Lloyds (Cardnet) Merchant Services Review
Lloyds Bank is one of the oldest and largest banking organizations in the UK and the EU and was Founded in 1765.
The bank offers its own merchant services to SMEs through Cardnet, including in-person card processing, merchant accounts, online payment gateways, and virtual terminals.
Functioning as both the processor and the acquiring bank, Lloyds Cardnet is able to offer all-in-one services, accept nearly every card on the market, and offer dynamic currency conversion for 16 currencies.
Cardnet Users receive:
- Flat rate transaction costs from 1.25%
- Transparent fees
- Full-service merchant services including terminal rental
- Clover Point of Sale terminals and systems
- Fraud prevention with every account option
So let’s see the Elavon review now:
While Lloyds Cardnet is one of the largest merchant account providers in the UK, you still need to know if the bank offers the value, customer service, and features your business needs. This Lloyds Cardnet review covers everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
Lloyds Cardnet Transaction Costs and Fees
Lloyds Cardnet offers custom pricing based on business size, services required, and transaction volume. This is advantageous for larger businesses, because with rates as low as 1.25% per credit card transaction for Lloyds Bank Business Account users, the service can be considerably cheaper than competitors like WorldPay and HSBC.
However, regular users can expect quotes ranging from 1.5% to 3.5% depending on business size and transaction volume. You may also pay significantly higher monthly fees, which will balance out for smaller businesses.
|Setup||£0 – £175+|
|Card Machine Rental||£15 + per month|
|Minimum Monthly Charge||£15 per month|
|Authorisation||3p per transaction|
|Transaction Fee||Custom (From 1.25%)|
Fees with a Lloyds Bank Business Account
Lloyds Bank Business Account holders benefit from reduced rates, no start-up fees, and better terms. If you choose to set up a merchant account with the acquiring bank, you are highly recommended to set up a Business Account with the bank. However, this typically requires having an established business.
For example, Business Account merchant account holders benefit from the following rates:
|Terminal Rental||£15 with reduction after 18 months|
|Transaction Rate (Credit and Debit)||1.25%|
The flat rate may be a disadvantage if you primarily accept high-value debit card transactions. Most Lloyds Cardnet competitors charge a flat rate (such as 19-40p) for debit card transactions, which may be considerably more cost-effective than paying 1.25% per transaction. However, WorldPay and Global Payments average at 2.75% per card transaction for flat rate (or 0.75% for split debit), so you may save up to 50% per credit card transaction with Lloyds Bank if you are considering a flat rate payment from another provider.
Lloyds Bank does offer custom quotes and rates so you will have to contact the bank for a quote to get an exact rate. Be sure to request a full list of fees including early-termination when you do so. Lloyds bank is fairly transparent about pricing, but you can expect high fees, including PCI DSS compliance, non-compliance, terminal servicing, etc.
Lloyds Bank Cardnet Merchant Services
Lloyds Bank is one of the largest acquiring banks in the UK, and is therefore able to offer a significant number of services.
Lloyds Cardnet offers a basic merchant account, enabling you to accept credit card payments. Transaction fees start from 1.25% for credit and debit, and the account includes PCI DSS security, dynamic currency conversion, and support for nearly all major credit and debit cards.
Online Payment Gateway
Lloyds Cardnet introduced an online payment gateway with secure hosted checkout, developer API, and full integration into nearly all online shopping carts. Lloyds Cardnet provides their own payment gateway and functions as the acquiring bank, cutting out the need to source a payment gateway through another service. Online payment gateways include fraud prevention, PCI DSS security, and online reporting.
If you plan to accept MOTO payments, a Lloyds Cardnet virtual terminal makes it easy to accept cards including MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Electron, Discover, Diners Club, DinaCard, American Express, and others over the phone, via email, and in other customer-not-present/card-not-present situations. Virtual terminals include fraud screening and PCI DSS compliance.
Card Machines and POS Terminal
Lloyds Cardnet offers multiple card machines and POS terminals with their merchant account services.
Lloyds Cardnet offers Ingenico chip and pin machines, with countertop, mobile, and portable solutions available.
- Clover Mini – The Clover Mini is a low-cost Point of Sale terminal and card machine offering Magstripe, EMV, and contactless payments. The machine features a large 7″ colour touch-screen, WiFi or 3G connectivity, and a durable aluminium body with Gorilla Glass. It’s also one of the cheapest options available, with rental starting at £15 per month.
- Clover Mobile – The Clover Mobile is a portable POS and card machine featuring strong encryption, 7″ full colour screen, and 18.7 watt-hour lithium ion battery (rechargeable via USB). The fully portable model connects over WIFI or 3G and features a brushed aluminium body, Gorilla Glass, and rubber bumpers for improved drop resistance.
- Ingenico ICT250 + IPP350 Pin Pad – The Ingenico ICT250 is a desktop card machine with extendable pin-pad, featuring a full-colour screen, backlit keyboard, and PCI PTS 3.x security. The card machine accepts payments over Magstripe, EMV, and contactless payments including NFC over Ethernet.
- Ingenico IWL251/252 – The IWL251 and 252 are mobile and portable card readers featuring PCI PTS 3.x security, with support for Bluetooth, 3G/GPRS, and WiFi connectivity. Both models enable you to accept a full range of payments including EMV, Magstripe, and contactless. The IWL252 is completely portable for on location payments. Both feature an 8-12-hour battery life and a built-in printer capable of printing up to 30 lines per second.
Lloyds Bank Cardnet offers a variety of POS terminals from Clover, which you can rent as part of your merchant account contract. Rates start between £15-£25 per month.
Other Features and Offerings
All Lloyds Bank Cardnet merchant accounts come with full fraud protection, PCI DSS security, an account manager, and ClientLine Online Reporting. Using online reporting, you can view all customer transactions, chargebacks dating back 15 months, and transactions dating back 13 months. You can also flag suspicious transactions, generate reports, schedule automatic reports, and even view the pricing plan and fees per transaction. Lloyds also offers mobile top-ups, international transaction support, and a wide variety of services and discounts for various Trade Association members.
Lloyds Bank Contract Length and Early Termination
Lloyds Bank has a minimum contract length of 12 months, with 18 to 36-month contracts available. Most terminal rental contracts extend for an industry standard 18-month period.
Any non-Business Bank member will have to pay a setup fee, which averages at £175. However, this fee may be lower or higher based on your custom quote from Lloyds. In most cases, your account will be set up in 10-15 days, and you can begin accepting credit cards online immediately after. Terminal installation may take longer, but usually not more than 3 weeks.
What About Early Termination – If you choose to terminate your contract with Lloyds Cardnet before the contract is up, you should expect to pay a fee. While the early termination fee depends on your contract, it averages at £200 for a 12-month contract, plus early termination for terminal rental if you also terminate that agreement. Your best option is to request a quote including termination fees before signing a contract.
These fees are about average according to industry standards, but are still a definite point against Lloyds considering that many competitors like WorldPay no longer charge termination fees at all with monthly contracts. However, considering that WorldPay can charge up to £495 in early termination fees for a 36-month contract, £200 is not as steep as it could be.
LLoyds Bank Merchant Services Reputation
Lloyds Bank is one of the largest merchant service providers, but this can mean both good and bad things for small business. For example, in 2017, Lloyds began opening their services up to smaller businesses for the first time. Previously, very small businesses like start-ups could not use Lloyds. Now, the banking service offers accounts for merchants with £0-£1 million earnings, but not without some growing pains.
Most of the bank’s fees, customer service, and technical solutions are geared towards larger business, meaning that small businesses can get high fees, poor customer service, and slower support than they need. However, overall, the company has an extremely good reputation, with nearly all complaints centring around fees and unexpected charges. Most people also have issues with long setup times (10-15 days, while some competitors offer setup in 2 days) and early termination fees.
The merchant account has very good uptime, offers quality technical support and servicing, and with a dedicated account manager for even small business accounts, you can solve technical issues fairly quickly. So, while they do have some complaints, the company is overall, a very good one.
Does Lloyds Bank Offer Merchant Services to Start-ups and Small Business?
Lloyd’s Bank primarily offers merchant account services to medium to enterprise businesses, but the company also offers accounts to smaller businesses. However, start-ups will likely still have difficulty applying for an account, as will very small businesses. If you are a very small or very new business, you can apply anyway, but your application may be rejected.
Third-Party Service Providers
Lloyds Bank does not use third-party sales teams, but the company does provide merchant accounts to multiple independent service providers. For example, if you choose an account with Halifax or Allpay, you will likely end up with a Lloyds Cardnet merchant account.
Lloyds Cardnet Customer Service
Lloyds Cardnet offers full phone and email support from 8AM to 9PM on Monday-Saturday. You can expect to wait before talking to an associate, but most problems and issues are handled immediately. Most accounts also receive dedicated account managers, enabling you to get in touch with the same person each time you call, so that they are more familiar with your account, previous issues, and technical issues. This can greatly improve technical support and service.
Lloyds Bank Cardnet uses an in-house sales team who are paid hourly, rather than on commission. This means that you typically receive good advice regarding contract options and solutions. In fact, Lloyds bank is one of the better merchant account services in this respect, because many competitors pay their sales team based on commission. Lloyds Bank Cardnet also does not have complaints regarding rude salespersons, upselling, or unsolicited business walk-ins, which competitors like PaymentSense and Payzone do have.
Comparing Lloyds Bank Cardnet
Lloyds Bank Cardnet compares favourably to many of their competitors, but does have drawbacks. Unfortunately, most competitors do not offer upfront pricing, so you will have to request quotes to make an accurate comparison.
|Merchant Account||Lloyds Cardnet||Elavon||Global Payments||Worldpay||HandePay|
|Transaction Fee||1.25% +||2.55% – 3.5% + 19p||1.1%-3.3% + 20p (negotiable)||From 2.75% credit cards / 20p debit cards||Yes|
|Monthly Fee||Custom||£10 + (per service)||£10+ (per service)||£19.95+||1-7 days|
|Payment Processing Time||2-7 days||1+ Business Days||2+ Business Days||7 Days||Custom|
|Set Up Fee||£0-£175+||From £25||£150 – £250||None||£9.99+|
|Termination Fee||£200+||£0||£150 – £500||Yes||Yes|
|Contract Length||12-month||3- Year||12-36 month||36 Month||36 Month|
In most cases, these fees present averages, and the precise quotes offered to your business may be lower or higher. You will have to request individual quotes from each to make a completely accurate comparison.
It’s also important that you compare customer service, any offerings such as online reporting, extra fees and charges, and all services needed by your business to ensure that you can get the best deal for your needs.
Who Should Use Lloyds Bank Cardnet?
Lloyds Cardnet is a large merchant service solution offering a full range of payment options, card machines, and POS rental. As an international bank, the company also makes it easy to accept international cards and up to 16 currencies with dynamic currency conversion – making the solution ideal for e-commerce and online sellers.
Lloyds Cardnet also offers very strong security and anti-fraud in combination with very low transaction rates for Business Bank members. However, very small and start-up businesses may struggle with opening an account, and may not experience the same level of customer service and technical support as a larger account holder.
You may also want to review direct transaction costs based on the types of cards you process. If you frequently process large transactions via debit card, Lloyds’ flat-rate percentage fee for both debit and credit cards may be a big disadvantage. On the other hand, if you most frequently accept smaller transactions, 1.25% may be significantly cheaper than 20-40p per transaction.
Overall, Lloyds Cardnet has a lot to offer, but it’s still important that you review and compare your options if you want to know you’re getting a good deal on everything you need.