Barclays Merchant Services, and more specifically Barclaycard, is a merchant service offered by Barclays. As one of the oldest banks in the UK, and the world, it traces its origins back to 1690 in London. But is such a large, and well-established, multinational bank well placed to offer support to smaller SME’s?
Well, let’s answer that question right now.
A large majority of high street banks offer merchant services to their SME customers – and Barclays is no different. In fact, Barclaycard is one of the only major merchants to provide offerings to small, medium, and large businesses alike.
Barclaycard has a wide range of products and services that compare pretty well in terms of other products on the market. And more than that, Barclays sell their own merchant services through Barclaycard rather than partnering up with a third-party card processor.
Let’s delve further below into a thorough overview of what Barclays can offer in terms of products, pricing and service.
And in the meantime, why not try out our comparison tool here to see how much you could save by switching your merchant services.
Barclays Merchant Banking Services
As we mentioned earlier, Barclays offers a wide range of products and services so here’s a low down on the most popular:
Barclays acquiring services enables businesses to accept and process payments online, as well as using PDQ or card machines. It should however be noted that Barclays is pretty stringent in terms of who qualifies. Start-ups, small businesses, and those deemed high-risk may struggle to qualify for an account.
Depending on the size and nature of your business, Barclays offers a range of PDQ machines for lease. These include, countertop, portable, and mobile machines. All terminals have a minimum lease period of 18 months, which is industry standard.
Barclaycard Anywhere is a fully mobile PDQ solution perfect for small businesses/freelancers or those with irregular sales. It’s also a great solution for on-location purchases at events and tradeshows. Yes, the processing fees may be slightly higher, but there’ll be no long-term contracts or monthly rental fees.
Online Payment Gateway
Barclaycard offers an industry-leading payment gateway solution – one of the largest online payment gateways around. And even better – there’s now a simple and competitive pricing structure.
Barclays offers a virtual terminal to support telephone and mail orders. Working similarly to a card reader you instead type in the payment details rather than plugging it in. Again the fees here are pretty competitive.
Barclays Merchant Services Pricing
Barclays offers tailored pricing based on business type, transaction volume, business risk, and sales type. They also offer flat rate pricing for the majority of their services so there’s something for most business users. Of course, to find out exactly what you will be paying for their services, we recommend getting a custom quote.
For a quick overview, let’s take a look at what we’ve found:
|Monthly fee||£15 +|
|Set up fee||£150|
|Minimum monthly transaction fee||£20|
|Early termination fees||Varies|
|Cancellation fee||£115 + VAT|
Now let’s look in detail at what Barclaycard has to offer in terms of each category of merchant service.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, Barclays offers a range of PDQ machines for lease; namely a card terminal/Chip & PIN machine for taking debit and credit card payments. This can be via a desktop card machine, a portable card machine, or a mobile card machine. Let’s take a look at these in further detail below.
Unfortunately, Barclays doesn’t publish its prices online so you’ll have to contact them directly for a quote. However, here’s a roundup of what we could find:
Desktop card machine – These are the most common type of card machine – and the type you’ll see on a daily basis. They’re ideal with businesses with a fixed checkout such as a food market. You’ll also usually find them physically connected to the POS, although it’s not unusual for them to be hooked up to WiFi or Bluetooth as well.
Fees – £15 + VAT, 18-month contract
Portable Card machine – Like the name suggests, these card machines can be taken away from the base station. They are connected via WiFi or Bluetooth and are battery powered. They’re ideal for businesses who take payment throughout their premises such as restaurants and bars.
Fees – £20 + VAT, 18-month contract
Mobile card machine – Again, as the name suggests, mobile card machines use the mobile telephone network to stay connected. This means you can take payment anywhere in the country, making them an ideal option for tradesmen and travelling salespeople.
Fees – £25 + VAT, 18-month contract
Transaction costs for desktop, portable, and mobile all depend on the volume and value of sales.
Mobile POS Devices
The alternative to the card machines above would be to use a Mobile point of sale (POS) device. Rather than paying a monthly cost and being bound to a lengthy contract, these are pay-as-you-go devices that pair with an app on a smartphone or tablet. This makes them the ideal option for small merchants or start-ups who don’t want to sign up to expensive contracts.
Anywhere was introduced in 2015 by Barclaycard following the success of similar options such as iZettle, SumUp and Square. However, it was first introduced at a hefty price that made it nowhere near competitive compared to industry leaders. Today though, it’s a different story. Both the reader and the payment processing cost have been reduced so let’s have a look at a quick comparison below:
|One-off fee||£29 + VAT||£29 + VAT||£29 + VAT|
As you can see, the Anywhere comes out top with the lowest fixed transaction fee of 1.6%, as well as a reasonably priced one-off fee for the device at £29 + VAT.
One thing to note would be that the device Barclaycard uses is a third-party reader called the M010 from Miura. It’s actually the original iZettle and both Shopify and PayPal use the same reader. However, whilst it’s a great device, it might be a little dated.
Barclaycard offers a service called Web Payments, which is basically just a payment gateway. If you’re an eCommerce merchant, this is the part you’ll be interested in.
In fact, Barclays operates one of the largest online payment gateways, with offers available from £20 per month. For low-volume sellers, rates start at just over 2% for debit card transactions. However, if you’re comparing with other industry leaders such as Stripe, whose rates start at just 1.4% for online transactions, Barclaycard might not be quite competitive enough for small businesses. That, and the fact that you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, makes it a far from ideal situation for those with unpredictable monthly turnovers.
Barclays Merchant Services Reviews
As is often the case, reviews are few and far between for Barclays Merchant Services – and there’s nothing to be found on TrustPilot. That being said, from what is available online, there’s certainly more positives to be found than negatives.
Any cons refer to the pricing structure not being as transparent as it could be, or possible customer service issues . Other than this, there’s nothing glaringly obvious to suggest you shouldn’t give them a go.
Is Barclaycard for you?
Overall, Barclaycard is a very viable option, offering some of the best rates and services in the UK. And, it arguable works well for both small and large businesses alike. On the flip side, if you need a number of PDQ terminals or you’re non-PCI compliant, you’d be better off choosing a small-business solution offering budget terminals and compliance.
As always, make sure you take the time to request tailored quotes to suit your needs and to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
Find Your Next Merchant Services
If you’re on the lookout for new merchant services or to find a better offer than your existing merchant services, Barclays could be a great option.
Research the market and check out our comparison tool to compare merchant services and see exactly what’s available.