Card machine

The cost of taking payments

Payment facilities are fundamental to businness throughout the UK but what are the true costs involved ?

A quick search online brings up hundreds of adverts and incentives on why and how this provider and that provider are the ones to choose. At this stage your choice is usually based on who provides the best sales pitch and offers.

Below are some tips on the true costs your business will need to pay with merchant services.

Setup Fees

Many companies charge a setup fee for new customers, the cost can vary depending on the supplier. These fees can fluctuate depending on the type of service you require i.e. Card Machine, Online Payments, Virtual Terminal etc.

These fees are normally advised at the start of any enquiry so you should be aware before entering into a contract.

Monthly Fees

Monthly fees charged by suppliers come in a variety of guises, this could be the rental cost for a card machine or the cost of using their particular services. Prices vary hugely depending on providers and the type of service you require.

Many providers offer a no monthly fee which is very intising for but at what cost ? Number of transaction maybe capped per month, monthly minimum amount maybe required and usually the transaction fees are higher to compensate.

Transaction Fees

These fees are a percentage of each payment (transaction) that gets taken by your business. These fees are one of the most important costs you should check, as these fluctuate monthly depending on the amount of transactions you take.

Transaction fees can also be different depending on the payment method i.e. Mastercard, Visa or American Express. Having a low transaction fee is key as many providers who offer no monthly cost have a higher transaction fee that way exceeds a monthly fee from a different supplier.

Additional Costs

Suppliers have additioanl costs which you must be aware of, these can consist of

  • Charge Back Fee
  • PCI Fee
  • Refund Fee
  • Authorisation Fee

It is important to ascertain if any additional costs are involved from your chosen supplier.



As we have shown there are many considerations to make when choosing your merchant services provider. Take the time and ensure that they explain ALL the costs involved with your chosen payment method.

Don’t fall for cheapest offer routine, here is an example of what we mean – Provider A offer no monthly costs, only a small fee for a card reader. Your business has taken £1000 in payments this month which has cost you £70 in transaction fees. Provider B has a monthly cost of £20 and the transaction cost on the same £1000 is only £14, due to the lower transaction fees the monthly cost is cheaper.

At First Payment Merchant Services we are transparent with our costs and because we use a range of enquiring banks we can offer the lowest transaction fees, get in touch today for a free quote 👉   Contact Us

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