charges which can be high. You may also like the option because it’s monthly, but while the merchant account and payment gateway are monthly, terminal rental is set at a minimum of 18 months and you will pay a terminal liquidation fee when ending the contract.

Fixed Monthly – If you have a stable income and want a single flat-rate solution that covers everything, the Fixed Monthly solution is a good idea for you. Worldpay estimates your total fees based on all services, total monthly income and transaction volume, number of services and terminals needed, business risk, etc., and charges you a single flat-rate based on all costs. You may still pay PCI non-compliance if you are not compliant. There are no startup costs, but like the Pay as You Go option, terminal rental is a minimum of 18 months and you will pay a terminal liquidation or refurbishment fee on cancelling the contract. The Fixed Monthly contract is available at 12 or 36 months and you cannot cancel it, only buy your way out.

Standard – The standard contract is a normal contract offering, where you pay individually for each service, with a split rate for debit and credit. This offering allows you to pay for exactly what you’re using and not more and can save you considerably if you accept a great deal of debit cards. However, you will have to pay each service cost out of pocket. For example, you will pay a custom monthly fee, an average of 2.75% + 20p for credit and 0.75% for debit, £17.45 or more per month for a terminal, and £29.99 per year for PCI management. The contract is available for 12-36 months, and you cannot cancel it. Terminal rentals are available for a minimum of 18 months.

How do each of those contracts compare?


Account Pay as You Go Fixed Monthly Standard
Monthly Fee £49.99 Custom Custom
Transaction Fees Custom (Averaging 2.75%) Included Averaging 2.75% +20p Credit and 0.75 20p% Debit
Startup Costs £150 No No
Terminal Rental Included Included £17.45+ per month
Minimum Monthly Service Charge No Included £15 per month
PCI Management Included Included £29.99 per year
Contract Duration Monthly 12-36 Months 12-36 Months
Terminal Rental 18 Month 18 Month 18 Month
Online Portal £4.99 Included £4.99
Virtual Terminal £9.95 £9.95 £9.95
Pay by Link £9.95 £9.95 £9.95
Worldpay Benefits Club £5.99 Included Included
Online Payment Gateway Included £19.99 Included


Fixed monthly runs the highest risk of you paying more than you’re getting, but with a flat rate fee every month, it can be very attractive if you have to closely manage your cash flow. If you’re considering any option, it’s a good idea to look at total costs and your quoted transaction rates to determine which will work best for you. Your Worldpay sales representative should be able to walk you through your options based on a custom quote to help you make the best decision.

Worldpay offers custom rates based on your business size, meaning that your quote will change depending on business size, transaction volume, your industry risk, and other factors. Therefore, you cannot directly compare quotes until you get a custom quote. If you choose a standard contract, your quote also won’t include a single a flat rate for all card types. Instead, it will look more like this:


Card Transaction Rate
Credit 2.20% + 20p
Debit 0.90% + 20p
Keyed 3.3% + 20p
Premium Credit 2.60% + 20p


You can determine if these rates are worthwhile by comparing average card types used at your business if you have that data. For example, if you frequently processed keyed transactions and premium cards, you’re much better off choosing a flat rate solution. If you frequently process cheaper cards like debit cards, you can save money by choosing a standard contract with split rates.


Cardsave Merchant Services Through Worldpay


Worldpay offers all of Cardsave’s old services plus additional direct merchant accounting, a POS machine, and additional online services.


Merchant Account

Worldpay offers their own merchant account and acts as an acquiring bank to process funds directly for their accounts. This reduces the complexity of your account over choosing an independent service provider like Cardsave or Paymentsense. However, you will have to negotiate your rates directly with Worldpay rather than allowing a third-party to negotiate them for you, which can be a disadvantage if you have a low transaction volume, are in a high-risk industry, or are a new business.


POS and Card Machines

Cardsave primarily offered a series of card machines and terminals with the addition of zig zag machines, or manual card processing machines in case the terminal failed. Worldpay does not offer manual machines, but does lease their own branded versions of Ingenico PDQ machines.

  • ICT250 Countertop Card Terminal – The ICT250 is a countertop card terminal with extendable pin pad, 15 oversize backlit keypads, colour screen, and Ethernet connectivity. The model supports NFC and contactless payments up to £30, including Apple and Google wallet.
  • IWL 251 Mobile Card Reader – The IWL 251 is a mobile card reader connecting over Bluetooth, 3G, and WiFi. The model supports all payment options including EMV, NFC, contactless, and magstripe. It also offers a receipt printer, 8-12-hour battery life, and PCI PTS 3.x security.
  • IWL252 Portable Card Reader – The IWL252 is identical to the 251, but with primarily Bluetooth connectivity.
  • IWL 258 Mobile Card Reader – The IWL 258 is a fully mobile terminal with 3G/GPRS connectivity, PCI PTS 3.x security, and available barcode scanner for on-location sales.
  • My Business Hub POS – My Business Hub is a complete point of sale system with a till, card reader, barcode scanner, and tablet-based EPOS. The POS is fully configurable with ePOS and apps, configures to multiple industry types, and starts at £50 per month.

Worldpay offers card machines and terminals at rates starting from £17.45 per month. You may want to compare the cost of a long-term lease including servicing with the cost of purchasing a terminal outright yourself and paying to have it reprogrammed to work with Worldpay. Because Worldpay offers rebranded Ingenico machines, you can easily compare rental costs with the purchase price of the original Ingenico model.  


Online Payment Gateway

Worldpay’s online payment gateway start from £19.95 per month, with an additional fee of 10p per transaction for Pay as You Go and Standard contracts after the first 500 transactions.  You will also have to pay transaction costs based on your agreed-on rate. Online transaction rates are typically significantly lower than face-to-face payments but you may pay anywhere between 1%-2.7% per transaction.

Worldpay’s online payment gateway offers:

  • Fraud protection
  • Dynamic Currency Conversion for 116 currencies
  • 16 Languages
  • Hosted Checkout or API

Worldpay actually offers one of the best online payment gateway solutions, very high security, and one of the best dynamic currency conversion options. As a small business owner, you will likely pay around 2.7% for online transactions.


How is Worldpay’s Reputation?


Worldpay is one of the largest card processing companies in the world, with multiple locations in the UK. However, they don’t have an excellent reputation for customer service, especially for small businesses. Unfortunately, Cardsave also did not score high on customer service.

However, you do get 24/7 phone and email support, can get in touch and contact customer support easily, and will generally have your problems resolved fairly quickly. Most complaints are left by very small businesses who may not receive the same priority as a larger account and who cannot absorb additional fees as easily. Worldpay also compares favorably to independent service providers like Payzone, who typically have a worse reputation because they have to go through a third-party to solve technical problems.

Most Worldpay complaints center around customer service communication, issues with speedy replies, and problems with technical support. Many negative reviews also surround unexpected fees, account security problems, and early termination fees – all of which you should look into before signing a contract.

For example, Worldpay charges up to £30 in chargeback fees (you can expect to pay an average of £15-£25 elsewhere), up to £125 in PCI non-compliance (averages at around £30-£35 elsewhere), and requires you to buy your way out of a contract if you have a 12-36-month option.

Many people also complain about the automatically renewing contracts, which, if not cancelled 30 days in advance, will automatically renew for the same period. If you have to buy your way out of a contract, you’ll have to pay the full monthly rate for every service you’re buying out of, a termination fee for the terminal, and a liquidation fee of up to £150-£170. However, if your contract auto-renews and you want to cancel, Worldpay is much more reasonable, and will typically charge around £125 to close the whole account.  


How Does Worldpay Compare to Negotiated Rates?


Worldpay is a merchant acquiring bank and processes all payments directly. When you contract with the company, everything is handled through their own service and you have to negotiate your own rates. Cardsave was not an acquiring bank but instead worked to negotiate rates for you with acquiring banks. While you can no longer set up an account with Cardsave, there are still plenty of independent service providers available, all of whom offer the same services. The largest of these are Retail Merchant Services, Handepay, Intelligent Merchant Services, Paymentsense, and Payzone.


Merchant Account Cardsave /Worldpay   Retail Merchant Services Handepay Intelligent Merchant Services Paymentsense Payzone
Transaction Fee 1% + 20p -2.75% + 20p 2.55-3.55% From 2.5% From 25p per transaction Bespoke 0.6-2.5% + fees
Monthly Fee £10 + £10+ £15.95 + £19 £8.30+ £20+
Payment Processing Time 7 Days 1-7 Days 1-7 Days NA 3 days 3 days
Set Up Fee £0-£150 None None £35 None None
Termination Fee Contract Buyout – £150 £100-£180 or contract buy-out Contract Buy-out Yes (varies) Remainder on Contract None
Contract Length 0-36 Months 36 Months 36 Months 12-36 Months 3-60 months 12 Months

Worldpay compares very favorably in terms of contract length, contract offerings, and monthly fees. However, some fees are higher than competitors. Because each company offers custom solutions, you should also request a direct quote from each merchant service provider you are considering, compare extras such as fees and servicing, and use that information to decide which is best for your business.


Final Verdict


Cardsave Merchant Services Review
  • Features
  • Service
  • Price


Cardsave now belongs to Worldpay, and is completely branded as a Worldpay service. If you were hoping to contract with the company for a negotiated transaction rate, there are still plenty of other options.
However, Worldpay is one of the largest and best merchant account providers in the UK with a full range of services, strong security, and competitive rates. The company also works with small businesses, provides all-in-one solutions including Point of Sale terminals and card machines, and has flat rate solutions available.

Very small business users may find that they don’t get enough customer support, may be faced with unexpected PCI non-compliance fees, and may have funds frozen for security or anti-fraud checks. Therefore, Worldpay is a better fit for slightly larger businesses that can negotiate their transaction rates, get more priority from customer service, and that can handle occasional interruptions in cash flow.

Worldpay is not perfect, but the company is one of the best merchant services in the UK. With strong services, a good reputation, and one of the best e-commerce solutions on the market, the bank is a good fit for many.



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