Payzone Merchant Services Review
Payzone is a Dublin-based card payment provider, offering merchant services to companies in and around the UK.
Founded in 1989, the company is one of the older local merchant service providers and offers a full range of services to small and medium businesses including merchant accounts, card machines, online payment solutions, and virtual terminals for MOTO payments.
They process in excess of £1.2 billion in transactions per year.
So let’s jump into the Payzone review now:
If you’re looking for merchant services for small business, Payzone is likely one of your top options. However, you also want to compare your options, make sure you understand rates and any hidden fees, and check everything the merchant service provider has to offer so that you can compare them with other options. Payzone’s offerings include:
- Merchant accounts, card machines, online payment, and virtual terminal
- Bespoke pricing based on package and transaction volume
- 12-month contract
- No start-up or termination fees
- Wide variety of customer-oriented services
Payzone is not a merchant account bank. Instead, they work with third-party merchant account acquirers, primarily BarclayCard, and attempt to negotiate lower rates than you would get by applying yourself. Services like Payzone also make it easier for small businesses to get merchant accounts – alongside other services including various payment solutions aimed at retail and consumer use.
Payzone Costs and Fees
Payzone works with third-party merchant account providers like Barclaycard. This works in your favour by allowing you to establish a merchant account with a very large international provider like Barclaycard, typically at reduced rates based on the total volume of transactions through Payzone account. However, this also means that you can’t see rates upfront, and you won’t know what you’re going to pay until you call and consult with a sales agent.
This is a disadvantage because you can’t easily make a decision, but it does mean that you won’t pay for anything you don’t need.
You can expect monthly fees to start from a minimum of £20 per month, with card transaction fees of 0.6% -2.5% + a flat fee.
Payzone does not charge set up or termination fees, but you may have to pay out the remaining months on your contract in order to terminate early.
Payzone Payment Services
Payzone offers a full-service package plus additional payment solutions like mobile phone top-ups, a retailer card service, and electronic bill-pay for utilities. This is extremely convenient for businesses that need extras, but can make determining what’s available and what it will cost significantly more difficult.
Payzone connects their clients with third-party merchant account providers, primarily Barclaycard. The service works just like a traditional merchant account, except Payzone sets it up in your name, handles customer and technical support, and negotiates a rate on your behalf. Barclay charges rates starting from £20 per month and a 0.6% – 2.5% transaction rate per card with a flat rate transaction fee.
Your rates will also include Payzone’s fee and will differ a great deal based on the size of your business, solutions needed, and extras on your account.
Payzone offers a full range of card and PDQ machines for face-to-face transactions. Payzone PDQ machines are from Ingenico.
Payzone’s countertop machines are compact and simple to setup, with plug and play software. Ingenico’s machines work over broadband and accept high-value transactions. Machines support all major credit and debit cards as well as contactless payment like Apple Pay.
Payzone’s portable card machines connect to base units via Bluetooth, operating over short range (about 50 meters). These are ideal for service-industry businesses such as restaurants and bars.
Mobile card machines feature SIM cards to connect directly via GPRS. This removes the need to use your phone for mobile payments, while enabling on-location payments for contractors, caterers, freelancers, and other mobile businesses.
Ingenico is a French card-machine company offering a range of technology and models. The company is one of the largest card machine suppliers in the UK, and its machines are offered by most merchant account providers in the UK.
Payzone offers a wide variety of online payment options, primarily aimed at small brick and mortar businesses rather than e-commerce. The merchant account service also offers e-commerce solutions, with a payment gateway compatible with 52 major shopping cart applications or platforms. However, with most services geared towards bill-pay and subscriptions, e-commerce only retailers may want to look for a more e-commerce focused solution.
Payzone’s payment gateway integrates via API, a hosted payment form, or transparent redirect, allowing you to choose an option that suits your budget and technological capabilities. The gateway is also fully customizable, making it easy to add your own branding and website look and feel to checkout pages. Users can integrate checkout pages into any of 52 supported shopping carts, or use any of Payment Gateway’s 19 compatible free shopping cart modules.
EInvoicing and Pay by Link
Payzone offers PCI Level 1 secure electronic invoicing and Pay by Link emails, allowing you to send invoices directly to customers, who can pay them using any major credit or debit card. You can also print or mail receipts, view real-time reports, and accept payments in 17 currencies.
All Payzone online features come with API support, enabling you to develop your own solutions, integrate Payzone payment gateways into your own apps and services, and fully customise pages for your business.
Payzone’s virtual terminal service enables you to accept MOTO payments for any card not present transaction over phone, email, newsletter, etc. The terminal is web-based with email and print receipt functions, and an online portal for customer data and accounts. Payzone is one of the only virtual terminal providers to not include fraud protection in their service.
Other Payment Solutions
Payzone offers a range of additional payment solutions for small businesses, which you may find useful. Most of these services work through third-party businesses, enabling your business to offer more to your customers.
Bills – Set up bill pay and utility pay via direct debit with support for major utility providers, council tax, rent, etc.
Transporting and Ticketing – Dart and transport ticket support
Debit Card Top-up – Support for topping up major prepaid debit cards.
Mobile Top-Up – Support for international and local calling cards for mobile top-up.
Gaming Vouchers – Game vouchers for major online games
These services are ideal for small businesses that want to offer additional features for customers, but are typically only valuable to service and convenience businesses.
Payzone Customer Service and Support
Payzone offers phone and email customer support 7 days a week during normal business hours. They also offer separate lines for sales and support, making it easier to get in touch with the right people. Unfortunately, with a small customer support team, you may still have to hold before actually reaching the company.
Payzone Sales Team
Payzone conducts all sales in-house which reduces your likelihood of having to navigate high-pressure sales tactics. In most cases, the team will schedule an appointment to meet with you in person, with the intent of getting to know you and your business better, before offering a custom quote and contract. This means that all offerings are highly customised, and an over the phone quote may not be 100% accurate.
As a customer, Payzone offers quality technical support, but you may have to hold on the phone before getting in touch with customer service.
Payzone Contract Length and Fees
Payzone offers a standard 12-month contract with no start-up fees and no termination fees but you will have to pay out the contract or pay a fine for early termination. You may also pay additional fees for terminal collection and maintenance after collection.
Payzone does not offer a shorter contract such as a 1 month or 3 month rolling contract like several of their competitors. However, they also do not offer longer contracts, meaning that you won’t be locked into a 60-month contract.
Payzone Customer Reputation
Payzone has been in business for nearly 30 years and have garnered a very good reputation with customers. While about 13% of customer reviews of the company are negative, with complaints largely related to hidden fees and failure to follow through on offers, the company’s reputation is largely very good. Their score on TrustPilot averages at 4 stars which is normal for similar businesses.
These types of negative reviews are very common for companies that connect small businesses to third-party merchant account providers, simply because most are not transparent about costs and fees.
Payzone compares well to alternatives like Paymentsense, SagePay, QuickBooks Payments, and many others. However, with no upfront pricing, you will have to call and request a custom quote before comparing them to competitors.
|Merchant Account||Payzone||Paymentsense||Sage Pay||HSBC||QuickBooks Payments*||HandePay|
|Payment Processing Time||3 days||3 days||2 Business Days||3-10 Days||2-8 days||N/A|
|Set Up Fee||No||None||None||Bespoke||None||£15 +|
|Early Termination Fee||No||Remainder on Contract||Yes (Varies)||Yes (Varies)||No||Yes|
|Contract Length||12 Month||3-60 months||Monthly-36 Month||12 Month +||Monthly||12-36 Month|
Payzone’s biggest advantage lies in their ability to offer additional services, as well as their low-cost PDQ machines.
*QuickBooks only offers online invoicing with direct debiting through Go Cardless.
Who Should Use Payzone?
Payzone has a lot to offer for small business, starting with the ability to open a merchant account through a large-scale provider like Barclaycard. Because large merchant account providers rarely work with small business, start-ups, or non-traditional businesses, services like Payzone allow you to increase the number of merchant account options for your business.
They also allow you to get better transaction rates, which can be extremely beneficial as your sales increase and transaction volume goes up. You should take the time to pay close attention to monthly costs and inquire into all additional fees for your package, so that you can determine if it’s smarter to go with a lower transaction rate and higher monthly fee or vice versa.
Payzone also offers a lot of transaction options, primarily aimed at small and micro-business. Online payments are geared towards online bill pay and finance rather than e-commerce, but with a payment gateway, e-commerce sellers can use the solution as well. Payzone has the most to offer for businesses that sell big-ticket items like furniture and electronics with link pay and invoicing, freelancers and contractors, and convenience-type businesses like drugstores, which can greatly benefit from solutions like mobile phone top-up and prepaid debit card top-up.
With a full-package of merchant services, most small-to-medium businesses can find solutions that meet their needs.
Payzone is a large, UK based, merchant service company offering access to merchant accounts, payment gateways, virtual terminals, and a variety of technology including online portals, PDQ machines, and various payment solutions. With a good reputation and quality services, it makes an ideal solution for many types of businesses.
Payzone is a not a bank, and cannot set up a merchant account. Instead, the company works with third-parties like Barclaycard, which will increase the complexity of your contract over choosing a banking service. You can expect more technical problems and potential hidden fees because of this detail.
Overall, Payzone offers a quality merchant service solution, with industry competitive rates, and a great deal of extras. As a UK-based merchant account provider, they are also able to meet with you in person, giving you a better idea of who you’re dealing with. If you’re interested in setting up a contract, make sure you proceed with caution, read the fine print, and ensure that you understand any hidden fees so you can accurately compare the company to other solutions.