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Published: 18/04/2019

How to choose a payment service provider

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If you’re looking to offer your customers the convenience of paying by card, whatever business type you are, you’ll need to choose a payment service provider first.

What is a payment service provider?

A payment service provider (like us!) is dedicated to helping you accept card payments. They’ll handle all your transactions, including your PCI compliance needs, card payment security, fee processing and more.

So, whilst you’re doing what you do best – running your business – you won’t need to worry about your payment processing.

But how do you choose the best one for you? Let’s have a look.

Check your options

Not to state the obvious, but to be able to accept credit cards and debit cards, you’ll first need a payment processing system set-up.

There’s a wide variety of solutions available, so no matter whether you want to take payments face-to-face, online or over the phone, there is one to suit your business.

Most providers offer similar products, so check out below for the types of solutions that are on the market:

Card machines

Also known as a card reader or PDQ machine, a card machine is perfect if you work from a physical shop or need to take card payments whilst out on the road.

Most payment service providers will offer the following:

  • Countertop card machines – a static card reader that can sit on your till point or reception desk.
  • Portable card machine – a wireless machine which comes with a charging base and handheld unit. They connect to each other using Bluetooth, so you can take payments from anywhere around your shop.
  • Mobile card machine – a wireless payment machine which uses 3G to connect to the strongest mobile network in your area. This means that you can take payments on the road, across the UK.

Online payments

You can also take payments online, whether that’s through your website or from a standalone secure payment page.

Most payment service providers will be able to provide:

  • Online payment gateway – a secure payment page which can be added onto your website, so you can link your site to UK shopping carts to take payment.
  • Pay by Link – a standalone secure payment page which you can email to your customers so they can make a payment.

If you’re not online already, you can find out more about how to take your business online in our blog.

Phone payments

If you run a business where you accept mail order or telephone orders, phone payment solutions let you take payment without the customer needing to be there with you.

There are two key ways you can do this:

  • Virtual terminals – an online version of a card machine, you simply need to log in and complete the payment form with your customers’ card details.
  • Chip and PIN machines – most card machines are equipped to be able to process payments when your customer isn’t there. You just need to take their details over the phone instead of them putting their card in like they’d do if they were there with you.

You can find out more on how you can take phone payments in our blog.

Check the contract length

A lot of payment service providers have long contracts – some even tie you in for up to 5 years, so do make sure you ask up front!

At Payzone, we do things a bit differently.

We get it. No matter whether your brand new to card payments or are switching providers, you might not want to be tied into a long contract. That’s why we offer one of the shortest available on the market – just 12-months.

What costs and fees apply?

If you’ve been looking around for a payment service provider, you’ll have probably noticed that some of them will give you two to three prices to choose from. No matter your business size, whether you’re switching or are completely new to cards, it’s a one size fits all approach.

At Payzone, we understand that one price doesn’t fit all. That’s why instead, our pricing packages are designed to fit your individual business needs.

Our packages are based on the type of business you own, what your current or expected card turnover is, and what payment solution you ultimately decide.

Why choose Payzone?

One of our local card payment specialists will come out to meet you face to face, and with their wide range of local business knowledge, they’ll guide you to choosing the best solution for your business.

As mentioned earlier, we have a short 12-month contract available. There’s no set-up fees when you join, and no exit fees if you leave at the end of your contract. Plus, our friendly activations team will hand hold you through the set up process.

And, if you’re looking to get your business PCI compliant, we can help. We have a dedicated PCI DSS team who will guide you every step of the way in getting you compliant.

Vanessa Littler Digital Marketing Executive
Product Information

What is a virtual terminal?

Take a read of our blog to learn everything you need to know about virtual terminals.

Product Information

How do I take card payments over the phone?

Find out how your business could start taking card payments over the phone in our blog.

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