Online Payment Service Providers

Choosing which payment gateway or online payment service provider to use may not be as easy as you think.

In today’s fast moving World of ecommerce and transacting online, having the a good online payment service provider as a partner is a must. Here’s a quick guide to things to look for when deciding which provider to use:


Fees is a big thing. Every business wants to save money so it is important to compare the fees of several good online payment service providers. Here’s a short explanation on how payment gateway or merchant account providers charge.

  • Set Up: When online payment services was relatively new, some online payment providers used to charge fees to set up your account. This was on average approximately £250+. This was designed to cover any technical work, which was required. Some providers still have this fee, however some independent payment providers have the flexibility to waive or reduce this fee should they wish to.
  • Monthly: This is fixed monthly fee charged for services such as customer support. The monthly fee can vary depending on the type of business and volume of monthly transactions
  • Percentage: Some online payment service providers charge a small percentage, anywhere between 1.5 – 3% per transaction value. The merchant bank, i.e. Barclaycard, Streamline (NatWest), Elevon normally sets these charges
  • Fixed Transaction Fee: You may notice another fee, typically ‘10-20p per transaction’. These fees are set by the Payment Gateway provider in order to process each online payment


It is now very common to see providers offering ‘flexible’ contracts, such as ‘rolling monthly’ or ‘no fixed term contracts’, However, it is important to check with which online payment gateway provider you choose to work with if they have minimum contract terms, sometimes 12-18 months.


Many payment service providers have other charges, such as charges for refunds and charge-backs. It’s important to understand these charges so that you may factor them into your business plans.


Obviously, security and fraud is a very important factor to consider. All payment providers must adhere to industry security guidelines and have the relevant online security technology in place. It’s worth reading up on the providers’ security and fraud policy before signing any contracts.


Most providers provide customer and technical support. Whether this is 24 hours per day or working business hours. A lot of the providers also provide in-depth online guides and documentation, which is worth printing off and reading.