Best UK payment
gateways
compared

Get the best credit and debit card
processing deals
for your business

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Compare providers in 60 seconds
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Accept all major payment methods

Accept a range of contactless & card payments

Mastercard
Visa
American express
Samsung pay
Google pay
Apple pay
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Maestro

3 simple steps when choosing a payment gateway...

1
How do you want to take card payments for business? A payment gateway allows you to securely take customer payments online through your ecommerce store. If you're looking to take payments face to face and over the phone as well, we can help find the right solution for your business.
2
What type of commitment do you want to agree to? We compare payment gateways from a range of providers, with contracts ranging from 1-5 years. We'll help you find the right solution for your business.
3
Customer support service level agreements? It's always worth taking into consideration the service level agreement offered by providers. You may not need the ability to call and speak with an advisor - online support may be sufficient.
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Why compare payments gateways?

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What is a payment gateway?

If your business is looking to sell its products or services online, a payment gateway could be the ideal solution. A payment gateway provides a secure service to your customers when they enter their private payment details, such as debit and credit card details. Payment gateways are available as a standalone solution, or they can be included as part of a complete payment service provider package.
The payment gateway will use SSL to encrypt your customers data, whilst also checking the the details held by the bank as part of fraud prevention. If the payment is authorised and the cardholder is the legitimate account holder, the payment will be sent to your business bank account.
Mobile card machine

How to choose a payment gateway

  1. Integration

    A payment gateway will form an essential part of your online business, so it is important to ensure that the software is able to integrate with any other programs used.

  2. Security

    It is essential that your business follows strict regulations which are designed to protect your customers data. At the very minimum your payment gateway provider should offer Level 1 PCI DSS compliance. The best payment gateway services will help your business to implement fraud detection procedures, so that legitimate customers are able to make payment.

  3. Reliability

    A successful online business relies on providing an accessible website which is able to accept payments 24/7. This means you need a payment gateway provider with an uptime guarantee, so you can be sure that the service is as reliable as possible.

  1. Payment options

    Although the majority of customers will want to pay by credit or debit card, there will be some which want to pay via other options such as eWallets or gift vouchers. The best payment gateways will support multiple payment methods to give your customers the most flexibility.

  2. Currencies

    Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need to accept payments from customers outside the UK. If this is a possibility you should choose a payment gateway provider which accepts multiple currencies, with a low fee for these types of transactions.

  3. Reporting

    Many payment gateways offer useful reporting tools as part of their packages. The best options will provide real-time insight into sales, inventory and potential problems.

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Who are the best payment gateway providers in the UK?

PayPal
PayPal is a great option for small businesses, with a specific payment gateway service known as PayPal Payflow Gateway.
Pros
Cons
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Easy for customers to pay
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High transaction charges for businesses with a low sales volume
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Quick and simple to setup
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The free Web Payments Standard version is relatively basic
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A trusted and reliable solution
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Robust security and fraud protection which is PCI compliant
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International currencies and payment methods accepted
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Funds available almost instantly within the PayPal account
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Integrates with most eCommerce platforms
Sage Pay
Sage Pay has an excellent reputation for providing a highly secure payment solution, with flexible services available to businesses which rely upon online and offline payments.
Pros
Cons
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One of the most highly-rated payment gateways in the world
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Setting up the payment gateway will require some prior experience
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Simple and quick checkout process
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Calls to the support team are charged at 2p per minute
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Transparent fee structure
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Ability to accept mobile and online payments
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All major payment methods are accepted
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More than 30 currencies accepted
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Settled funds are available within 2 working days
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Includes a useful auto-invoicing function via MySagePay
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Option to install a virtual terminal for phone payments
Stripe
Stripe offers a full-service payment solution, which makes it one of the most popular options for businesses looking for both a payment gateway and a merchant account.
Pros
Cons
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A transparent pricing structure
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Can be difficult to setup without prior experience
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Intuitive payment gateway platform
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High fees for payments outside the EU
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Ability to accept recurrent payments
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Settlement of funds can take up to 7 days
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Live sales data reporting
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Low fees for EU payments
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Digital wallet payments such as Apple and Google Pay are accepted
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A robust platform which handles millions of transactions
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Secure authentication methods are used to protect your business
PayPal

PayPal is a great option for small businesses, with a specific payment gateway service known as PayPal Payflow Gateway.

Sage Pay

Sage Pay has an excellent reputation for providing a highly secure payment solution, with flexible services available to businesses which rely upon online and offline payments.

Stripe

Stripe offers a full-service payment solution, which makes it one of the most popular options for businesses looking for both a payment gateway and a merchant account.

CardStream
Cardstream payment gateway solution if fully customisable, which is a great option if your business is looking to create branded payment screens and receipts.
Pros
Cons
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A fully customisable payment gateway solution
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The fee structure can be complicated
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Free to open an account
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A minimum 12-month contract is required
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No limit on transactions
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Settlement of funds can take up to 7 days
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Independent from acquiring banks
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Ability to accept recurring card payments
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Multiple currencies are supported
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Alerts offered for chargebacks
Amazon Pay
Amazon Pay is one of the easiest options available. The software design is similar to the Amazon website, so many users will find the checkout process familiar.
Pros
Cons
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A well-known trusted brand
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High charges for businesses with a low sales volume
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Fast checkout process
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Settlement of funds can take up to 5 days
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Automatic verification of customer details
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Simple integration with multiple eCommerce platforms
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Useful eCommerce tools to assist with online sales
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Sophisticated fraud detection software
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Recurring payment options available
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Customers are provided with a trusted login
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No monthly fees or contracts
Elavon
Elavon is one of the leading payment processing companies and is known for providing customers with innovative technology.
Pros
Cons
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The best technology available is integrated into the payment gateway
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There are reports of unexpected fees and suspension of accounts
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Supports both small businesses and large worldwide corporations
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Can be difficult to install the system without tech-support
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Customer loyalty promotions and offers available
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Option to use the Fanfare Gift Card Programme
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Tailored solutions available for specific industries
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Multiple payment methods supported, including mobile Apple Pay.
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Flexible contracts available
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Customer service is available 24/7
CardStream

Cardstream payment gateway solution if fully customisable, which is a great option if your business is looking to create branded payment screens and receipts.

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay is one of the easiest options available. The software design is similar to the Amazon website, so many users will find the checkout process familiar.

Elavon

Elavon is one of the leading payment processing companies and is known for providing customers with innovative technology.

Authorize.net
Authorize.net offers a highly customisable payment gateway which is ideal for tech-savvy business owners or programmers.
Pros
Cons
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Competitive pricing in comparison to similar payment gateways
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The system feels dated in comparison to competitors
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A customisable payment platform
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Designed specifically for programmers, so can be complicated for those without prior knowledge
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Extensive integration tools for various platforms, shopping carts and devices
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Dedicated merchant accounts available via partner banks
Nochex
Nochex payment gateway positions itself as an alternative to Stripe and PayPal. The main difference being that customers do not need to hold an account to be able to use this payment option.
Pros
Cons
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Customers can make payments without setting up an account
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Payment features are limited
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A good reputation with online businesses
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Hardware to support face-to-face payments is not available
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The customer support team benefit from many positive reviews
WorldPay
Worldpay is the most popular payment processor in the UK, with a variety of flexible plans designed to suit the needs of small businesses.
Pros
Cons
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Highly secure payments
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Transaction fees can vary
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Flexible payment gateway plans
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A full eCommerce package is not available
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All major debit and credit card accepted
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Ability to send customers payment links within invoices, so no website is needed to accept payments
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More than 100 currencies are accepted
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Includes an online merchant account for receipt of card payments
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No joining fees
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24/7 customer support
Verifone
Verifone have an excellent reputation for providing traditional PDQ card terminals, however they also offer Enterprise Payment Software which supports online payments.
Pros
Cons
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Comprehensive reporting with tools to improve business insight
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Pricing is often unclear
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Fully PCI compliant with all data encoded and obscured
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Limited integration with third-party software
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Supports international payments
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Real-time payment notifications
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Comprehensive management of services via a single dashboard, allowing all payment devices to be synced
Authorize.net

Authorize.net offers a highly customisable payment gateway which is ideal for tech-savvy business owners or programmers.

Nochex

Nochex payment gateway positions itself as an alternative to Stripe and PayPal. The main difference being that customers do not need to hold an account to be able to use this payment option.

WorldPay

Worldpay is the most popular payment processor in the UK, with a variety of flexible plans designed to suit the needs of small businesses.

Verifone

Verifone have an excellent reputation for providing traditional PDQ card terminals, however they also offer Enterprise Payment Software which supports online payments.

We compare payment gateways with the top providers

Takepayments
Barclaycard
Sumup
Evo Payments

Frequently asked questions

Credit card readers work by transmitting the data stored within a customer’s debit card, credit card or mobile payment app. As soon as the payment request is received the retailers bank asks the card provider whether the transaction should be authorised. If the transaction is approved, a notification is sent to the card reader to authorise the payment.

Payment gateways are the virtual equivalent of a credit card machine, they work by encrypting and transferring the payment information received during an online or offline transaction. The payment gateway checks to see whether the payment should be authorised or declined. If the transaction is authorised the payment moves from the payment gateway to the merchant account, before finally settling into the merchant’s bank.

There are two main payment options available, which will depend on the service your business requires. It is possible to choose a basic payment gateway, or a complete payment service provider, which offers both a payment gateway and a merchant account.

The cheapest payment gateway will charge the lowest set-up fees, monthly fees and transaction charges. It is important to compare these separate costs if you want to find the most competitive deal. Depending on the type of business you operate, a provider charging more for a monthly fee with lower transaction charges, may save you money if you process lots of transactions. In comparison, if you are a smaller business, a lower monthly fee and more expensive transaction charges may work out to be more cost effective.

The difference between a gateway and a virtual terminal is the way the card details are processed. A virtual terminal requires the merchant to enter the customers card details into the terminal, whereas a payment gateway asks for the customer to enter their own card details. Typically, a payment gateway is used for online transactions, whereas a virtual terminal is used for face to face sales or telephone orders.

Payment gateway fees will vary significantly between providers, with some charging fees based on the whole service provided, and others charging separate fees for the merchant account and the payment gateway. In general, payment gateways will charge monthly fees, with additional charges for various optional services. In addition, your business will need to pay transaction fees, which may be a set amount per transaction, alongside a charge based on a percentage of each transaction.

To create a payment gateway you will typically need a UK bank account, a website and an email address. Depending on the gateway provider you choose, you may also need to answer some questions about your business. The simple payment service providers offer a merchant account as part of their package, however, if you also need to open a merchant account you may need to show sales projections and a business plan.

There are several payment types which you can process with a virtual terminal, as the software allows you to turn your tablet, smartphone or computer into a point of sale connection. This means you can process card payments over the phone or in person, simply enter the card details which your customer provides along with the verification checks and the transaction will be processed.

Yes, gateways are secure, with the best payment gateways making it possible for merchants to implement the highest levels of security. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is guidance which is designed to help both merchants and financial payment processors provide secure solutions. For example, a gateway is designed to ensure that all data is encrypted when transferred to the payment processor for authorisation, this means it cannot be stolen and used for fraud.

Yes, you can setup recurring payments with some payment gateways. This will enable your business to accept automatic payments at regular times, using your customers card details. The following are examples of payment solutions which offer support for recurring payments; Cardsteam, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Square and PayPal.

Yes, you can process international payments with some payment gateway providers. For example, PayPal, Verifone and Stripe all support international payments. If your business operates within global markets the best payment gateway will be the one which offers the lowest fees for the currencies which you accept.

Yes, it is possible to integrate with existing systems, although there are some restrictions which vary between providers. If you already have systems in place such as an eCommerce website, it is important to choose a payment gateway which offers integration into your chosen platform, such as Wordpress, Woocommerce and Shopify.

There are some gateways which are easy to use, in comparison to the more complicated platforms. For example, PayPal and Amazon both offer payment gateways with systems which are more likely to be familiar with your customers. This may result in a more seamless payment experience and a reduction in the number of shopping carts which are abandoned.

Collecting payments from customers via a payment gateway will offer your business a simple, secure payment processing method. However, there are some differences between providers, and it is important to compare the options available to ensure you benefit from the best payment gateway service. Here at BusinessComparison, we can help you find the payment gateway which is the best fit for your business. To find out more use our simple comparison service and get the best payment gateway for your business.

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