Transax Merchant Services Review
Transax was founded in 1986 as a card payment service provider, offering a range of PDQ and card machines to retailers around the UK.
In 2008, the company first expanded its offerings by partnering with Certegy of the FIS Group for chequing and merchant account services.
Today, Transax partners with Elavon, a U.S. Bancorp company, and one of the largest card processing companies in the world.
So let’s jump into the Transax review now:
Transax is a very large company in its own right, processing payments for more than 18,000 merchants, and all through face-to-face sales involving PDQ machines and cheques. If you’re considering the company, they have a strong range of card machines and offer Elavon merchant services with award winning customer service.
- Processing fees ranging from 2.55-3.75% + 10-19p
- Card machines from £4.95 per month
- Minimum 48-month contract with auto-renewal
- Multiple card machine options in every category
- Elavon merchant account services
While Transax has a lot to offer for retailers looking for card machines, the company does not provide their own merchant services. Instead, they offer sourcing through Elavon, meaning that you need a more complex contract than if you were to source all solutions through one provider.
Transax Merchant Services Costs and Fees
Transax Merchant Services offers card and PDQ machines with rates starting from £4.95 per month with a 48-month contract. Because of the long contract, the company is able to offer card machines at up to 40% less per month than most competitors. However, you will be locked into a 4-year contract with auto renewal which can be difficult to get out of.
Elavon Rates and Fees
Transax offers merchant services through Elavon, meaning that you will pay Elavon rates. Transax does not add their own costs or transaction fees to the service.
|In Person||2.65% + 19p||3.5% + 19p||£10+|
|Mobile||2.65% + 19p||3.5% + 19p||£10+|
You’ll also pay Elavon’s additional account fees:
|PCI Compliance||£30 (yearly)|
|Monthly Fee (per service)||£10+|
|Minimum Merchant Service Charge||£20|
|Minimum Monthly Processing Fee||Up to £25|
|Monthly Statement Fee||£4.95|
|Early Termination Fee||£0|
You may also be able to choose to source another merchant account provider and payment processor rather than choosing Elavon. This may change your contract details, so be sure to discuss your options with a Transax salesperson before signing a contract.
What Merchant Services Does Transax Offer?
Transax offers one primary service, PDQ machine leasing and rental. The company also sources additional services through third-party banking acquirers, so you can add merchant account services, accept cheques, and process other types of funds.
Merchant Account through Elavon
Elavon offers a standard merchant account for card processing with rates starting at 2.65% + 19p and monthly fees from £10. You can expect to pay a minimum of about £55 per month before transaction fees, which can double or triple in case of chargebacks.
Transax offers chequing services and insurance through the FIS group, enabling you to accept cheques of any value with a guarantee on payment. Costs vary based on your business size and transaction volume and your contract is with FIS and not with Transax.
PDQ and Card Machines
Transax offers Ingenico and Verifone card machines including mobile, portable, and countertop models. The merchant service provider does not offer Clover touch-screen card machines or POS terminals.
Transax offers two countertop PDQ machines:
Ingenico ICT250 – The Ingenico ICT250 is a countertop card machine featuring a full colour screen, backlit keyboard, and extendable pin pad. The machine accepts all payments including Magstripe, EMV, and contactless with NFC and operates over Ethernet.
Verifone Vx520 – The Verifone Vx520 is a countertop card machine that operates over broadband and ethernet, with backlit keyboard, contactless payments, and black and white display.
Transax offers two portable card machines, suitable for use in hospitality, areas with queues, and other retail spaces where you need to bring the card machine to the customer.
Verifone Vx680 – Verifone’s VX680 is a handheld card reader featuring a 3.5″ colour LCD display, 192mb of memory, and a water-resistant design. The model comes with a 7.2 v 1800mAH lithium-ion battery designed to last for 8-12 hours of heavy use and connects over WIFI or Bluetooth.
Ingenico IWL252 – The Ingenico IWL252 is a small handheld card reader that connects to a base station via Bluetooth, which connects via Ethernet for maximum security. The system is one of the smallest options on the market, offers full contactless and EMV payments, a tip function, and a colour touchscreen.
Mobile card readers are designed for either hospitality or on-location payments, such as by contractors, freelancers, and location-based workers. These card machines cost more than portable or countertop models, but are small and process transactions over 3G GPRS networks.
Ingenico IWL 251 – The Ingenico IWL 251 is a smaller portable model of the 252, with additional GPRS functionality. The model also features a printer capable of printing up to 30 lines per second, with programmability to specify up to 99 servers and tables. It also features a tipping function.
Verifone Vx680 – The Verifone Vx680 connects over GPRS or 3G, enabling secure transaction processing from anywhere. The card machine is completely mobile and features a compact size, SIM card, card not present transaction support, and foreign currency conversion. The battery is designed to last for 8-12 hours of standard use.
What Doesn’t Transax Offer?
Transax is not a merchant service provider, instead, the company sources solutions through companies like Elavon. This means that you cannot contract a merchant account directly. You also cannot request other services such as virtual terminals or online payment gateways – simply because Transax cannot offer the services. If you sell online, you are significantly better off sourcing a merchant service provider that offers an online payment gateway.
Transax Contract Length, Auto-Renewal, and Early Termination Fees
Transax previously offered contracts as short as 12 months. However, the company only offers one standard contract option of 48 months. At 4 years, this is one of the longest contracts on the UK market, which Transax attempts to balances out by offering discounted card terminal rental.
You should also be aware that all contracts include an auto-renewal clause. You cannot cancel until the end of the term and you must submit a letter of cancellation within 30 days, or your contract will auto-renew. Unfortunately, once the contract renews, you have to buy your way out to cancel it.
As a result, some business owners report being hit with steep fines of up to £1,800 pounds after cancelling just after an auto-renewal. Importantly, fees are this high because you have to cancel and buy your way out of both your auto-renewed Elavon contract as well as your Transax contract.
If you do choose to set up a Transax contract, consider putting a reminder in your phone and transferring it forward when you change phones so that you aren’t accidentally locked into a very long contract.
Transax Customer Service and Support
Transax offers local customer service and support in the UK and Ireland. Local support means that you will get faster help, and Transax generally offers very good support for machine rental. However, for chequing and merchant account services, you will have to contact the actual provider, either FIS or Elavon.
Both options offer large customer service support teams in the UK. Elavon offers 24/7 phone and email support, with dedicated account managers for larger businesses.
Comparing Transax Merchant Services
Transax Merchant Services primarily offers card and PDQ machines, but with no published rates (only a starting rate) and custom rental fees based on volume, it can be extremely difficult to compare the service to other offerings. Your best option is to request a quote and then compare card machine rental plus Elavon’s quote for transaction costs with other merchant account services.
|Merchant Account||Transax / Elavon||Global Payments||Sage Pay||Worldpay||Handepay|
|Transaction Fee||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||2.5% +|
|Available Brands||Ingenico, Verifone||Ingenico||Own Brand + Others||Ingenico (branded as Worldpay)||NA|
|Monthly Fee||£10 + (per service)||£10+ (per service)||£20,90+||£19.95+||Bespoke|
|Payment Processing Time||1+ Business Days||2+ Business Days||2 Business Days||7 Days||1-7 Days|
|Set Up Fee||From £25||£150 – £250||None||None||None|
|Termination Fee||£0||£150 – £500||Yes (Varies)||Yes||Yes (Varies)|
|Contract Length||3- Year||12-36 month||Monthly-36 Month||36 Month||36 Month +|
If you need additional services, you should also consider the hassle of the added contract complexity, the minimum 4-year contract, and the lack of e-commerce and online sales support as cons for Transax.
However, with terminal rental fees starting at £4.95 and machine costs start at less than half of nearly any other close competitor, except Global Payments which sometimes offers a card machine as part of small business merchant account packages, Transax does have a lot to offer.
Who Should Choose Transax?
Unlike many competitors, Transax does not offer online payments or virtual terminals, making the company suitable for face-to-face sales only. With PDQ machine rental starting from £4.95 per month, Transax is one of the cheapest places to source a card machine or PDQ terminal.
Transax also offers card processing through Elavon, one of the largest acquiring banks in the world (U.S. Bancorp).
Essentially, Transax could be a great solution for card-machine reliant businesses, especially those who need a large quantity of card terminals and can benefit from lower costs. However, with a 4-year minimum contract and steep early termination fees, it’s not a good choice for start-ups or small business in high-risk industry, because if you go bankrupt, cancellation is expensive and you will have to buy your way out, even if the contract renewal is only one day old.
Comparing Your Options
Transax is a low-cost card terminal rental company, but technically offers little else for most business. However, you can source card terminals at up to 40% less than through another company, providing you are willing to commit to a minimum of 4 years on the contract. Considering that many merchants offer 12-month contracts and some card machine manufacturers offer monthly contracts (like Clover), 4 years is a long time. However, you may greatly benefit if you need a large number of card machines.
The merchant service company also makes it easy to set up a merchant account through Elavon, where you can acquire face-to-face card processing with rates starting at 2.65% + 19p, which is about the industry average, but nothing exceptional in terms of value. In fact, you could likely get a better deal from SagePay and Global Payments.
Your best option is to consider your total costs, request a quote from Transax and other merchant account providers you’re considering and then compare your options to see which has the most to offer. Comparing quotes may also help you to negotiate a better deal if you like offerings, terminal brands, or customer service from one provider more than another.
Overall, Transax and Elavon combine to create a strong offering that is highly suitable to face-to-face retail, especially where you need multiple card machines.